This week on Behind the Curtain theatre director Robert Botello talks about scenic projections, how simple and intuitive it is using them as a director.
Video Length: 2:02
Question: “As a theatre director, how’s it been using scenic projections?”
Robert: “I think the biggest thing is getting rid of the thought process that it’s too much or too hard because everybody has watched TV before or turned on a laptop and it’s all basically the same idea. There’s a screen in front of me and I just need to put something on the screen and how do I do that? And most people have worked projectors before in some way or another—a lot of people have. And it’s really simple. The basics are I have a computer that has a file, it’s literally just a picture file. If you know how to pull up a picture file on your phone and fill up the screen, you can do the same thing on the background [of your stage]. You just need to put the picture on the computer in the right place and you effectively need to have a giant cord connecting your computer to a projector and the projector just turns on. That’s really it.
What’s great is that we did this in several different theatre spaces. I’ve used scenic projection in different spaces at different times, different types of projections. Some where it was rear-projected, some where it was already mounted. Sometimes we had to set it up ourselves, it was easy to do. You had to find out where you wanted the projector, but for the most part places already had projectors in position, in place because even if they weren’t using it during theatre shows they would use it for other programmed events. A lot of auditorium spaces or theatre spaces have projectors already ready to go, the cord is ready to go.
We’ve actually had teenagers set it up for us before. It’s great. They know how to email files, they know how to download images. When we received the images from Theatre Avenue, it’s great, you just save it as a picture file and put it where you want it and create the slideshow—for us, creating a slideshow worked really well because then you could just transition from scene to scene and it was so easy.”