How To Use a Scrim

A scrim is a light weight woven material which is widely used in the theatrical productions. It is gauze like, with some openings as small as openings in window screens. Using lighting techniques, scrim will generate many special effects, which includes illumination of the act to make dream scene. This helps you to make the best of stage effects, here is a guide about how to use the scrim.


  • Position scrim on a stage. Determine where you wish to place scrim. Location of scrim must be identified as the stage and plan the design. Hang it down from top to spread it evenly across to avoid the creases and the wrinkles.
  • Place the lights. Depending on effect you wish to achieve, lights can be placed at behind or at front and at both the sides of scrim. You may also light scrim from top. Remember of taking note of lights which you will use. Strength and the intensity of lights will partly influence creation of some special effects.

  • Then light the scrim from back. Lighting behind is only applicable if you wish to make action happening behind scrim as visible. Other parts of stage are all totally black, make scrim only in illuminated area. This effect is only useful if you have to make a dream, a flashback and a epiphany scenes.
  • Turn front light on and light behind scrim off. This will make all scenes in front of scrim as visible, when scrim looks like opaque and it seems to be like an ordinary stage or curtain.
  • Light scrim from front and then turn the lights at back on low settings. This technique reveals both actions happening front and behind scrim. With a right lighting, scrim appears transparent; it allows audience to see scenes.
  • Use the gobo. The gobo is special lens which, when fitted in to spotlight, it creates many patterns. If you direct gobo from front of scrim, a pattern, like stars, or raindrops snowflakes will be show up on backdrop.
  • Now paint the scrim. You may also paint scrim with image or scene. While you light scrim from front, a painted image appears. You may the use two kinds of the scrim fabrics for these particular purposes like the sharkstooth and the chameleon. Sharktooth is most widely used material in theaters, though it is little expensive. Chameleon does not hold paint, but it is more affordable.
  • Then explore lighting techniques. There are also plenty of the other lighting techniques which you can try in illuminating selected scenes. Employ the other techniques you think might meet all the scene requirements with your preferences.
  • Asides from the other theater productions you may also use the scrim for some other purposes. For the instance you may use the scrim in controlling lights in the photography sessions. It will work at both studio and at outdoor shoots. Scrim may also be used in same way in film productions. It also finds uses in carpentry and industrial settings as a reinforcement material.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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