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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Six weeks after reading about backyard theater, I had ours up and running  (Read 94333 times)
morps
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« on: August 22, 2006, 08:06:52 am »


After reading an article about backyard theaters in our local paper (which had a reference to this website), we got inspired. Last Saturday night, we had our inaugural showing with about five other families in the neighborhood. The picture attached is a panorama I took from behind everyone. For a few more pictures, as well as a listing of the equipment I bought (why I chose what I did), please check out my posting on my blog: http://web.mac.com/morps/iWeb/morper.net/Morperhaus%20Theater%20-%20Backyard%20Theater.html. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to respond.

Our first even was great. I even managed to create my own Morperhaus Theater trailer (see it at the same link above) which I ran to kick off the show. Yeah, I might have gone overboard, but this is fun stuff.

Cheers! And thanks to everyone who posted before me. Your comments really helped me out. Now, here's hoping some of my comments help the next person out Smiley


* morperhausMovie.jpg (190.92 KB, 800x209 - viewed 4923 times.)
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cheftom
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2006, 08:20:46 am »

Looks cool, welcome to our little world.
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When Excellence is Available, Good is Not Enough
tlogan6797
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2006, 10:20:10 am »

morps -

Welcome! I read through your blog but didn't realy see much on the screen. Can you give any details on the screen (besides the size?) Material, mounting, etc?

Looks like a great start!
Tom
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mdrsteve
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2006, 10:50:22 am »

Welcome!  Nice setup!  I like your opening countdown too.  Well done!
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victor-eyd
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2006, 11:40:55 am »

I loved that trailer you made! Is it available for pc users also?

Victor
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Big Screen Outdoors
Cherry Hills
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2006, 12:50:10 pm »

I couldn't view the pre-show video, and I couldn't find a file URL in the page source. I'd like to see it - is it available elsewhere, or can you give us a direct address (not embedded in the page)?
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
BigScreenThrills
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2006, 01:07:44 pm »

I like it also, and would be interested to know if it is available.

CherryHills, I am using a new laptop that prompted me to download/install QuickTime before I could view the trailer.
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2006, 02:58:58 pm »

Yep, I got that prompt, too (even though QuickTime is already installed), but it failed to find it on the web page I was redirected to. Hmmm.
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
hiredpower
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2006, 03:34:21 pm »

Welcome Morps!

  It looks like you have a great place to watch movies.

I took the liberty of posting a link to the deal you got at Costco for your PJ and screen since someone asked:

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11109729&whse=&topnav=&browse=&s=1

I also lightened one of your images and it looks like you mounted your pull-down on some "heavy based" poles?
Inquiring minds want to know...

Was that the original movie image, or did you cut and paste?

Very nice work on the trailer.

Thanks for sharing.

BTW, the trailer is in quicktime format and played fine for me.





« Last Edit: August 22, 2006, 03:38:06 pm by hiredpower » Logged
cafemom
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2006, 06:40:53 pm »

Morps,
loved the preview!  great music selection to go with it!  Isn't this all fun!?!  Your one of us now...enjoy and share your ideas!!!
cafemom
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Grab a blanket, a chair & a friend and join us outside!



Cherry Hills
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2006, 06:56:14 pm »

Finally got to see your intro video (had to upgrade to latest version of QuickTime - the old one didn't like the compression type...).

Very nice! I'm a firm believer in setting the audience's mood with something like that. You made a really nice clip, and that will sure do the trick.

Fun, fun, fun!
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
morps
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2006, 11:14:17 pm »

I also lightened one of your images and it looks like you mounted your pull-down on some "heavy based" poles?
Inquiring minds want to know...

Was that the original movie image, or did you cut and paste?

Yes, I didn't quite finish my blog post on my complete setup. The poles work perfect. They are steel threaded poles about 1.5" in diameter, about 6.5" tall. Each pole threads into a 25 lb base. These poles were originally used for a tradeshow for my old company to support signage. We had about 20 of these thangs and they were just taking up space, so I was able to get my paws on four of them Smiley Two for the screen, and one each for my front channel speakers (I mounted the speakers to each pole).

I will see what I can do to investigate where we bought these originally. They are absolutely perfect.

And as for the image on the screen in my panoramic photo... yeah, Photoshop is a wonderful tool Smiley There is no way I would have been able to capture that image in "real life" as the exposure was about 2 seconds.
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morps
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2006, 11:20:05 pm »

I loved that trailer you made! Is it available for pc users also?

Victor
Hi Victor... The trailer was created in a program called Fotomagico on a Mac. Each frame is simply a JPG file. If you're on a PC, I'd recommend doing it in Powerpoint. I would have used Powerpoint, but on a Mac it is terrible. And Apple's own application, Keynote, cannot successfully output to a Quicktime file. Instead, I used that other app to do it (it is an amazing application). But again, you can accomplish most of what I did with Powerpoint. You won't be able to save it out as a Quicktime file, or even an AVI, but if you just run it in Slideshow mode, you should be fine.

Otherwise, go get a Mac and just add it to your backyard theater budget Smiley
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2006, 11:41:31 pm »

I have been doing pre-show stuff for my theater, as well as similar things for our church. PowerPoint is useless for this, IMO, because it's a huge chore to get music synchronized with it. Not impossible, but much more work than it's worth.

On the other hand, there are free video editing programs (iMovie on the Mac, MovieMaker on Windows) that make this a snap. That's how I did the one I posted recently on Google <a href="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=9051718616671024490" target="_blank">http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=9051718616671024490</a>.

So, rather than paying Microsoft way too much money for PowerPoint, why not use the free program that already comes with Windows XP (or MacOS) and does a better job anyway?

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Choosing the right music is key, by the way. That's a discussion for another thread, though.
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
morps
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2006, 11:54:50 pm »

PowerPoint is useless for this, IMO, because it's a huge chore to get music synchronized with it. Not impossible, but much more work than it's worth.
Agree... if you're not concerned about synchronization, PPT is fine. If you care about the quality, experience, etc... use anything else.
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