Call Us Today! 1.310.639.6000

theatrical backdrops

/Tag: theatrical backdrops
2 01, 2019

Custom Traveler Drapes and Track Beautify New Venue

By |January 2nd, 2019|Products, Projects|1 Comment

This past fall we recently had the distinct pleasure of working with Winnie Hsia, the founder, teacher, and performer of Sky Candy—an incredibly amazing aerial and circus arts school in Austin, Texas. Sky Candy is Austin’s premier circus training center for students of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. You’ll find fun and engaging classes, knowledgeable instructors, and a warm, welcoming community to support you on your journey. Because of their increasing popularity, they had just moved into a new facility with absolutely lovely high beam ceilings and plenty of spacious room for all of their trapezes, ropes, and other aerial constructions. They knew that they were in for some unique challenges with this new venue though, as one of their main walls was made up of a large glass doorway and separate window that they would need to be able to“mask off” during exhibitions and performances. However, those gorgeous ceilings were angled and covered in beams, which made it somewhat difficult to do a typical installation of the custom-built traveler drapes and traveler track system that they sought.

Once their team of architects and builders figured out how to safely and securely hang the schedule 40 pipe to suspend the traveler track from (and also be offset from the wall so that it could also hide all of the pinrails and other mechanics along that wall), they worked closely with our sales rep Marilyn Moss on ordering the exact kind of traveler track system that would work specifically for this new location. And as well, they were able to also order the precise size, style, and colored drapery they envisioned having as their room’s main “background” for all of their practices, performances, and everything in between.

First they discussed the kind of drapery that would work well in that type of set-up—Winnie wanted opaque soft goods that would block out all of the bright light streaming in from the glass along that wall. She also required something fairly lightweight that would retract easily on a traveler system, but still look really lovely and velvety when fully closed. And very importantly, she requested a type and color of fabric that would reflect lighting beautifully.

With Marilyn’s guidance, they chose a very striking fabric of 13oz. IFR Pewter Grey Apollo Velour—a substrate with a “pile nap” that is a splendid choice when looking for a stunning, opaque fabric. It is also ideal for high humidity environments as it will not shrink or lose its flame retardancy after it gets moist or has to be washed. To make extra certain that the light from outside would be completely masked, she ended up lining these pre-pleated grand bi-parting curtains with white/white blackout lining. Lightweight, attractive,and completely opaque, these drapes were spot-on with what Winnie and her design team were hoping for.

Next they decided on our ADC 1700 Series Besteel (walk-along) Traveler Track. Made of 14 gauge galvanized steel, this medium-duty track is an economical, sturdy, and dependable option for smaller-scale theaters and school auditoriums especially.  This brand of pipe-hung,straight-track configuration was the ideal type of traveler system to work impeccably with our custom-built lined Apollo Velour drapery. The hidden sewn snaps on the top of the curtains connected flawlessly with the traveler’s carriers, allowing for a smooth and easy opening and shutting of these drapes whenever they desired.

The end result turned out absolutely perfect! Being able to effortlessly open and close these magnificent drapes at the simple pull of a drape end is exactly what they were envisioning, and they couldn’t have been happier. We were thrilled to be a part of such an important project, and were beyond pleased with how wonderful it all turned out for them in this new space. Contact one of our amazing representatives—like Marilyn—so that we can help you figure out the most exquisite drapery package for your own unique stage, venue, or event design too!

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!

11 12, 2018

The Biggest Storms Can Also Eventually Lead To The Most Beautiful Rainbows

By |December 11th, 2018|Company|1 Comment

Sometimes a little rain must fall…. Or in the case of this past 7 days in Southern California, a LOT of rain must fall. But taking the bad with the good (and vice versa) is how we all manage to keep our heads above water, pardon the pun. We here at SW? were very lucky because our area was not affected by mud or debris slides, unlike many of our unfortunate neighbors here in the Southland. Adding a little inconvenience to our daily commutes through the crazy LA freeways (and trying to keep ourselves and our pets dry and safe indoors as much as possible) was a small price to pay for the rewards that this rain system brings to a very drought-ridden ecosystem. Not to mention enjoying the lovely rainbows that these storms also often bring…

The same is can be said for much of the “chaos” that often surrounds the planning of productions, trade shows, and concert tours—sometimes you simply must take the bad with the good. This is especially the case when it comes to the unpredictable “stormy” weather that can occur when it comes to planning live events (scheduling conflicts, changes of venue, cancellation/addition of performances, complete overhaul of stage design, etc.). You just need to trust that in the end your audience is going to love the show you produce, and that all of your hard work will be worth the extra care, labor, and effort that you and your team put forth. And that when it’s all said and done you will ultimately have an absolute “rainbow” of a great show!

Let RW/SW help YOU create a “rainbow experience” for you and your audience, by helping take some of the stress out of your design process by providing you the highest quality, stunningly beautiful theatrical stage drapes and soft goods for your upcoming special events and concerts that you could ever imagine. Choose from our extensive variety of gorgeous rental stage curtains, or we can also build you custom drapes out of your own unique vision. Either way, give us a call so that we can help you “weather” the storms of designing your stage, so that everything will come out “rainbows” for your special event, too.

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!

28 11, 2018

Marc Anthony Digital Print For His Legacy Tour

By |November 28th, 2018|Clients, Digital Printing|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc. had the opportunity to really pull a rabbit out of a hat for the current Marc Anthony tour. Not only was the task at hand a challenge in terms of sewing – it was also a challenge based on the very limited time frame. This was our moment to shine by performing some super-high-speed-sewing! Nonstop printing and stitching were in order, and the SW team pulled out all the stops to create this 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week.

Wondering what a brail drape is? The term brail in fact comes from the maritime industry. Brails, in a sailing ship, are small lines used to haul in or up the edges (leeches) or corners of sails, before furling. On a ship rig, these brails are most often found on the mizzen sail. The command is, hale up the brails, or, brail up the sails. Certainly not to be confused with Braille, a tactile writing system for the blind.  In this instance the lines are use to lift and unfurl the stage drapery to create a reveal and cover effect that can be operated remotely via the motorized lift system.

For this project, there were a total of 16 vertical lift lines placed strategically on the back side of the drape. We craft these as near-invisible sewn vertical lines with O-rings running vertically to capture the aircraft cable that is used for lifting the drape. Each lift line runs the full 46 feet in height – so there were over 700 running feet of lift line alone on this giant drapery with nearly 500 hand applied o-rings on the back side.

Matching the printed pattern is also a key component. In this case the print was printed onto 9 custom sized widths of fabric. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our crystal poplin. It is important that each printed segment is lined up perfectly before it is sewn. We used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. So great attention is given to the craft of assembling the drape. Print. Seam. Add lift lines.  Finish top, sides and bottom. Add hardware. Insert all the O-rings. Inspect. Fold and ship!

It was a pleasure to work with the Marc Anthony team and specifically with his talented designer Travis Shirley and Roly Garbalosa of Garba Music.  Sew What? Inc. was delighted to be a key player in the production of this amazing arena tour!