This is me and VICKI, backstage at Machinal. From this table we (mostly Vicki) operated all the video for the show.
But how did it work? The right and middle computers both ran two programs: Resolume and MadMapper. Resolume is the software Vicki used for PLAYING video. For example, we wanted Tokyo Tower to fade up at the beginning of scene 8, so when we get to that point in the show and Vicki receives her cue from the stage manager, she clicks on that file in Resolume and manually fades the video up using a dial on the sidebar. If we wanted brightness, opacity, or other factors to change during the scene, this too was possible in Resolume. This was Vicki’s territory and I still know very little about the program, but I can tell it’s absolutely awesome. In Resolume, you can play multiple layers of clips and apply some effects. It’s a VJ software, and Vicki is a VJ. One thing that excited me about working with her was the way she ran the show: while some “highly experienced” crew people are content to sit idly at a board and let their fingers fall on lazy keys, Vicki stood tall over her video domain, sometimes rocking back and forth and glorying in her transitions.
The other program central to our project was MadMapper. MadMapper was responsible for MAPPING the video — that is, cutting it into shapes according to the geometries of our set. Look, for example, at these cubes:
It may not be completely evident from this shot, but Vicki mapped out each face of each cube, so in many parts of the show each cube was receiving a different image. This was one of my favorite looks:
It’s my understanding that once the cubes and “shards” were mapped, Vicki made no major alterations within MadMapper. Small changes had to be made – for example, one night a curtain bumped into the stage right group of cubes and knocked them into a slightly different position. Since the projector that shone onto those cubes stayed in the same spot, and since we couldn’t nudge the cubes into exactly the same position/angle they had been in, Vicki had to revisit the outlines she had set for those cubes in MadMapper and fix them (e.g. drag one cube a bit left, distort the top edge, extend the bottom left corner, etc). In fact the green photo above was, I think, taken at a time when the cubes were a bit out of whack so you can see that not every face is filled to the edge.