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Tom Galli
Backdrop search
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:40:07 pm

Aloha all!

I've got some residual grant money to spend, and only a short time in which to do so. I want to add 3 backdrops to our new multipurpose room: chroma-key green, seamless white, and a generic photographic "daubs of paint."

Ideally, these will be on rolls, mounted on the wall. Width needs to be approximately 15'. Length should be about the same. The material should be durable and cleanable, able to handle having items or actors stand on it.

I am having a heckuva time finding this. B&H stocks the chroma-key material from California Sunbounce, but I can't find a description of what it's made from. No luck finding a 15' wide seamless white anywhere. Studio Dynamics has muslin photographic drops by the roll, but only up to 12'.

I didn't expect these to be such difficult items to find. Anyone have a source?

Mahalo!
Tom G

The difference between theory and reality is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality.


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Dan Brockett
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:56:36 pm

Hi Tom:

From my experience, I doubt that you will find exactly what you are looking for. Most BGs are stocked on perhaps 8' or 9' and 12'. I don't think you can find an odd size like 15'. So your choices are to probably work with something that is longer than you want or to cut it down yourself. Not sure if I have ever seen paper seamless rolls much longer than 9 or 10', they are too tricky to transport unless you have a truck.

For painted muslin BGs, I would check with Calumet and Denny Mfg, both are on-line. You should have no trouble in finding a 20 x 20' green screen, also made of muslin or nylon. Walking on a cloth green screen is bad though, once you have smudges and footprints all over it that won't come out, it loses its effectiveness to be keyed easily. For sizes that big, I would prefer a painted hard cyc if you need to see the floor/full length body shots.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 15, 2010 at 9:04:28 pm

Dan's right, those are bigger than you would normally find stocked for photographic purposes.

For jumbo backdrops, I'd explore sources that cater to theatrical use (stage productions) rather than photographic uses. There are several companies that make those for the theatrical industry, but unfortunately no specific names come to mind. But some Googling for backdrops and using the words "theatrical," "theater," or "theatre" might help.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Rick Wise
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 15, 2010 at 9:06:13 pm

Exactly 15' seems very difficult. Another source for any of these items is Studio Dynamics, http://www.studiodynamics.com/category/Designer_Muslin-6. Most of their muslins come in 16' wide, but a few in 15'.

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Tom Galli
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 15, 2010 at 9:43:33 pm

The 15' was based on having something wide enough to shoot a full person head-to-toe. The space where we're planning to hang has a clearance of 7'6", and working with a (roughly) 2:1 aspect ratio, that gave me 15'. Wider could work, there's room. And I suppose I could work with smaller.

What's kind of key (pun intended) due to the university's grant spending process is that fewer venders is better. If I can find a one-stop shop that has not only my backdrops but the hardware to mount them, that would make the administration smile upon me.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I've had better luck with smaller sized rolls. Right now, I'm looking at Infinity Vinyl Backgrounds from Savage Paper and a RollEasy mount from Photo Tech.

Please keep the suggestions coming!
Tom G

The difference between theory and reality is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 16, 2010 at 2:28:48 pm

My first suggestion for this stuff is always RoseBrand in New York. Particularly for wide green cloth, as they have it in a flame-retardant spandex that can come in extra-wide size, reasonably priced. They used to mail out on request a sample card with swatches, so you can see exactly what you're getting. Have not used them in a while, but they were very good to me.

This stuff is 92 inches wide, and obviously as long as you want it. Turn it on its side, you can key a whole car with one seamless piece. This one is not flame retardant, though.

http://www.rosebrand.com/product793/92-Keying-Spandex-NFR.aspx?cid=178&idx=...



Denny is a good source for the muslin drops, tubetape is a cheaper green screen supplies source.

Oddball sizes will require you to hire a local tailor to sew panels together. The roll sizes are based on common dimensions used for shipping, as well as the size of the looms the cloth is made from.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 16, 2010 at 2:39:06 pm

This one by Rose Brand is even WIDER:

http://www.rosebrand.com/product559/128-Poly-Muslin-IFR.aspx?cid=327&idx=4&...


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 16, 2010 at 5:49:20 pm

[Tom Galli] "The 15' was based on having something wide enough to shoot a full person head-to-toe. The space where we're planning to hang has a clearance of 7'6", and working with a (roughly) 2:1 aspect ratio, that gave me 15'."

As far as the green-screen is concerned, there is not much point in having 15' wide fabric for a head-to-toe shot. You just need something wide enough to fill in behind the talent, then crop out the non-green background in post.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 16, 2010 at 7:12:34 pm

Jason is absolutely right. Technically you can get away with just a foots or six inches of green around the edge of the guy and the rest can be masked out in post.


But, that assumes you only shoot one guy, ever, and from one fixed camera location. What if you want to shoot one guy and a large prop or two? Or shoot a camera move with a dolly? Or one guy doing extreme movements like fencing lunge attacks? Or two or more guys, plus furniture?

That's when you need a bigger cloth.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 19, 2010 at 1:39:22 pm

Dunno where you are (or if it matters?) [Hawaii?] but out here on the left coast...
http://hollywoodragsbackdropsinc.vpweb.com
http://www.filmtools.com


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Dennis Size
Re: Backdrop search
on Sep 20, 2010 at 5:37:06 am

Try Tobins Lake Scenic backdrops (http://www.Tobinslake.com), or Charles Stewart Scenic Backdrops (http://www.charleshstewart.com.

DS



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