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Care and feeding of a Cyclorama (Part 2)

In the first part of our series on the Care and Feeding of a Cyclorama, we reviewed the basics of cycloramas - what they are, how they are built, and how they are maintained. Now on to the hard part: The etiquette of using a cyc wall.

The cyclorama in Studio A in all its glory!

Part of the joy of owning a studio is that you get to do things your way. You get to create the sets you like, use the lights you want, and in general have your way with every aspect of your studio. You also get to make a mess and not clean it up.

Our studio isn't like that.  At all.  Here you pick up after yourself. Or don't make a mess at all.

Our studio space is, for all essential purposes, a co-op studio. While we have about 50 members, about 30 use the studio on a regular basis. That is a lot of folks sharing our studio and all our gear.   

Using a cyclorama properly is important - to minimize the impact to your images and to images created by those that follow you.  

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Care and feeding of a Cyclorama (Part 1)

What is a cyclorama?

A cyclorama is a studio set which features a curve (or cove) between the floor and the back wall. In the real world, this is typically made by bending thin plywood to form the curve, but on movie and TV sets the cove is formed using fiberglass or plastic preformed panels. The plywood option is popular because of cost (a few hundred dollars) while the preformed panels are best described as "spendy" (read $10K plus).

How do you pronounce "cyc"?

Cyclorama is a cumbersome word, and being lazy, we abbreviate it. In New Hampshire, "cyc" is pronounced "sick", but in any other place it is pronounced "psych" (like "psychiatry"). 


SOPHA's cyclorama

We have had many cycloramas here at SOPHA in Manchester, New Hampshire, but our current one is in Studio A.  It measures 12' wide and is 10' tall. It extends about 14' out onto the floor.

How did we build our cyc wall?

We used luan plywood (a hardwood plywood about 1/4" thick) and simply bent it to shape....

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