Investing in cyclorama wall systems for your video or photo studio is a big step toward creating more professional productions. The infinity wall quality of your cyclorama wall provides a cleaner background that can be better lit, easily rigged for green screen productions, and sets your product or personnel so that they look their best. To ensure years of service, however, you need to treat your cyclorama wall systems right! Here are a few strategies for keeping a cyclorama wall clean.
Hands (and Feet) Off!
Cyclorama walls are beautiful things, presenting an almost pristine whiteness that allows you to project all your ideas and images on its clean surface. But the slightest scuff mark can destroy the illusion! When not in use, ensure your cyclorama is kept off-limits and even covered with a protective tarp that can’t transfer any dirt or dust to the wall’s surface. During a shoot, instruct the crew and talent to keep away from the wall and not to touch it. Everyone should remove their shoes before entering the set and approaching the wall, or they should cover their shoes with protective booties.
The next of our strategies for keeping a cyclorama wall clean should be obvious: watch where you’re going, especially if you’re on the crew and moving equipment. Props and set furniture need to be picked up and gently placed where they belong—never pulled, pushed, or yanked. The curved parts of the wall—which gives it that excellent infinite look on camera—are quite easily broken, so avoid them as well. Your on-camera talent should know exactly how far they can move before entering the forbidden zone, so mark off where they can and cannot tread.
A New Coat of Paint
Another reason cyclorama wall systems look so clean and infinite is their paint jobs. They’re generally treated with a semigloss or matte white paint, though they can also be treated with chroma key paint for greenscreen shoots. But as we’ve discussed, the problem is that clean and clear paint makes any dirt or dinginess stand out on and off-camera. Have your wall freshly painted before a series of shoots. If you can, do it every time; otherwise, stay on top of anything that can befoul the wall’s surface.
No Food, No Drink, No Nothing!
Here’s a rule that really shouldn’t need to be said, but if something can spill, splatter, or otherwise stain, keep it away from the cyclorama wall set! No coffees, no lunch, not even the driest snack should come anywhere near the wall. If it drips and stains the wall, it’s not simply a matter of getting a sponge and spray cleaner and wiping it up like a kitchen counter. The wall will show the newly cleaned spot and will require repainting to keep the color clean and even. If you’re demonstrating a product that can spill or stain, the shoot might be better served by a plain white backdrop rather than the cyclorama. Keep it clean!