Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Forums Lighting Design Pulldown Screen VS White Rolldown Paper… for white background

  • Pulldown Screen VS White Rolldown Paper… for white background

     Bill Davis updated 6 years, 6 months ago 6 Members · 16 Posts
  • Travis Roesler

    January 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Alright guys… so now that this lighting set-up is done, I’m having a problem with the backdrop. The white paper rolls are annoying, they crumple, they’re hard to roll back up, and are generally cumbersome.

    Is there any reason why I can’t use some type of projector screen which can easily pull down and roll up like a shade?

    Do they make these specifically for photography or should I go with projection screen as a test?

    Any sources for this kind of item?

    Thanks as always for your lighting wisdom.


  • Bill Davis

    January 2, 2014 at 12:38 am

    White paper and a projection screen are two different beasts.

    White paper is much more light absorptive than projection screen material – which is purpose built to reflect light back.

    I personally value spill control over light gain.

    Probably why, in most cases, I use dove grey seamless rather than white for most of my shooting – including when I’m projecting backgrounds on it.


    Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out – video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

  • Rick Wise

    January 2, 2014 at 1:09 am

    One of the terms for slightly gray paper is “video white.” Also paint. Pure white is too “hot”.

    Rick Wise
    San Francisco Bay Area

  • Travis Roesler

    January 2, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Thanks guys!

    I surmised that the projector would end up being a “hotter” white… I just wasn’t sure if this is “bad” or not. I know the look of the paper is likely to be better… but right now the convenience factor of my current set up is not good.

    Thanks for the tip on the grey paper or “video white”… I probably should have asked you guys about that earlier.

    Are there any pulldown backgrounds that are meant to be more absorptive than reflective? If I could make the use of this background as simple as pulling down a shade, I would really really really improve the easy of my production, and the feng shui of my office!


  • Todd Terry

    January 2, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Definitely go with seamless….

    And pull down and roll up can be a breeze.

    If I get a chance tomorrow I’ll shoot a few seconds of video our system in action. Total DIY, ten bucks worth of parts from Home Depot and ten minutes to put it together… rolls up and down like a charm.


    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

  • Travis Roesler

    January 2, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Todd… that would be absolutely amazing.

    My life would be so much easier.

    You ever have your paper just unroll uncontrollably? That was fun.

  • Todd Terry

    January 2, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Ok Travis, here you go… I threw this together a few minutes ago.

    You need to hit Home Depot’s electrical aisle and grab one piece of 3/4″ electrical conduit.

    Then jump over to the plumbing aisle and get one 1″-to”3/4″ PVC slip joint and two 4″ knockout plugs.

    That’s all you need, except some cord and a little bit of hardware you probably already have hanging around, S-hooks and eyebolts and the like….

    There’s no audio on this video, I did it in a hurry…

    DIY Background Roller

    It works well. We have about four or five backdrops hanging, but I only have this system on the white seamless because it’s the one that goes up and down a lot. I should put it on the others but just haven’t gotten around to it. The spring clamps on the bottom edge of the paper are just for weight… without them, when you try to roll it all the way up the paper will flip over because of the curl.

    Hope it helps….


    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

  • Mark Suszko

    January 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm


  • Travis Roesler

    January 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Holy crap… that is amazing… great idea on this and thank you for taking the time to make this video!

    Right now, I’m using 107 inch paper… I hope they make conduit that long!

    This is absolutely perfect… I’ll send you a picture when I have it set up! Thanks again for this, I’m headed to home depot now.


  • Todd Terry

    January 2, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Great, good luck… hope it works for you.

    And Mark, as usual you exaggerate. I think the word you are looking for is “stingy,” although I will also accept “cheap.”


    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

Viewing 1 - 10 of 16 posts

Log in to reply.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy