Almost all of us are familiar with Pink Floyd. They have had quite an impressive career over the years and in 1979 they amazed the world with their record “The Wall.” This would soon become one of the most ambitious shows of it’s time as they brought in a huge wall to separate themselves from the audience and used it as a projection surface to create a spectacle for all to see. As you can imagine, the tour in 1980, though well ahead of it’s time, doesn’t even compare to today’s technological ability. So they decided to revamp…
In 1980, the projection was barely visible, the equipment was extremely heavy, consumed power at an unbelievable rate and they were simply not able to finically afford taking this set to all the ends of the earth. That was then, today is 2011 and Roger Walters has done it again. He has created an experience that has left audiences leaving mesmerized and wanting more. He calls it “The Wall Live” and the tour is currently working it’s way through Europe.
A show that has amazed audiences for years has finally been revitalized with massive projection, larger than life puppets, flying inflatable pigs (yes, there are really pigs!) and many other traditional stage effects. They are playing in front of sold out audiences night after night.
A litte different, wouldn’t you say? This is one of the best applications of Touring projection I have seen lately to be honest. They are pushing the envelope on what we can do with projection and how rooms, no matter what their size, can be transformed to bringing people right into the thick of the moment.
We blog a lot about content, the role of transforming environments and using projection to project on non-traditional surfaces in order to include our audiences in the events we create. This show does it all! They have absolutely amazing content (I have attached a few pics below of the content), they shattered all predictions and used a massive projection wall to create an environment that surrounded nearly every person in the rooms.
The wall is 240 feet wide and 35 feet tall! That’s 8400 sq feet… larger than most of the world’s houses. That’s unbelievable. The more amazing part is they didn’t skimp on the projection. They’re using over TWENTY 15,000 lumen projectors to pull the whole show off! Of course the wall isn’t the only projection surface, they have many other areas that projection is included. Combined they are using 300,000 ANSI lumens of projection to make this show come to life.
I know the first thing that came to mind when I saw the pictures from this event was “What are they using to process all of that video?” For this size of an event, you’re not able to just hook up your Matrox TripleHead2Go into your PC and use PowerPoint. In this situation, you need some serious processing power. The tour is using 5 Encore video processors which allow them to take an input signal of a VERY high resolution (or multiple input signals for that matter) and distribute them evenly across multiple projectors. This system is quite expensive, though incredibly powerful. Within the Encore you are able to do pixel mapping, edge blending and curved projection surfaces (for when they project on a sphere during the show).
I hesitated sharing this with our community because they are using extremely expensive and high end gear to pull this off. They didn’t have to, but they could. For this tour, the purpose was to WOW and entertain the people who were attending their shows. For you, it may not be that same purpose. You’re purpose may be more to change the color of the paint in your room to create an atmosphere or paint a picture to show the power of visuals. Others may be projecting to entertain and cause a sense of wonder.
No matter what the technology is that you’re using, I hope that it is being driven by the ultimate purpose you are trying to accomplish. Roger Waters and his team need 300,000 lumens to mesmerize their audiences, but the church around the corner may only need a couple of 4,000 lumen projectors to make it accomplish their goal.
Don’t get caught up on having the “right” gear. Check your purpose. Make sure your content is great and that you’re using the equipment you have to bring your audiences into environments and experiences. That’s the only “right” way to do it.
This may be a little overkill for many of us! It’s supposed to be a concert for Pink Floyd, maybe not for our fundraisers, worship services, local events and unique setups.
For an equipment list of what this tour used including lighting, click here.
To watch video of their tour and content, click here.
For more pictures on their setup/rig, click here.
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