What Do Digital Theatre Projections Bring to a Show? [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to experienced technical director Josh Hornung about using projections in theatrical shows. He speaks to the impact they can have on a production and how it bleeds over into the area of tech, where it’s refreshing to participate in a part that’s inspiring and has a direct impact on the audience.

Video Length: 1:48 (1 minute, 48 seconds)

QUESTION: “What Do Digital Theatre Projections Bring to a Show?”

JOSH: “Digital drops, whether they are still or whether they are animated, bring a lot of dynamics to the show. We’ve done more subtle things like a sunrise to a sunset transition. Whether it’s between scene changes or if it’s during a scene. There’s just a lot of flexibility that you don’t have when you build a wall. Or when you’re trying to move a 400-lb platform that people can climb up onto. I think back to a particular show that we did; we had a fairly new construction crew and they built this massive set piece that was very difficult to move. And so you can create similar feelings, similar effects, without having to do that. You don’t have to have 12-15 people moving set pieces around, you don’t have to do all of those things.

As an audience member, I’ve heard the gasp when the scene comes up for the very first time. Especially with the animated drops. I was with a group that did ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and used one of the animated drops and the first time the actress started weaving her web, spinning the words, and they actually appeared on the background, every time there’s new people (audience members) and they would respond when that would happen. So that’s fun when you’re part of the team that’s making the show happen. When you’re part of the tech crew, where sometimes it feels like the best I can hope for is nobody notices I made a mistake—to actually be able to contribute to the show in a way that people really appreciate and enjoy.”

If you’re intrigued by projections and curious about how to make them work in your space; be it a school, community center, or theatre, reach out and let us know how we can help. If you’d like to take a look at our collection of pre-designed projections, which is now nearing a hundred and will continue to grow, click here.

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