Hello everyone! It’s your friendly neighborhood account manager Pat coming at you with another blog for your reading pleasure. Today I wanted to take some time to talk about the product that we create here at BMD and address the questions that everyone I speak to (my Mom) ask about our company: what are scenic projections and why would you need to use them? Good questions! I’m glad you inquired, let’s walk through this together.
Basically our theatrical scenic projections are digitally produced images that are created by illustrators and animators and then displayed through a projector (via some type of ceuing software or ImageCue) onto a surface behind actors. It doesn’t act so much as a replacement to traditional backdrops (ie handmade sets made with wood and painted to meet the needs of the production) but moreso as an element that can be a bridge between cinema and the theatre world.
Think of it this way, if you were putting on a show such as Lion King where all of the scenes happen almost exclusively outside and you want to show a change in time (like the sun coming up over the horizon ushering in a new day) how would you do that? If you have an awesome lighting designer you could have a simple change in lighting. You could also have your actors simply pretend that they see the sun coming up ushering in a new day. Both of those are solid options and have probably been done in the past but what if you could actually see the sun coming up and the shadows of the night creeping away as it rose up into the sky? Well, you can! In an absolute best case scenario you could have projections in conjunction with your in house lighting to create a dynamic and memorable moment between Simba and Mufasa (I know you’ve seen the show, we’re on a first name basis with the characters).
How about another popular show such as Legally Blonde where there are plenty of scene changes with interiors and exteriors galore; that’s not an issue with projections. The pivotal moment when Brooke delivers her jaw dropping secret about having liposuction on the day that her husband was murdered (sorry for the spoiler but, I mean, you should have seen this show it’s hilarious), we have projections for that. Instead of just imagining the cold, hard, cement world of the interior of a prison you can transport your audience to that place. Flickering fluorescent lights, steel bars, cots and all! Again, a stage designer could possibly implement a an actual cot or two on stage, perhaps even dim the lights a bit to draw the audience into what’s happening on stage.
With our projections were not looking to simply “replace a backdrop” but to create a space where the characters onstage can perform with more space and less spike tape. The audience can experience the theatre in a new way that is unlike any other show that they may have seen before. We’re trying to make the transition from one scene to another seamless. We’re trying to help the amateur theatre production team do much, much, more with less. We’re trying to save you some money. That’s what scenic projections are and that’s just a small example of what they can do for you.
Let the people at BMD help you put on a show!
PAT NALTY, Account Manager
Pat hails from sunny SoCal, (San Diego to be exact) where he grew up playing basketball and performing theatre in high school. He attended Fresno State University where he majored in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in acting. If he wasn’t an account manager for BMD he’d probably be a basketball coach (think Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, etc). He resides in Clovis, California, with his wife, three children and his American Bulldog, Marshmallow. His favorite musical is Thoroughly Modern Millie or anything Sutton Foster is in.