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Change of Scenery – Using Backdrops

By January 7, 2014Stockyard Blog
backdrops

Backdrops are one of the most powerful tools in the set designer’s armoury. With a backdrop you can transport your audience into another world, with one simple hire. The need for extra props is diminished, and your production accountant is satisfied. At The Stockyard, we supply a huge range of backdrops to the theatrical, Tv and film production industry. No production is too small to benefit from our range of stock. If you’re putting on an amateur production, there is every reason to use backdrops, since scenery painting and design is a highly specialised skill, that not every Company can draw on from within their ranks.

Here are some of the backdrops we supply, and some ideas about how you can use them.

Foreign Scenes

You may need a backdrop to situate your characters in a foreign country during a production, and the quickest and easiest way to achieve the effect is by using a specialist backdrop. From Egyptian pyramids and the Sphinx, to Alpine meadows and the canals of Venice, you will have no difficulty in locating your cast just about anywhere in the world, from our stock of back drops. Lakes, mountains and hillsides are always tricky to pull off effectively. You may simply need one distant view – a generic mountain scene for example – throughout the production, with set details changing with each change of scene; or you may wish to use more than one backdrop in the production. The very low cost of backdrop hire means that it is within reach of even smaller Companies.

Countryside and Rural Scenes

Shakespeare is particularly fond of spiriting his characters into woodlands, where they are free to confuse identities and misunderstand proceedings to their heart’s content. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a typical example of the need for woodland scenery in a production. We have no shortage of rural backdrops, at any time of day or night.

Period Placement

Do not overlook the fact that professional backdrops can help communicate era. The type of buildings that are featured in a backdrop will help you with your presentation of a particular decade. If you want a classical scene from ancient Greece, there is no difficulty in having it. A 1950’s street scene, 1970’s shop fronts, and 80’s urban cityscape, a Cambridge College in the 1930s – there really is very little restriction on what you can achieve with backdrops.

Textures

If you want to be more creative still, and let your props and actors paint the scene, you can opt for simple textured or coloured background to your production. Just like a photographer’s background, these mottled and plain backgrounds can be very powerful indeed in either setting the scene, or leaving more the audience’s imagination.

Facades

These are incredibly useful and widely used in the TV and film industry as it is not always possible to work on location either due to cost or timing. Wide scenes are shot, and later close up ones added in with a suitable backdrop. It’s simple if you just need generic buildings or urban landscapes in shot.

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