The “mother of us all” when it comes to projection design, Wendall K. Harrington returns to the Broadway Lighting Master Classes to present her annual session on projection, finishing the BLMC with a flourish every year.
One of Live Design’s Top 50 Powerful People in 2010, Harrington is heading up a new projection design program at the Yale School of Drama starting in the fall, keeping her finger on the trigger and preparing new generations of image junkies to follow in her footsteps. Live Design touches base with her in the following Q&A:
Live Design: What is happening in the world of projection these days?
Wendall K. Harrington: There is so much use of projection that it is almost hard to track. It has, shall we say, trickled down or up to the larger institutions embracing the possibilities of projection—that is opera houses and symphony orchestras etc.
LD: How has technology changed the way projected images are created, stored, morphed, projected, etc?
WH: There is no more paper, no more sketches, and fewer designs on
napkins, fewer trees are killed— It’s all digital now baby. Anyone want a good deal on a bunch of slide trays, suitable for.... hmmm, can’t think of a thing.
LD: How are things going with the new Yale program? What's on the
WH: The first students have been admitted and start this fall. They are a brave pair and I believe we will invent a whole new universe of thought on the use of projection, at least that is my hope. Meanwhile I am lining up guests to speak, as I am hoping to make this program as inclusive as possible, got suggestions? email@example.com
PS: it is for glory not cash!
LD: What will you be addressing at the BLMC this year?
WH: I will try and make LDs feel more comfortable and less competitive with PD's. As always I am there to create harmony both on stage and off (wait why are you sniggering) and I hope to discuss this season's additions to the craft, if I can get to see some shows before hand...got tix?
LD: What advice would you give to a young projection designer entering the biz today?
WH: Read a book. It is shocking how few can make a visual metaphor work, it requires knowledge both textual and visual. The first new course at Yale this year will be visual iconography, there is more to life that what you find on you tube, like art history and graphic design and cinema studies.