BEHIND THE SCENES: Signature Series Backdrop Development – Truly the Next Generation in Theatrical, Event, and Dance Backdrops
Many of our customers, and especially those of you considering a custom backdrop, have been asking our client support teams very detailed questions about our production cycles and procedures. In previous blog articles, we have discussed a number of production-related topics. The have included fabrics we use, our fire-resistant solutions, the fact that we fully impregnate (and not just spray the back of) backdrops, and our professional finishing of all sides of the backdrop.
A Deeper Look at TheatreWorld’s Design Process
TheatreWorld’s Signature Backdrop designs begin at one of two points: a hand sketch, based on a concept meeting (brainstorming) or the review of one or many images (scrap art) that provides some conceptual direction for our teams. The complexity of the desired image will dictate the continuing design direction: hand sketches or computer supported digital painted image development. Then, we continue with additional hand sketches or graphic (software supported) sketches. The image will go through multiple iterations until the final product satisfies our team.
Backdrop Concept Sketches
The below image is our final concept sketch for a Dr. Seuss-themed Whoville Backdrop.
The below image is our final concept sketch for our Grand Library Backdrop.
The below image is an early digital concept painting of our Paris Opera House Roof Backdrop.
Painting the Backdrop and Adjusting for Scale
Next, we involve our painters, artists and their supervisory teams in the image review. This includes discussions about finite image changes, colorization, eligibility for 25′ backdrop production. (Most backdrop designs begin with 40′ x 18′ versions in mind as the standard. We adjust as needed for their 25′ counterparts.) If the resulting designs contain subtle changes only, both sizes will be represented on the site as a single backdrop image such as in the cases of our Vintage London Skyline or Vintage Times Square backdrops below.
If the modifications/differences in the 40′ and 25′ backdrop versions are more extensive or alternate 40′ versions are available, they will be represented as two different images as indicated below in both our East Side Street and East Side Street B backdrops (additional elements/buildings) as well as our Vintage American Battlefield and Vintage American Battlefield B (colorization).
The images below are of the Paris Opera House Roof specifically designed for presentations of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and very usable for other shows. Below, see examples of 40′ and 25′ backdrops during the hand painting process at various stages.
The Paris Opera House Grand Foyer went through the same design staging as the Opera House Roof. The image below is the 25′ by 15′ version, just prior to finish applications.
Goodbye, Digital Prints
Additionally, TheatreWorld has now purged all digitally printed backdrops from its rental inventories. We have either produced hand-painted versions of these backdrops or deleted them from our rental offerings. Digital products are no longer rentable.
Furthermore, TheatreWorld has put “Coming Soon” place holder images over upcoming backdrops. Over the next few months, we will be producing circa 50 new scenic designs.
Please feel free to call or chat with us to discuss any upcoming new designs or anything else you need clarification or would like our input on.