London based draping specialists Cover it Up were in action again for the 2009 UK WWE wrestling tour.
The company has worked with Davy Coates, co-ordinator of all WWE live events outside North America, for the last six years, and technological advances are constantly providing new challenges.
With HD broadcasting now common, Cover It Up has found that by exploiting the variances in the opacity of their fabric stock, draping and soft goods coverage can be maximized to provide more acutely defined edges, bringing greater depth to the set design …. along with other production solutions.
Each textile has its own texture, light transmission and reflection quality which is much more noticeable with HD. Cover It Up's Elliot Sennett says “We worked hard with the WWE production team to ensure that our grey and black wool serges work together. It's amazing how even a different batch can make a huge difference when the show is shot in HD.”
It's not that easy to make a complex 50 metre rabbit warren of tunnels which is over 3 metres high disappear, but by carefully selecting serges with minimum light reflection, they come very close to a true black ….. and suddenly the tunnels disappear. Harnessing the same principle, the grey and black wool serges used on sides of the ramps, stage and for the screen masking add a beautiful tonal contrast to the live show, an effect that works even better with HD.
Cover It Up's warehouse ensured that each production element worked seamlessly with this overall production approach on this latest tour. Although, as Sennett states, "Our crew was very close to putting me into the Gorilla Box that we built for the wrestlers … and the pipe and drape breakout rooms used for post fight â€˜shouting matches' were also nearly used once or twice!”
But as they say the devil's in the detail….