All posts by Marlise Beasley

7 things you didn’t know you could do with black drapes

One of the most versatile pieces of equipment used in theatre, TV, corporate events and fashion shows is the humble black drape. Usually made from velvet or wool, these drapes have the power to focus the eye, create intimacy, frame drama, delineate spaces and welcome guests.

Used in theatre for hundreds of years, they remain a staple of event production as they are safe (when fire-retarded), simple to set-up, quick to bump-out and can really make a statement.

We asked our experienced event production team how they use black drapes in events and some of the ways might surprise you!

1. Back-up band member

Use a black drape to create a stage presence for a band, and mask off any background visuals that might distract from the main event or diminish the impact of the lighting design.

2. Hide a multitude of sins

Have you ever looked behind a black drape? They can easily hide an element of a wall, signage, doorways or anything undesirable in a venue. This is a great temporary solution if you’re renting a venue and much quicker than stripping back wall decals or using flats to cover over.

3. Change a floorplan

Like all fabric, there is a front and back to a drape; by hanging two drapes, back-to-back, you can create a beautiful wall and demarcate spaces in a venue – creating break-out areas for conferences, pre-dinner drinks areas, rehearsal spaces and more. You can also use drapes to reduce the size of a room, ensuring it’s in proportion to your audience size and suitably intimate.

4. A dramatic ta-dah reveal

Drapes are the perfect way to make a dramatic reveal when paired with a kabuki. Kabukis are magnetic systems that hold the drape at the top with magnets, and then, at the press of a button the magnets release and the drape dramatically falls to the ground. A great device to use when unveiling a new product, dedicating a plaque, revealing an entertainment act or when your welcome drinks and dinner area are in the same space, but you want to reveal the dinner area with flair.

5. Create an entrance

Welcome guests to an event with an entrance that sets the right tone from the get-go. Not all venues are created with a VIP entrance in mind, but by hanging drapes either side and a shorter one across the top, you can create a threshold with a distinct entrance.

6. Hide staging equipment

On any event, trusses, cords, AV equipment, lighting and event gear can be unsightly and distract from the magic. By using truss borders (short length drapes) you can make your trusses (hung high or low) ‘disappear’, hide AV equipment’s lights and cover under stage areas creating clean lines, polished finishes and keep the magic alive for the audience.

7. Create dressing areas and green rooms

Backstage, use drapes to create dressing areas for models’ pre-catwalks, green rooms for talent prepping, and storage areas for crew. This is a great way to use valuable event space efficiently and cost effectively, and when needed, the spaces can be manipulated to meet the changing needs of your production.

 

Bonus information: Some hot tips our event production team thought you should know!

Let the stars shine.

Like the idea of elegant black drapes but looking for something a little more? Star drapes are a great way to make an ethereal statement. They are made of black wool and have tiny LED lights discretely sewn into them, perfect for backdrops, walkways, and theatre and TV sets. 

Safety first.

Australia has strict standards when it comes to theatrical drapes being fire-retarded. Be sure to check your supplier has up-to-date documentation of their fire-retarding programs to ensure the safety of your team and guests, and protection of your event’s reputation.

Six Ways with Flats

 

Have you ever thought about the event equipment behind media walls, many stage backdrops or simple room dividers?

We are talking about the humble, but extremely adaptable, flat or ‘temporary wall’. They’re an important part of stage craft and event production. They consist of a wooden frame that is usually covered in fabric, paint, or digital print. Customisable to suit any theme or size, flats are highly versatile with a myriad of uses. Don’t forget, it is essential that your supplier works with you to determine the best way of stabilising flats to ensure they are installed safely.

Our experienced event production team have shared some of the ways they have used flats on their client events.

1. Media walls 

Media walls set the scene for a red-carpet event, providing a perfect background for VIP and guest photos as they arrive.

Flats wrapped with printed vinyl create the ideal background to ensure picture perfect photo opportunities and prominent brand exposure.

2. Stage backdrop

Frame a stage using flats; use them along the back of the stage to create a backdrop that can be decorated and customised or left blank and projected onto.

Creating the backdrop can also hide anything behind the stage area that might detract from the show.

3. Flats as fascia around stages  

We all want a professional smooth stage fascia, however some elements of a stage build, such as the use of screw jacks can make a smooth fascia impossible. The use of flats as a hard fascia around stages can cover a multitude of sins.

Flats as fascia around stages are also particularly useful for very high stages or outdoor stages that need to withstand the elements and wind.

If using flats as a fascia around stages, they can serve a double purpose!  As well as the fascia, by using flats that extend above the height of the stage, you can create a control surround.

4. Artistic stages

The creative use of flats can deliver a set design that has impact and impresses your audience.

