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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies  




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Author Topic: Traveling outdoor theater coming to 45 cities  (Read 4523 times)
11visions
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« on: May 22, 2010, 05:10:38 pm »

I don't actually have my theater setup yet, but I'm been using this board for research into what to purchase. Myself and my friend Ryan are filmmakers and we're taking an outdoor projection screen to 45 cities this summer/fall to screen our most recent movie "The River is Life" as a free community event.

The venues are going to be city parks and amphitheaters and nearly all have been receptive to the project and are providing use of their facilities at no charge. I'll be using this board a lot to ask questions before finalizing the equipment list. We're fundraising through Kickstarter to purchase the equipment (http://kck.st/bbuXE5), and will be funding the rest of the trip expenses out of pocket.

Does anyone have advice specific to traveling with an inflatable screen, projection system, etc? Obviously I'll need a trailer to haul this quantity of gear, but I'd appreciate any advice into what I'll encounter taking this on the road and doing a daily setup/tear down of all that gear.

Feedback, advice, and criticism is welcome...
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Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
jackstraw
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 06:41:21 pm »

Very cool plan
Any idea how many people will be at the shows
I have a 16x9 CB inflatable which I love. It weighs about 90 lbs but is easy to handle with 2 people.
Probably need at leat 2500 lumen projector since you don't know how much ambient light you will have at various venues.
You might consider a fixed screen with a frame made out if 1" EMT. The sections will be up to 10 feet long bot you can set it up in 20-30 min and pro ably have less worries about mechanicalmfailure on the road. You could have a backup screen as well
Best of luck.
again, very cool plan
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11visions
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 07:09:59 pm »

It's hard to predict exactly how many people will be at the shows since we're not selling tickets, but I expect it will be between 100-400 each depending on the city. Some of the venues we're working with already have movie-in-the-park events and we're going along with their schedule which means there will be an existing audience.

For equipment, I'm leaning toward a projector of the BenQ variety. I'm hoping the new SP890 will be of the brightness I require, but I haven't seen any reviews out on it yet. Also planning on getting the CB screen, but at least one size up from yours so I can do a 20x12 display. There are a couple venues where there is potential for really big turnouts (500-750) so the 16x9 screen would not be large enough for that size of crowd in my opinion.

Do you think there is significant potential for "mechanical failure" of the screen while on the road? What type of things might happen to it?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 11:39:49 pm by 11visions » Logged

Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
movieman
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2010, 08:36:44 pm »

Why not rent at each location. That way you can pick and choose the screen size  for each event.  How are you handling insurance for these events. Not every town requires the same amount. Most require you have at least 2 million. rg
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rg
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11visions
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010, 08:56:06 pm »

I thought about the rental option however it's nearly as expensive as purchasing the equipment given the length of all the events PLUS there is the hassle of constantly picking up and dropping off gear which would be difficult given the time constrains of doing 45 shows in less than 90 days.

Several different insurance companies have given quotes between $2500-$4000 to cover ALL the venues for the entire three months. Pricey, but ultimately necessary. I've found that most of the city parks are only requiring 1 million in insurance although a few locations have required the 2m coverage.

Does anyone know any specific insurance companies that cover events like this who they can recommend? I'm certainly open to options for this part of it.

We'll be covering 10 states so if any people from this forum want to come out and see a show once it's in action, I'm posting dates here as each venue is confirmed:
http://www.facebook.com/TheRiverisLife?v=app_2344061033&vm=all
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 10:16:57 pm by 11visions » Logged

Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
jackstraw
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010, 10:21:42 pm »

I would definitely go up to 20x12 for the crowds you anticipate.
You might want to think of a backup blower. I don't think they're likely to fail but you may find it hard to pick one up on the road. Order an extra screen from CB as well.
A roll of black duct tape should handle minor repairs
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cdepaola
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 01:36:28 am »

This all depends on your expectations and budget.

There is also alot more to consider, cost wise for what your looking to do.  You've discovered the insurance issue, your also going to need things like back-up bulbs, cables, etc. As I've si recently learned there are very specific reqs for power cords, so specific that your show can be shut down for not having the proper type and guage cord. Minimum your going to need to invest in type SOOW 12/3 ac cord.  This is one of the things rarely discussed but that if your in a big city they will inspect you.  Had a friend inspected this weekend on Chicago and shit down.

Also what about road Cases or at least pelica cases for pj's etc.

And are you or your partner going to keep the gear for home use when your done?  The resale market is poor for this stuff, very poor.

Rent or hire someone in each city.  You'll save money in the long run.  Rental houses will deliver and in many cases set up for a small fee.  Lots of us do this for a living, contract folks in your cities, they have the right equipment, insurance, experience etc to produce quality events.

