With the set because it was such a big job everyone had helped out with the steel deck. However when we first thought about the set it was different to what our final piece is. With the set the bands steel deck was going to be all one height, also the higher performance steel deck would have been a little bit smaller. It has ended up with the bands steel deck at different heights and is now attached to the higher performance steel deck. The set, I was mostly building things, such as the diner, table and the jail doors. This is because the other set is about painting and putting the steel deck up which everyone helped out with.
The first thing we built up were the proscenium arches because we thought these may take the most time because we didn’t have an idea on how to attach them properly and we didn’t know if it would work. We were able to finish them in one day and put them up, this is because we sorted out the pallets into piles: nice and rubbish. We already had an idea for the arches but before going on with the first idea we had, we decided to go and try them out again and ask for everyone opinion. This was also to make sure it would work and look like the theme we wanted it to look like. The most difficult part of figuring out what it should look like is if the arch should go in a pyramid theme or straight up one side.
The jail doors were the first things, after the proscenium arch, we sorted out because we didn’t know if we were going to be able to attach them to the proscenium arch or not, depending on how stable the arch is. We also had troubles with what we wanted to use as the jail bars because we were going to use wood, however it looked to thin and it would quite easy to break with any tension on it. So instead we used plastic piping that worked very well, because we couldn’t get the holes in the wood drilled in the exact same place, so they the plastic was bending, which looked fine because it fitted in with the rest of the abstract look. We started off with 3 of the same length of the wood that is keeping the bars together and then have 4 bits on wood for the frame, however this came with a problem. We were not able to get the wood attached nicely without having another bit of wood that made it look a bit strange. So instead we made the middle one smaller and have two longer ones on the side because it made them look much more professional and it would be easier to attach all the wood pieces together and to attach the hinges onto them. After we did that with the first one, we decided to cut the middle wood shorter instead of having to cut it when everything is already attach. However it didn’t work as the spacing was unequal to the sides, which wasn’t that noticeable. However we got the hang of what we were doing so we were able to fasten up with everything. When we came to the last one we ran out long pieces of wood, so we had to go back to what we did at the beginning, which wasn’t to bad and it stayed together. We were having two on one side because it was only used for a little amount of time, which the last one was on and the other one was three doors along because it is used so much more. When we attached them together, on the larger jail, we attached two together first and then attached the other one to the arch and then we had many people holding the jail up because the jail was going to be off of the floor. The opposite side was easier because it had less amount of jail doors, We attached two together like the other one and then we attached them both to the proscenium arch. However on the smaller one, we couldn’t fold it all up because of the extra piece of wood we had to attach to one of the doors because it was the only way of keeping the frame steady. There was a problem when we had to fold up the doors and try and keep them hid away and they wouldn’t stay there, so we first used safety chains to tie them around, however during our tech run, it took to long undoing them and we eventually used spanners with rope because it was weighted enough to quickly undo it and put it up.
We then moved onto the table which we knew what pallet we were going to use for it because it was the pallet that had no spaces in-between the wood, mainly because if we put props on the table, we didn’t want it to fall through. We didn’t know how we were going to attach any legs to it and we didn’t know what legs we were going to use. Ww had ran out of the square base bits of wood because of the jails, so we used larger bits of wood that were a rectangular shape, which would make it more stable. The only problem we thought might not work is that the wood is a little heavy and the fact that people need to be able to lift it up and lay it down. However, we did use them in the end and we measured the table that was near us to estimate the height we wanted it. The height was fine and then the next problem was trying to level everything out because we didn’t have the best area to sort everything out. We were able to use a leveller and there were three of us: one drilling, one holding the leg straight and the other holding the pallet into place, so they go firming into each other. We put three screws into the sides and then put two in from the top of the pallet downwards. We also had to put square base pieces of wood in-between the legs so they would stay equal amount of distance apart and wouldn’t bend in. The next thing I had to do was sand down the whole pallet from underneath and on top, so no one gets splinters when they pick it up. The only thing that had to be done to finish it off was to paint it, so it looked like all the other pieces of set.
The last piece of set that needed to be built was the diner, where we had a lot of trouble with it to start off with because we didn’t know how we were going to build it at all. Also there was only James and I who were building it because everyone was trying to finish everything else off for the band call that was happening a day after this. We ended up using the same legs as the legs as we did for the table, we just had to make it a bit higher because its a diner. However, we came across a problem as we built it too high, it would still fit unearth the steel deck, however it would be really uncomfortable for someone to be acting near it and leaning on it because it was too high. So we had to think what to do, because we had already attach the legs to the pallet, which we already discussed on what pallet to use when we were going through them earlier this week. We attached the legs to the pallet the same way we did with the table, but on one corner of the pallet a piece of wood was missing so we had to make special attention to that corner because we wanted the legs to be level on the floor with each other. The way we got around with the legs being to high, instead of taking all the screws out, because we thought it may spilt the wood, we decided to lean the bottom of the leg onto something and saw it away then. We were able to get it to a reasonable size and it was level afterwards, but we were still running out of time. We had to put square bases bits of wood around the legs to keep them more stable and not bend because it was on wheels and overtime you pushed it, it would bend a little bit. We were able to attached them quite quickly, and take the base of the diner that we had done already into the theatre, where all we needed to do was decorate it and make sure you couldn’t see all the way through to the other side. We had to rip apart some of the left over pallets we had because that was the quickest and most revenant way of decorating the front and side. James had to go and cut some more pieces of square base wood out to fit in the middle because the pieces of wood, did not fit across the whole width of the diner. After we put the pieces of wood on, in a uniform look because it was meant to be a diner, bank and general store counter, we wanted it to look more uniform than the pother pallets. Then on the one side of the counter, the side that was going to be under the steel deck and showing towards the audience, we out down the pallets the the exact size of the length across and we put them one under the other in a more covered up uniform look. We had already sanded down the top bit of the pallet with an electric sander, however it still needed a little bit more. We also attached a little hook in the top centre of the counter because we are going to be hanging signs off of them. The only thing left that needed to be done was paint it which we were going to do during the band call because we had ran out of time. We did change a little thing in the band call, where we were brought some new wheels for the bottom of the diner, because the ones we had on there already were really bad and did whatever they wanted. Therefore we had to quickly change them, they only just fitted into the bottom of the leg and we just had to make sure we didn’t split the wood, which we didn’t in the end. Then it was painted the same colour as the rest of the set so it looked the part.
With the diners, we made to make signs for it, such as the American diner, general store and bank. We only had a limited of time to do this because they had to be done for the photos that were getting taken that day that we were able to do them. So we had roughly around 30 minutes. We already knew how we were going to make them, in a way. We only decided on the size just before we printed out the picture for the sign, which ended up being A3. I had to cut out some plywood, to glue the sign onto, to make it more stable and less flimsy. When I glued the paper on, the glue was really lumpy, so it gave the paper the effect of tacky and a little bit old, so it fit in with the posters that are on the proscenium arch. We decided to put the other sign on the other side of the plywood, so we could just turn the sign around in the end. We done this for the third one, and we figured out because the American diner is in Act 1 and there isn’t another sign we need for that Act that would be the sign that is by its self, and then the general store and bank will be on the opposites sides because they are both used in Act 2 and it will be easier. After we glued all the paper onto the plywood, I had to drill holes into the plywood to thread the twine in. I had to do this very carefully because I needed the holes to be as equal as possible, so the sign doesn’t fall to one side.