Recently we did a cool project for the Zac Brown Band. It started out as a fairly traditional (though large) 50′ h x 50′ w custom backdrop of Natural Heavy Weight Muslin. When the scenic painter got a hold of it, however, it became truly special.
Utilizing special UV paints and artwork provided by the client, the scenic painter meticulously recreated a painted rendering of the band’s cover art from their latest album, “Uncaged“, which features a “Day of the Dead” figure. Without lighting, the backdrop appears to be blank – but add the right lighting and the images dramatically appear.
What’s more, the backdrop is sewn as a kabuki, so after appearing to great effect, the sudden drop to the floor as the solenoids are released adds yet another level of drama to the show.
It truly is a fabulous backdrop – but don’t take my word for it, see for yourself…
If you haven’t visited our You Tube and/or Flickr pages recently, I highly recommend it! We have made some major upgrades to both sites, and I think the changes are really impressive.
We first started our You Tube channel back in September 2008, but over years, and especially in the last few months, we have added many new videos along with informative descriptions and key words. Here’s a taste of just one of the videos in our channel:
Another exciting feature of our YouTube channel is that most of the videos also include links to related still photos on our Flickr Photostream. So, if you like what you see on the video, you can easily open up a still photo on Flickr to see more on that project.
If you haven’t gone to our Flickr page recently, you are missing out! There are a ton of new photos there, from a variety of stage drapes and custom backdrops to theatrical equipment such as traveler track and kabuki systems. I am sure you will see something that will inspire or educate you! Here is just a small sampling:
I told you recently about “Without Warning,” the band that Megan is a member of…Well, John Rios (who designed the logo for “Without Warning”) recently posted a blog talking about his inspiration for the logo design.
It is really fascinating to me to hear an artist like John talk about his design process. Want to hear more? Check out John’s post at the GrafixJam blog.
P.S. Stand by for a surprise post this week. Hint – it’s some late-breaking news about John Rios!
Here’s something you probably don’t know – Megan sings in the band Without Warning. The band has recently launched a new website – check it out for bios of the band members, a play list, and much more.
If you are a fan of rock and metal, I’m sure you’ll like the play list, with songs from Ozzy Osborne, Van Halen, Journey, and many more (I personally love Megan’s lead vocals on Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”).
On a personal note, I love the band’s logo, designed by our favorite artist, John Rios of Grafix Jam. Check it out!
I recently learned about an interesting website and blog called “Why Didn’t I Think of That?”, which focuses on stories of business and entrepreneurial success. The story of how Megan started Sew What? was recently featured on the website as well as in a blog post (the third installment in a series on Business Axioms) titled “Pursue Your Passion.”
I especially enjoyed the blog post. The author, Benjamin Christopher, makes a good case for turning your passion into a business, without sugar coating the challenges of doing so. It seems that there are so many people who are passionate about something but never think outside the box on how that passion could translate into a business. And there are probably just as many who think that starting a business will be easy as long as it is based on something you are passionate about. Christopher is both realistic and encouraging in the post, and he offers concrete examples of entrepreneurs who have been successful in turning their passion into a business.
I’m looking forward to reading the first two installments of this blog series – the first titled “Rethinking Your Industry” and the second titled “Apply New Technology to an Existing Product.”
There are many great non-profit organizations today, raising money for everything from saving endangered species to curing cancer. But I learned about one recently that really struck a chord (as it were). As you know, Sew What? Inc. provides custom stage curtains, digitally printedtheatrical backdrops, and a variety of other soft goods to the tours of major performing artists. Well, the organization that I have learned about is, perhaps, contributing toward the future of the American music industry.
The organization is called the Fender Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free and low cost music education to children ages 7 through 17. Located in the city of Corona, in Southern California, the Fender Center includes a music education wing, a music and arts museum, gift shop, and both indoor and outdoor performing spaces.
A number of big-name artists and industry professionals are associated with the Fender Center, including Steve Miller, Paul Rodgers, and Joe Walsh, as well as Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
With drastic cuts to music and arts education taking place in public schools throughout the country, this really is a terrific program – I hope that communities throughout the country (throughout the world even) take inspiration from the Fender Center and start similar programs.
There are plenty of music talent competitions on TV these days, but recently we learned of a new competition that really intrigued us. It is called “Hollywood Stars,” and a number of features make it different from other competitions out there.
The first is that it is both an online and a live competition. Unsigned artists initially register for the competition online and submit a digital file of themselves performing at least one original song – making the competition not only about the artist’s performance ability but also about songwriting ability.
Entrants can choose to participate in the Online Competition only, or can indicate that they would like to be considered for the Live Competition (if they are able to come to Los Angeles to audition). Both competitions are open to individuals, bands, and vocal groups, and there are no restrictions in regards to age, language, or music genre. Voting is audience-based, and anyone in the world can register online as a fan for free and vote for their favorite artists.
Another unique aspect of this competition is that it is an international competition. Artists from around the world are invited to compete – in a quick review of the current finalists this afternoon, I saw performers not just from the United States and Canada, but also from Russia, Hungary, Sweden, Italy, the Phillipines, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, France, Estonia, Israel, Ireland, and many other countries.
Anyway, I know this is a bit of a step away from my usual posts about custom stage drapes and theatrical backdrops. But I just thought it was such a terrific concept – so inclusive – that I just had to put a shout out for it. And it makes me think, what if the next Lady Gaga is found through “I’m a Hollywood Star”? Wouldn’t that be great?
As a result of her trip to Shanghai in June, Megan was introduced to Angie Strader, host of “What’s Your Bottom Line?” on Diva Toolbox Radio Network, and was asked by Angie to appear on the show. The show aired live last Tuesday, and it was a really interesting experience, both for Megan and the rest of us here in the office.
Megan was asked to call into the show, as well as go onto the show’s webpage, a few minutes the show went live at 2:00 pm Central Time (noon here on the West Coast). Angie had another guest for the first 15 minutes of the show and then went live to Megan as that day’s featured guest.
It was really a fun experience here. Megan sent out a company-wide e-mail asking that she not be disturbed during the live radio interview, and even put a warning sign on her closed door (it reminded me of those red lights at TV studios – “Silence – Taping in Progress).
Meanwhile, we all logged onto the Internet to listen to the interview while we worked. It was a great interview, but a little surreal to be sitting in our offices a few feet away from Megan and yet hear her being interviewed on Blog Talk Radio!
If you want to hear more from Angie Strader, you can listen to “What’s Your Bottom Line?” live each Tuesday at 2:00 pm Central Time (3:00 pm Eastern, 12:00 noon Pacific), and there are also a number of previous shows available. I’ve also just checked out her blog, and I found her posts quite interesting. I especially liked the post titled, “Why the heck are you going it alone?”