2011 Oscars Projection Mapping and Technology Breakdown

Did you watch the 2011 Oscars? If so, you experienced an event that used over 70 projectors, 34 Green Hippo Hippotizers to process all the visual elements, moving screens, environmental projection and of course the biggest projection rig in the show’s history. If you haven’t seen the set yet, take a look at this video and how they used projection throughout the evening to bring you into the movies of today’s day.

Pretty spectacular right? Well here’s how they did it. They used 73 Projectors in all:

  • 12 – Barco HD20’s (20,000 lumens each)
  • 18 – Barco R20’s (22,000 lumens each)
  • 40 – Christie HD10K-M’s (10,000 lumens each)
  • 2 – Christie Roadster HD 18k (18,000 lumens each)
  • 1 – Panasonic PT-DZ12000 (12,000 lumens each)

The controlled all of these projectors through 34 Green Hippo Hippotizer media servers which connects to your DMX/Lighting Console to allow everything to be programed out and cued from the same controller as all your intelligent lighting. The Oscars used a MA Lighting grandMA console to run both moving lights and projection. (see bottom of this post for what screens they used).

As you can tell, they seemed to have a pretty large budget to pull this off, regardless the result was just breathtaking:

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But if you’re like me, the first question I asked was “How in the world did they actually setup the projection?”

Pretty simple actually, most of the projection was front projected except for the very back (upstage) screens. This was being projected from behind and above (with an impressive keystone) in order to avoid the orchestra that was playing directly behind this wall

Below are a few drawings that the designer Dave Taylor at SenovvA created for Live Design and we have posted them here for your convenience. (click here for the original post of these pictures).

Projecting the back moving panels and upstage rear screen.

Each arch/portal was projected with 10 projectors each.

Projection layout for the traveling screen on front of stage.

Main screen for nominations throughout evening.

So as you can tell, there was a great deal of setup involved and there had to be an outrageous amount of planning and coordination to make the whole thing come together. What I love about this setup though is that they were able to use imagery and visuals to bring us into the various “scenes” that were being played out on stage whether that be a song, performance, nomination or just a moment in the show to honor those who are not with us anymore.

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Props to the entire crew who worked on this show, their hard work paid off in an incredible way. They have inspired us all to take visuals to the next level (and the simple fact that you can indeed use 73 projectors and it not look like a hodgepodge). What will they do next year? Will they top it or use some visual silence?

Here is the detailed list of the screens they used:

  • 1 – Steward Filmscreen 100 25-2″ x 43′-10″ Rear Screen
  • 1 – Stewart Snomatte 100 30′-0″ x 16′-10.5″ Front Screen – Borderless Frame
  • 2 – Stewart Snomatte 100 16′-0″ x 9′-0″ Front Screens
  • 36 Panels 8′-0″ x 2′-6″ of 1/2″ Acrylic coated with ProDisplay Clearview Film
  • 40 Custom Portal Screens – AV Stumpfl RP Material.
  • 1 – 3′-9″ Circle of 1/2″ Acrylic coated with ProDisplay Clearview Film

TripleWide Media is fueling the multi-screen movement by providing a collection of visual resources. Included in each motion, footage, countdown and still image are three resolutions. Buy any of these products and get access to download the Triple Wide, Double Wide and Single Wide resolutions.

Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at LukeMcElroy.com 

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