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19 12, 2018

Our Projection Proscenium Helped Create A Unique Stage For Tenacious D

By |December 19th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

The sewing staff at Sew What? Inc. are always super excited to have a Dan Hadley design pass through the sewing room.  Dan’s projects seem to bring out the best in our creative sewing skills, with textile minded challenges and fabric selections beyond the basic. It is always fun to watch the design come to life on the sewing table, and then see it in all it’s glory on stage once the tour starts. This design for the current Tenacious D tour was no exception!

Tenacious D is a rock duo formed in 1994, by Jack Black and Kyle Glass.  Over the years, Tenacious D has supported large bands such as Pearl Jam and Tool. This year the band released an album titled Post-Apocalypto and a web series called, Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto, on YouTube. Tenacious D is currently on tour with our custom-made projection proscenium.

This design focused on two elements, surface and shape.  Firstly – a fabric surface that would precisely mimic a projection screen, without the cost and maintenance of a vinyl projection screen product; and secondly, a precisely shaped projection proscenium to showcase carefully mapped out graphics.

When it comes to taking projection surfaces on the road, many of our touring clients lean toward a substitute material. While a professional vinyl projection screen certainly offers a premium surface, there are many inherent difficulties in a touring “on the road” environment which include excessive weight, difficult to clean, problems unfurling and installing vinyl screens in cold weather and more.

There are several substitute textiles that we find popular, and after reviewing the options designer Dan Hadley selected our 120 “Brillante”. With a jet black backside and a brilliant bright white semi-matte surface to take front projection it was the perfect selection.

In order to keep all areas of the projection proscenium “seamless” the design was developed so that no individual surface area exceeded the 10 foot width of the cloth.  The shape was printed as a paper pattern, so that there would be absolutely no error made with the curves being precisely per the design. This is important so that the projection scene that had been pre-developed by the designer would sit perfectly on the cloth proscenium and not require to much graphic spill cleanup.

The legs were sewn as separate pieces to the proscenium header, making the set three pieces for an easy install. All the items fit easily in the bottom of a hamper and had durable touring finishes applied to them such as heavy-duty webbing and grommets at the top and reinforced pipe pockets at the bottoms of the legs.

It is amazing all the different looks that were created using the projection proscenium strategy. It is as though you are transported to a multitude of different venues in the course of one show.  By projecting a variety of “drapery looks” the theme of the stage was instantly transformed. Themes were Gothic, Art Deco, Pop Art and more…… The custom proscenium most importantly provided a surface for colorful and bold artistic slides mesmerizing the audience with this unique use of projection in the foreground – rather than the more tradition use of images and projection “behind the artists”.

Check out these amazing images showing just a few of the projection scenes created for the show.

And for those Tenacious D die-hards – here is a fun video on You Tube that you might get a kick out of – you will see our projection proscenium at work!

About Sew What?

Just like your audience, you want top performance. Sew What? understands and delivers. Our Stage Drapes and Theatrical Backdrops, Curtain Tracks and Theatrical Supplies exceed expectations and enhance your shows. For an experienced drapery manufacturer with work that ranges from digitally printed drapery for the hottest rock concerts, to the biggest theater performances, to just about any other kind of production under the sun, Sew What? is the answer. For inquiries call 310 639-6000.

18 12, 2018

Copper Sheer Swags Enhance Holiday Stage Design

By |December 18th, 2018|Products, Projects|0 Comments

We absolutely love getting to work with fantastic tour, production, and event designers all over the country every year on their wonderful annual events, helping them create a fresh, new, and memorable stage for their special occasions. Recently we got to confer with stage and event designer extraordinaire Tanner Laughlin, who produced his fourth annual “Tanner Laughlin, Home For The Holidays” show for his enthusiastic Paris, Illinois community. He already had some red velvety drapery, and other holiday-themed furnishings, that he wanted to add a little bit of drama to. So we suggested some various, eclectic drapery options from our Specialty Drapery Rental Collections that would work impeccably for his event theme. Wanting these additional, complementary drapes to blend flawlessly with his existing stage décor and soft goods, and yet wanting to also add a dollop of something original and creative to the stage, he decided to use our exquisite rental 60’w Copper Sheer Swags from our Oh’ So Swanky Collection.

With gorgeous, gossamer swagettes ranging in height from 10’h to 22’h, he was able to adorn his staging with these drapes to help give his overall look some extra beautiful elegance and spendor, without distracting from the rest of the set design. These drapes are hung with clips, so they can easily be utilized for stages both narrow or wide, and can give your event or production a truly unique appearance for each and every set design. Splash some colorful lighting onto them and watch as they transform into the exact motif you are aiming for. Mix and match them with some of your own personal soft goods, or with any of the superb curtains from our Silver Satin or Rockin’ Red Drapery Collections to create a completely one-of-a-kind look (see example below).

