A weblog about theatrical drapery and stage curtains for Production Managers, Set Designers, Custom Drapery Resellers, and local/school/church Productions
Attention to all Concert Stage Designers who have an eye for something spectacular! Our Silver Satin Collection of rental stage drapes all layer beautifully with one another to help create an exclusive and dazzling look for all of your rock and roll needs. Because they are so versatile and eclectic, they can be layered with drapes from ALL of Rent What?’s varied and dynamic drape collections too.
The Cranberries were able to recently utilize our Silver Satin Swags, Swagettes, and Legs on their tour, but made it even more breathtaking by complimenting the look by layering them all in front of our Low-Tech White Voile LED Drapes, too. As you can see, the lights shine beautifully through the material, creating an extremely textured and vibrant stage design that helped create the exact look they were going for in each section of their concert.
Next time you are interested in something completely original, consider renting a drape from our shimmery Silver Satin Collection to make your stage design truly remarkable. Have a unique set-up? Contact a Sew What? representative to get information on custom-designed stage drapes for your next concert event.
When you begin working on a new design for a production, where do you start? Does your initial design theme or idea originate from the artist, or from you, or as collaboration between you, the artist, and others involved in the production? Do you draw inspiration from other sources such as literature, pop culture, fine art, architecture, or movies?
And once you have chosen the design theme or direction, in what ways do you translate that design vision to a physical set, in terms of soft goods, hard sets, lighting, video, and other set elements?
Many designers find that looking at videos or photographs of other productions can help them identify ways in which they can translate their own vision to the physical set. Let’s say that the designer wants a romantic feeling in shades of red, with an emphasis on soft curves rather than hard edges.
Looking at photographs or watching videos showing productions in which the set design incorporated red swags, Austrian drapes, and soft flowing legs, for example, might give the designer the opportunity to imagine how similar drapes might work for his or her own design.
What is your design process? Do you find inspiration by viewing the work of your fellow designers? We’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.
Es difícil de creer, pero 2013 ha terminado, y con la temporada navideña llegó el momento para reflexionar sobre el año pasado.
Celebramos el año pasado nuestro 16 aniversario en el negocio como Sew What? Desde los primeros días de vuelta en el garaje, cortar la tela en las tablas del suelo de roble y quitando la cena de la mesa para hacer espacio para la máquina de coser de hecho, hemos recorrido un largo camino. Con nosotros tantas caras conocidas-empleados del comienzo y los clientes y proveedores por igual. Por ese solo hecho estamos en deuda con los que nos rodean, que nos han ayudado a crecer y nos apoyó a través de nuestras muchas etapas. Calle Madison en un acogedor espacio de 800 pies cuadrados, Vermont ave. en un funcional 6.000 pies cuadrados, y aquí en la calle Gladwick en nuestro propio 15.000 pies cuadrados de lujo y expresión concreta a los que se han trasladado con nosotros a través de los años … ¡Gracias!
Ha habido una gran energía entre el recién rebautizado “Whatter’s?, Como lo hemos hecho grandes avances para mezclar nuestros procesos de venta y alquiler. Rent What? Ha pasado de ser una empresa independiente para una que está más integrada en la Familia Sew What? Estamos muy agradecidos a aquellos clientes que han abrazado nuestra “dualidad” y ahora disfrutar tanto de nuestra experiencia de alquiler, así como nuestra más conocida experiencia en ventas personalizadas.
Nuestro dar temporada siguió la tradición filantrópica anual. Sé que muchos de ustedes han sido afectados por el cáncer, ya sea para usted o su familia y amigos, así como yo he sido. En honor a mi madre Delice quienes perdimos en 2012, y todas las personas afectadas por el cáncer, hemos hecho una donación para apoyar la investigación del cáncer de la Sociedad Americana del Cáncer. Esperamos que nuestro regalo sea hacer una diferencia en la vida futura de las personas diagnosticadas con cáncer.
Todos aquí son excitados al comenzar el Año Nuevo, y esperamos con interés a todos los proyectos desafiantes e interesantes que están por venir. ¡Esperamos que todos hayan tenido unas maravillosas fiestas y les deseo un exitoso 2014!
It’s hard to believe, but 2013 nears its close, and with the holiday season comes time to reflect on the year past.
We celebrated this year our 16th anniversary in business as Sew What? From those early days back in the garage, cutting fabric on the oak floorboards and shuffling the dinner off the table to make room for the sewing machine – indeed we have come a very long way. With us are so many familiar faces – employees from the onset and clients and vendors alike. For that fact alone we are indebted to those around us who have helped us grow and supported us through our many stages. Madison Street in a cozy 800 sq ft space, Vermont Avenue in a functional 6000 sq ft, and here on Gladwick Street in our very own luxurious and practical 15,000 sq ft. To those who have moved with us through the years…. thank you!
