Cyclorama (Cyc) Wall Construction Continues - Landscaping - Garage Addition Added

August 28, 2011 - When the thermometer hit 109 degrees Fahrenheit, and the newscaster said "...we have just tied the highest temperature ever recorded in Houston", we knew it was time to call it a day. Fortunately, when the temperatures gets too hot to work outside, we have enough work to do inside to keep busy. And this week (like the last couple of weeks) the workers came in an hour early and left early as well in an attempt to beat the heat. Even so, we got the outside stairs installed, (and partially painted), added a garage extension, finished installing the remaining plumbing fixtures, added some moldings, and began work on the cyclorama (cyc) wall in the studio.

We needed a place to store a 7 foot by 9 foot utility trailer and realized we could easily extend the ADA ramp using some of the left over steel walls from the containers to build the roof and walls of the garage. By the end of the week the guys had the roof of the garage up, along with one wall and the two front doors. Next week we will get the remaining wall up and the addition painted. The ADA ramp was expensive to build, and getting this extra storage space from it has eased the pain (somewhat).

On the interior of the building we completed the work on some of the plumbing fixtures that had been partially installed, but needed a part to get them fully functioning. We removed the 24" grab bars in all three bathrooms and installed the 36" ones required by code. We installed some wooden baseboard molding and a microwave in unit 4. The trim really makes the rooms look great. 

Serious work also continued on the installation of the cyclorama wall in the studio. The cyc wall will allow us to shoot on either a green or white background without the wall seam showing. Cyc walls are also called infinity walls for this reason. To make the installation perfect we had to notch a 1/8" grouve in the concrete to accept the bottom of the Masonite panel. This cement cut was then feathered and beveled with a grinding wheel. It is hard and dirty work. Special flat head concrete screws were used to secure the panels to the floor and walls. Later we will make the seam invisible by using wallboard tape/mud and Bondo. The corner of this wall (where all the curves come together) will be a real challenge. This week we got the west Cyc wall of the studio installed, and next week we will get the north wall completed.

Late in the week, Alfredo Guzman of Goosestone Construction Company came by to knock down several piles of dirt, and do some landscaping around the building. The natural contour of the land has water draining toward the building, so Alfredo dragged tons of dirt from the east and north sides of the building to the south side where it is much lower. When the temperatures cool off some, we will plant grass and sago palms around the building.

We have just a few major jobs left to do on the project. First, we need to finish the installation of the ADA panels on the front of the building. These panels will form a sculpture that will include LED lights and really make the east side of the building special.  Next, the ADA ramp deck needs to be coated with an anti-skid coating, and finally, we have to build a lighting grid in the studio that can be lowered to add lights and moved into position close to the ceiling. Hopefully, the month of September will be kinder to us than the past three months have been and we can get the exterior work done without weather delays.