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Conference staging with large screen

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George Loch
Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 2, 2011 at 10:28:38 pm

I need some guidance on setting up some staging for a conference I am assisting with.

We are hosting a conference where will be presenting with a large stage and we want to backdrop the whole thing with a screen. We are on a 40x12 stage so, it would need to be a 38-40' screen. Is this something that would require multiple projectors? We currently have (2) Benq SP920P that could be used.

Secondly, how do you orchestrate all the media? Powerpoints, Keynotes, videos, etc?

Thanks,

-gl

twitter: @georgeloch
web: http://georgeloch.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 5, 2011 at 3:00:18 pm

[George Loch] "I need some guidance on setting up some staging for a conference I am assisting with. We are hosting a conference where will be presenting with a large stage and we want to backdrop the whole thing with a screen. We are on a 40x12 stage so, it would need to be a 38-40' screen. Is this something that would require multiple projectors? We currently have (2) Benq SP920P that could be used."

George, you'll probably want to consult with the venue, a live events technical director, staging company, or even a full-blown event production company.

To answer your direct question, you will need to rent larger projectors, but it sounds like you could use some pre-show and on-site help as well.


[George Loch] "Secondly, how do you orchestrate all the media? Powerpoints, Keynotes, videos, etc?"

The crew for a live event is heavily segmented, just like on a film shoot. Everyone has a job to do with a relatively limited scope. This may seem wasteful, but is incredibly important for managing the unexpected (like last-minute changes or technical difficulties).

There are a lot more people working on it than you might think: a stage manager, an audio mixer, an audio assistant, a lighting operator, an engineer, a switcher operator / camera director, camera operators, a camera shader, a tape/DDR operator, a graphics operator, a graphics coordinator...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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George Loch
Re: Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 6, 2011 at 6:49:05 pm

Thanks for the reply.

We have hosted this event twice thus far and we want to take it to the next level, hence my questions. Do you have projector recommendations or what I should be looking for?

Thanks for explaining the roles but, I was more interested in how you actually manage all these media types in presenting them on the screen? I have looked at software Provideo Player but wondered if there were other options?

-gl

twitter: @georgeloch
web: http://georgeloch.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 7, 2011 at 12:08:01 pm

[George Loch] "We have hosted this event twice thus far and we want to take it to the next level, hence my questions. Do you have projector recommendations or what I should be looking for?"

I think you should be looking for some expert staging help. The questions you're asking (and the office projectors you asked about using) lead me to believe that you don't know where the boundaries of your knowledge lie.

My apologies if I've misunderstood, and if you've already got everything else figured out, but my concern for you here not just getting the right projectors -- I want to make sure you've got the right video switching system, the right power distribution, the right lighting, the right audio, and the right rigging, the right content systems, and the right team to run it all.

If you're talking about projecting a standard aspect ratio, you'll need a stack of converged projectors for a screen that large. If you're talking about widescreen projection, you'll need multiple stacks of blended projectors, plus a switching system that can handle the edge blends and PIP inserts, plus a content system to deliver backgrounds (and possibly presentations) in the native, custom aspect ratio of the screen.

I am not a projectionist, so I have no idea what specific model to recommend for your use, but you will need to worry not only about getting the right projector, but also getting the right lenses and the right screen material.


[George Loch] "I was more interested in how you actually manage all these media types [PowerPoint, Keynote, video] in presenting them on the screen? I have looked at software Provideo Player but wondered if there were other options?"

You add devices or computers running different applications. A set (main and backup) of PowerPoint computers. A set (main and backup) of Keynote computers. A set (main and backup) of DDRs or software DDRs. As you add complexity here, note that you also add to your routing and switching requirements.

PVP is one software option for video playback; DT Videolabs Playback Pro is another. You could also use a dedicated hardware solution from Grass Valley or Doremi.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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George Loch
Re: Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 7, 2011 at 5:50:27 pm

Thanks Walter,

I do realize I am a babe in the wilderness with this and I am very interested in getting professionals involved. At this point, I am trying to get my arms around what it will take to upgrade our attendee experience.

-gl

twitter: @georgeloch
web: http://georgeloch.com


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Mathew Slack
Re: Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:36:21 pm

George,

Instead of doing one large blended screen, you may want to consider going with smaller cheaper screens, 2,3,4 however many 9x12 or desired size strung along the rear of the stage with (preferably) rear projection or at least flown front projection. While it won't be as 'cool' as a seamless blended experience it is an 'easier' option.

There are numerous projector options out there, Barco, Panasonic, Sanyo, etc all depends on your content, and what kind of budget you have. Go on google and search "Sanyo Projector" and look at the Rental/staging section,

Mathew Slack
PSAV Presentation Services
Whistler, Canada


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gary Jarvis
Re: Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 12, 2011 at 1:32:17 pm

I kinda disagree with Mathew as, multiple screens are not like LED walls where you can edge them together and have a seamless display, I tend to agree with Walter and use pro gear i.e. 4 Barco's or Christies in pairs with wide angle lens and blend them. Also if this size screen and process is new, bring in the pro's until your at a point that where you've learnt enough to do it yourself, at which point you can rent out the best projectors etc.

Another point is, if your screen is on legs it has to be a front projection, that size screen has at least one possibly two inside frame supports to limit sag. If hanging then at least 4 support lines, this way you can do front or rear projection. The gig I was on last night was at the Met museum here in NYC, we used 4 widescreen sets using Christie's (what a beautiful Projector).

Good luck


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Mathew Slack
Re: Conference staging with large screen
on Sep 12, 2011 at 6:41:09 pm

Just to clarify I wasn't trying to say you would have a seamless display and actually said "While it won't be as 'cool' as a seamless blended experience it is an 'easier' option."

And the comment that if a screen has legs it has to be front projection makes little sense to me, the amount of sag is the same if you front or rear project, obviously a hung screen is "better" however my comments were to show that there are easier options for someone that is interested in DIY a complex setup.

I have never ever heard of someone saying you "can't" rear project on a screen with legs because of "sag". Please show me some pictures of the difference so I can be corrected, it is always better to rear project regardless of legs on a screen.. some of the reasons include fan noise, ambient lighting, and cable runs in front projection scenario. Also for a person that wants to DIY this project, a front projection that is not sitting on a cart in front of the screen will require at least a piece of truss, accessories and rigging which I would not think someone that is looking to do themselves would be a very good idea.

Mathew Slack
PSAV Presentation Services
Whistler, Canada


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