Mapping the big screen

The screens have proved to be hard work. We had envisioned using lycra (which we have used before) as it can be stretched tight over frame without too much work but we're not able to find alls wide enough.

We had decided previously to go for two 9m x 3m screens and all we could find is a couple of companies with proper projection material but the costs are very high. Almost all of the screen budget just for one screen without a frame.

So we decide to look at Eden Arts' Picnic Cinema screen which is a 9m wide screen on a truss. If the scale is right we will use the budget to get a screen to match and build a frame from aluminium staff bar.

Monday morning Jay and I meet u at the Old Fire Station. Simon has already cleared half of the space and the screen is up at one end. We try it at 2.3m high (the width of screen material rolls - we thought it would be cheaper than a 3m welded and joined material screen) but it doesn't have the same impact as 3m high. It looks amazing. We start to put some sequences I had already rendered onto the screen to see what works. Working with up to 6 timelines is a very different task to editing a film. Sequences have to be timed to work with each other, images need to work with each other at any given point. 

The sound is all over the place - that will come later when we have picture lock and pass it over to Dan, but already we can et a sense of how the many layers of sound will work with the picture

Its a slow day but satisfying. We are confident that the concept will work.

The next day is more structured. I start to create tidier sequences that work with the themes I chose at the start, The sequences get passed to Jay who builds the multiple video sequences in After Effects and then exports then as Apple Motion JPEG movie files which are mapped with in Arena.

As the light outside fades the image gets better (there are light leaks in the same we need to deal with). We tension the screen at the sides with some bungees and Scaff bars and that works. As the room heats up more of the creases drop out. Although we only have one big screen, theres a small rear projection screen in the engine bay that we move around to start to get a sense of where an audience might look/stand/sit.

We still only have one screen to work with so have to imagine a second screen in the back of our heads. The Eden Arts Office staff come down towards the end of the day to see what weve been up too. Constructive feedback regarding what is interesting - we talk about how much narrative v abstract we can/should go with the footage.

The big screen looks amazing. The scale is immense. We now realise how much space we'll need between the two screens so the audience has enough space to stand back and take it in. We order a 2n screen which will take 2 weeks to arrive. We make a date to meet again next week to carry on building and playing with video sequences.




Tom LLoyd