The Big Picture
Oct 8, 2014 9:49 PM, By David Keene
The July 23rd the Rental Staging Roadshow that took place in Manhattan was a needed reminder of why we’re in this industry. In the magazine business as well as the staging business so much time is given to routine gear and routine jobs that it’s easy to loose sight of the fun stuff. The Roadshow Manhattan was a lively day of panels, presentations, gear exhibits, and networking for a couple hundred industry professionals. From 3D projection mapping to integrating social media in live events to making your stage storm-ready, the day’s lineup provided something for just about anyone in the staging/live event community. But it was the Panel session Media Servers for Live Event Production, that brought together Lars Pederson of Worldstage, freelance projection designer Daniel Brodie, Kevin Zevchick of AV Stumpfl, and that I moderated, that really brought home the creative side of our industry.
Pederson, Director of Technologies at Worldstage, kicked off the proceedings by sharing his experiences in evaluating and adopting media servers for the production of staged events, looking at features such as Timeline control, Edge-blending, Warping, Pixel mapping, FX engines, and Real-time compositing. Pederson walked the audience through some case studies including staging the CBS Upfronts, projection mapping– using Pandoras box– on the entire façade of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., and a variety of major Broadway productions including Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn where they overcame a huge challenge of projecting onto a moving, amorphous cloth shape above the stage. For that Midsummer Night’s production Worldstage used the d3 server platform to configure the projectors (four Christie M Series 10K lumen units) to handle canopy projection, and focus them to map the images precisely to huge canopies of fabric above the stage.
Daniel Brodie focused on case studies of some of his Broadway jobs as a top projection designer, including Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, the Wizard of Oz, the Right of Spring ballet, and a Tanya West concert tour. Brodie uses a mix of LED wall and high lumen video projection on most designs, and has to mix display resolutions seamlessly.
Kevin Zevchick of AV Stumpfl showed several examples of 3D projection mapping, including the booths of major Automobile brands at international auto shows, using AV Stumpfl’s Wings media server. Zevchick, who was actually showing the Wings media server at AV Stumfl’s booth at the Roadshow, also explained autocalibration of the mapping software using a camera to plot the surface of a building for mapping.
These guys truly not just see the forest but provide the big picture, the beautiful picture that lights up the horizon, while most of us are scrutinizing tree bark.