OK, I have been really bad about blogging this time. I haven't been able to say much until this past weekend, however, about WHY I haven't. Time has been a little short the past few months. In addition to designing and fabricating for Stray Dog's "God of Carnage" as well as Springer, I have been intimately involved in the development and design of New Line's new home, The Marcelle, being but by the Kranzbergs in Grand Center. U-Studios was hired in November as the architect of the project specifically because of my affiliation with New Line. As the resident scenic and lighting designer AND the project's architect, I was able to really mesh New Line's needs into the facility. While this has been a very rewarding experience, it has consumed a fair amount of extra time on my part. In addition, I am still trying to run a regular architecture firm. Something had to go, and I am afraid that blogging was it. Besides, it was really hard to not reveal information about the new space before it was officially announced. Now that it is public knowledge, I am free to share the finished plan.
So, enough about that. About Springer, last time I talked about the design being as much of a reproduction of the actual set for the TV show as I could do. I felt that it was important that it was quickly recognizable as the Springer studio.
With that, there comes a shit-ton of brick work. Springer's set is all industrial/warehouse brick and rusty metal. We are re-using the brick originally made for RENT last spring and used again for Bonnie and Clyde last fall. This will be repainted to blend with the new pieces. One last appearance on the New Line stage before it is scrapped. They are starting to look a little ragged and I do not feel like moving those panels to the new facility.
We started by making the new brick logo wall and two adjacent door openings. The door openings are large, rusted metal frames with big pipes sticking out of the transom. These are just 10' flats with the transom framed out. The rivet panel is a block of 2" foam with 1" styrofoam balls cut in half and glued on for rivets. The pipe is a piece of 12" cardboard tube concrete form. This motif is repeated in the panel above the fan...more about it later.
The brick portion is more 3/4" foam applied over luan flats and carved, just like all of the brick from the past. The louver at the bottom is corrugated plastic roof panel framed with some wood and 1 1/2" foam balls for rivets.
For the fan, I was dreading fabricating the fan. Scott said that he didn't care whether or not it turned, so the original thought was blades out of luan on 2x2 arms tied to a plywood hub. Then Kate Wilkerson, our newest scenic artist was is a resale shop and came across a salvaged whole-house attic fan. For $150, it saved me a bunch of time. So we made a flat framework that appeared similar to the wall around Springer's fan. It will be mounted in the opening once we set the walls up and brace them on stage.
The Springer set has 4 big silver pipes with rust streaks on them, setting on a base and terminating under a catwalk that guests periodically strut around on, sliding down the fireman's pole stage right. Often this ends up becoming a stripper pole for one of his colorful guests who have aspirations of a career in the "performing arts". The pipes are more 12" cardboard tube concrete forms setting on luan boxes. Our catwalk will NOT be walkable. It is 10' in the air with no way to brace it. I told Scott that wasn't happening. :) I'm not taking that risk. So, they are little more than 2x2 frames and railings that will rest on the pipes and the top of the brick wall.
The rest of the set consists of platforms for the "studio audience" cast members. We have platforms and legs in the storage room. Also the two large glowing windows that I made for RENT will be re-used upstage of the two guest entrances.
Today, tomorrow and Friday Gary, Sharon, Kate, Melanie and I will wrap up the pre-painting. Then Saturday morning, it all loads on to two trailers for the trip across the river.
So, I think that I am ready... this is always a stressful time for me. I will feel better when, on Sunday at the end of the day, we have a substantially complete set, ready for touch-up paint and lights.
More after load-in...