The first of the three stages in performing on the runway is called the Runway Stage. This stage of performance is also known as the ‘walk’ or ‘walk and show’ stage, and it starts as soon as you have chosen a suitable location for your performance. Once the location is decided upon, all other elements that will contribute to your performance such as costumes, props, music, lighting and sound are put together. This stage of your performance lasts between one hour and half an hour depending on the length of your actual performance. Performers on the runway spend the period running around doing light shows or practicing their routines.
In general, there are two types of Runway Stages: One is the walkway stage and the other is the catwalk or mezzanine stages. A walkway stage usually accommodates up to four performers whereas a catwalk or mezzanine stage can accommodate up to six performers. These two types of Runway Stages have different ways of presentation, which may require you to use different strategies.
When you choose to use the walkway stage, it is advisable that you create a wide base area where performers can perform and exit the mezzanine level easily. For this reason, you should place some temporary stages near the main entrances of the venue. As an alternative, you could also opt to create a permanent stage by using the carpeting or tarps which can be stacked on top of one another. One of the advantages of the carpeting or tarps is that they offer the performers with a warm and comfortable surface to stand on, as opposed to a hard floor surface. You could further enhance the visibility of your catwalk or runway stage by hanging some brightly colored lighting from the ceiling or on the walls. The lighting will serve as added support during the performances of your ensemble pieces.
On the other hand, when you choose to use a catwalk stage design, you should provide a defined pathway along the mezzanine level. In addition, you should also consider the size of your venue when planning your project runway length. If you are working with a very small space, then you should consider cutting down the overall height of the scaffold to achieve the same level of visibility as if the scaffold were fixed directly to the floor. However, if you wish to add some extra height to your set, then you should opt for a scaffold which is adjustable in height.
Another important consideration which you need to make when working on a set of clear runways is the type of crowd that is expected to be present at the event. If you are targeting a younger audience, then it is advisable to reduce the number of steps that are required to exit the catwalk or pave ways to prevent the audience from stepping onto the main black stage. In case you are aiming at an older audience, you should ensure that there are enough stages for them to exit the set without stepping into the main stage. In addition, if you have a high visibility theme, then it is better to use a number of steps to create separate paths for the different audience segments.
When designing a runway for a fashion show, you should consider several factors which may impact positively on your production. First of all, you should think about the amount of space which is available at your venue. As a general rule, venues with larger floors and wider width entrances are ideal for this purpose since a majority of people entering the venue will be walking up or down the stairs. If you are unable to manage a spacious venue, you can choose to erect temporary stages. Depending on your budget, you can opt for a portable set, a modular set or a permanent exhibition stand. The latter option will be ideal for temporary events like fashion shows and weddings since they can be dismantled and re-assembled as and when required.
Before setting about the design of the set, it is important that you consider the lighting options available to you. You can either adopt a traditional lighting strategy or opt for a more modern, dynamic set up which includes bright lights and reflections. The bright lights will help you to easily monitor the proceedings and they are also a source of discomfort for the models due to their glare. Also, it is important that you provide sufficient spectator control over the runway as bright lights may disrupt the focus of the models and they might end up moving around the stage unintentionally. On the other hand, if you choose to employ the use of more modern technology, such as LCD and LED panels, you can enhance the runway display significantly.
The uplighting options available at the venue which you choose can have a considerable influence on the overall visual effect. If your aim is to highlight the runway displays and the model walks in them, then LED lights will be much more suitable than traditional lighting options since they will offer a far more defined and crisp lighting path. If you wish to keep track of the movements of the model and if you want to increase the level of theatre value for the event, then you should definitely invest in an aerial camera. It will make it easy to identify the model’s movements within the runway and you will be able to capture all the important nuances without having to disturb the audience too much.