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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Magic Backdrops - Ultimate Resource (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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BTW, another one I don't think mentioned was a "Trimble Backdrop."

For a long time I used a Trimble Backdrop, made from coroplast. It was originally designed to be made from large corrugated cardboard sheets.

The plans for the Trimble Backdrop are in one of the "Success Books", by Frances Marshall (published by Magic Inc. in Chicago). There are 4 Volumes, but I don't remember off of the top of my head which volume has the plans in it. My books are in storage elsewhere just now, so I can't check.

Here's a photo of one in use, in my show.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Michael Messing
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Knoxville, TN
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Wasn't the Trimble Backdrop cool? I had one when I was younger but it wouldn't fit into my mom's car easily so I gave it to my magic club. I'm not sure which of the "Success Books" it is in but it's also in "The Super Show", also produced by Magic Inc. (That's where I found it.)

Michael
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Because I had a van or station wagon, it wasn't a problem. It folds down to about 48"x42"x1".

I even made a Trimble Backdrop at one time out of sintra at one time, with piano hinges and rivets (instead of masking tape or duct tape). It was pretty for a while, because I had some signage on it. It was very heavy, warped easily from the summer heat, brittle / cracked, and I had to use 1x4s to give it some structual support after it started warping. I learned lots of lessons the hard way, and I don't recommend trying it at all out of that sort of material.

That's why my next one was made out of coroplast. Way less hassles and way less expense.

A sheet of coroplast is about $15 CAN. So, for about $50, I bought three 4'x8' sheets and some coloured duct tape, and made my own.

Still, even the coroplast model tended to warp after a bit. One side kind of bent in at the top, and the other side kind of bent back at the top.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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P.S. I've always thought that an "Original 8" tradeshow display - solid colour fabric, might make a neat backdrop. They are a bit like a Trimble Backdrop, but with an extra set of panels. 8 total, not 6. 12 panels if you add on the headers. But about the same size as a Trimble Backdrop. The framework of them is quite solid, but having panels makes it lighter. I didn't see any warping in the models I looked at.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Christopher Starr
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Heart of America
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Any idea how expensive it might be?
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Christopher -

Are you asking about the cost of an Original 8? It was about $1500-$2000 many years ago. It could be higher or lower now. It's best to ask them directly -- also, if you get the opportunity, see one of the Original 8s in person. They are pretty nifty.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
The Great Smartini
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I just received my new Brick Wall in a Bag backdrop and it rocks!! It comes with a hard plastic shell case which is on wheels as well as heavy canvas style bag. The frame goes up very easily and clips in place in a matter of seconds and the fabric is already on the frame and it's just a matter of attaching it to the end/side to give the 3d effect. Both the frame and the fabric are made of extremely durable material and should last a long long time with proper care particularly if you use the plastic hard shell case. The brick wall size is 7 1/2 foot by 10 foot wide and perhaps the only drawback might be that the size isn't adjustable. As an added bonus it comes with two clip on lights!! Needless to say I'm very happy with this investment and would highly recommend it to anyone else considering picking one of these up.

jeff
Alex Palombo
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Abington, Pennislyvania
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Get mcgyver magic how to make a backdrop
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Martello
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You should check out backdrops.us. they have an incredible variety of muslin backdrops that are much less expensive than those I see quoted here. I have a number of their backdrops and change them to suit each show. Prices start at $49 and you can get a beautiful 8x10 foot backdrop for $100
Jeffrey Korst
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SF Bay Area
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I haven't looked at what's currently out there, but years ago when I was looking for a backdrop, they were all too small. I'm 6'2" and most of the backdrops I was seeing promoted were 6" tall. That put the top of the backdrop cutting through or off my head depending on the height of the platform. They were also not very wide.

I bought a stand made for photographers to hold a roll of seamless background paper. It can go up to 8' high and 9' wide. Better yet, it is completely flexible in height and width.

I made a very simple 3 panel curtain that threads through the top rod. Only downside I ever found is that it doesn't work at all in wind. (the legs can be weighted, but the way I made the curtain has no way to hold it down--and 8x9 makes a better sail than backdrop)
Why, yes. I do need new pictures. Why do you ask?

Jeffrey Korst
San Francisco Bay Area Magician
andini1
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UK
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I am very grateful to the forum contributors, for providing a wealth of information about Backdrops.
Several members have kindly replied to my PM's and I would like to thank everyone by sharing my solution to the problem.
With a limited budget, I wanted to tick as many boxes as possible.
My final cost (excluding the curtain) was just £50
I've started out with an existing curtain that has a length of 3" wide curtain tape sewn into the top. This tape creates a convenient tube into which the top-bar can be slid through.
The goal-post frame uprights consist of a pair of speaker-stands. These have a 35mm diameter vertical pole.
To get additional height, I've used two pieces of PVC 40mm outside diameter pipe approx. 500mm long. These have a "U" slot cut into the top to take the horizontal top-bar.
The top-bar is a three-piece 2.6m (max) aluminum telescopic shower curtain rail.
The set-up time is less than 5 minutes.
I'm really pleased with the result.
If anyone wants anymore details – please PM me.

Andi
Doug Higley
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Here and There
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I have a Jetset 6' and in getting a new show together for this summer I ordered a custom backdrop from backdrops.us. All hand painted and very nice. Only $86. Except I just recieved my first one and it is 6x4 rather than 6x6! ;-) Fortunately they paint a new one and send it to you without having to return the mis-cut one.
Thus I turn that one and repaint it myself and have a 4x6 for a scene change. Smile
Higley's Doug's Museum
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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I'm surprised Jeff Jones Backdrops are not listed here.
Dennis Michael
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Many of the backdrops that people mentioned in posts were mentioned in the original article. Simply take time to read the article.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
m.ruetz
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Southern California, USA
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Just a quick note that the article has been updated a bit. Many of the links had gone bad and new ones were replaced etc.
MagicGizmo: Magic Articles, Classifieds, Videos, and more
http://magicgizmo.com
Pat Perry
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I'm very happy with my spiderflex backdrop. Yes, it's expensive but mine is in my show for more then 10 years. So it's a good investment. Because the construction is in aluminium it won't break but bend. So you can bring it in shape again.

http://spider-evoflex.com/
MichaelDouglas
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Portland, Oregon
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Thanks everyone. This is a wealth of info. I've been using a PVC backdrop and based on some of the info here, will enhance it a bit. I hate having to fit a bunch of pieces together. I'd love to go with Jeff Jones's backdrop or the Spider for the 60 second setup, but need to save my pennies for that purchase.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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I just heard that "Brick Wall in a Bag" (sold by Sean-Paul from Branson) has released a new product.

It's called "The Pop-Up Star Drop." It's a spider-style folding backdrop, combined with a star curtain (coloured lights that can blink in pattern built into the cloth).

Here's a link to the video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJBa9bt0db8

I should mention that I've only seen the video. I don't see it listed on his website yet. Perhaps because it's so new.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
jonathandupree
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The brick wall in a bag along with the marque header looks really nice. I have s couple spider backdrops but they got demolished in a car wreck. I loved them and am borrowing a set right now from a friend. But I really like the brick wall for my comedy magic dinner show.
Sean-Paul
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Hey I just saw the post regarding my Pop up star drop.

I am currently using it for my shows personally and getting a great response from them - but I also like the clean non distracting look of the Brickwall too. If you have any questions please PM me!
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