Gallery & CASE STUDIES
"Puss in Boots: Bollywood Style" (Pantomime)
Puss In Boots was a fun production put on by the society that arguably taught me everything I know about live theatre, having been involved in shows since my late teens. The Society puts on a pantomime every year at the island's most central and popular theatre in the heart of the City of Hamilton.
The stage features original artwork on the proscenium arch, layered with arches that go to the back of the set offering a 3D effect. The beautiful artwork was done by Nancy Van Dusen Thompson and is used exclusively in the projections. I've added some animations and special effects in some scenes where are highlighted in the demo video here.
FAME presented new challenges in projection timing and placement. A critical sequence during the first number had projection playing in front of cast members singing the song "Pray". They were lit with solo spotlights during individual solos so that they could be seen through the projector screen (gauze), appearing to be inside the windows.
Original buildings were modelled too, to represent the Performing Arts school depicted in the musical.
A splashy FAME logo was also adapted from its original form for the interval and post-show sequences.
In Bad Girls, director Michael Burnie wanted abstract and interesting backdrops to be used in almost all the scenes. He also wanted something that matched the images to run in a loop during scene changes. The result received critical acclaim from reviewers of the show, "a well conceived set with great abstracted projections that worked well..." (Andrew Kay, Latest Brighton)
Michael added metallic clanging sounds with reverb, which transported the audience to a prison institution. The cast discreetly moved on stage furniture and set pieces in tandem with the scene change animations to provide an almost choreographed and slick experience.
The production received multiple positive reviews, one noting that "the backdrop projections creating the inside of the prison are particularly effective." (James Ledward, GScene)
"Guys 'n' Dolls"
The stage manager of Guys 'n' Dolls provided the artistic vision for this youth production. The animation sequence you see here proved to be an interesting challenge. It played during the overture and into the first scene.
The first part up (up to the 'New York' text and skyline image) had to be projected on a cloth downstage. The second part was to be projected on the back wall of the stage (after the downstage cloth was struck).
Two projectors were needed, each focused on their own surface, and two separate films were made which were cued separately by the stage manager once there was confirmation that the cloth had been struck.
This second clip was played during the bows at the end of the show. A bit of fun utilising the show's logo and some relevant casino gaming background images with animated objects rendered into 3D. (Stage direction by Alexandre Aragao.)
Note: For the purposes of the demo, these films have been sped up from their original timing.
The production's performing license came with lots of set pieces utilising vivid colours and the projections had to compliment these.
It was a joy to work with Michael Burnie again, this time on Legally Blonde, a fantastically fun musical adapted from the film of the same name.
For this project we wanted colourful background images that would take us from a balmy California beach resort to the busy metropolitan hub bub of a hair salon and a popular college campus in Boston.
Les Misérables was a challenging, and highly satisfying project for Brighton Theatre Group. The production had projections from start to finish, and the images had complement the lighting and stage sets (including the giant barricade). Animations were designed for key scenes to bring life to the set, and enhance the overall dramatic ambiance. (Directed by Michael Burnie.)
All photos in the demo video here are courtesy of Miles Davies (www.milesdaviessite.com).
Private school production
Alice is a delightful adaptation of the Alice in Wonderland story written for school children. This production (with an extremely meagre budget) needed background images (many of them animated) that would take the audience to the many wondrous and fantastical locations demanded by the story. The use of actual scenery was impractical so projections proved to be the best fit for this adventure.
This project was so much fun in that the images and animations required were very surreal and allowed the imagination to flow. Hopefully, you'll get a sense of the scenes as you watch this demo of the cues in chronological order. Note: For the purposes of this demo, the film has been sped up from it's original timing.
Sister Act is a delightful musical full of 1990's glitter and pizzazz. Director Michael Burnie chose designs for the animations that complimented the physical scenery. This production was performed in a church sanctuary which enhanced the realism of the initial scenes. As the story unfolds, the projections took the audience away to seedy dark alleyways and nightclubs, as demanded by the plot.
Ben Elton's "Popcorn"
Popcorn is a satirical comedy-thriller adapted by author and comedian Ben Elton from his book of the same title. The play relied heavily on showing the audience how the power of media influences real life. For this project (directed by Steve Gallant), I did the stage design from simple 2D drawings and rendered them into 3D scale digital mock ups. This proved to be invaluable to the builder who pretty much had everything he needed to turn an idea on paper into a real life theatrical set.
Along with set design, I also undertook some animation work by creating a title sequence and logos. Andrew Etter provided valuable storyboard work.
"... With other good performances from the cast, the production is enhanced by a realistic set and clever animation." Barrie Jerram, Brighton Argus
Shakespeare's "The Tempest"
Private school production
This was a sweet primary school adaptation of Shakespeare's dramatic classic play. As well as background images of an "isolated island", I also did this quick title animation to play as the audience came in.