The sky’s the limit with how you can use these striking drapes for your special event or production, too! We were thrilled with how utterly stunning this year’s stage design turned out at his event, and look forward to seeing what fantastically artistic ideas Tanner comes up with for next year’s program.

12 12, 2018

Meet The SW and RW Staff, Part 26–Danny

By |December 12th, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Next in our “Meet The SW?/RW? Staff” Blog Series, I want to introduce you to one of the most artistic and proficient employees here at the company—Danny Garcia, the hard-working and remarkable coordinator for our Printing Department. Often working long weekday hours and on nights and weekends, he goes above and beyond to get the printing job done right for our clients, and on-time. Not to mention how exceptionally helpful he is with all of our warehouse departments, and that he is just an all-around nice guy, too. We are so fortunate to have him on our team, and would love for you to take a minute to read a little bit more about this indispensable member of the Whatter’s Family.

When did you first start at Sew What? What were you originally hired to do, and how have your duties changed since working here?

I was hired in October of 2015 as the printed operator, working with the graphics coordinator they currently had on staff. But by 2016, I was moved up to become the Printing Department Coordinator for SW. Basically, I organize and assist with client-provided graphics and artwork and file preparation, color correcting, and the actual digital printing of the soft goods. Then I work with the QC and Inspection Dept. to make sure that all of the printing outcomes are what the sales rep, and the client, had requested.

If you could take a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

It would have to be Paris, France— the art and photographic history there completely fascinates me, and I would really love to explore the museums and monuments in person someday. (Not to mention the amazing food!)

What kind of work did you do before coming to Sew What?

I have a background working in one of the relics we don’t see much anymore—a photo lab (with actual dark rooms). However, I have been working as a printer operator/technician for over 17 years, and really seem to have found my wheelhouse! Just previously to working here at SW, I was a printer operator for a company in Glendale that did a great deal of marketing for the Hollywood industry—movies, TV Shows, up-and-coming bands, etc. We also did general types of digital printing, including banners, retail, signs for car lots, etc.

Do you have a special talent?

With my history of working with photographers and photographs, I’ve found that I have a good eye for details— especially with Pantone color matching. It’s a great skill to have with this field in particular!

What is your favorite memory/circumstance/event from being part of the Sew What? family?

I have really enjoyed all the ways that the company promotes social gatherings with one another, and the many special occasions that we like to celebrate together, too. Activities like having a Taco Truck and Ice Cream Truck come by to treat everyone with delicious food over the summer, and the yearly company car wash was also a really surprising and wonderful added bonus for the staff that I had never seen before working here.

What is your favorite sports team/TV Show/Book/Movie?

I am a self-proclaimed LA-based sports NUT—I really love watching Dodgers, Angels, Rams, Chargers, Ducks, Galaxy—you name it. If it’s an LA sports team playing, I’m probably watching! Am thrilled that there are so many incredibly teams right here in my hometown. I especially enjoy going to games in person whenever possible.

What are some of your hobbies?

I am a huge fan of all kinds of music—from Jazz to Rock to Country, and everything in between. There’s nothing better than sitting at home relaxing, listening to some great music on a lazy afternoon.

What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging?

Last year we worked on a complex series of digitally printed backdrops and multi-media drapes for Yusuf Islam’s tour that were totally different than anything I had previously worked on before. There were various different pieces of digitally printed drapes (printed on both Crystal Poplin and Heavy Knit), that were then intricately cut and sewn into elaborate shapes and structures based on the client’s provided graphics. By combining in blackout lining and Sharkstooth Scrim (to help provide for some extremely cool lighting effects), these mixed media pieces were some of the most elaborate custom drapery I have ever worked on. Sewing and printing had to be absolutely on point for this genuinely unique design. As a team, we were enormously proud of how truly fantastic they turned out.

https://youtu.be/qi_kjRBWKoU

Anything more about your time here at SW?

I really appreciate how “family-oriented” the team here at SW is….everyone is so much more than just an employee. We all care about each other’s welfare and morale, far beyond that of just being “co-workers”. It’s been such an eye-opening experience working for a company like this, and I absolutely love the family-vibe!

