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Our daughter is a full-time film actress. That means lots (and lots) of self tape auditions done from home. So how does she do those?
For years she used makeshift setups, wherever she could find a quiet spot with the least distracting possible background. As self taping became more common, we remade the guest bedroom into a studio for her auditions and my vlogging. It worked acceptably for a while, but switching between uses was a hassle. Eventually I realized that the vlogging setup didn't fit what I wanted to do anyway. (Midlife makeovers are a process!)
We are now in the process of a full house makeover (if you haven't noticed!). Part of that included reclaiming the guest bedroom and creating an audition studio that really works for her.
Home Audition System Requirements
Wall or Ceiling 4 Roller Backdrop Mounting System
The key to this system is the Neewer 4-Roller Mounting Background Support System. This is ingenious! I did not know such things existed until I began my search for a solution.
We had been using the backdrops and support stand from the LimoStudio Light Kit for about three years. It works great, but isn't is fixed, takes up a lot of room, and only holds one backdrop at a time. Changing out the screen for a different color was a major effort.
When I discovered the wall mount system—and realized that, in spite of the cryptic description and images, it would work on the ceiling—I knew we had the solution to our problem.
We used the white, black, and green chromakey screens from the LimoStudio Light Kit (mentioned above) and purchased a fourth screen. The Julius Studio Blue Chromakey Background Screen was the final addition.
We had to cut down the width on the new backdrop a bit to fit in the room (it was already larger than the three others). It's a great color and will work well for my son who likes to do gaming videos, too.
You can get all the backdrop colors (and more) separately at a great price, too. Check out the Neewer Photo Studio Muslim Backgrounds for one example.
Due to our limited space, instead of lugging about and repositioning the four lights in the LimoStudio Light Kit (although, I'm sure arguably better—if you know how to use them and take proper setup time!), we have stored them away, instead, opted to use the single, simple IVISII 19-inch LED Ring Light.
This light comes with a dimmable light, LCD display, tripod, smart phone holder, and a carrying bag. It is a great value and works very well.
The only caveat to note is that if you are wearing glasses, it will leave a ring on your lenses. (You can see this on the image in the thumbnail for this video.) That can be distracting and problematic, particularly if you wear them all the time.
Assembly of the Audition Backdrop System
- We mounted painted boards to the ceiling studs and then mounted the brackets to those boards.
- Pulleys were installed on the least obtrusive side, near the wall.
- Next we purchased four sections of 1.25″ diameter schedule 80 PVC pipe, cut to the size of the expansion.
- Each screen has a hemmed sleeve, undoubtedly to be used to mount them. Because the pipes would slip when being rolled up, we decided to tape the opposite end of each backdrop to the with duct tape. (You'll see why below.)
- Expander bars were inserted into the ends of each pipe and sized to fit snugly.
- Expander bars were placed onto mounted bracket.
- In order to give the screen added weight and to hang straight, we inserted a second piece of pipe into the sleeve at the end of each screen.
That's it! Home audition studio ready for use and easy to get out of the way when not needed.
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Alison Moore Smith is a 57-year-old entrepreneur. She has been (very happily) married to Samuel M. Smith for 36 years. They are the parents of six incredible children and the grandparents to one astounding ginger grandson.
She is the author of The 7 Success Habits of Homeschoolers.