Combining Video and Stage Design to Create a Cohesive Environment
One of the things I love about environmental projection is how it creates one cohesive environment. EP envelops the stage, the room, and the audience to truly transform your space. So, how do you accomplish this without environmental projection? Being intentional when you bring together video elements within your stage design can create a cohesive environment that transports you to another time and space. There are three components to consider when combining video and stage design to create a cohesive environment.
Physical Set Design
The first component to think about is going to be your physical set. In looking at this for Christmas, you may want to create any number of scenes, such as a living room, forest, village, Bethlehem, or more. Starting with your physical set pieces will enable you to have a framework with which to place your video. Since your set design will take more time to build and place, it’s important to start here. What I love about using physical set pieces is the 3D elements they bring in to the space. More than anything else, set pieces add depth to your setup allowing you to move the place of focus more easily.
Think through your designs with your room and stage in mind. What other elements do you need to account for? Lighting, projection, performers, choir? Once you have your set design locked in, you can move on to the next two elements, video, and lighting.
Once your set design is planned out, you can determine how to integrate video into the setup. A great option (as you can see from some of the pics below) is to use your set design as a frame for your video. Using a cyc or scrim to project onto, you can integrate your graphics into your set design. Your video setup here will need to pop. If you are using a large screen surface such as a scrim, you’ll want a large format projector and may even need to double stack or edge blend to get the brightness the setup will require. Alternatively, using a doublewide or triplewide setup that blends into your set design will create a seamless setup for your service.
I love how these churches used a large format screen to immerse their set design with video. The blending of the two mediums worked quite well. This works great for a sermon series or a one time special event. As you’re considering your options for Christmas, be sure to consider this as an immersive environment.
The final component to pull your setup together is lighting. Lighting can definitely make all the difference when bringing together stage design and video elements. Using lighting you can add focus and match the color pallet of your motion backgrounds and vice versa. Christmas is a great opportunity to go outside the box of your normal setup and add lighting elements to take your event to the next level.
If you are doing a large format projection setup, you really need the ability to control your lights and focus them on your scenic elements and performers while keeping them off of your projection surface. This sounds elementary, but it is something we see overlooked time and time again.