Saturday, July 24, 2010

Project F Projections

At the last minute on a Sunday I got a Text Message saying I should come out to a Project F rehearsal because something new was in the works. I jumped in my car and drove way out to Bithlo where several actors, Ryan Price and Aradhana Tiwari were gathered. When I entered there was chocolate cake and red wine on the table. Aradhana's lovebird was flying about the place perching on peoples shoulders on occasion to say hello. I got myself some cake and opted to get a coke instead of a wine. From the dining room table where everyone was seated I could see a blue glow coming from the next room. Aradhana disappeared into that room and I heard her talking to Ryan. I grabbed my cake, soda and then a pillow I found in the hallway and went into the empty room. A digital projector was set up along with a laptop computer. Ryan had set up a cool way of projecting video where the actors image is sent through filters and processors which distort and create halo effects.
Becky Rankin was the first actress to try out the new imaging effect. She sat in front of the computer and acted like she was typing. The video effects distorted her image making intriguing imagery. Whenever she would move the negative space she had just occupied showed a Facebook page in a stuttered digital effect which resembled stop motion animation. Soon Ryan and Aradhana were experimenting with different ways to alter the imagery by waving such items as gauze clear plastics and the ultimate find an old doily. These items when waved in front of the camera lens would set a color tone over the image and add intriguing patterns and distortions. Whe the recorded video was played back on the wall, everyone would whisper, "Ooooh, Ahhhh!". Just as if they were watching fireworks. The process was fun experimental and fully interactive.
Soon Aradhana had the actors waking in front of the projector creating a viewpointing session like no other where the final result made the actors look like they were surrounded by a blue halo. If an actor stopped moving they would disappear from view and then they would reappear when they moved again. The final effect was ghostly and mesmerizing to watch.
Another filter was tried which pixelated the actors image to the point of barely being recognizable. Again Becky was the first to try out the technology. She sat and acted as if she were working at her computer screen. Ryan and I experimented with lighting and settled on using the projector lighting up the wall as a light source that he then kept moving to alter the image. What was really nice about these images is the fact that the Facebook blue was the primary color in the scene. It was a joy to be a part of this playful afternoon of play and discovery. The actors were giddy with delight when they saw the unexpected final video results. Chelsea Anderson had to use the bathroom. When she returned the light from the open bathroom door created an amazingly clear image on the computer screen. Aradhana asked her to enter the room again leaving the door open when she did. She then sat down at the computer screen and a fabulous scene was created all because of a chance combination of factors that bought the image to life. Such moments of pure serendipity are a spark of pure genius because everyone was open and ready for any new discovery. Project F is truly a cutting edge production.

Tomorrow Thor will sketch DRIP musician auditions at 4502 Old Winter Garden Road Suite E2 between 10AM and 10PM.

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