Elle Towan
December 7, 2023
3 min read

Planning the backdrop

So I’m at the stage of adding the backdrop, and I’ve got a few challenges on my hands.

I want the backdrop to be a simple as possible to install and I also want a non permanent backdrop, so that at any time I have the ability to swap out the backdrop for a different design. Which has the ability to completely change the feel of the layout, plus if I stuff up the installation it won’t be too difficult to start over.

So I have a basic plan so far, it involves sticking the backdrops to a piece of styrene or PVC sheet cut to size so that each sheet will perfectly fit withing each module. Next will involve sticking the section of backdrop to each of those sheet, so that they all match up creating a seamless join between the modules once they are all connected together.

This will be a big challenge and will rely mostly on precision to make it work. I can build in a small amount of wiggle room at the far ends but for the most part I’ll need to try and be as accurate as possible!

Next will be the corner modules, ideally it will be best to curve the backdrop around the corner… However this will make my requirement of having the backdrops easily removable quite a lot more challenging. I’ve done a couple of tests with the backdrop material and it is very easy to stick down with its self-adhesive backing, however, when you try to curve it inwards onto itself it creases quite significantly!

It's a little hard to see in the photos, one the test piece is a bit dirty... from testing and the light makes it hard to see but if you get at the right angle it becomes easier to see. And in person it's very obvious and the creases really stand out.

Even a very shallow inward curve causes multiple creases. So, to compromise I won’t be curving the backdrop, instead I’m going to have the backdrop meet at a 90 degree angle and I will use some creating scenery application to help mask the corner of the module and backdrop.

It shouldn’t be too challenging given that I plan to have the scenery raised in the corners so that the return loop can be hidden as it turns back on itself. Plus by having the backdrop at right angles in the corners means I’ll have a bit of extra scenery space available to create something a little grander and something that will be able to fill in those corners.

I may even stick the backdrops to some hard board like I did with some of my DIY backdrops I did a few years ago, plus I can also do some testing with making my own backdrops later down the road.

As the project progresses, my idea of what scenery I want has been changing. I originally planned a country station scene and while I still plan to have the country station, I’m leaning towards having it slightly more urban, or an outer suburb feel, like a once country station that is slowly being encroached on by an expanding town nearby.

But at the moment nothing is set in stone so things may change!

I'll be filming in the lead up to Christmas, fingers crossed I might even be able to get the video done in time for Christmas 😊

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