Creative consultants Bob and Colleen Bonniol of MODE Studios explore the present and future of projection design and technology at the Live Design Projection Master Classes from Tuesday evening, October 21 through Thursday, October 23, just days before the show floor opens at LDI in Las Vegas.

“Here's what I love about the classes,” says Bob Bonniol. “It happens every year. We have a grand plan, a well meaning comprehensive coverage of topics. And then the participants add the final ingredient, and sometimes the sessions go right off the map into rich, wonderful, territory. You learn what went wrong. You learn how shows come back from the brink. You learn how trying the idea that everybody derides as impossible and unadvisable is what leads directly to the best success. Every year, I come away as educated on the sessions as the participants. Every year, LDI sets the creative and technological manifesto that becomes that year’s playbook. The sessions provide a context for some outrageously cool top people to open up and share technique, art, adversity, all of it. The classes always turn out to be much more than the schedule could possibly communicate. The speaking is the one way communication, but then everybody gets the chance to add to the questions to the dialogue, and to make real connections with people and information.”

In addition to serving as creative consultants, the Bonniols participate in several of the sessions, including Playback Options (the latest and greatest options for media playback and control); Screen Blending, Scenic Mapping, and Image Warping; Projection Round Table: Where Are We Going? (also with Bruce Rodgers, Robb Pope, Vello Virkhaus...); Picking the Proper Projector for Your Project; and The Techniques of Tomorrow (new tools that are off-the-shelf).

“This year is so important,” continues Bonniol. “There has been some shake out in the realm of playback, and display technology has taken a breath and matured, but this has been the year when interactive technologies and content have exploded. So here we have this other layer that needs dealing with, understanding, control, and expression with. When content follows action rather than the opposite, then we are finally mixing media at the completely human level. It’s going to sweep so much of what we do in ways we can’t imagine. From control paradigm to display tracking capability, to performer-based triggering, we will be so free to create, but first we have to know.”

Bonniol pays special attention to those he chooses to participate in the classes. “Some of this year’s guests are brains that bend all their power toward this. The modern designer has to be an LD, a scenic designer, a cinematographer, an encoding expert, an IT guru, and oh, lest we forget, an artist. These sessions are calculated to give you a signpost to direct the way toward these things in your process.”

Bob and Colleen Bonniol are faculty chairs for the California Institute of the Arts’ new video design for the performance masters degree program. These classes are designed for lighting and projection designers interested in the aesthetic and technical possibilities of today’s immersive world of imagery. The Projection Master Classes are presented by Live Design in conjunction with LDI 2008, following the standing-room-only success of the first two Projection Master Classes held at LDI in 2006 and 2007.

And beginning this year, brought to you in a fully online version by the editors of Live Design, is The LDI Show Daily—featuring show news on a daily basis.