Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Forest Fire Set

Behold the results of the most desperate act of escape, or the connivance of vengeance, or the salvation of scorched earth. Whatever its initial intention, it crosses the line from solution to problem.

A variety of stage effects are utilized to convince those walking through that they are in the midst of an inferno, short of actual space heaters. The mere optical suggestion of fiery colors will psychologically create the effect of the perception of heat, and one can rest assured that the Fire Department frowns upon heating elements in even semienclosed temporary structures. More to the point, even if I did get Fire Marshal approval to use heaters, I would plant them out back in the break area so that the ScareActors who are dripping with sweat after a shift minimize their risk of sickness.

Rear projection scrims showing footage of forest fires, strategically lit silk panels and simulated flame units buffeted by hidden fans, UV-Reactive fluorescent paints in the hues of glowing embers, fiberoptic strands in the colors of burning brush, and backlit translucent forms are employed to fake everything from flame to the deliverance of a city on the horizon. Several of these bits of stagecraft are also used to create a dramatic end for the menacing Lurker.

Shrieking and flailing, trapped in a collapsed copse of burning trees, the Lurker burns before your eyes. An intricate network of power cords, hoses for air supply, and fiberoptic cables run up the legs of the outfit for the Lurker's BurnSuit to animate the flames that engulf the ScareActor. The Glowire company distributes Electroluminescent (EL) wire and amber LEDs that can be integrated into the costume to imitate the immolation of fabric and hair. Fabricating the suit so that it can be a single piece optimized for changing out the use of it from one actor to another is a performance specification priority, and the integration of clasps to suspend the suit from convenient wires worked into the set's structure can assist in this regular procedure.

Tomorrow: The Plan View of the "Nature Trail to Hell" Maze

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