Located right behind where the bronze popcorn awards were presented, the system—which consisted of sixty-one 5x5 panels—provided crucial backup for host Lindsay Lohan as well as the winners of Best Villain, Best Kiss, Best Fight, Best Dance Sequence, et al. Set designer Ray Winkler of the Mark Fisher Studio incorporated the tiles into the set. “But I was all for it,” says lighting designer Allen Branton. “We chose two or three generic backgrounds that provided animated video life in the background behind the movie stars.”
Lighting board operator Danny Beardmore triggered the tiles from a Martin GrandMA console along with a few key lighting effects.
Branton previously used the tiles on the Super Bowl halftime show. “The first time I saw them, I was expecting a really chunky, pixilated image—which it does do,” he says. “But there were certain animated effects used that were surprisingly organic looking. If you ran the right image at the right speed, it all just melted together and you stopped really noticing the pixels. I became a convert right then—it can look almost watery looking or like those old fashioned 1960s oil-in-the-pie-pan with the overheard projector effects. They’ve really got a lot of potential and they’re economical—especially compared to LED screens."
“I’m not sure where all this will lead as we use them more and more over the coming months and years, but it’s good,” he continues. “The fact that you can take the little squares and stick them in the nooks and crannies of your scenic design and see these living images in places where they normally wouldn’t fit is great because there wouldn’t be any way to project this much life into these corners otherwise. They are worthy of the name: Versatile. I like them.”