5 12, 2018

Pewter Textura Drapes Helped Set Magnificent Stage For Talented Tenor

By |December 5th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Some of our clients travel to America for a single big event or concert, yet still want to be able to build an utterly spectacular stage design for their special production. Talking with one of our drapery experts, and then renting drapes from our Drapery Rental Collections, is the perfect place to start as we can help you get from design vision to remarkable stage design reality. Recently we were honored to be able to work with the attentive Set Designer Leigh Michal who was helping organize one of these special shows here in Southern California for the gifted, up-and-coming classical English tenor, Jonathan Antoine. Rising to fame as one half of the duo “Jonathan and Charlotte” on Britain’s Got Talent, he has subsequently gone on to a successful solo career and is gearing up for more even concerts around the world to help satiate his enthusiastic fan base, who like to call themselves “Fantoines”.

Since this specific concert was a “one-off” event (and his first solo performance here in the U.S.), they wanted to be able to use some of our gorgeous and eclectic rental drapery to help create a mesmerizing atmosphere, which would also blend seamlessly with Jonathan’s velvety vocal tones and the 10 piece orchestral players on stage. Consulting with the brilliant local Production Manager Bob Murray with Vector Management/ELEV8 Global Entertainment, their team aimed to have stage curtains that would be easy to work with, that would light up beautifully, and would give the stage a modern—yet timeless—look that would interweave with the concert’s overall elegant ambiance.

They decided to use a variety of our exquisite Pewter Textura rental drapes from our Timeless and Traditional Drapery Collection. Using a mixture of magnificent pre-pleated legs and striking swagettes in various sizes, they were able to build an absolutely stunning stage design that worked superbly from one song to the next. With the gifted Dan Creasey from Congo Designs as the concert’s inspired Lighting Designer, they were able to fashion an exclusive and memorable motif for each and every part of the concert that left the audience wanting more.

Photographed exceptionally by the illustrious photographer Bjarne Hemmingson (who takes photos at many of Jonathan’s concerts and traveled all the way from Denmark to capture some amazing images from this one, too) you can see how the combination of drapery and lighting helped give this stage design a truly breathtaking look. Adding to the mix the extraordinary singing skills of Jonathan, and it was clear to see that this impressive concert was a true success. We were thrilled to be able to work with this artistic team to help give this show a completely unique appearance, and we would likewise love to help YOU create a one-of-a-kind look for your upcoming special event, too!

3 12, 2018

Another Fabulous SW Thanksgiving–With A Twist

By |December 3rd, 2018|Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Each year the entire RW?/SW? staff looks forward to our company-shared meal together to give thanks for all of the hard work everyone has put in during the extremely busy summer touring season, the hectic fall school productions and trade shows, gearing up for a multitude of winter holiday-themed custom and rental orders, and everything in between. Thanksgiving may have already come and gone, but the warm memories of the remarkably scrumptious food still live on in our hearts (and waistlines!).

For Thanksgiving this year, our company’s generous owners Megan and Adam Duckett decided to delight the entire staff with something a little different–a delicious catered Italian meal (from a nearby local mom-and-pop restaurant) that was absolutely fit for royalty. We had rich and creamy fettucine alfredo, savory and hearty penne marinara, mouthwateringly cheesy chicken parmigiana, crisp and crunchy Caesar and garden salads, and the softest Italian bread you’ve ever tasted to help soak it all up. Sharing this meal and having some lively conversations were a great way to connect with one another in a way that we don’t always have the opportunity to during the work week.

We then topped off this meal in the most amazing way possible—with desserts of ALL KINDS that were brought in by the employees themselves. Everyone relished a combination of homemade fudgy brownies, yummy pumpkin cupcakes and pies, tasty flans and cheesecakes, light and flakey cookies and madeleines, sweet pound cakes in a variety of flavors, and what has definitely become a staff favorite at company occasions like this one—a heaping platter of fresh bionico (made up of a variety of cut up fresh fruit, heavy cream, granola, raisins, and shaved coconut….In two words, it is simply pure bliss).  😉

It’s always nice to take a moment and realize all of the reasons we have to be grateful this year—especially in light of all of the incredible hardships that many of our fellow Southern Californians are experiencing right now. We are very thankful that we get to work in with a fantastic, family-oriented company that spoils us with these delectable treats on all kinds of special occasions. We are tremendously thankful for both our amazing new and long-time-loyal clients who help push us to stay at the very top of the game in this always-evolving industry. And we are truly thankful for one another—working with such a wonderfully talented team of smart, kind, generous, and hard-working individuals is not something that we take for granted, not for one single minute. Having everyone get to sit and enjoy a meal together—including a few beloved employees that no longer work for SW—was a terrific way for us to be able to show sincere appreciation for one another.