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Topic: Asrah Table
Message: Posted by: idomagic (May 2, 2011 12:37AM)
I need to make an Ahrah table base but I have some restrictions. I am in a very small 60 seat theater and the stage is only 10 x 18 or so. I need the table to be static on stage and not take up too much space. I would love to make it a picnic bench or something thin like that. I am pretty confident I can't use black art since the audience is right on top of me. That said, I'm kinda just putting it out there for suggestions on a deceptive base or perhaps something outside the box. Maybe black art will work and it'll be easy but... It's just myself and my assistant, this is a hand held Asrah. Thanks for any ideas.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 2, 2011 11:01AM)
Straight black art may still be your best answer as most base designs rely on a measure of black art (shadows, etc.) in order to disguise size. Up close, bases are usually only effective at certain angles, as exemplified by certain nightclub illusions. Jack Gwynne seemed to understand this idea, and I've seen a few other designs that work, too.

But, all this relies on the typical seating/stage arrangement, such as most nightclubs would have... performing on a dance floor with spectators seated closely. Their viewing angle virtually eliminates any view underneath. Your stage may or may not offer the same.

On one particular stage that I worked every Halloween season for 10 years was elevated 4' up and the audience in some case were able to come right to the edge of the stage. The stage was 16' x 24', but the back set wall was no more than 10' from the front of the stage.

Black art illusions worked remarkably well, but lighting was important. I would think beyond the bench itself and include an exit path, either of which could be "blacked" or not. This allows personnel to walk in critical areas at one point or another.

I'd suggest mocking up some simple prop/set that uses some black art just so you can test the principle. That way you'll know.
Message: Posted by: Chance (May 2, 2011 12:24PM)
How about mirrors? Or a combo or BA & mirrors? Like Michael said, the right lighting makes all the difference.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (May 3, 2011 12:28AM)
My big problem is light control, it's not a full time theater and the stage is a whopping 10" high. I love my little theme park but... Today I tried some black art distances and I hope they'll work because it'll be easiest. I would love to use a mirror but it's just too risky with crowd control as an occasional kid wanders on stage. I'm leaning towards a black art drop that allows the audience to see under the bench up until I drop the cloak in front of her. Maybe I'll illuminate the edges of the bench with LED strips to help hide the black art... I just need a reason to light it up. OK, now I'm thinking out loud.
Message: Posted by: chill (May 3, 2011 08:08AM)
How about a b.a. thing using the bench back.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 3, 2011 10:53AM)
Yup, good idea. Build it like a tip over box in reverse. The bench would be open slats until she is covered. Then, she rotates backward and the fill-in panel is appropriately fixed with BA. Lighting would be less critical, as there are no large open spans of BA material. make sure the bench is very light in color and the contrast should do most of the work for you. You might even be able to get away with a different color backdrop curtain, and matching color in front. In this case, contrast that color with the color of the bench.
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (May 3, 2011 04:27PM)
If the stage is only 10" high, what about a wedge base?
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 3, 2011 06:12PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-03 17:27, Matthew W wrote:
If the stage is only 10" high, what about a wedge base?
[/quote]

Could work except it would eat a 10x18 stage.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (May 3, 2011 10:51PM)
Hey Chill, great idea and the explanation below is excellent. Obviously I can't get her offstage but I think I have a work around for that. This is SO SIMPLE it's almost genius. But then the problem arises... How do I expand the Asrah form? I think I mentioned this is a hand held version.

This input is awesome! Thanks a ton.

[quote]
On 2011-05-03 11:53, Michael Baker wrote:
Yup, good idea. Build it like a tip over box in reverse. The bench would be open slats until she is covered. Then, she rotates backward and the fill-in panel is appropriately fixed with BA. Lighting would be less critical, as there are no large open spans of BA material. make sure the bench is very light in color and the contrast should do most of the work for you. You might even be able to get away with a different color backdrop curtain, and matching color in front. In this case, contrast that color with the color of the bench.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 3, 2011 11:03PM)
There are still ways to get her off stage. Build a stage set that has see through areas... sometimes. (picket fence, lattice, etc.) Ralph Adams did stuff like this outdoors.
Message: Posted by: chill (May 5, 2011 08:12AM)
How about reproducing her ala instant babe?

thanks for fleshing the bench out Michael.

bob
Message: Posted by: Eldon (May 5, 2011 08:35PM)
I used a bench like Chill and Michael describe to do a metamorphosis type effect. It worked great and lighting was never a problem.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (May 5, 2011 10:47PM)
OK, I've actually prototyped the bench now and it's pretty easy. I think I may have a noise issue when it flips and it looks like it going to toss her. I've looked at decelerating the flip with a screen door closer but I'm not sure it'll work. I also thought about spring loaded hinges, but I couldn't find any with enough resistance to make a difference. Any other ideas on slowing the tip?

I am going to think about an instant babe type reappearance... It sure would clean up the stage.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 5, 2011 11:16PM)
It should be possible for her to control the flip instead of being flipped. The closer she is to the hinge, the less violent the flip. All she's doing is rolling sideways. Being that she's covered at that moment, she should draw her hands/arms up and they will help support her and stop her movement.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (May 6, 2011 01:06AM)
I know she will just roll, I guess I'm just over thinking this. I just get so concerned about noise because the audience is right on top of me. Maybe I'm looking for a fail safe, and maybe it's just padding.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (May 8, 2011 11:38PM)
OK, after a really long Saturday of shows (and a rare Sunday off with the wife and kids) I plan on building this week. The flip over bench will be a breeze but input on this would be great.

The frame has two handles that when expanded are about 24" apart where they attach to the frame. I have a couple problems. Please keep in mind the audience will be about 12' from the illusion.

[list]
[*]Where do I store the Asrah before she expands it?
[*]If she is going to expand it manually, then I might as well just have her climb over the back and have B.A. drop behind the slats right? No need to tip over.
[*]Could I build a lycra tray under the bottom to hold the form and have it pop-up after the tip? Would it be too visible this close? I think it would be, but I would love opinions.
[/list]
[list]
[*]"We've" been so set on a bench, what else might work with B.A? What kinds of stand would have several supports going all the way to the floor that would allow B.A. to be used and her to just drop to the floor?
[/list]
Would this look OK with B.A? or does it look suspicious?

[img]http://www.idomagic.com/images/Asrah-Bench.jpg[/img]

Ps. Is this forum open to the public or is it one that shows up after you post 50 times?