There has been great energy amongst the newly renamed “Whatter’s?, as we have made great strides to blend our sales and rental processes. Rent What? has transitioned from a standalone corporation to one that is more integrated within the Sew What? family. We are so thankful to those clients who have embraced our “duality” and now enjoy both our rental experience as well as our better known custom sales experience.
Our seasonal giving follows our annual philanthropic tradition. I know that many of you have been touched by cancer, either yourself, or your family and friends, just as I have been. In honor of my mother Delice whom we lost last year, and all those affected by cancer, we have made a donation to support cancer research with the American Cancer Society. We hope that our gift will make a difference in the future lives of those diagnosed with cancer.
All of us here look forward to the New Year, and all the challenging and interesting projects that are to come. We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and a successful 2014!
Rent What? Inc. was extremely proud and honored to be a part of an exceptionally important event here in Southern California this past month. Our client LG Productions combined some of our stunning theatrical rental stage drapes together to be used as a luxurious stage design for a charity fundraiser that brought about awareness and funding to help provide long-term, sustainable solutions to homelessness for children and families. Taking place in a magnificent ballroom in the impressive La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, this annual fundraiser for the charity Solutions For Change works to gain the funding necessary to help provide skills, knowledge, and resources so that families living in homelessness can permanently break the cycle of poverty. Called “An Evening to Remember,” this year’s charity fundraiser was a huge success, raising over $1.3 million for this worthy cause. Working with event planners from Pantherella Specialty Events, the event’s gorgeous stage design was led by Luke Gulley, who did an incredible job providing overall lighting, audio visual support, set design, and production for this remarkable gala.
Photo Courtesy of Luke Gulley
With former First Lady Laura Bush and 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa as keynote speakers for this fundraiser, and offering the guests a five-star menu, outstanding entertainment, and silent and live auctions, our client needed to have a backdrop for this event that would be versatile enough to change looks between speakers and various activities throughout the evening, but of course still have a lavish and decadent feel coinciding with the event’s overall motif.
Photo Courtesy of Luke Gulley
Using our magnificent and light-reflective 28’h x 50’w White China Poly Silk Austrian drape as the main feature of the set design, along with some of our exquisite White Voile Swags and Legs, and sided with some of our opulent White Supervel panels (all from our Delightably White Series), they were able to create a memorable background suitable for the important theme being discussed by their honorable guest speakers, and also still be fitting for the auctions, speakers, entertainment, and everything else in between. You can see from these beautiful photographs taken by Luke Gulley, that by changing the lighting in subtle, yet dramatic, ways, our client was able to help keep each aspect of the event looking unique and appealing to their captivated audience. Mixing and matching different drapes from our collection really helped create a truly exclusive look for their stage design, too. We absolutely love seeing how our drapes look mixed and matched together—either as the main focus of a production’s stage design, or even as part of a special event’s overall look—and felt privileged that our drapes were such a dazzling part of this truly meaningful event.
Photo Courtesy of Luke Gulley
A really exciting demographic that Rent What? is beginning to work with more and more lately are dance and performance troupes, either going on tour across the country or having one spectacular show locally. An incredible dance group we were honored to work with recently is the Revolution Dance Company, who just put on a scintillating and dazzling show at the El Portal Theatre right here in Los Angeles. Called “Choosing Sin”, this amazing show was created and presented by innovative choreographer Kristin McQuaid, who has been an award-winning force in the entertainment industry for over 15 years.
McQuaid needed to have a backdrop for her dancers which would be easy to install, dramatic in its design, and accommodating enough to be used for their entire performance. Our IFR Silver Satin Drape Collection offers one of the most reflective and striking materials imaginable, and adding or changing the colors of the lights being splashed onto them can give them incredible versatility. This can help stage designers everywhere create stunning and distinctive looks for their shows that are completely unique and unparalleled.
Photo Courtesy © Kristin McQuaid
They started out by using our gorgeous 28’h x 14’w Silver Satin pleated drapes as their opulent main backdrop, and then enhanced them with some of our breathtaking swag drapes. After starting with a large 22’h x 40’w Silver Satin Swag, and then adding a 16’h x 30’w Silver Satin Swag, they were able to layer these drapes to create an incredible and luxurious look for their show. By changing the lighting scheme between each performance with sensational colors patterns and intensities, they were able to create an exceptionable look to their show that was one-of-a-kind.
Photo Courtesy © Kristen McQuaid
We were absolutely thrilled to work with Revolution Dance Company, and are excited to be working with more dance and theatrical groups in the near future, too.
