Christie Keeps a Tipping World in Sharp Focus

 

A to V (UK) have dipped into their inventory of Christie Roadster HD10K-M series projectors to help deliver one of the most unusual productions in their history.

As The World Tipped is a new outdoor show, using five aerialists and climbers, which have been touring UK towns and cities throughout the summer as part of their festival celebrations. It made its world premier at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May.

Supported by an Arts Council grant, this stunning 45 minute-long outdoor spectacle, written and directed by Nigel Jamieson and featuring the breathtaking performers of the UK’s Wired Aerial Theatre, combines dramatic film visuals with aerial performance over a huge stage which literally tips up from horizontal to vertical as, suspended above the audience in the night sky, the performers enact a struggle to control an increasingly precarious world. They stand, then slide, then eventually hang in front of a giant crane-manipulated moving stage onto which dramatic projections complement the aerial dance performance.

A grey-painted 10m x 10m steel sheeting provides the projection backdrop for the M-series projectors as A to V (UK) project manager Matt Bailey explained. His company had originally been contacted by stage manager Dolan Hewison, of Manchester-based production company, CDH Creatives, on the recommendation of lighting designer Jim Gee, who has worked with the projection company in the past.

The immediate challenge had been to interface with Jamie Ogilvie’s intricate, custom-designed stage design, including complex flying hardware and rig movement within the tight rehearsal time frames available at each venue.

The solution was to rig two stacked pairs of the HD10K-M on a front-of-house scaff structure, 40 metres from the stage, and fitted with 2.6:4.1 semi long throw HD zoom lens. The frame, constructed from standard box truss with steel plating screwed to it, starts horizontally on the ground and slowly gets lifted and tilts until it is in the vertical plane. “The base of the stage is 4m from the floor where we first project onto it. — but when it moves to its second position — 8m off the floor — it tilts back 45° before straightening … and that’s when we use the second set of projectors,” he said.

“Because the display is square we do a vertical blend of the lower and upper 1920 x 1080 sections, giving us a 240-pixel overlap.”

All the blending and keystoning takes place within the fully featured projectors themselves although Matt Bailey admits that lining up the projectors was a very easy and speedy process.

The compact, eco-friendly 3-chip DLP projector outputs 10, 000 ANSI lumens with dual 350W mercury lamps. Aside from its 1920 x 1080 native resolution and a variable contrast ratio of 2500-10,000:1 the M Series’ expanded suite of high-quality lenses includes two new zoom lenses – all with true Intelligent Lens System (ILS™) capabilities.

“The projector has a great feature set but ease of use and the compact form factor are the fundamental reasons why we like this projector,” says Matt Bailey, whose company also runs a fleet of Christie WU12K-M (WUXGA) 1920 x 1200 M series devices.

On As The World Tipped, A to V have kept the signal path basic, firing the content, made by Inflammable Films from a MacBook Pro running PlayBack Pro, with just the aid of switchers and scalers.

Easy to carry and transport, the Christie projectors, he said had delivered vivid images to a soundtrack created by freelance composer, Patrick Dineen.

They had run flawlessly throughout and certainly delivered the wow factor, judging from feedback. “We managed to create a lot of depth of field over the throw distance thanks to the HD zoom lens, and there was no need to carry spare projectors as these are dual lamp projectors, which can be run in eco-mode, so we had full redundancy.”

Set within the Secretariat of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference,

As The World Tipped is co-produced by Without Walls and is a TippingPoint/Without Walls co-commission. The production has been so successful that producers, XTRAX are now looking to take it to Australia in 2012.

 

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