A "drop" is a piece of scenery used in film and theatre to establish the location of a scene. Usually a drop is a large piece of fabric that has an image on it and hangs in the background. By using drops and other pieces of scenery it is possible to create convincing location changes. Over the last few years computer generated landscapes have become the method of choice used in film. However, live theatre still relies heavily on printed or painted drops. This instructable will show you the basic methods used in the preparing a drop used in theatre.
Also, it's hard to take pictures of every part of this process. Paint gets everywhere and I didn't want to ruin my camera. I drew the illustrations to clear up any confusing explanations. If you see something that isn't clear, tell me so I can clarify.
Step 1: Time, Space and Money
1. Time to do it.
Don't think this is a one day process. You need time to paint, then let it dry, add more paint, let it dry again, etc. If it's a small project... okay, maybe a couple LONG days. Just don't expect to paint something 45' long and 20' high in "a day or two". Those are famous last words. If you're painting outside, it can be hard to paint after dark, so budget that into the time.
2. Space to paint it in.
Drops are usually BIG. Meaning you have to have a big space to paint in. I've had to paint on a roof and in a Chicago apartment. I don't recommend either. Shop space where you can lay it out on the floor or hang it on a frame are the best bet. (I prefer the floor.)
Money is always an issue. No one wants to pay, but they want to have everything. Just remember before quoting a price make sure to work up a thorough estimate. You need to buy the fabric, paintbrushes, rollers, staples, pencils, chalk lines, paint trays, mixing buckets, rags, drop cloths, and a dozen things not listed here... and most importantly PAINT. Just remember, the bigger the surface, the more people you hire and the more colors you have, the higher the cost.
You actually HAVE all three of these things?! Awesome! Now we can get onto the fun stuff.