Resources/advice for black backgrounds? (need the "black void" look)

el_lago

New member
Hello,

I'm looking for some advice concerning this subject and would appreciate anybody sharing their knowledge.

I need a large black backdrop that is around 10' x 15'. Something that really soaks up light and will give minimal reflection. My budget is in the ballpark of $325.

I've looked for velour backdrops but haven't had much luck finding anything that has more than 5' length (I'd prefer a single piece as opposed to sewing two together). I have found a felt backdrop that comes in the size I'm looking for (at the first link below).

Does anyone have any experiences with any of the below suppliers? Or are there any other places or fabric stores you'd recommend?

At the bottom of this webpage, there's a 9.8'x 15' "Heavy Black" b.d. for $141.90
Description: Blocks out light, can be used against windows. Felt texture on both sides.
http://backdropfactory.com/backdrop/backdrop_pages/backdrop807.html

Denny Manufacturing sells a 10'x 16' black canvas b.d. for $308.00
http://www.dennymfg.com/cgi-bin/Sho...hstart=0&template=Templates\SearchResult.html

Backdrop Outlet has a 10'x 21' Muslin b.d. for $169.00
http://www.backdropoutlet.com/product_info.php?products_id=3681

As far as material goes for my needs, would felt be more applicable as opposed to canvas or muslin? From the description, the one from Backdrop Factory sounds good (the low price doesn't hurt either).

Any advice regarding this would be appreciated.
 
No experience with those you listed. I bought my duvetyne (aka commando cloth) from this vendor.

http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-b...oo.com/cinemasupplies/&query=duvetyne&x=0&y=0

Really good stuff and the price was right. The size might be a problem for you but they also sell tape that will help you put two pieces together with no visible seam (never done that so can't speak to it). Some of the stuff I came across before buying from these guys was very thin...this stuff is 16oz and light doesn't bleed through. Also fire retardent....

Others may have different ideas. HTH
 
Keith said:
No experience with those you listed. I bought my duvetyne (aka commando cloth) from this vendor.

http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-b...oo.com/cinemasupplies/&query=duvetyne&x=0&y=0

Really good stuff and the price was right. The size might be a problem for you but they also sell tape that will help you put two pieces together with no visible seam (never done that so can't speak to it). Some of the stuff I came across before buying from these guys was very thin...this stuff is 16oz and light doesn't bleed through. Also fire retardent....

Others may have different ideas. HTH


412 dollars for the roll and you call that cheap? I think I paid around 300 and something at Studio depot with my student discount. Big difference there.
 
I simply said, in my opinion, the price was right for what I bought (and I still think they have good prices). He asked for information and I gave him some. Lot's of variables here: What size did you buy....how much was your student discount...is it the same weight?

They (the site Sirius and I listed) have a 50yd roll for $300 as well (54"W) but that may be overkill for what he needs. I don't think he is looking for 50 yds from what he mentions in his post. He could get one 10yd long piece of the 60" and have what he needs for around $85 (well within his budget of $325). As I mentioned, he would have to cut it and I wasn't sure how he felt about that.

I looked at Studio Depot and they don't sell a 60" as best I could tell. They do have a 54" they sell is $93.95 for 10yds but that would be hard to use based on his 10 x 15 request.
http://www.studiodepot.com/store/index.cgi?cmd=search&value=duvetyne&x=0&y=0&field=name

Not trying to start anything here but I simply offered specific information (as requested) to his post.

Cheers
 
I just bought some standard black felt (a little less than 3 yards) from a fabric store. I needed it to cover the window in my room so I could interview myself for my doc. It hides the light nicely and there isn't any reflection from the lights I used to light myself. I also paid about $15 for it, which is much cheaper than commando cloth and when I am done with it, I might re-felt my pool table with black felt. Good luck with whatver you do!
 
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've searched and found some 118"/9'10" duvetyne rolls at the following sites:

http://www.scenicsource.com/commando.shtml

http://www.rosebrand.com/A_Com/showdetl.cfm?&Product_ID=632&CATID=0&ObjectGroup_ID=2&DID=6

http://www.pnta.com/assets/dog2003/4.pdf

http://www.dazian.com/cgi-bin/page.pl?action=color_family&color_family_id=10


I think I'll probably order from Rosebrand.com. I looked them up on the newsgroups and they have a good amount of people recommending them for various things, so they appear to be fairly reputable.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me. :beer:
 
I don't know how to get this out across the board, but everyone, shop www.filmtools.com first. They are almost always cheaper than studio depot, and they are friendlier. For those of you from outside of the L.A. area, I can garauntee you that they take care of their goods, because I used to order from the midwest, and now I buy in person. They're good people, and they'll take care of you, either on line, or in person. Oh, definately don't buy muslin... your lights will just shine right through it and make it translucent.
 
