Brigham Young University - Idaho (2017)
Projection System Designer
With a production consisting of so many unique locations, we knew early on that we simply wouldn’t have the space to store the needed amount of backdrops. With our interest of projections still piqued after mounting Singin’ In The Rain, we decided on utilizing a large projection system comprised of five projectors running from three separate computers.
It took a team of animators and a lot of creative thinking to make this design work. Images were composited and created specifically for this production to match the vision of the director. These static images were then given subtle animation to breathe life into the design. After months of worrying it wouldn’t happen, I can say that the final result looked absolutely breathtaking.
A few pictures showing the three computers we used to output video to five individual projectors.
Karl the Giant
An early concern was how we should accomplish putting a giant on stage. A common solution in other productions was to use stilts, though we were concerned for the actor’s safety. The actor they had cast to play Karl was already well over 6-foot. We decided to record Karl’s scenes and play them back while on stage. After filming him on a green screen, we used some clever After Effects and QLab tricks to get him to play back as seamlessly as possible. Since we needed Karl to have an actual conversation on stage with Edward Bloom, the dynamic design was crucial- and a success.
While utilizing projections gave us the ability to have many different scenes, we were also able to have some really fun animations as backdrops. One of the projections I was assigned to create was fireworks for the big USO production number at the beginning of Act 2. The fireworks were created in After Effects using Trapcode Particular, and synchronized to the music. Not only were the animations of fireworks created for this production, but the sound of them, too!
Animation of fireworks I created for the big USO number.
Thank you for reading about my work on Projections for Big Fish at Brigham Young University - Idaho! If you'd like to see more from this show, check out the post on my Sound Design here.