Projection designer Daniel Brodie accepted the seventh annual Rising Star Award (sponsored by Live Design/LDI2011) at USITT's opening reception on Wednesday evening, March 9, in Charlotte, NC, at which Bob Scales presented a humorous, yet serious keynote address on how to make your theatrical education count, and nine young designer awards were also presented.
Brodie, awarded for excellence in projection design, did some tricky work for Basil Twist's Behind The Lid, which premiered in 2007, and about which he writes:
"Behind the Lid was a very tricky show to design because of the bizarre circumstances of the staging. As an ode to, and final collaboration with, the late performance artist Lee Nagrin, Basil had decided that a very fitting place to stage the show in Lee's Studio on Bleecker St.
Lee Nagrin actually owned two spaces on Bleecker, separated by another building in between, and we would be using both spaces for the show. This required the audience to get up and move to a new seating arrangement twice during the show, using the garden area that connected the buildings in the back. In addition, each of the three playing spaces had their own kind of trick for the video design.
In the first area, the audience was seated on a rolling platform that slowly moved forward through the space, as more and more of it was revealed by curtains. This meant that the first projector could not be hung in a fixed position, and had to be manually placed on a cart and positioned live, just before it is turned on, and then moved again immediately after being shut off. In the second area, there was no room for projections at all, and we decided we wanted to get Lee's face in the scene somewhere, but the only way to do it was to use a very small screen that would track on like scenery.
However, because of the rigging and aesthetic requirements, we didn't want to use any additional wires, so we used a tablet PC configured with Isadora to run the scene wirelessly.
In the third and final act, the audience approached a life-size puppet of Lee Nagrin. This puppet was designed with a projector inside of it, focused on a mirror at the back of the puppet's head, that projected Lee's image onto the inside front of the puppet's face. In addition to the crazyness of making a large puppet and housing a loud and hot projector inside of it, the entire scene took place on a rotating stage that made several slow rotations throughout, so the cabling had to be carefully preset and reverse-wound around the core of the turntable so as the scene progressed, the cable would loosen and have somewhere to go."