2013-03-19 14.03.43Clive Couldwell from AV Magazine has chaired and introduced a panel of speakers who have presented the latest technology to enhance the visual impact of modern events.

Roger Barrett from Star Events firstly presented a case study to the audience relating to a project they undertook last summer that required them to put a structure on a river to support a big screen.  The project related to a major sports event that wanted to relay live pictures to visitors who were not in the actual venue.  The finished structure was constructed to support screens that weighed nearly 16 tons.

With bigger demands placed on the visual aspect of events and the complex rigging that is often required, it was no surprise that the biggest hinderance Roger cited was the inclement weather.

Following Roger was Malcolm Whittall, Broadcast Director for XL Video, the company whose technology was responsible for the spectacular projections on to Buckingham Palace that were witnessed during the Queens Diamond Jubileee Concert last year.  Talking about the development of better projectors and how they are now used for mapping, Malcolm gave an in-depth account of the work that had to be undertaken to deliver the show.

“There are some truly stunning examples of mapping, which is where you use the high quality projectors to present an image on to an object or building and create the impression that the object is being manipulated.  The world saw this with the Buckingham Palace projections, but it’s been used widely in the last few years by companies for events and advertising.  The cooperation required between contractors was vital on this project, in part due to the huge lengths of cable that had to be run under the Mall to control and power the 36 projectors used for the event.  Using a full laser scanned map of the palace, XL were able to ensure that every pixel of the final show was lined up correctly”

Last to speak was Musion Systems Director James Rock, who explained the way in which their system can project images on to the centre of a stage without the need for an actual screen.  The Musion system uses the principle of ‘Pepper’s Ghost’, an old theatre trick of using angled glass to reflect an image and make it appear that it is floating and appearing from nowhere.  James highlighted some of the events that have deployed their technology, including the Coachella Music Festival in the USA where Snoop Dog and Dr Dre performed with a projection of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur who appeared to be on stage with them.

Closing the session, Clive asked which sector of technology offers the most interesting opportunities for event organisers, with panel members highlighting the development of 4K video and retractable screen set-ups for the Musion technology that will make the delivery of the system more accessible.