The Czech consortium of Tomato Production, their technical partners AV MEDIA and creative company, The Macula, recently produced a stunning videomapping show on Liverpool’s waterfront. Using exclusively Christie top-of-the-range projection, they helped the City’s landmark Grade 1-listed Royal Liver Building celebrate its centenary, while marking the opening of the Museum of Liverpool — the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century. With both buildings sited at the Pier Head the event was fittingly entitled Reflection on the Waterfront.
The showstopper on each of the three nights was the pixel-mapping extravaganza, titled The Macula Spectacular. When the tender was issued by City of Liverpool’s cultural department The Macula bid successfully after the organisers had witnessed the consortium’s video projection for Prague’s 600th Anniversary show, projected onto the city’s Astronomical Clock. However, this event marked their debut in the UK.
The contract required carefully, geometry-aligned projection onto the two buildings — the history of Liverpool onto the Royal Liver Building and a series of modern art projections onto the Museum, which had been opened just days earlier.
For the former, two Christie Solaria CP2230 digital cinema projectors were deployed. Outputting over 30,000 lumens, this is the brightest digital cinema projector for screens nearly 100 feet wide, and without its dedicated pedestal, this DCI-compliant device can be installed nearly anywhere. For the Museum projection, a further CP2230, with DCI kit, was detailed, along with two HD18K’s. The projectors — all owned by AV MEDIA Group — were fitted with either 1.1-1.4:1 or 1.8.-2.6:1 HD zoom lens.
The content was created by The Macula, and while the Museum projection was fed from two coolux media systems the Royal Liver Building show was powered by high powered PC’s running Resolume VJ software which triggered the effects.
Manchester-based, DBN, who handled the architectural lighting, also provided a Hippotizer media server, linked in to the projection system so they could apply block colour, This was mapped exactly to the projection surface area and filled that space for the warm up period before the video show fired up.
While the Museum offered a three-projection 90m x 20m canvas (in 5760 x 1080 widescreen resolution) the Royal Liver Building covered a 48m x 50m surface (with a 2048 x 2160 resolution).
But rigging the system had created its own problems, as AV MEDIA’s project manager, Filip Klein explained. “There were three huge scaffolding towers, up to 15 meters high, with weather proofing. Because it was on the river bank the winds were high — gusting up to 90 meters per second. The projectors were positioned on the stage rostrum, on each of the three towers.”
However, the production team managed to stabilise the projectors, resulting in a stunning 3D audio visual spectacular to mark the occasion.
Each evening the celebrations started around 8.30pm with a special musical performances from blues diva Connie Lush on the Friday, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday and blues band 6ix Toys on Sunday, with the remainder of the technical reinforcement provided by locally-based PA company, Adlib. At the same time, throughout each evening giant, beautifully illuminated lanterns representing key points in Liverpool’s history, were on display at the Pier Head complete with illuminated fish swimming in the canal.