Total Production

ArKaos Provides its PRO MediaMaster 4.0 for Full Stage Productions

November 2015

Scott Guenther of Full Stage Productions, Texas chose Arkaos MediaMaster Pro 4.0 to help create the atmosphere for the aerial performances from Dallas-based dance academy, Dance Xpress.

The production, entitled Smooth Operators, was a tribute to the music and work of English singer-songwriter, Sade.

Guenther used a single projector to project imagery onto the back wall of the performance space, which mixed live and pre-recorded content for the show. Guenther filmed images of the dancers in stages of preparation for the performance (close ups of faces, arranging hair, donning point shoes etc) and juxtaposed these with live images of the performers in mid-air and on stage. The opening number to the show included ‘shadow’ images of the dancers, which Guenther was able to synchronise with the live performers, using MediaMaster to slow down and speed up the pre-recorded footage to match the movements on stage.

A slightly different technique was used for a different number when Guenther created a backdrop for an aerial performance mid-show, by pre-recording footage of strong wind buffeting trees and using MediaMaster to slow the speed of the video right down. “This created a fabulously atmospheric blurring of the original image which I projected onto the back wall behind the aerial act to give a dark, moody feel to the scene.” Guenther said.

Guenther also made use of MediaMaster’s edge-blending feature and its ability to control different layers of an image for the closing number of the show. “We filmed a dancer in a white dress with a transparent material articulating around her as she moved under a very harsh light,” Guenther stated. “I used MediaMaster to slow the movement right down and switched on the frame blending function. With this I was able to run the content extremely slowly, yet still maintain a tremendously smooth image rendition.” Guenther recalled the effect: “The result was a very ghost-like image, over which I layered a smoke effect to give it a glowing bloom, and interspersed it with video of the live performance. I was able to do all this by simply feeding raw video into MediaMaster and editing it within the software through layering and effects.”

Six Chauvet Epix 2.0 Strips arranged in two vertical columns, controlled via ArKaos Klingnet protocol, flanked the back wall. All lighting, including the Epix and the Arkaos video, was controlled via a Jands Vista S1 console running version 2.3 software on a Macbook Pro.

“I first used ArKaos MediaMaster in 2013 and have used it on many productions since,” Guenther said. “I really like the system – it’s very easy to use and very flexible and can turn its hand to anything. I can use it on any show from the very simple single surface one like Smooth Operators to extremely complex shows with multiple projectors or LED wall surfaces. The Jands Vista Time Line Editor is the fastest and most efficient management system around. The speed and ease afforded by the graphical interface (GUI) makes it so different from any other console. I don't have to remember any channel numbers or groups, I just select my fixtures and the parameters I want through the GUI – it’s like having a Magic Sheet on a console. The combination of the Vista and MediaMaster together is a great way to work.”


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