Light Night for E/T/C London in Birmingham

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Large projection specialists E/T/C London created and produced a high impact animated show on the façade of Birmingham’s iconic Council House building for the city's 2-day Night Light event. Night Light is a phenomenon that's been sweeping Europe, consisting of lighting installations, street performances and live action designed to draw people back into city centres for the evenings via innovative lighting, events and installations. Jim Kelly, Head of International & Local events for Birmingham City Council, who was already aware of E/T/C's work, approached the company as he thought projection would be an ideal medium to add dynamics and vitality to Birmingham’s Night Light mix. E/T/C London’s Ross Ashton was commissioned to storyboard a show and produce the artwork. The Council House is part of the City’s Museum and Art Gallery complex which houses an extensive collection of pre-Raphaelite works, plus modern and ancient art from Japan, Africa and South America amongst many other offerings. Ashton was given access to their archive of art-works to compile the 10 minute show which comprised over 200 images. He created all the images with Paul Chatfield in an intense 48 hour period to meet the show deadlines. Karen Monid was commissioned to produce a special accompanying soundtrack, and chose ballet music by Sir Arthur Sullivan as the base for this, to reflect the age of the Council House building. Monid also programmed the projection show using E/T/C OnlyCue control system. The rhythm of the music proved a perfectly synchronous compliment to the movement of the images ‘floating’ across the building. The projections measured 80 metres wide by 20 metres tall and were created using 7 PIGI 6kW machines fitted with double rotating scrollers. Due to the challenging terrain, geographical complexity and amount of obstructions such as trees and street furniture immediately in front of the building, some lateral thinking was needed when it came to projector positioning. The 7 PIGIs were arranged on 3 towers. The centre tower housed one machine and was constructed in the middle of a fountain. This was empty during the get-in period and fully working during the show, so a bridge was built to facilitate access for E/T/C’s crew of Michael Barry and Adam Masters. The other 6 machines were rigged on 2 towers left and right of the building. All the necessary perspective corrections were completed in Photoshop and transferred to the PIGI scroll artwork. The looped show ran from 8 p.m. till midnight each night. It attracted and captivated massive crowds and was such a hit with the public that the viewing was extended for an extra hour on the Saturday night.

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