You may recall a blog post that I wrote back in April regarding the extremely cool project we did for the Black Sabbath Tour, a mixed media piece that combined soft goods by Sew What (featuring Metal Mesh, Black Commando, and Black Sharkstooth Scrim) with LED walls.
Well – the project came to the attention of Specialty Fabrics Review, and they decided to write an article on it in the September 2013 (both print and online editions). We were so excited to see the article in print, complete with photos!
Want to read the article? It is available here on their website.
Just last week, Megan happened upon a photo of a previous project that we did back in 2010, that the client was gracious enough to share with us. The photo is so great that as soon as I saw it, I knew it was definitely “blog-worthy.”
WHO: The client was ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute). ESRI creates geographic information systems (GIS) to help companies and organizations develop responsible solutions to geo-global problems.
WHAT: A set of 8 digitally-printed double-sided circle banners. Sixteen circles, each 13 feet in diameter, were direct-printed onto 16 foot wide fabric. The circles were then sewn back to back, to create 8 banners. An interlining of White Blackout Lining ensures that the circles can be sewn back-to-back without the image showing through to the other side. The gorgeous artwork was provided by ESRI.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The vibrant colors of the globe glow and appear three dimensional in contrast to the white of the massive structure. This was truly a unique project for Sew What? and one we are really proud of, as it shows the versatility of digitally printing with a grand format printer onto fabric. Digitally printing is not just for scenic backdrops!
Copyright © 2010 Esri. All rights reserved. Photo credit Joel Beukelman, Esri.
We here at Rent What? were delighted to work with one of our favorite clients again recently, who seems to have mastered the art of designing his stages and events with our versatile Aluminum Metal Mesh Backdrops and Legs. Michael Roccaforte with Forté in Carmel, Indiana, works to create the most innovative and distinctive designs for their national and international clients, and we are thrilled to be a part of their creative vision. I have written about some of Forte’s designs before in a past blog entry, but I wanted to share this new remarkable design with our readers, too.
Photo Courtesy Michael Roccaforte
Not long ago, Forté designed the staging for a national sales training meeting in Denver with a theme of “Let’s Rock,” which is exactly what they did with their stage creation. They started with some of our Metal Mesh drapes from our Industrial Textures Series as their main backdrop, which are extremely lightweight and easy to hang with webbing and ties along the top and are adaptable enough to use for any special occasion. Forté then designed a 7’ x 16’ guitar in foam board, which was hung in front of our mesh drapes. Then by simply adding in some gorgeous and dramatic lighting, they were able to create a powerful and memorable stage design for their clients to fully immerse themselves in for this important meeting. We truly enjoy being a part of our client’s imagination, and love seeing what incredible designs they will produce with our rental drapes and backdrops next.
Just recently, I worked on a project for the Christian Rock Band Skillet. I really enjoyed the project, and it got me thinking about the fact that, over the last few years, here at Sew What? we have been approached by more and more Christian Rock Bands interested in custom stage curtains, digitally printed band backdrops, and other soft goods for their tours.
When I first joined Sew What? back in 2005, we primarily worked with “mainstream” rock, pop and country music artists. Of course, we still do, but in recent years, we have also provided custom soft goods to the tours of numerous major Christian Rock and Pop recording artists. In looking through the list of Best Christian Rock Bands from the website “The Top Tens,” I recognized over a dozen that we have worked with.
Top of the list is Skillet. Just a couple of weeks ago, we made a series of digitally printed backdrops for the band’s current tour. Included in the series were 2 center panels at 10′ h x 10′ w and 4 side panels at 10′ h x 5′ w, all printed on Heavy Knit and topically treated for flame retardancy. With artwork that is a variation of the cover art on their current album, Rise, the backdrops really turned out beautiful. Want to see the finished backdrops? The band’s U.S. tour just started and runs through the end of September.
Here are a few more Christian bands / artists from the list that I recognized:
- Thousand Foot Krutch (# 3)
- Casting Crowns (# 5)
- Third Day (# 15)
- Decyfer Down (# 21)
And that is just a few (I recognized many more). When I think about it, though, it’s not really surprising that we are working on the tours of more faith-based artists than in the past. In doing a little Internet surfing, I discovered that Christian Rock Music has become more and more popular over the years, not just with religious fans, but with mainstream fans as well. Even the New York Times wrote an article on Skillet recently and, guess what? Skillet sold more than 1 million albums last year, at the top with mainstream artists The Black Keys.
With this rising popularity, the tours of Christian artists are becoming more and more sophisticated, in regards to stage design, staging, lighting, special effects, and, yes, drapery and soft goods. It is great for us here at Sew What? to have the opportunity to work with terrific artists, whether they perform so-called “mainstream” music or “faith-based” music. We are proud to support artists and help them achieve their vision.
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