At the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), we are using a Digital Projection, Inc (DPI) Lightning 40HD-T projector with 21,000-lumens with a 1.0:1 lens for front-of-house projection. In addition, we use four Sanyo XP46 4,100-lumen and two Sanyo XF35 6,500-lumen video projectors. We still own and use two each BP2.5, BP4, and BP5 Pani Projectors for slide and effects projection. For video control, we use two High End Systems Catalyst V4 Pros on Mac Pros with two Duo Core 2.66 GHz Intel Xeon processors and two Cal Digit 1.25 Terabyte SATA RAID storage systems. We also have several Dataton Watchout licenses.
We use the DPI projector front-of-house in our Angus Bowmer Theatre. It is a 601-seat semi-thrust space. The projections are used for both scenic enhancement/effect and for special effects. The 1.0:1 lens gives us an HD image that is approximately 47' across by 26' high at the plaster line. The amazing brightness and great contrast ratio on the projector allows us to ride on top of the conventional lights and the arc source Vari-Lite units.
For example, in our current production of Jeff Whitty's The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, we use the Lightning to project everything from a crudely animated Henrik Ibsen giving a preshow “turn off your cell phones” announcement, to the full stage inferno of flames in the “furnace.” We also use the DPI projector for lighting effects. In one scene, both Hedda and Mammy have been masked to exactly their outlines, so they appear floating in the dark theatre with no spill. In the same production, our XP-46s provide a fantastic multi-layer cloud effect on the cyc and scrim while Hedda travels in the “wasteland.”
We are in a true rotating rep situation with four productions running in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. We change over twice a day, which gives our audiences radically different scenic and lighting environments for each matinee and evening performance. Projections have long been a part of our artistic aesthetic here at OSF. Video projectors and systems like the Catalyst and Watchout expand the possibilities for us. Catalyst, in particular, is very flexible and delivers whatever designers and directors ask for almost instantly. I have built up a library of effects and masks using U&I software's Artmatic, Apple Motion, Final Cut, and Photoshop, of course. We have a quick workflow that allows for creation of new content at the tech table, which can be quickly uploaded to the Catalyst media server.
This is a radical change from the workflow with the Pani projectors. Adjustments to slides were always time consuming to generate, print, mount, and align. While we still have the Panis, we are finding less and less demand for them from our artistic teams. A large, bright FOH projector and a media server have really sped up the process and unlocked some possibilities for us. If a designer can think of it, we can find a way to project it on the stage, now!
— Michael K. Maag, lighting department
manager, programmer, and visualist
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
We have increased the amount of projection used in shows over the past several years. The shows have included After The Fall, Hapgood, Hitchcock Blonde, A Clean House, and Under The Lintel.
We currently use:
3 Barco RLM6+ 6,000-lumen projectors
2 Hitachi 1,200-lumen projectors
1 Panasonic 2,000-lumen projector
4 Dell Computers with 256MB ATI graphics cards
2 Mac Pros
1 G4 Mac
Dataton Watchout 3 (four licenses)
Adobe Production Suite
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe Final Cut Studio 5.1
Gefen DVI-over-fiber cable
Gefen DVI detectives
Gefen DVI mates
— Clint Allen, lighting/projection supervisor
Alley Theatre, Houston, TX