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class="style5" Hard Cyc Construction

>Published : 16th July 2005

>I'm wondering how difficult it would be to construct a small hard Cyc. Are there companies that manufacture them or are they all custom jobs? I've been Googling for hours and all I can find are rental stages that feature them, but nothing about how to obtain or construct one. I'm part of a group that's starting a co-op soundstage here in Washington, DC and think it would be a great feature for our (as yet unselected) space.

>Ched Beckwith
MFA candidate, American University
Washington, DC


>Ched Beckwith writes:

class="Paragraph">> I'm wondering how difficult it would be to construct a small hard Cyc.

>Not very.

class="Paragraph">>Are there companies that manufacture them or are they all custom >jobs?

>There are companies -- or at least one company -- that make them. They're usually semi-portable for still work, I'm not sure how big they are. You may find an add for them in thee back of still magazines.

class="Paragraph">>I've been Googling for hours and all I can find are rental stages that >feature them, but nothing about how to obtain or construct one.

>We have built several, and it's not very difficult. They are framed as a standard stud wall with the sweeps forming the cove to the floor cut from plywood. The walls are made from standard gypsum board. The sweeps are blocked out, covered with wire lath and then plastered. The only difficult part is forming the floor cove where two coved walls intersect.

>Of course, it is important to find a good plastering contractor. (We used Structolite for the base (rough) coat on the wire lath.)

>If you have the space and the height, many prefer a space behind the Cyc for hanging lights. We've found that to be a waste of space, where a lot of junk gets stored thus preventing the very access the space was designed to provide.

>If you have any specific questions feel free to email me directly.

>Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


class="Paragraph">> I'm wondering how difficult it would be to construct a small hard Cyc.

>Ched,

>We framed the wall with steel-stud covered with sheet rock and the cove with cut-out plywood covered with two layers of very thin ply. At the base we back filled the bottom 12 inched with concrete to prevent puncturing the bottom of the cove when the inevitable scissor lift ran up onto the cove. We discovered a journeyman plasterer who did coved ceilings in Victorian homes to do the finish coat of the cove and the compound corners (we were building a 3-wall Cyc).

>All the walls tilted back slightly for sound and none met at 90 degrees. It took time to find the right craftsmen to do the job right but it was worth it. We ended up with a fabulously smooth Cyc that was easy to light and had a seamless join at the bottom. I really don't think there are any shortcuts.

>We were forever glad we spent the time and money up front.

>Good luck.

>Rod Williams
Motion Picture and HD First Camera Assistant
(and former stage manager)
Petaluma, California
U.S.A.


>There is a company that makes a bolt-together cove system for building hard cyc’s - I saw their product at a number of trade shows a few years ago - I don't know whether I have any info on them, but if you can get to the NAB or ShowBiz Expo exhibitor lists on the web somewhere, you may be able to find them.

>I have no personal experience with their system, but it looked like a reasonable idea - can't speak to their execution. I think they used fibreglass or similar cast sections that bolted together to make the cove to the floor and the compound curve to do corners.

>Mark Weingartner
LA based


>Your responses jogged my mind to search for "portable Cyc" and Google came up with this : http://www.procyc.com/ which appears to be what I was looking for. Thanks for the replies.

>Ched Beckwith


>I did a quick Google of "cyclorama construction"...

>First hit : www.astcyc.com

>Don Canfield
Gear+Rose Motion Control
New York
914-421-5019
www.gearandrose.com


>Other materials you could look into: use plastic or metal sheeting that is used in the sign industry, with framing as described above. Or use sheet flooring material (likely back-side out). I've seen each of these used for what is essentially a Cyc in the setting of model railroads.

>For some, seams were difficult to mange, but with reversed vinyl (or even real linoleum) flooring you may be able to mud/tape/sand as with drywall.

>Ricardo Ismach


>Don Canfield wrote :

class="Paragraph">> I did a quick Google of "cyclorama construction"...
> First hit : www.astcyc.com

>Yeah, I think I was just using too many variables. I over thought the search parameters.

>Ched Beckwith