Why We Like Them:
Currently celebrating their 10th anniversary, Batwin + Robin Productions has spent the last decade advancing the use of the projected image in museums, theatre, and corporate communications. The primary area of focus for Batwin + Robin, which is a partnership of Linda Batwin and Robin Silvestri, is museums and the creation of whole environments to engage visitors. They also work with corporations on media installations for visitor and learning centers and occasional theatre projects that they slot into what little time they have left. Their work on The Rocky Horror Show has taken the art of video projection to new heights on the Broadway stage, while their design for the Pfizer training facility in Purchase, NY, gave new meaning to the term corporate communications. By incorporating the best in computer graphics, film, video, audio, lighting, and scenic design, they have become one of the leaders in innovative multimedia design.
"They are the perfect combination. Their personalities complement each other."
Linda Batwin and Robin Silvestri
Photo courtesy Batwin + Robin Productions
What Their Peers Say About Their Work:
François Bergeron, sound designer for Cirque du Soleil and partner in Thinkwell Productions, collaborated with Batwin + Robin on two projects at the new Hayden Planetarium/Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Museum of Natural History. “I love them!” enthuses Bergeron. “They are the perfect combination. Their personalities complement each other.” Bergeron first worked with Batwin + Robin on the Passport to the Universe show in the Space Theatre in the upper portion of the dramatic Hayden sphere, and eagerly came back later to work with them again on the Big Bang presentation in the lower half of the Hayden sphere. “I came out of these projects thinking that they were the easiest to work with; it was the most fun that I have ever had on a project,” says Bergeron. “We all need a project like this every now and then; since we all have the projects with no time and no money, this was refreshing. Working with them is very enjoyable.”
In Their Own Words:
“What we do is not just interactive, but is a part of the whole environment that surrounds the visitor,” explains Silvestri of their museum work. “We get to use all of the skills that we spent 15 years honing in corporate shows.”
“We work to incorporate theatrical and media techniques as well as controlling all of the aspects of the media production, from the scripts through the shooting,” adds Batwin.
“Theatre projects are something we do for love, not for money,” says Silvestri, pointing to their work on The Rocky Horror Show. “We had a great time shooting the ending in Times Square. It was early November and freezing, and we were shooting these half-naked actors staring at Times Square. You could tell the tourists from the New Yorkers — the tourists all gawked and the New Yorkers just ignored them.”
What They're Doing Next:
Projects for over 10 museums scheduled through 2005, as well as a number of corporate installations and theatre projects scattered through their schedule. “The projects are long in development and leave only about six to 12 months to actually produce them,” says Silvestri. Upcoming museum projects include the National Museum of the American Indian for the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, a new visitors center for the Gettysburg National Military Park, in Gettysburg, PA, the Museum of Flight in Seattle, the BP Story Pipeline in BP's new community center in Anchorage, AK, and a new indoor exhibit around the German U505 U-Boat at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.