Patrick Fore from The Woodlands UMC’s Loft Church campus in The Woodlands, TX brings us this dream-like bedroom.
They built this set for a series called, “Make Believe” which pivoted around a story of a boy who, after hearing his grandfather reading him the Christmas story, falls asleep and dreams of meeting various characters in the story. (Angel, Shepherd, Herald, Inn Keeper, Baby Jesus and the Manger Scene). In the set, Patrick had to build an inn for the inn keeper, a castle for Herod, and a window the angle could climb threw. Each character was introduced every week culminating on Christmas Eve where the young boy meets Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.
Because this was not reality and a dream this boy was having, Patrick had tremendous liberty when it came to design. He wanted to distort reality all while keeping some visual cues that it could be a boy’s bedroom. From the beginning he drew on Dr. Seuss as inspiration. His use of bright colors, gradients, oddly shaped structures all played into the over all aesthetic.
Patrick wanted to create something that was in the frame-work of what a child could imagine and even use to produce this environment. Everything was meant to be kiddy in its finishing.
From the beginning they knew this set was to be very theatrical – atypical of what they normally do. It was build around the drama however it had to work for worship. The drums were placed on top of the platform and the bass player played standing on the bed.
Everything was constructed from scratch. The platform was built out of 2x4s, all the flats were hollywood-style built with 1x4s and hardboard.
The bed was a simple trapizodial platform that was elevated at the head. The head and footboard were purposefully made at different sizes to force perspective giving the appearance that the bed was larger than it really was. They were made from 1x4s glued and stapled together then cut using a jig into the radius.
The rocket was made from a construction tube, card board for the fins, and lighting gels for the flames and windows. The tip was made from an old piece of thin clear acrylic (like a cheap poster frame comes with) cut and molded into a cone shape and glued together with hot-glue then spray painted red.
The moon was simply 3-sheets of 1/2 insulation foam taped together on both sides and cut into a moon shape. Later, it was painted with black and black-light blue paint (WildFire Paints).
For lighting they used their cyc screen (sky-drop) and used LED Color Blazes at the bottom to uplight.
Completion Time: 6 days
Set/Art Design/Builder – Patrick Fore
Painting/Texturing – David Hemmeline
A while back Patrick saw some Westcott photo backdrops that he’d been wanting to use for a project for a while. They called these backdrops “modern vintage” and Baroque style velvet pattern. It’s a pattern that creates movement yet drips with elegance and class.
They sold them in 9x12ft sizes standard for photography which worked great for attaching them to 4×11.5ft tv flats. (Plans for Hollywood style flats are easily found online. Or the Backstage Handbook can give you all the instruction you’ll ever need.)
These flats were custom built however to have a 55inch monitor inset in the flat. Patrick knew he wanted to incorporate visual worship and other digital content into the service. The flats were covering a vertical 10-foot stage truss which the 55inch tv was connected to via truss clamps.
The video signal was sent from an iMac running Pro Video Player in a production room by a Mini-DV to HDMI converter to an HDMI splitter where the digital signal was sent to five different monitors in 720p high definition.
Then Patrick ventured out to Garden Ridge and bought a dozen cheap table lamps (no shades) and went online to Overstock.com to find chandeliers to help fill a very large gap between the truss flown over the stage which housed intelligent wash and spot lights. He found these great 8-light chandeliers that matched the look.
He also wanted to connect that vintage lighting feel to the flat above the monitor. A sconce that matched the vintage look worked really well and was light enough to easily attach to the face. He just added a 1×4 to the back and screwed them in right threw the fabric. Overstock had the sconce for a little over $20 so he picked up 5 of them.
For bulbs he bought some Edison style bulbs that cast a beautiful tungsten warm light. He used small 30-watt bulbs for all the lamps and 60-watt bulbs that could be dimmed down for the sconces and the chandeliers.
All the lamps and chandeliers were wired with plugs and connected to dimmers that the lighting guy could dim and save into scenes.
A major piece of the set was a rare find for them. They heard through the grape vine that there was a very old, broken upright piano in a basement of a community center. They made some calls, hitched up a trailer, and picked up a very old and very dusty piano.
Armed with sand paper, blow torches, some red and off-white paint as well as a lot of fabric scraps from the flats, he tried to transform something unusable as it was intended and use it to house a Korg keyboard. They gutted it and modified a shelf for the keyboard.