ASSOCIATE FOCUS: Set Surfaces
30 October 2018
We catch up with Associate Member Set Surfaces to find out more about their unique backdrop offering.
Tell us about Set Surfaces
Set Surfaces is a set hire service providing portable ready made and bespoke background solutions for shoots and events.
Our panels consist of textile ‘skins’ mounted onto lightweight panels and come in a variety of designs and finishes. All textiles have been handpicked, from high end metallic snakeskin prints from Chelsea Harbour, to prints of plaster, wood and bricks shot in Argentina. Our panels are beautiful yet practical, and provide a simple cost effective background solution for small scale shoots and events without compromising on quality.
Having worked as a set Stylist for and the Film, TV and Commercials industry for 20 years, Helen (Set Surfaces Founder) realised there was a need for ‘ready to hire’ portable textured backgrounds that would complement the set and conceal any issues with the location and so, Set Surfaces was born.
©Carla Guler / Set Design: Lee Flude
What sets you aside from other backdrop companies?
We are the only company to offer hired printed backgrounds pre-mounted onto lightweight modular panels that create sets. Our panels are super lightweight, easy to construct and provide a myriad of interchangeable textured skins - so you can shoot more looks in less time.
©Carolyn Barber/ Styling: Amy Neason, Woman & Home Magazine
What advice would you give to photographers who would like to try to use a panel background for a shoot?
Our service has been created from the ground up, with one purpose in mind; to make the ‘fast paced’ demands of shooting a set easier and sexier. Our journey has taken us down a road of sourcing the best possible light-responsive textiles, micro printing methods, and portable panel structure - with the main emphasis being on beautiful surface textures that are both rich in colour and detail. Our lightweight and easy to move panels allow you to create a set which includes corners, corridors and returns, which in turn accommodate a more dynamic range of shots and camera angles. Models can lean into panels, as in the above shot.
©Sam Robinson / Set: Anna Mackie
Who are your main clients?
Our client base is diverse and our panels are used across the breadth of the creative industries. From large production feature films such as The Bourne Identity to smaller digital campaigns for Waitrose, we’re lucky enough to have worked with some of the best in the industry… Increasingly our clients are from the Fashion Stills sector who love the reactive nature of our service, hence joining the AOP as an associate member.
We love hearing when clients tell us “they were so easy to use” or we actually helped solve a problem. We had a client who called us from Loft Studios at 11am panicked as her set had simply not turned up. She was able to select a concrete surface from the website, pay via card with two clicks and we then dispatched two concrete panels to her within 30 mins. On arriving the panel bags were taken off, the supports connected - and she was shooting on our 8 x 8 foot textured concrete backdrop by 1pm. A two hour turnaround - resulting in a shoot day saved and a very happy client.