Dynamic projection design for American Idiot

Green Day’s explosive Broadway musical "American Idiot" had its Australian premiere in Brisbane in 2017, presented by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and shake & stir theatre company. The dynamic projection design for this hugely popular production was created by award-winning video projects company, optikal bloc, who chose Dataton WATCHOUT as their delivery solution.

Optikal bloc's Craig Wilkinson explains the setup: "For the video design, we projection-mapped the main 8.5 m wide x 5.2 m high surface of the set – designed by Josh McIntosh – with a Panasonic PT-DZ21K projector. The design also featured eight individually-controlled 55" TVs, in various portrait and landscape assemblies, integrated around the set. Throw live cameras in the mix with two installed cameras on the set and one roaming wireless handicam."

All content and displays were working at full HD and powered by Dataton WATCHOUT running on two display servers. "Special shout-out to production partner – and Dataton premium partner – Interactive Controls for helping us realise our crazy ideas!" says Craig Wilkinson, optikal bloc.

The production was one of optikal bloc's most ambitious works to date, both technically, and timewise with a three-week rehearsal period and just four days of technical rehearsals.

"The design itself is an infusion of many conventions, mixing punk rock iconography with various music video, live music concert and animation styles. At times, we've even featured more modern architectural projection mapping techniques, all created and programmed to dynamically respond, when required, to the on-stage action and music."

The audience at the QPAC loved it – as did the critics.

"All credit to Brisbane-based video design team, optikal bloc, for truly excellent work, making the visuals leap off the stage" wrote ArtsHub.

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