Great stage design is the epitome of a great production and incorporating video into stage design can take it to the next level. Over the years I’ve seen a wealth of various stage designs that incorporate video well. So here are the 5 ways I think you should consider incorporating Video into your great Stage Designs:
1. The Focus
If you’re wanting to make the centerpiece of your stage design video, then it needs to be the focus. This could be a massive center screen, an entire back video wall or even a triple wide video wall. The benefit of the focus being projection or video is that as long as your content is strong, then you’re stage design will be strong. It simplifies your design process on the front end… and puts more pressure to your video and/or creative team.
2. A Window in your Stage Design
What if your video gave the perspective of a window into another world… weather that’s a literal window outside a coffee shop stage design, or it’s an opportunity to make the “set” feel like it’s in another environment. It’s supporting your set design not taking the focus, and yet it has the power to add such a little detail that can make everything you’ve built seem real. What would it look like to create a “window” for your next set design?
Taking the window element to the next level and having the window that you’re audience is seeing become the sky will help bring your set design into a more immersive element. This could help make your audience feel they are in your set rather than just looking at your set. Projection on the ceiling is tough because there’s not a TON of content that works on the ceiling… especially if you’re creating realistic environments vs virtual or abstract.
4. Virtual Stage Design
From Environmental Projection, Projection Mapping and multiscreen, letting you video be a virtual element is beginning to take off in stage design. I see this as an opportunity to virtually add something to you stage design that you don’t want to be static, or allow something to slowly change over time. This could be a picture frame where the pictures change from scene to scene or week to week, or maybe a statue that is a character in a play. This can’t be physical, so we use video to bring to life a virtual character. As you see in this picture, the entire set is designed to put you into an aquarium… it’s less about a design and more about the virtual world you place yourself in. It’s not focus, because it’s immersive.
5. Color or Texture Accents
Finally, one of the most overlooked, and often underutilized uses is adding them not as the focus, but as texture or color accents in a larger design. As you can see in this stage design, video wasn’t used to create this massive video wall… but to add color in a set. Or to bring an ability to provide subtle texture accents throughout the design. This is all about content, and making sure that it’s less about multiscreen and more about the design of everything else. A powerful tool to consider.