Welcome to episode 1 47 of the Mod Scenes podcast. This is your host, Stephen, and I’m thrilled to be chatting with you today about creating a great stage backdrop for your church. So, uh, we started mod scenes in order to serve churches. Uh, I was the tech director for, uh, well, I’ve been, I’ve been a lighting director or a tech director for almost 10 years now. Um, I’ve worked in multiple different churches, uh, Northland church in Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Metro area, uh, and journey church up in Norman, Oklahoma. So it’s an Oklahoma city Metro area. Um, both of which are phenomenal churches, uh, and I loved, loved working there. Um, um, but one thing that I saw as a constant while working there is that, um, we spent a ton of time, I mean, crazy amounts of time creating great stage backdrops. Um, and when it was all done and said and done, we had nothing left to show for it.

So we would build this beautiful stage backdrop, but the materials wouldn’t be reusable or only a minimal part of them would be worn. They’re take so much labor and reusing the materials that it was hard to justify doing. So, um, so I wanted, so thinking through that, I wanted to figure out how we could, uh, make a stage design that looks really great, uh, but it’s a lot simpler to do so. Uh, that’s how we came up with mod scenes. Uh, we wanted it to be flexible so that if we bought, bought a stage design, we could use it over and over and over again multiple times. Uh, so that’s, that’s what we came up with. That’s what the Mod Scenes line is, uh, completely based on is, uh, is that, so, um, with that, uh, we, we have become experts in, uh, creating modular stage designs for churches.

Uh, our stage designs are used all over the place, uh, at life church, church of the Highlands gateway. Um, you name it we’ve, we’ve probably either provided a stage design or a TMX voice or some sort of service to, um, to most, to many of the large churches in the country. Um, so yeah, uh, okay. Let’s jump into, uh, uh, how to create a great stage backdrop, um, with some Nazis products. So, um, as I mentioned, Mod Scenes products are modular, so they’re easy to put together. Uh, they bolt together with a simple nylon, uh, carriage bolt, uh, that carriage bolt slide through the front of the panel. And then after it goes on the backside of the panel, and then it’s all tied together with the wee nut. Um, you can either zip tie up your first row connectors, or they can hang from pipe and drape, uh, pipe and drape hangers, which are available on our other products section of our website.


So that makes it really simple if you’re hanging to an existing pipe or pipe, a drape, um, um, let’s see. Uh, so one of the great ways to make a stage backdrop is to look, figure out your pattern first. Cause obviously, um, as you create your stage backdrop, you want to have a plan. You don’t want to just like walk into it blind. So, uh, you can, uh, it’s easy to draw. You can draw out these, draw the panels, oh, excuse me, my apologies. Um, you draw all the panels and, uh, draw them into, uh, into different, uh, designs, uh, based on the rotation. So for example, the Crescent moons, you can create multiple circles with, or you can create like a seashell type shape, um, just based on your rotation. So as best to figure out your rotation and how you want to orient your panels first, um, I find it’s best to actually try two or three different ways and like a four-foot by, or like a, like a four panel by four panel section and just see what you can create.

So I think it’d be really surprised and happy with the different things you can create with just a few different panels, um, sorry with a few of the same type of panels, not different. Um, and with those once you’ve figured out how you’re going to lay out your stage backdrop, it’s easiest to build, uh, from the top down. So, uh, the, the best way is if you can use a trust or a line set, uh, so a line sets like a moving pipe, uh, like a theatrical style pipe, uh, or even just a pipe on, uh, a pipe on a couple of Verilux. So VeriLock is a, uh, it’s a adjustable steel aircraft cable. Uh, so it’s an eighth inch. We use the Verilog seniors, which are an eighth inch, uh, eighth inch piece of steel with a, uh, VeriLock lock, which is a, it’s a ball-bearing, uh, tightening mechanism with a loop at the bottom.

