Dear Reader: One of the more intriguing trends of the last few years has been the emergence of video projection as a legitimate design tool. Though still a staple of corporate and industrial projects, video projection can now be seen in everything from rock concerts to theme parks to opera and dance.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. One need only look at recent issues of Entertainment Design to see this trend in play. Tina Turner's world tour (July) featured creative use not only of the images provided by video director Christine Strand, but also of the screens themselves, as they split apart during several numbers in the show. Video is an integral part of the new Blue Man Group Live at Luxor show in Las Vegas (October), with wittily original vignettes created by video designer Caryl Glaab. Three huge, fully moveable LED panels served not only as video support for the recent Nine Inch Nails tour (September), but also provided a source of illumination for the show. And perhaps in the most high profile blend of traditional design elements with video projections, Universal Studios Florida, Kleiser-Walczak, and Electrosonic created a seamless blend of live sets and 3D animation on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (November 99 special supplement).

To take a closer look at this burgeoning field, ED has teamed up with sister publication Sound & Video Contractor (S&VC) to present this special section, titled "Video Projections: From the Boardroom to the Stage." In the next few pages, we'll discuss some of the challenges in using the projected image as a design tool, and profile several recent projects, from operas to houses of worship - that underscore the wide range of applications currently out there.

In addition, log onto www.entertainmentdesignmag.com to read video projection maven Pete Putnam's in-depth look at plasma screen technology, plus a peek behind the scenes at the recent Victoria's Secret fashion show at Cannes. And look for this relatively new aspect of entertainment design to become a regular part of our coverage in Entertainment Design.