Brad Hillier from Bay Life Church in Brandon, FL brings us this stage design inspired by the North Point Church Christmas 2010 album.
They wanted to portray a snow-covered Christmas tree forest on a limited budget and a short timeline. (The spiral trees and white branches on the front stage weren’t part of the set but specific to their Ladies’ Tea event.)
The first major hurdle was to find enough trees to make a strong impact on a 65’ wide stage. They figured that they needed around 20 to get the look that they were going for and knew that the retail price of that many trees would shut the project down before it started. They wanted a variety of heights from 6’-15’ and they had 4 trees on hand. A quick internet search revealed an overstock warehouse within an hour of their church where they could buy Christmas trees by the pallet. Their production coordinator was able drive to the warehouse and purchase a pallet of 17 Christmas trees for just $375! This was a better price than they had ever expected and set the project into legitimate motion.
The trees were green and white from 4’-9’ tall and they had two 12’ trees in storage. They assembled the forest and experimented with how they could create the snow-covered look without spending much money. They figured that drywall texture could be white enough and might stick to the branches well and would be very cheap. They bought a hopper ($10) and texture ($75) and within a couple hours, had a great-looking Christmas forest.
The next challenge was to make the trees tall enough. They needed the trees to be visible over their choir that stands 3 rows deep for a number of our Christmas events and also wanted them to be various heights to give it a natural look. Their backdrop was black, so they were able to hide the bases of the shorter trees behind the larger trees and set them up on storage containers that they covered in black fabric.
They used their best tree for the lit Christmas tree in the middle of the forest and set it on a wheeled platform. This allowed them to move the main focus of the set for the various things that they used on stage throughout the series. They filled the thrust stage with 3 groupings of silk poinsettias and wrapped the perimeter of the thrust stage with lots of mini lights.
They were able to keep the lighting simple, just LED pars and the Christmas tree and perimeter mini lights.