Bristol and West Midlands, UK, based video and AV specialist Central Presentations Ltd (CPL), provided a multi-screen projection design and equipment including media server control for “Regeneration”, an amazing seasonal party event created by a leading technology company for over 1000 guests.
The event was staged in the edgy but charismatic Hangar 92, one of a number of decommissioned aircraft hangars on the former RAF Hullavington airbase near Chippenham, Wiltshire, which dates back to the second World War.
CPL's Nick Diacre was asked to design and specify a high impact projection system by Bristol based production company Bright, The initial sense of anticipation started as guests trekked through the bleak and uninviting landscape of the disused airfield to reach this exceptionally discreet location.
On entering the hangar, they were immediately confronted with a latter day Armageddon scene – apocalyptic mass destruction, a dramatic environment brilliantly recreated through an onslaught of scenery, props, lighting, sound, images, bar staff in NBC outfits, etc., a vivid, alarming, intensely loud, scary immersive experience!
Into this entrance space, CPL supplied a 20 metre wide by 6 metre high sharks-tooth gauze, onto which was projected highly realistic content depicting universal disaster, destruction, explosions, post nuclear landscapes, etc. Combined with lighting and sound effects this highly effectively heightened the rawness.
Within the projection screen was a small baffled entrance – that guests passed through (but could not see around) and went straight into the main â€˜Regeneration room', a 50 metre long by 20 metre wide fully enclosed draped black box space created within the hangar … the complete antithesis to the Armageddon!
It was brightly lit in positive colours, and replete with wonderful organic visuals and scenic elements - waterfalls, flowers, birds, growth, life, etc, with avatar-pastiche visuals filling the screens. Living trees and foliage in the space were provided by Living Props.
As the evening advanced, the Armageddon area was gradually toned down simultaneous to the Regeneration area undergoing a series of complete â€˜transformations' from a nascent, new, developing environment into a vibrant life-giving space, replete with rich flora and fauna, nature, hope and life, which then morphed via a final transformation into a â€˜Digital' futuristic era - modern, invigorating, high tech and ravey .. at which point the DJ kicked in and really got the party started!
In this second black box area, CPL supplied four screens – a 10 x 3 metre Stumpfl wide fast-fold screen behind the stage, with a custom surface to enhance soft-edge blending. This was fed by two 10,000 Lumen Panasonic DZ110 projectors.
Directly above the impressive central bar feature, CPL flew three 12ft 2 inch by 6 ft 11 inch Stumpfl fast-fold screens in a triangular configuration. They were suspended on steel wire ropes to give the appearance of being floating in mid-air!
These were projected onto with three Sanyo XP100 machines flown from trusses installed around the room, which also provided technical positions for lighting and sound equipment.
The two wide screen surfaces – in the Armageddon and Regeneration spaces were fed content via a quad-head Coolux Pandora's Box media server. A separate Pandora's Box Player Pro was used to control video footage appearing on the triangulated screens.
Projections onto all five surfaces were managed using the Pandora's Box Media Manager, a highly flexible platform that synched the servers and was operated by Nick Diacre. He also created a custom â€˜soft' screen interface using the Pandora's Box â€˜Widget Designer' enabling him to set up an individual screen of â€˜soft' cue buttons to trigger video material for the five â€˜transformations', all of which were timed sequences
It was also used to add in images of fancy dress competition winners and synch the video and audio effects in the Armageddon room. Live bands onstage were followed by a DJ section as the â€˜Digital' age fully emerged on the evening time-line. At this point, live feeds and content stored on the Pandora's Box server were switched to all screens for the VJ section, via a TripleHead2Go and a MacBook Pro, using a combination of Resolume and MadMapper software. An additional MacBook Pro was used to store slides of the fancy dress outfits and competition award winners that were woven into Diacre's mix.
The striking and realistic video sequences for all the transformations were commissioned and produced by the client. After listening to their brief, Diacre offered access to some of his personal video clip collections to offer inspiration, and then supplied their in house production department with material, from which they created both 16:9 and widescreen format visuals.
For the Digital phase of the evening, Diacre played his own live clips and library material in VJ style adding to the energy and vibes of the fully â€˜Regenerated' space.
In addition to the projection system CPL also supplied the EV line array sound system for the Apocalypse room.
Says Diacre, “Working on events like this is hugely exciting and fun, and it's great to see a production company and a client with the imagination to really push the technical production envelope. We combined some of the latest technology available with some of the oldest, classical theatrical techniques to produce great entertainment, with multiple on-going visual WOW factors keeping the environment alive and changing throughout the evening”.