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Made-for-TV tent

April 1st, 2012 / By: / Project Briefs

Beachview Event Rentals & Design constructs an ethereal scene for ABC’s “Revenge.”

Every event is a kind of production, but Beachview Event Rentals & Design, Brunswick, Ga., found itself on the set of an actual production in April 2011 after submitting the winning proposal for a tent that would be part of a key scene in the pilot episode of “Revenge,” which aired on ABC in fall 2011.

An artist’s rendering of a glowing party tent made it clear that this project, a 2012 TRD Award of Excellence entry, wouldn’t be simply pulled out of inventory.

“I like a challenge, so when they sent these pictures I knew we had to be able to do this,” says Elizabeth Veal of Beachview, which also has a Jacksonville, Fla., location.

Beachview achieved the ethereal look by having a custom fabric liner made and installed over the clear top of a 50-by-80-foot hip-end frame tent. Event Resource Group of Smyrna, Ga., pitched in to help Beachview meet a tight timeline, and a few compromises were made with set designers.

“They wanted the exterior to be a gathered fabric look and there really was no way to do that and still have it look as clean and finished as it turned out to be,” Veal says. “We were able to compromise with a smooth fabric exterior and a gathered interior liner.”

While some aspects of this installation were no different than any other job, Veal learned to imagine the setup through the narrow shots of a lens, where things don’t always need to be symmetrical.

“I walk into a room or a tent and see the overall finished result, whereas [the production] is looking for certain shots,” she explains.

And unlike a typical installation, where when it’s done, it’s done, a tent on a screen can live forever. Veal had nearly put the show out of her mind when several months later she walked into a movie theater and was stunned to see the tent on the big screen in a preview. The tent was a prominent feature in advertisements leading up to the airing of the pilot episode, and in subsequent episodes the tent scene returns in flashbacks.

“I’ve seen some of our work in a movie or show before but it’s always a quick blip,” Veal says. “To see it over and over is fun.”

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