XL Video’s arts and theatre division is supplying a full 3D video rig to the world-famous “Puppetry of the Penis” show, currently on a 60 date UK theatre tour following a massively successful full length run at the Assembly Rooms during the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
It is the first UK comedy theatre concept to tour a complete 3D video set up, to the delight of all those fascinated by the versatility, creative scope and amusement value of two dicks, a stereoscopic camera a video screen and a pair of polarising glasses!
XL Video was recommended to the company by various sources when the show’s creative director Simon Morley chose to go 3D with the video, proving once again that the medium is far more than just a gimmicky load of old cock!
Understanding how “size matters” underpins the decision – to cater for the ever growing audiences and larger venues that POTP is playing – in addition to keeping the show innovative, original and organic.
The account is managed by XL’s performance specialist, Malcolm Mellows, who says, “I think it took real balls to go to 3D for this type of show ….. but it works brilliantly and we are very happy to be augmenting their equipment with the right tools!”
POTP – for those unfamiliar with the content – consists of two cast – in this current version, Fitchy and Rich – who perform a series of spectacular ‘Dick Tricks’ (‘knob-gags’ if you’re English), stand-up style, contorting their genitalalia into a diverse and unique selection of live art installations for the audience’s “viewing pleasure”.
The penile origami is a hilarious mix of 3D IMAG camera footage of the live action interspersed with a selection of 3D CGI playback material, specially commissioned and produced in Australia, which is used for background information to, and further close-up detail of …. the selection of unusually presented willies!
Fitchy and Rich stand either side of a 16 x 9 ft non-polarising rear projection screen, which receives images from XL Video’s Panasonic 10K HD projectors. The projectors are stacked for linear polarisation – one for the left and one for the right eye – with polarising filters in front of the lenses that match those in the Penis branded glasses given to the audience to wear. All making the penis experience more real and right in the face!
XL’s Panasonic AG-3DA1E stereoscopic camera – among the first integrated twin-lens FULL HD 3D camera recorders available resides in the pit at the front of stage. The camera section features two integrated lens systems configured to resemble the human eyes. It records left-channel and right-channel full-HD images, is fitted with a vari-zoom lens and operated by Olivia Binning for the show, flipping back and forth between the two cast, relaying detailed close ups of the acrobatics and agility of their organs!
This is fed into a Barco Folsom Encore screen management system, along with all the playback footage which is stored on two GV Turbo 2 hard disk machines, and all materials and PiPs are sized and output to the screen through this.
The show is mixed by stage manager Michelle Sullivan, one of a number of different Puppetry crew members who have undergone training at XL before touring or tech’ing a series of shows. XL also provides one of its own engineers at specific points in the show’s touring/performance schedule.
Going 3D has seen huge growth in the show – both in production values offered and the audience reactions and enjoyment of the action say Fitchy and Rich. Puppetry has contained a video element since it went into larger theatres about 10 years ago – but previously to Edinburgh this year and glorious 3D, they were touring a much more straightforward video rig.
They quickly discovered that some Dick Tricks work better than others in 3D, so the show has now been streamlined, with around 40 knob-tastic creations aired in an hour long performance which reduces its 95% female audience to complete hysterics every time .. whilst pricking a few male consciences.
Says Michelle Sullivan, “XL Video has been an absolute dream to work with during our transition into 3D. Their expert knowledge and state-of-the-art video skills are second to none. Malcolm Mellows leads his team with great style!”.
Malcolm Mellows comments, “This fabulous amusing show is groundbreaking not just for its innovative use of male genitals or 3D in comedy, but also it demonstrates how we have been able to supply complex equipment for use by a relatively novice crew without a touring XL technician. We did of course provide training for the touring troupe at XL Video’s UK headquarters, who, in spite of having their hands full, grasped the technical side very quickly.
“As you might expect, they are all completely nutty! Great fun to be with, spontaneous and most entertaining. We also look forward to helping POTP to realize this tour internationally throughout 2012”.
For more press info on XL Video UK, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘
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