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Studio Renos, Any suggestions?

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Shawn Speller
Studio Renos, Any suggestions?
on Jan 25, 2012 at 9:04:47 pm

Hey all,

I am new here, and fairly new to the business. The company I work for is looking to do improvements to their small studio and I have been elected to spearhead the project. I have looked around on the net a bit for some of the items we were looking into getting and I thought I would try here to see what your suggestions are.

What we are looking into getting is...

1. Tile flooring (suggestions on what I should be looking for, what I should avoid? We are hoping to be able to paint the tiles chroma green/black/white when needed)

2. Track/rail for curtains (a cyc) ( what should I be looking for? Do I have to get the rails from a video equipment dealer or is there a cheaper more readily available choice?

3. Looking to put up a grid for small studio lights (What should I be looking for and where? Just at the local hardware store?

4. Sound proofing for a small v/o studio and in the main part of the studio (Should I go with sound proofing blankets/foam made for that or can I get away with hardware store items?)

5. Blacking out windows (Paint, stick on vinyl, what else, what would be the best option?)

6. Paint (What is my best choice, obviously matte but is there something I may miss?)

Thanks ahead of time for any response, it is greatly appreciated. I can't wait to get this project going, I will have to post some before and after pictures at a later date!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Studio Renos, Any suggestions?
on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:02:25 pm

Got a budget yet?


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Shawn Speller
Re: Studio Renos, Any suggestions?
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:22:54 pm

Not an exact number, but from past experience my employer with proper reasoning he will get what is needed regardless of cost, his goal and mine is to build this department and this studio which is going to be the only functioning one in the city I am located in.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Studio Renos, Any suggestions?
on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:22:08 am

Shawn -

I'll only address the stuff I have experience with:

1. I would not suggest tile flooring. What do you currently have? If it's cement/smooth concrete, you're in good shape. It's easy to paint over, there is no pattern in it (with tile, you're stuck with the tile pattern no matter what you paint), and it holds the paint well. A tile pattern under chroma green would be a nightmare to pull a key from.

4. Sonex is the real way to go, but there are way cheaper ways to soundproof - any music supply house has a generic acoustic foam - try a Google search on Sonex, then on Acoustic Foam, and see the price differences. Also bear in mind that if you have a curtain in the studio, you may not need the acoustic treatment, since a curtain absorbs a lot of bounce.

5. You may want to just use a combination of light blocking venetian blinds and light blocking curtains, just in case you run into a situation where you actually want some natural light.

That's my two cents. It would be a good idea to discuss budget, as Mark mentioned. You don't want to cut corners on quality if you have a real budget - but then again, there are some places where you can get the same results for a lot cheaper than the high-end options.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Studio Renos, Any suggestions?
on Jan 26, 2012 at 3:29:42 pm

What we are looking into getting is...

1. Tile flooring: The pro product here is Roscotiles or GAMfloor tiles. But you can do as well with carpet tiles from a local home center and painted linoleum tiles, both laid without glue. Also consider using vinyl sheet flooring, laid upside-down; the so-called "felt" backing takes paint really well, after first using Kilz latex primer, and I recommend this method for making inexpensive large and durable seamless chromakey or white/gray "limbo" coves that sweep unto the floor.


2. Track/rail for curtains: Getting the cars that connect the curtain to the track is expensive. The curtains must be fireproofed according to local fire codes. Get a black or "CBS Gray" curtain. A gray curtain can be lit with colored gels to make it any color you need. A black matte felt curtain is useful for limbo shooting. Try RoseBrand in New York for curtain related stuff.


3. Looking to put up a grid for small studio lights (What should I be looking for and where? Just at the local hardware store?
A: this may not be a good job for amateurs: the grid needs to be tied to the building structure and the power wiring and control needs to be professionally run to avoid fires as well as RFI interference and issues with phasing. PVC or simple EMT conduit WON'T CUT IT. The grid will draw enough juice that your distribution box will need an upgrade. The heat thrown off may require an HVAC upgrade and a "hush kit" to quiet the ductwork. Have a contractor do all this.

4. Sound proofing
A: this is more complicated than sticking up Aurelex or Markerfoam panels. You have to control noise 2 ways: you control vibration thru contact and, and you control the sound in the air. Depending where you are, this can get really expensive, conducted sound is defeated by mass and by air gaps isolation... floating walls on rubber gaskets, for example, hanging sheets of thin lead foil, building new, specially-insulated walls to isolate the studio and change the sound reflecting characteristics, etc. Sheets of expensive acoustic foam placed-willy-nilly LOOK tech-y but may not do you any good, compared to hanging heavy rugs or drapes or even acoustic ceiling tile squares on one or two walls. Get some "movers blankets" from a U-Haul store or Harbor Freight type store, they are useful and portable means to dampen unwanted reverberance. The shape of the room may need adjusting too, to get rid of standing waves and dead zones. This is generally a job for an experienced contractor as well.


5. Blacking out windows
A:Almost anything works for this, paint, contact paper, etc.

6. Paint A: flat black walls and ceiling with a grey floor are standard. You can also go with grey, which lets you play with lighting on a wall to give it colors or patterns or project logos and the like. Gray can read to a camera as anything from black to hot white and anything in between, it's all in the lighting and the iris setings.


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Shawn Speller
Re: Studio Renos, Any suggestions?
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:11:16 pm

Hey thanks a lot guys, your input has really helped, I sent the link to this thread to my boss to read over and I am researching all your suggestions, If I have any questions along the way I will post them up here. Again thanks a lot!!


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