So you can hook things onto it. So we’ll build, we’ll put pipes onto those and then just use those to raise up section by section. So you can still do it with a ladder. Um, the Verilog cert sheet they’re like maybe 40 bucks. Um, so it makes it easy. You can do work from the ground on everything and then, uh, work from the ground and everything, and then push it up, um, just push up the lock and it’ll, it’ll move up that, that steel wire as you go. Uh, so it’s a super great way to do it. Um, and you can do everything from the ground. So it saves a lot of time to do it from a ladder. Obviously it takes more time to build your stage backdrop. Um, [inaudible] So, uh, let’s see what else.


So when you’re building your stage backdrops, it’s always best to, uh, make sure your bolts are tight so that they hold the panels together, uh, close to each other. Uh, but you don’t want them overly tight because if they’re overly tightened, what’ll happen is you’ll crush, uh, curse the Coroplast, which isn’t actually that big of a deal. Um, but it looks better if you can just do do them hand tight, you don’t have to like, over-tighten them crazy. Um, you can do them hand-tight then you can, uh, um, if you can do them hand-tight, then you can go through and, um, it looks, it just looks cleaner, the bolts disappear, whereas really what it comes down to. So, uh, so I always make sure I know just enough that they’re, they’re holding snug, but they’re not, they’re not compressing into the panel. So if you’re having to like struggle to tighten it, or it’s depressing into the panel, then you’re tightening it too much.

Uh, same thing with the zip ties at the top, I try to get them and I try to get the connectors lined up to the top of the, uh, to the top of the, uh, the pipe or the trust that pipe, that it, whether that be the quarter of the trust or the actual pipe on the, um, the line set. Um, I try to get the top of the connector lined up with that and then zip tie on so that all the conductors, or even, uh, also at the bottom, uh, the bottom corners of the stage design, uh, I always put a bolt with no connector in, uh, just to give it a more finished look. Uh, you can leave out that bowl, but it does show a little hole in that section. So I try to make sure that I finish it off. So it looks really nice, uh, and finished.

Um, yeah. And then, so once you built your stage backdrops, uh, lighting is super important. I typically do, if I can, I’ll do uplight and downline, cause that gives me a couple of different options. Uh, and if I’m really lucky and I have additional lights left and I’ll do sidelights as well. Um, one of the tricks that I really love to use is I’ll use a moving light led wash. So something maybe like a Mac 1 0 1 or, um, like a show of a, uh, rogue one wash, like our one wash. Um, and I’ll put those at the top or the bottom in between like led par. So every, you know, not, not a whole line of them, but every once in a while, I’ll put a few of those, uh, and I’ve even used like studio colors for this. So you don’t have to use anything super nice, uh, and shot up the backdrop.

Uh, and then, then I could do like a tilt, uh, effect and it makes it look like the backdrops physically moving, which is a really cool effect. Um, the, uh, uh, another great thing to do is if you, if it looks really spotty, so it looks, it doesn’t look super, even with your lighting is to diffuse the light. Uh, so you can buy, uh, Roscoe makes an [inaudible] fusion, that’s, uh, uh, light Hamburg frost, uh, that has a great diffusion for kind of softening your edges and making it, uh, making your light a little bit more even, uh, one trick with that. If you put it on top of your LEDs and it doesn’t look great, uh, if you give it a little bit of space, so if you can put like a, like a two inch piece of foam on top of the edges of, of your, um, light and then put the, um, and then put the, uh, the diffusion on, it’ll give you some more room between that, uh, between the light and between the diodes and the diffusion, and it’ll diffuse much better.

Uh, and the other thing is if you don’t, uh, if you don’t want to spend the money on diffusion or really know how to get it, another thing you can use is wax paper, wax paper works really good whenever you’re trying to diffuse light or parchment paper, either the two work pretty well, uh, wax paper that works better in my opinion, but they both do work, uh, parchment paper’s a little bit thicker. So, uh, it kills your light a little bit more, uh, but, uh, another, another helpful hint, you can also use those on direct facing lights. So if you’re shooting a light directly out in the crowd and you want it to be a little bit softer, you can tape, uh, he was like gaff tape and tape those onto the, onto the front of your led fixtures, and it’ll soften it out. Uh, and if you kind of bend it and make it kind of like a half circle and then tape the edges, um, it’ll make it, you can do, like, especially on like a linear led, you can make it look like you have a frosted cover on there, which is a really great book, uh, lighting tips from Steven.

