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Stonewall Goes "Soft"

On the new feature film "Stonewall", Designer Michèle Laliberté and Cinematographer Markus Förderer faced a string of challenges - and turned to Rosco for solutions.


The challenge: To bring the story of New York's 1969 Stonewall riots to the screen, an entire square in Greenwich Village needed to be built on a soundstage in Montreal, Canada. Buildings lining the north and south sides of Christopher Street would be constructed as full-scale facades, but for the more distant end views across Seventh Avenue and down to Greenwich Avenue huge backdrops would be needed. The drops needed to be at least twelve meters high by forty-five meters wide, shootable from multiple distances and angles, and allow for the passage of motor vehicles across the ends of the set.


The solution: Confronted by such extreme conditions, Laliberté knew she would need something special, and called on Rosco to address her challenge. Given the size of the drops needed, and the complexity of the Seventh Avenue view, there was only one possible solution - Rosco's new SoftDrop Day/Night backdrops. Seamless in sizes up to 12mH x 22.9mW with a completely matte finish, the cotton drops were ideal for the range of lighting and camera set ups required to recreate the riot.


A collaborative effort: A Rosco photographer was dispatched to New York to capture the views around the Stonewall Inn. Working closely with Laliberté and Förderer, digital artists manipulated the imagery to recreate the look of the neighborhood in 1969, while adapting the scale of the views to the available stage space.


The end results: The end results were spectacular! A series of SoftDrops totaling 12m high and 120m wide moved the Montreal sound stage 600 miles south and 45 years into the past. Praise from the crew for the new backings was universal:

"Amazing, really beautiful and realistic"
- Vincent Liberali, Art Director.

"I’ve never installed a backdrop so easily"
- Daniel Robidoux, Key Rigging Grip

"So easy to light"
- Eames Gagnon, Gaffer


For more information contact: backdrops@rosco.com