For over twenty five years, Rosco Digital Imaging has been producing backdrops for movies, television and stage productions. During that time, they pioneered the technology to create state-of-the-art, digitally printed backdrops that provide the backgrounds seen behind the sets of productions on the small and big screen. The hit CSI franchise on CBS is the perfect example of how this technology is used. No matter which CSI you’re watching – New York, Miami or the original CSI that takes place in Las Vegas – they are all shot on sound stages in Los Angeles and use backdrops from Rosco to transport the viewer to scene of the crime.
The advancement of artwork manipulation and printing technology has been used by Rosco Digital Imaging to create new techniques that bring the viewer into the world of the production. RDI’s Day/Night Backings are backdrops that are exactly matched and printed on both sides – the day version of a scene on one side and the night version of the scene on the other – allowing filmmakers to easily transition from day scenes to night scenes by changing how the backdrop is lit. This Day/Night Backing technology was recognized with both an Engineering Emmy and an AMPAS Technical Achievement Award, making Rosco the only backings company ever acknowledged by either of the prestigious organizations – thus making history in the industry.
Not only have we been making history at Rosco Digital Imaging, but we’ve been re-creating it too. Starting in 1994 with Apollo 13, Rosco has produced a significant number of backings for productions set in period timelines. Recently, custom drops have been created for period sets on feature films like Sherlock Holmes and Mini-series such as HBO’s acclaimed John Adams.
But it’s the recent crop of television shows set throughout various time periods of the 20th century that have really been keeping us busy. The shows range from the 1920’s for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and into the 1960’s for shows like NBC’s Playboy Club, ABC’s Pan Am and AMC’s Mad Men.
Rosco has been involved with Mad Men since the first season, producing a series of backings for Production Designer Dan Bishop and Art Director Chris Brown. It’s been a fun series to keep up with because as the address on Don’s business card changes – so do the backings behind the set.
Each backing required meticulous attention to detail necessitating the removal of anachronistic buildings, satellite dishes, vehicles, and signage from from the original image to transport Mad Men’s Manhattan skyline back to the 1960’s.
Boardwalk Empire posed an entirely different set of challenges for Production Designer Bill Groom and Art Director Adam Scher. When producing the image for the backing outside agent Van Alden’s office, the number of buildings in the shot was relatively small, making the details of the background architecture more prominent.
Pushing back ninety years into the past brings along whole new opportunities for historical errors. Although the houses themselves seemed appropriate, any architectural details added or changed in the past ninety years needed to be removed or restored, down to individual window frames, paint colors, and roof tiles.
Our attention to detail and our capability to manufacture fully customized background images are two reasons why production design teams working on period pieces choose Rosco Digital Imaging to create the historic backdrops on their set. If you’d like to learn more about our custom backdrop services or see our extensive catalog of rental backdrops for your next production – please visit www.roscodigital.com.