From Dana Perreault, Technical Director
Note: Dana agreed to blog about a specific part of building The Road to Mecca set. The following is his insight on creating walls that literally shine.
Our work to obtain a wall application that would sparkle under candle light yet would be sedate under the regular stage light was tricky. We started by looking into what Miss Helen actually used for material and how she applied this material to her walls.
The thought of actual glass ground up and glued on the wall was vetoed for two reasons.
One was that we didn’t want the glass to flake off the walls and end up on the floor because there was a large possibility of actors having bare feet during the show. Second was the fact that it didn’t sparkle as well as desired when lit with the theatrical lighting.
Our paint shop experimented making samples using glitter, Mylar and lighting gels that would be painted silver on one side. These items proved to shine as bright as we needed, as well as provide the designer with the desired wall color. Now we needed to figure out how dense and in what order these items would be applied.
After figuring this part out, the lighting designer suggested that we should look into building fiber-optics into the wall, in order to “help” it shine.
When finished there was 20,000 feet of fiber-optic strand run through the walls which were then connected to three fiber-optic illuminators.
Once all of the walls were assembled, the paint department could come in and start adding toning glazes to help unify the parts.
Photo by Cindy Farruggia. Ten pounds of glitter in various color tones and sizes was used on the walls.