Stables projection at christmas
Posted 5 December 2018

Behind the scenes Events

Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Christmas Carnival Week 3

The Guildhall School of Music & Drama student production artists have been commissioned to create a series of installations, inspired by Waddesdon’s collections.

Eleanor Coxall, Year 3 Theatre Technology
The first week on-site we set about installing the audio trail. The statues look so natural in the woodland, and I love how they have a connection back to the collection; it’s like the characters in the house have come to life!

The biggest challenge was finding a way to run the 2.5 km (yes, that’s right, kilometres!) of cable around the pathway safely; to do so we had to dig trenches and run cable under pathways to get to each location.

Eleisha Brand, Year 2 Video Design for Live Performance
Our first week on-site was spent creating our final renders (the computer designs) and perfecting the details for the Stables projection.

This involved some late night mapping of the Stables building, putting sheets of correx over the windows (so that light from inside can’t be seen), checking the content on the Stables façade, wiring cables, risk assessing and perfecting all the details.

The last few weeks have brought everything into perspective, and showed us that all our hard work can create something insanely beautiful! Hearing positive reactions from the Waddesdon team was a particularly touching moment, and seeing their reaction to the collection being brought to life definitely gave me a new burst of energy.

Nicholas Wong, Year 2 Video Design for Live Performance
The projectors and control cabin arrived in the final week before opening to the public, allowing us to map the projection onto the Stables.

Mapping, in simple terms, is manually warping the shape of the content to ensure it fits the building. The content was created using a 2D template of the Stables, and when we map we are essentially aligning this 2D image with the original 3D object. It was a challenge as we could only map when it was dark enough to see the projection, and it is very slow and tedious work to line all of the points up perfectly.

It was an incredible experience to see months of hard work finally come together, and I hope that everyone who comes to see the show will love it as much as we loved working on it.

Nina Thoene, Year 2 Video Design for Live Performance
The final few days before opening to the public almost started with disaster, due to a mishap with the projectors. All six projectors were lined up and turned on, but the end projector suddenly switched off, and wouldn’t come alive again. With one projector down, I deduced that we could work without it by using one with a wider zoom to cover the full area. Crisis averted!

The rest of our time pre-launch was spent mapping the Stables after dusk. The first night at Waddesdon was spent practising, but every night after that involved careful, accurate work.

Tom Mackey, Year 3 Theatre Technology
Putting in the full sound trail and ensuring our kit was safe from freezing temperatures was a massive undertaking, but was an essential part of the sound trail installation.

The majority of my preparation time was, however, spent figuring out the programming of the live elements of the LED tunnel, and how we can influence the content that will be played through it.

I am really proud of this project and it has been great to see it all come together.