Schmidli: Hollywood’s Favourite Backdrop

First painted in 1989, Schmidli Backdrops have been going from strength-to-strength for almost 30 years. Their unique backdrops have been featured in Vogue, Flaunt, Harper’s Bazaar, Ralph Lauren, Nike, Balenciaga and many other international fashion brands and publications. They have also been used to shoot the biggest stars on the planet. Daisy Ridley, Armie Hammer, Margot Robbie, Emma Stone and Johnny Depp have all stood in front of these trend-setting creations.

At JJ Media Group we have spared no expense to bring our clients the best in the business. That’s why we have had a unique selection of Schmidli Backdrops specially shipped from LA to add to our equipment inventory.

We also had a chance to satisfy our curiosity and ask the Schmidli team some interview-style questions. Read their illuminating answers below.

How did Marco (Schmidli Backdrops founder) begin his career?

In 1989, I was a photographers assistant in San Francisco when we needed four 10 x 15-foot scenic backdrops for a client. As a painter in Switzerland, I never painted that big, but I was up to the challenge and offered to do the job. The job was a great success and many jobs followed. I rented my own studio space in 1990 and started Schmidli Backdrops. In 1993, I moved to Los Angeles.

How long does it take to paint the average backdrop?

Typically 2-3 days but it all depends on many factors: the painting technique, the level texture required, weather conditions for drying, size of the backdrop, etc. I created specific tools in my studio that I use for this process.

How do you create such a subtle texture in your backdrops, can you give us an insight into your technique?

My artwork comes from the culmination of nearly 50 years of painting experience. I observed the possibilities of the visual mediums used throughout my career in backdrops, and now I let the mediums naturally manifest themselves within my artwork. An important aspect of my artwork is the removal of my own artistic hands. Instead of controlling and demanding the paint move and act a certain way, I let the paint naturally manifest and express its pure form/ true colours/ most natural movement. There are infinite possibilities on how to apply paint onto a surface and I often create my own tools for that purpose. Experimenting with new techniques keeps me going and still excites me.


How many people work at Schmidli Backdrops?

We have a small but robust team of 2 full-time employees in our Los Angeles Studio. We occasionally hire more painters to assist on a project by project basis. But we also have partnerships with studios worldwide that host a collection of Schmidli Backdrops. Just as an example we expanded to the Atlanta market at the beginning of this year.

How have you responded to increasing demand for your backdrops?

I have been painting backdrops for nearly 30 years. Before backdrops, I had a fixed idea of what art was supposed to be. Having built a mature business of selling/renting backdrops commercially relieves me of my expectations on my personal artwork and allows me to paint freely. People have had a positive response to my work!

What makes your backdrops so popular?

The thing that makes us popular is that we have a lot of variety in our backdrops. When I paint I don’t create the same texture over and over again, we like to experiment artistically. I am humble and proud that my backdrops have become popular within the industry and are the top choice for many photographers.

Who is the most famous or influential person you have had in front of your backdrops?

All sorts of people. However, being based in Los Angeles, California, we get a lot of the Hollywood celebrities and the Motion Picture industry shooting with our backdrops.

Schmidli Backdrops are available to rent from JJ Media Group, email for more information


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