Marker, Action

Troy Miller from Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park, PA brings us this set design you could film a movie with.

For their series on the book of Esther, they decided to go with a movie director theme (God in charge behind the scenes). This movie clapper served as the major image throughout.


  • Two 4’x6′ sheets of plywood (roughly $15 each)
  • Eight 2’x4’s
  • Wood primer
  • Black chalkboard paint
  • LED Strip Lighting
  • Two DMX decoders


After first priming the plywood, they cut a 1′ strip off the top of one of the sheets for the top of the clapper. Then, using the 2’x4’s, they framed the top and the bottom for support. Once it was framed, they used blue painters’ tape to mark off the top chevron pattern and lines (inspired by “movie clapper” images on Google).

Then they used two coats of the chalkboard paint and let it cure for 3 days. After peeling off the tape, they prepped the board for writing, following the directions on the paint can. Their stage area isn’t very deep, so they wanted to give the clapper a 3D look. To do so, they decided to line its edges with LED strip lights, joining the corners with LED connectors (which turned out to be a little unstable once hung).

Then they mounted two DMX decoders to the inside. The decoders were set to the same channel in their lighting chain and connected via DMX cables. To hang it all, they threaded cabling through eye hooks they drilled into the tops of both the top and bottom sections, and looped the cabling onto the hanging truss that’s attached to a winch on the back wall.

The clapper really stood out, and the paint allowed them to write the series, message title, and scripture for each week. All in all, the project cost around $175.

IMG_20140424_142923144 IMG_20140424_155041793 IMG_20140429_115417041 IMG_20140501_154249455 IMG_20140502_155136215 IMG_20140511_093128397

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