You can use flats in different shapes and sizes, position them on a stage to create depth, use flats with cut outs for dramatic lighting effects, or decorate them with scenic art – the possibilities are only limited by imagination – and budget! 

5. Room screens/divides/temporary walls

Flats can provide a flexible solution to change the floorplan of a room or event space. Use flats to create room screens, divide a space into different sections, or change the size of a room so it’s more appropriate for your audience size.

6. Display walls 

Flats are a great way to add additional temporary display walls to any event. Whether it’s for a special collection at an art gallery or museum, for a school art exhibition, or the display of poster abstracts and content at a conference, flats are a flexible, cost-effective temporary solution.

 

Staging Rentals & Construction has a wide range of rental flats available for your event, or if you’d like to create something unique our construction workshop is ready and waiting to build it!

Meri Took discussed the new client, creativity, and all things events industry with micenet

Micenet Meri Took Article Oct 2018

CH, CH, CHANGES. EVENT SECTOR CHANGES AFOOT

Fresh from a break at the helm of Staging Rentals & Construction (SRC), Meri Took has burst back into events, seeing plenty of changes to the sector since his return. And they’re not all what they are cracked up to be.

As I take a seat opposite Meri Took in his Alexandria office, a cup of tea on the table for me, he’s looking at photographs of white feathers and gold leather on his computer and quietly chuckling to himself…

 

Read the whole frank and fun conversation, click here.

 

7 things event managers need to know before commissioning a stage

SRC Stages
Customised stage created for client – Staging Dimensions

You’re having an event, and you need a stage to host your people, your entertainment, award winners or the DJ – easy right? Like every aspect of event production, there are tricks to the trade for getting the stage right. To save you time, we’ve collated the top 7 things you need to know before you pick up the phone to a staging company. These tips will get you the right stage for your event.

1. Pinpoint centre stage
It sounds obvious, but the placement of your stage will dramatically impact the success of your event. A staging company needs to know the venue, and where you think the stage should go. A scaled plan of the room, with the proposed location of the stage is a great starting point! A good supplier can walk you through the options available to you. They will also need information about loading dock access, lift access and other venue-specific operational challenges.

2. When does your stage arrive?
Your event start and finish times will be a given, but a staging company also needs to know when other suppliers such as AV, lighting, décor and catering are setting up in the room. A well thought out production schedule will be invaluable at this point (hint: make sure your rigging and lighting is in the air before stage installation). With this information at hand, your staging company can work out optimum ‘bump-in’ and ‘bump-out’ times. Some venues will allow you to bump the stage out the day after your event with no extra charge. This could save you out-of-hours labour rates.

3. What does your stage need to do?
It is important that your stage can accommodate your event needs safely and with style. Let your staging company know exactly what you intend to do on the stage. How do people get on and off the stage? Will you need handrails? Will you need wheelchair access? All these considerations should be made so that your staging company can help you determine the best shape, size and finish. If you aren’t sure about what you need, ask them. They’ve built loads!

4. What look are you after?
Not all stages are made equal, there are several flooring options available. Dancers? They’ll need something with a bounce. Musicians like the feel of carpet underfoot. Showtime may be shiny. Think about colour and texture. What type of skirting or fascia would you like to see around the stage? Or you may prefer a stripped back industrial look. When commissioning a stage, consider how it will look from all angles. Your staging company should be able to provide you with a virtual 3D-drawing of the proposed stage.

5. Size and shape matters – a lot
Stage pieces come in all shapes and sizes, so knowing the basic sizes of staging platforms can help you plan and design your event. A rectangular deck is the most common building block of any stage. The standard deck is 1.2m wide x 2.4m deep and 185mm high with no legs. However, specialist staging companies also provide decks in circles (semi-circles), squares, triangles and narrower rectangles – allowing a huge array of options. Ask your staging company what they have available and have fun playing with the pieces.

6. How much will that be?
Are you after the wow factor, or is functionality the name of the game? What does your budget allow? The costs associated with staging include; rental of the equipment, labour to install and dismantle and freight. If you’re going with custom options, such as floors or fascia, this will be priced separately. It is best to be open about your budget, as a good staging company will know how to deliver a smart looking stage cost-effectively.

7. Meet on site and get it right
It is always best to do a site inspection with a tape or laser measure, a camera and a scaled floor plan. Being in the space can tell you so many things that a venue brochure can’t. Always take photos that you can attach to briefs, so others can see for themselves. It’s recommended (where possible) to do a site inspection to get the outcome you’re after. You only get one shot at it.

Staging Rentals & Construction are staging experts. Our flagship product AllySTAGE is the strongest platform staging product available. Request a quote or find out more at mail@stagingrentals.com.au