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Burak makes awnings for movie sets

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When Ed Burak, president of Hudson Awning & Sign Co., was asked to make a little five-foot awning that was going to be destroyed during a holocaust for a movie set, he didn’t know it would lead to reproducing period awnings for movies, including Spider-Man 3, Doubt and American Gangster.

After making that first movie-set awning, Burak joined the Set Directors of America, an organization that now often enlists Hudson Awning to make period awnings for movie sets. Burak accesses the many files stored at the company to determine which material to recommend for historical integrity. Typically, the fabric he uses for the movie projects is canvas, cotton duck or a newer vinyl, depending on the time period. If the awning needs to look worn, it is “aged” by being placed on the sewing area’s entry way for people to walk on. Then the fabric is rolled into a big ball and weighted down to produce the creases. “It’s probably one of the most fun things our company does,” Burak says.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn.

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