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We just moved into a new house with a large front yard and some big oak trees. We're going to set up a graveyard and pumpkin patch and would like to stretch a rear projection screen between two of the oak trees to create a background of spirits rising from the cemetery and pumpkin patch. The screen will be 40' wide by about 10' high. We'll use a 2-foot high picket fence across the rear of the cemetery, so we can actually get away with an 8' high screen. The current plan is to hang it from aircraft cable stretched between the two trees and rear project from one or two windows in our garage. My question is: What material would you recommend for a screen this large? Thanks.
 

Typical Ghoul Next Door
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40 feet long is going to be a real issue even with air craft cable. Not even getting into the whole projector(s) needed to cover 40 feet, you'll have to devise some sort of ratchet tightening system (there are some interesting clothsline tightners that use a one way pulley/ball bearing setup that might work, but otherwise you are still likely to have a sagging area in the middle unless you have some sort of extra support (maybe lines extended down from the trees?) or else have some dark colored support poles disguised as creepy thin trees or something every 10 ish feet? Wrinkles and drooping are the enemy for projections (and wind will also be a factor at that size/outside/movement of tree limbs used for support).

All that being said, you'll need to sew together most fabrics (generally a bolt of fabric is around 4.5 ft wide by 10 yards/30 ft) to make something that long/tall, and I believe rear projecting onto a thin fabric like chiffon or screen might work.

Rear projection means the screen probably needs to be see through like tulle, mesh or chiffon (the Holloillusion fabric is similar). You'll want to go with a lighter color like white or gray that will disappear in darkness, but you may want to buy a yard to test it out first. The ATMOSFX vid with tips and tricks suggests taking a strong light to test the fabric (see vid for details).





^nice amount of info in the thread and videos about the colors and rear projecting, along with a nice test using some light colored thin mesh

Possible fabrics to test out:

 

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We just moved into a new house with a large front yard and some big oak trees. We're going to set up a graveyard and pumpkin patch and would like to stretch a rear projection screen between two of the oak trees to create a background of spirits rising from the cemetery and pumpkin patch. The screen will be 40' wide by about 10' high. We'll use a 2-foot high picket fence across the rear of the cemetery, so we can actually get away with an 8' high screen. The current plan is to hang it from aircraft cable stretched between the two trees and rear project from one or two windows in our garage. My question is: What material would you recommend for a screen this large? Thanks.
Not sure why you would need 40' wide. Even at 10' high with 16:9 aspect ratio the image would only cover 18' wide, and that's assuming you have a projector capable of that in the distance from the garage to the screen.
 

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While I don't know if they will respond, you might want to ask the Davis family at Davis Graveyard about how they set up their screens. They have one at the back of their property every year that has ghosts wandering across what is a very wide screen that runs the length of most of the back yard. They've had it up for years. I'm not sure if they did it last year, but two years ago when we visited, it was still in use. It's been around for years, so they might have some good advice about how to do it. I've chatted with them in the past and they've been friendly, although a bit slow to respond.
 
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