I second Justin's recommendation of Filmtools. Its a great store and they have pretty decent prices, my only complaint is that everytime I go there, I come out with more than I intended to buy!
 
Agreed. They do a really good job of putting you in a buying mood. I'm going in there today to get some light stands, and I really hope that's all I come home with.
 
The only thing wrong with usings regular black felt is that Duvetyne is soaked with flame retardant. I'd hate to save a few dollars and have some draped felt too near a light and...

-j
 
I'd never think of going on a shoot without some duvetyne scraps, but one of my favorite all around tools are some staging drapes I got used from an A/V staging company. It's a poly cotton backed with heavy vinyl with a 3" rod pocket across the top. The sort of thing you'd use in "pipe and drape" setups for a big stage show. The ones I have are 48" x 16', and I paid $25 apiece for them.

They aren't quite as non-reflective as Duve so you need to flag them off a bit and get some depth of field, but they don't let a single photon through. I use them for black backgrounds, tape them over windows to block outside light, stretch them between C stands for overheads... all manner of uses.

The company I got mine from were glad to get rid of them as they were developing a few permanent creases and had a few stains on them - they had outlived their usefulness as stage curtains, but they're perfectly suited to what I use them for. Check with a local A/V outfit to see if they have any they are about to retire - you'll be amazed how useful they are.

Joe
 
j said:
The only thing wrong with usings regular black felt is that Duvetyne is soaked with flame retardant. I'd hate to save a few dollars and have some draped felt too near a light and...

-j

That's one of the reasons that I've decided to go with the duvetyne. Better safe than sorry.

BTW - I don't know if my last question was overlooked by most because it's the last post on the previous page, but if anyone could give me an answer I would be very grateful. I'm exceeding my original production equipment budget by a few thousand $ and most of the companies don't accept returns on cut fabric, so I'm a little paranoid of buying the wrong thing and being stuck with it...


el_lago said:
Okay, one last question before I place my order...

http://www.rosebrand.com/A_Com/showdetl.cfm?&Product_ID=632&CATID=0&ObjectGroup_ID=2&DID=6

'Double faced' commando cloth/duvetyne is nappy on both sides, and will optimally soak up light?
I called one of the sales people and they confirmed this but didn't sound too sure of herself, so I want to make sure before I place my order.
 
There is always the expenables recycler in L.A. They'll often times buy just about anything. Partially used rolls of tape, partially spent bulbs, etc. etc. I've never actually been in contact with them myself, but several productions I've been on have sold back some of our expendables there. If anyone else on the boards can point el in the right direction, it would probably help out.
 
Oh, and as an aside, I ended up buy a couple hundred bucks more than I planned on my last trip to filmtools. It's so nice, I get tricked into doing it!
 
el_lago said:
BTW - I don't know if my last question was overlooked by most because it's the last post on the previous page, but if anyone could give me an answer I would be very grateful. I'm exceeding my original production equipment budget by a few thousand $ and most of the companies don't accept returns on cut fabric, so I'm a little paranoid of buying the wrong thing and being stuck with it...

The duvetyne I bought from filmtools (earlier post) is not nappy on both sides but it really soaks up the light. The back side of mine is smooth. I just went back and put a flashlight directly against the back of the cloth and you had to really look to see a pinhole of light coming through.

I'd hate to say you will be happy with what they are selling without knowing more about it. If it is duvetyne though, I would venture to say you will be.

You might give them another call and see if you get someone else who is a bit more familiar with the product they carry. Wish I could help more.

Good luck,
 
The place where I'll be setting up the backdrop doesn't have any windows so I don't have to worry about any light sources from behind... at least not for this project anyway. I should have mentioned that before. Doh!

With that in mind, if I get the "double faced" 16 oz. commando cloth (that has both sides non-smooth), then that should be sufficient for setting up behind my instructor and will soak up any light and give me the black void look (assuming that I flag everything properly)?

I'll give Rose Brand a call tomorrow and try and talk to a different salesperson, but would still appreciate any further thoughts on this.
 
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