It also helped address the issue of Kyoto’s northern light. “When I first walked in, everyone was looking at the model,” recalls key grip Scott Robinson. “They turned to me and said, ‘How do we make this look like winter?’ I said, ‘I think you have to silk the set.’ Well, it turned out the scale was more than 2.5 acres. So unbeknownst to me and Don Reynolds, my rigging key grip, we started designing the largest freestanding structure that’s ever been put over a set.”
The canopy was enormous, with 3 miles of silent grid cloth comprising a series of overlapping, retractable panels. This silk was suspended from two freestanding trusses that were designed with the help of Michael Krevitt at ShowRig and surveyors and structural engineers. “Mike and his team ended up developing a specialized truss to handle the load of the stress,” says Robinson. Each structure was 50' high x 260' long, and they stood 300' apart. Because the clay soil wasn’t solid enough to anchor the weight, the canopy was tied by 4 miles of Kevlar ropes to septic tanks filled with 1 million gallons of water. “We bought out a cesspool factory,” Robinson says with a laugh. “That’s the only thing we could come up with.”
2.5 acres. 3 miles of gridcloth. And I thought my 10' x 10' was cool.