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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Screen Size?????  (Read 4427 times)
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« on: August 18, 2005, 02:42:12 pm »

I need some help on screen size.  I purchased a DJ tower that was shown in a previous forum (16x9 soccer net) and looking for a good outdoor screen size.  Currently I am projecting on a king sized sheet (10 x 7???).  The DJ tower is 10' wide but can be modified to go wider if needed.  The height is 11' off the ground.  I currently have an Infocus LP340 and want to get the biggest, best, universal size screen for all applications (4:3 and 16:9) as possible.

I got pricing on the Trapeze fabric, they will put grommets in it around the edges so it will attach to the frame with ball bungees.  After determining screen size, how much smaller should I get the fabric to allow for stretching?  Is there a better, portable option out there.

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 01:38:48 pm »

See my previous post "another portable screen."

Mine is about 8ft high by 12ft wide. I put together a couple of shows consisitng of:

1) Drive-in style countdown (4:3)
2) clip from concert footage (3 dog night) (4:3)
3) Looney Tune (4:3)
4) Feature (widescreen)

The 4:3 material takes up the entire height of the screen with the sides of the screen remaining white. The widescreen material takes up the entire width of the screen, with black bars at the top and bottom. In the dark, you don't even notice it.

I'd say size of screen depends on:

1) Your projector
2) size of crowd
3) Sound equipment

As I said in my post, I used two strip of 54" wide blackout cloth sewn together. You don't even notice the seam down the center unless the camera stops for a couple of seconds and the focus of the shot is the middle of the screen AND objects in the shot are bright.  As long as the camera or objects in the scene are moving, you never see it.

I think if you pre-buy the type of material you are talking about,  you would have to just pick a size and hope for the best. Since your frame can be made bigger, I'd set up the frame to the size you think you want, then take some measurements for how the screen would fit inside, then deduct 2 or 3 inches all the way around the screen size.  That should give you plenty of room to play with.

Simple physics tells me there is a maximum size to your frame. It would be easier to make the frame smaller to fit the screen than to try to figure out how to tighten up a screen that is too big for the frame. 

Good luck. Let us know how it goes!
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 08:29:48 am »

Did you buy your trapeze fabric yet? I have a 10' x 18' opening on my frame. I ordered the heavyweight trapeze fabric which is 112" wide. When I got it, I measured the width at about 104". It streched just right to wrap around the 1" EMT that my frame is made of. So it stretched from 104" to 122". The 18' width of my setup is a different story. I bought exactly 18 feet and have cut off about 18"  tried it out, then cut another 18" off.  It still may bee too long. I would be hesitant to tell you the right size to get and have the grommets put in because once thats done you're stuck with that size. What if it isn't taught enough?

My initial plan was to sew two 6" canvas strips(front side/back side) around the perimeter with velcro to attach the material to the frame. Well, because I had to keep test fitting for the correct size I decided to use these fabric clips instead. Once again, I didn't want to "lock myself in" on a certain size once I cut the material

I am a mobile DJ and use the tripod stands and trussing you have for my lights. In my search for the best set up, I ruled out using the "DJ Tower" for a couple of reasons.

1) The trapeze fabric is very stretchable and the tower will not be able to take the stress because you only have three sides to attach to. If it were grommeted, you would get a spider web effect aound the perimeter.

2) You would have to use sand bags or tie off the tripods with stakes and ropes for stability.

I hope I'm wrong about my assumptions. Let us know how it turned out.
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