Over the years we’ve projection mapped many things, from mannequins to mansions, cars to castles and even Olympic-sized buildings and sports arenas. For the latest series of Dell commercials – Magic, GE, Chitale Dairy and Columbia Sportswear – we pushed the limits during 6 days on set to project content onto massive scrims, a jet engine, a boat, a snowboarder and even a real live cow named ‘Molly’.
The biggest challenge was working with a very tight daily schedule with numerous shots to capture each day. We needed to adapt to the director’s requests quickly between set changes, moving projectors around the set and sometimes even calculating new lensing calculations on the fly. Projectors needed to be elevated up on scissor lifts to get over cameras and lighting rigs swiftly, and to ensure we had surface coverage, and we had to focus as fast as possible on each surface as it changed position from shot to shot.
In total, a dozen projectors and a wide range of optical lenses were used to support a multitude of projection surfaces. Four 30,000 lumen projectors with ultra-short throw lenses and some creative warping allowed us to cover the rear 96’ wide x 40’ high surface. Our team also used two additional 30,000 lumen projectors to cover another large 80’ wide x 40’ tall downstage sharkstooth scrim.
To cover each of the smaller surfaces such as the jet engine, cow, hospital room, snowboarder, rock climber and fisherman, our team installed several compact and lightweight 10,000 and 20,000 lumen projectors, some of which had to be continuously moved based on camera positions. The results are truly magical.