Uh, so yeah, so that’s a, that’s another option to, to help better your lighting on lighting your stage backdrops. Uh, and when you’re finished with your stage backdrops, it’s important to take it apart, take it apart and store it well. So it’s best to store all the panels and the panel boxes and to store all the hardware in a separate box. Uh, if you store the, uh, if you store the hardware in the panel boxes, or you leave bolts in the panels, when you put them away, it’s likely to damage the panels. So you want to make sure to go through and, um, you wanna make sure to go through and get, get those bolts taken off, put them in their hardware box with the connectors in the hardware box, and then put your panels in your panel boxes. Uh, whenever we store them, we always store them in groups of eight, because then we know how we can count easily.

So, uh, so you didn’t fit six groups of eight plus two more and do a box of 50 per box, um, in our big boxes or a small boxes, you can fit 24 or 25. I’m sorry. Um, so yeah, so, uh, I hope I hope there’s has been a helpful podcast about, um, oh, one other thing about, uh, whenever you, uh, tear down and create your stage backdrops, um, you’re going to want to, uh, go through and, uh, when you put all of this stuff, when you’re taking down the drop, it’s best to take it down piece by piece. Um, because if you take down a huge section and dissemble it on the floor, uh, a it’s harder to get the bolts out and B, uh, it’s likely that you’re going to get dirt or dust, or somebody’s going to step on it, uh, stuff like that.

And you don’t want to do stuff like that cause it’ll damage the panel. And then it’s one, uh, one less panel you have to use in the future. So, or maybe not damage the panel, it just won’t, you have to clean it, which is a, it’s a pain. Um, you can easily clean them with, uh, you can’t easily clean the panels with a magic eraser. Uh, but obviously if you don’t have to, there’s no need to. So, uh, we’ve always found it easiest to disassemble the stage backdrops while it’s hanging, uh, this assembling in the opposite direction of how we assembled it. So, uh, loosening and loosening the bolts, uh, and we actually just let all the hardware fall to the ground and pick it up all at the end. Um, we found that’s the quickest way to do it. Um, and then, uh, the great thing is if you use metal bolts and nuts and just use a magnet and sweep them up with magnet, uh, we’ve also swept them up with actual broom, uh, and then just poured them on a table and sorghum.

Uh, it gets a little dusty that way, but it saves quite a bit of time. So, um, and then, uh, the other thing is whenever you store these, it’s ideal to store the boxes, uh, flat, uh, they can be stored on their side and it shouldn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt the panels, uh, unless you have like a partially empty box. Uh, if you have a partially empty box, uh, and the panels are sitting on their edges after months, I mean, it doesn’t, it’s not like overnight, but after months, uh, they can start to work a little bit. Um, if you do need a storm on their side, all you have to do though is fill that void, whether that be with another box or with, uh, like, uh, we sent packing paper, like in the boxes that are full for, for us or a piece of foam, anything, that’ll just keep those, uh, straight up.

Right. Uh, we’ll help you with that. So, um, so yeah, so, okay. Thank you for tuning in to the Mod Scenes podcast. I hope that this information has been helpful. I’m really excited to be able to help you with your next church stages design, uh, your next stage backdrops design, uh, or your next DMX voiced, uh, design. Um, we would love to help you with those things. Um, if you haven’t checked out our DMX voice, the kinetic lights that we do, uh, you should check them out. You can see on our website, uh, a couple of videos that you can also see some videos on YouTube, uh, of our products. Um, they’re really awesome. So you should definitely check them out. Uh, and I hope this has been helpful, and I’m really thrilled to be able to, uh, serve you in the near future. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can, uh, reach us@monsoons.com and specifically you can email me at Stephen and Mazzi Matson’s dot com or you can call us at five three zero seven two three six forty one. Uh, I’m looking forward to serving you. Thanks so much for tuning into the Mod Scenes podcast. And, uh, I will chat with you general flight.