Environmental Projection in St. Anne’s Cathedral

Environmental Projection in St. Anne’s Cathedral

Curator of the Space:
Niall Mc Nally,  Director of Cast Ministries / Cast Ireland is based in Northern Ireland and travels the country creating bespoke sacred spaces for Christian events hosted by different denominations. He was approached by the Church of Ireland to animate the environment of St Anne’s Cathedral, an iconic building in Belfast’s city centre, for their New Year celebrations.
See more about Cast Ministries / Cast Ireland  and its Director Niall Mc Nally here: Cast Ireland Vimeo Page: www.vimeo.com/castireland 

Challenges, Budgets & Compromises: 

The specific brief was  ‘Environmental Projection’(EP) on the inside and the outside of the Cathedral simultaneously. Budget was limited and the Cathedral had some interesting challenges to overcome- the primary one being, the larger body of the building had coil bar heaters permanently mounted on pillars running the length of the aisles.  When switched on these kept the congregation cosy, but they also cast a warm red hue over the whole interior. This meant that very powerful projectors would be required (25K-45K ANSI Lumens) to make the visuals punch through the red colour generated by the heaters. As the budget available prevented us utilizing these projectors, we compromised by switching off the heaters at different times during the programme to emphasize the EP inside the cathedral walls.
Ideally we would have loved to have projected images on the full external wall of the Cathedral, however the size and location of surrounding buildings and the fact that we hadn’t obtained licensing to enter any of them to secure a better vantage point made this impossible.  Again, we compromised by deciding to fill sections of the walls with eye catching visuals to elicit interest from passing foot traffic and invite curious passers by to come into the venue and join the celebrations.

The Diocese Theme Launch:

The purpose of the evening event was two-fold; 1) To launch the Church of Ireland, Down & Dromore Diocese’ pastoral plan for following few years. 2)Through the content delivered on the night to explore how Jesus is with us personally and in the communities we live in. First we let the life and love of Christ into our hearts and then led by the Holy Spirit we share this love with others. The typography and infographics projected on the outside of the Cathedral directly related to that theme proclaiming ‘For You – For Him
Throughout the service the backdrop of visuals looped through themes of Christ the King, the Nativity and Christmas season. The night climaxed with a countdown timer projected up onto the inside front of the Cathedral followed by exploding fireworks motion graphics as a Piper (playing Bagpipes) processed down the central aisle marching everyone out of the Cathedral, sending them onward into the night carrying the message of the life and love of God with them along the roads and streets of their home communities.
Preparation: 
  • 2 x Skilled Crew: measure distances, set up and test the projectors, lenses and optics and select appropriate visuals to suit the architecture.
Equipment Rental: 
  • 2 x 10,000 ANSI Lumen projectors
  • 1 x 6,000 ANSIN Lumens projector
  • 3 x Floor Stands
  • 3 x Apple Laptops with Presentation software with masking capability
  • 3 x Renewed Vision Licences for ProPresenter & Pro Video Player software
  • 3 x External Hard Drives with Media Content
  • 3 x Cabling Runs
  • 6 x HDMI-Cat5 Extenders
  • 1 x Generator – 150 KVA to Power Sound, Lights & EP
Crew of 5: 
  • 1 x Visual Mixer
  • 1 x Text Operator
  • 1 x Media Loops Operator
  • 2 x security personnel to protect projectors  from New Year revellers
  • 2 x Gazebos / small tents to cover and protect external projectors from the elements (wind & rain – its the New Year in Ireland!)
Related Article:  Transforming the Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Tim Southwick

Author Tim Southwick

Tim is the Brand Manager for TripleWide Media. He has 10 years experience in the event management world and has a strong desire to see visuals and media used to increase the user experience.

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