Digital Scenery

FxDrew

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Jun 12, 2005
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Who here has used digital scenery (where a scenic element was composed of a projection or tv/plasma/crt display) for a show? What show was it? Was it called for in the script? I'm looking for plays/musicals, not dance shows or confrences/fixed camera. Thanks.
 

ship

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Mar 29, 2003
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Illinois
Before the days of digital media, I worked with some rear and front sceen projected slide projectors at times. One play was called something like "Baby" though probably not it's full title, this play gave me the heebie jievies in being a really bad play. Talent and production were fine, just the songs, script and images chosen to project each night I sat at the light board for just drove me up a wall. Probably the worst well produced play I was ever a part of as opposed to others on the Worst list for me. Anyway, it had a lot of projected media - especially slides of babys... all thru it. Not cute, not romantic just badly written in being opressive - if even popular for the 1970s. This is our topic for play, this is what you will be singing and presenting on stage good and meaningful script or not. I suspect that now that I'm in my upper 30's I should re-read what while I was 19 found the worst play ever.

In doing projectors elsewhere, even had a 500w slide projector at my old theater but I never got around to using them. I knew a bit about projected images, compensating for throw distance and angle to the projection screen and thus also knew correcting for this by way of image projected would be expensive to get it right. Never tried the slide projector concept thus, much less had time to do slides for a production design. Wonder what ever happened to that thing.

Digital media beyond a TV screen or wall of them on the set I expect does not have the problems the older forms had with keeping the lights off the projection screen and it washing the image out. Than of course it might still dependant upon the projector and wattage if not modern video screen and instead some lower wattage projector pointed at a flat surface.

IN any case if of help, it's frequently a challenge to keep the lighting off washing out the video screen as the main consideration. DPI can than if projector become a problem as with intensity. I remember with some Barco fixtures at one point, they made a long life version but the long life version was less graphic in image quality. This might not be as much a problem in a longer throw or less graphic presentation but would become one where the throw distance was short and the image graphic. Mostly though if projector, there is only one lamp available. If video screen wall that takes it's image directly from the computer, graphic projection and throw distance probably won't be much of a problem. These days I frequently see a wall of video stuff going up on some show in rehearsal. No idea of how such stuff works but I know they are bright and don't fight reflection or wash out.

About what I know anyway if of help in refining the issue any or saying, yep done that, not the thing I most like designing around also. I perfer Linenbacher projectors myself.
 
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drawstuf99

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
They had ALL digital scenery in the new broadway show of the Andrew Loyd Webber musical "Woman in White."

Personally, I hated it. The show, the set, the acting, everything.

Anyway, they had like 3 curved walls that they projected the scenary on, they flew in ONE tree, and had a few chairs. Needless to say, the visuals got really really old really really fast. It was sorta cool like the first 5 mins. They had doors in the curved walls that matched the projection's doors, so people could walk through it. It sorta looked wierd because the projection would look screwy when the doors were opened, as you could imagine.

I don't even know if it's still on Broadway, it really shouldn't be. Don't see the show.

But the projections were used in that. I hated how the show really tried to depend on the scenic design as apposed to the acting, characters, plot, in addition to the design elements.
 

FxDrew

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Jun 12, 2005
Location
Los Angeles, CA
drawstuf99 said:
They had ALL digital scenery in the new broadway show of the Andrew Loyd Webber musical "Woman in White."
I don't even know if it's still on Broadway, it really shouldn't be. Don't see the show.
It's not on anymore, other than the bad reviews, they claim it was due to a main actor getting very sick/injured.
 

DarSax

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May 3, 2006
Location
Bethesda MD
Did some recently for our production of The Miracle Worker. During the Annie "creepy-flashback-Jimmy-sequences" we projected 'ghostly images' on black scrims stapled into windows on the set. The projectors, run-of-the-mill Dell (I think; some digital projectors the school had bought) digital projectors, were set off to the side and behind the scrims. Connected to each was a DVD player; technicians backstage ran the recorder. Since the projector displayed a blue 'DELL' screen when not in use, they had to manuall block the lens when not in use. We had to have the stage pretty much completely dark for those scenes (we put Jimmy in the pit, lit green with cold fog billowing out).


Was pretty cool, but only in shock value that, for me at least, got old fairly quickly.
 

egorleski

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Apr 27, 2006
Location
Chicagoland
We tried to do some projections for our dance show. We made a 3D animation of these pastel boxes rotating on all different axes. It worked OK. it didn't get washed out like we all thought was going to happen, however we didn't have room behind the cyc/scrim to rear project, and we tried to hang the porjector from a batton on fly rail but it was too close so the image wasn't nearly big enough. We ended up putting the projector all the way up on our balcony so it projected onto the dancers which was really the only downside.. but it still looked cool
 

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