I’m Paul Manganello — a consultant at Design Lab 1. As Vicki Huang mentioned in the previous post, we are working together to create a video projection scheme–or “videoscape”–for the Rude Mechanicals’ production of Machinal, directed by Sango Tajima. This videoscape will take the place of a conventional wood-and-paint set, putting scrims, screens and light where physical walls and doors usually stand.
When not working at the DMC, I write and perform theatre. As someone in this field I am ecstatic about the growing popularity of projections on stage. The artful incorporation of projected images into a live event creates a beautiful, kinetic fusion of worlds that amounts to more than the sum of its parts. And we’re not just projecting: we’re projection-mapping. Vicki will fill in the technical meaning of this in her posts. Mapping is a revolutionary development in theatre because it allows the artist to chart specific areas and geometries on stage where he/she wants projections.
But none of this is easy! Putting projections on stage requires shooting, editing, getting projectors, mounting projectors, routing images through lots of different machines, and finally the collaborative task of making them flow with the show. Where do you get the cameras? Where do you take the footage? WHERE DO YOU GET THE PROJECTORS??? Who edits? How the HELL do we get four different streams of video running simultaneously to four different areas of the stage? (I still don’t know the answer to that one).
For anyone not working under a big fat commission or at the Duderstadt Center, projection mapping is unaffordable. Thanks to the resources of Rude Mechanicals and the Dude, we are doing it. My posts here will focus mainly on the technical and artistic challenges we face in creating our videoscape.