Keeping Light Off Your Projection Screen [video]

This week on Behind the Curtain, we talk to theatre technical director Josh Hornung about some tips for keeping ambient light off your projection screen. Josh is an expert at taking complicated tech ideas and breaking them down into simple-speak for the rest of us. And keeping stage lighting as well as other ambient light in your production space off of your screen or surface is key to having vivid, beautiful projection design in your next show.

Video Length: 1:18 (1 minute, 18 seconds)

QUESTION: “How do you keep light off your projection screen during a production?”

JOSH: “Keeping light off of your screen or projection wall or whatever it may be is largely a factor of your environment. If you’re in a multipurpose room you may only have overhead lights in the facility, fluorescent lights in the ceiling. And so if you’re lucky maybe the stage area of your multipurpose room has its own lights so you would just turn that off. Maybe you have a row toward the back wall that you can turn off.

If you’re getting more involved you might have a light board and some lights that are mounted up on a rack. Maybe you can bring those down, maybe they have barn doors, maybe you can shutter the light a little bit and control it more. It’s going to pretend pretty heavily on what you have. But as general rule, the less ambient light that you have on your backdrop, the less powerful projector you need, the more vibrant and life-like and dynamic your projected background is going to be.”

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