This business is much more involved once you leave the backyard party circuit. 
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rich92069
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 02:32:38 am »

I thought about the rental option however it's nearly as expensive as purchasing

I agree with this, especially of he is doing 45 cities.
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11visions
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2010, 10:46:23 am »

And are you or your partner going to keep the gear for home use when your done?  The resale market is poor for this stuff, very poor.

Rent or hire someone in each city.  You'll save money in the long run.  Rental houses will deliver and in many cases set up for a small fee.  Lots of us do this for a living, contract folks in your cities, they have the right equipment, insurance, experience etc to produce quality events.

Hi cdepaola, Thanks for your advise--I'll add making sure I get the right electrical cords and prongs to the list. Being as I have not purchased any of the equipment yet, I certainly want to hear all other potential options before spending this quantity of money. Presently, I'm still planning to go forward with purchasing all the equipment myself. There isn't much potential for home use of equipment of this size as my backyard is barely large enough to park my truck and a 2500+ lumen PJ would be excessively bright indoors. The plan for the equipment after the tour is to store it and use it in following years for similar free events.

The other reason I'm frightened about renting (aside from it not saving much money) is that I'm using the term "45 cities" in this context rather loosely. About half of the locations are in smaller towns and those markets are less likely to be supported by an inflatable company. I live in Nashville, a decent sized city, and called a couple of video rental houses I've used in the past and only one of them rented PJs that were sufficiently sized and I found no one who would rent an inflatable screen. Now there may in fact be someone here who has such equipment but if it's difficult to find in Nashville (pop 626,144), I can only imagine how difficult it'll be in Wabasha, MN (pop. 2,599). Multiply that over 45 towns and cities and it seems I may come up short too many times to consider renting a viable option.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 12:06:14 pm by 11visions » Logged

Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
rfisk
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2010, 11:52:26 am »

Welcome aboard, 11visions!  I think you're on the right track.  Sound like a lot of work and opportunity for problems, trying to contract working setups in 45 cities and towns on a schedule, unless you have a pro-tour budget.

My first concern when I read your post was possibility of mildew.  If you pack the screen damp (dew/humidity) and hit the road you may have an issue there.  I don't have a good suggestion for that right now but will think about it. Maybe someone else will know of something to address that.

Randy
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"Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we're going.  There's something ahead worth looking for." -- Neil Young


hiredpower
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2010, 12:56:47 pm »

My first concern when I read your post was possibility of mildew.  If you pack the screen damp (dew/humidity) and hit the road you may have an issue there.  I don't have a good suggestion for that right now but will think about it. Maybe someone else will know of something to address that.

Randy

Hang it off the back of your vehicle like a dragster parachute?  Grin

Welcome 11visions,

  I'm sure our gang here can help you out.
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jackstraw
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2010, 04:25:41 pm »

The screen on a CB is removable unlike some other inflatables.
It is Lycra and should dry quickly.
That said, I have never bothered to remive it to save time.
You do have the flexibility in case it gets wet or you have a longer break between shows
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rich92069
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 06:56:44 pm »


My first concern when I read your post was possibility of mildew.  If you pack the screen damp (dew/humidity) and hit the road you may have an issue there.  I don't have a good suggestion for that right now but will think about it. Maybe someone else will know of something to address that.

Randy

That is real easy, spend the extra bucks and get a inflatable screen made from mildew resistant vinyl . Good luck getting this from Chinese or CB screen manufacturer. Pretty sure they will have to special order it or fib and say it is mildew resistant fabric when it isn't.

If you get a screen that uses mildew resistant fabric your lead time to unroll and blow-up to dry the screen is a few weeks. The water will bead in side the roll, and when you un-roll the water will have collected into little beads.

Just an FYI Randy, you can get mildew resistant fabric to make the inflatable screens.

Using this material is a must for me because as most of you know I take such wonderful care of my stuff, for those of you who don't know me this is a joke. I leave my stuff laying out side for weeks sometimes before putting stuff away. Im also always rolling stuff up wet, along the cost line it is always damp air. Mildew resistant and Fire retardant are the only way to go.

Now that I thought of it, yes fire retardant is a must have as well. You may have troubles getting insurance depending on the state if you do not have fire retardant screens as well.




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rfisk
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2010, 07:19:49 pm »

Sounds like the mildew problem has been addressed if you use the right material.  Good to know it works.  I hope it works better than my mildew resistant deck stain.  Smiley

Randy
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rich92069
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2010, 07:53:54 pm »

Sounds like the mildew problem has been addressed if you use the right material.  Good to know it works.  I hope it works better than my mildew resistant deck stain.  Smiley

Randy

lol... it does not prevent mildew, it buys you time. A water slide I would try and unroll with in 2-3 weeks and blow up to air out at the latest. A dew soaked screen is not as bad and you will have a bit more time with mildew resistant vinyl.
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