On 15th July 2012 Londoners were treated to a series of surprise happenings on and around some of the most iconic sites and structures in the capital. Staged by the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), Brooklyn's visionary choreographer, Elizabeth Streb and her company of "action heroes" put on an astounding display of awe-inspiring bravery and great beauty, culminating in the breath-taking finale at the London Eye where 32 performers inhabited every other spoke of the wheel.

In order for as many Londoners as possible to share this extraordinary experience LIFT called upon QED to project to live camera images of the performance onto the neighbouring Shell Centre building. Cameras were positioned on the Victoria Embankment, vision mixed locally and then relayed back across the Thames via a microwave HD video link to the projection point on the Southbank where 20 of QED's Christie HD18K 20,000 lumen roadsters projected the live action onto this iconic 107m high building.

The projectors were blended horizontally and vertically in an array of two by five projectors which were then doubled up for extra brightness and inherent live back-up. With the camera lenses requiring 172x magnification and only one follow-spot to illuminate the performers against the background of the night sky it was always going to be a challenge to generate sufficiently bright high quality images for the projection, and with the need for secrecy there was no opportunity to do any rehearsals. However, as soon as the event began and images first projected then it instantly became clear how technically impressive it looked and what an extraordinary spectacle Londoners were being treated to.

QED's Production Manager, Paul Simmons, was tasked with technically producing the event, with Head of Digital Media, Richard Porter, managing the projection mapping and the switching between the live camera feed and additional graphical content. Four d3 media servers were used for the building mapping with QED's bespoke fibre distribution rack supplying all the signals and remote control for all the projectors plus individual monitoring on each fibre channel output.

LIFT 2012

www.liftfestival.com

Credits

Production Director: Paul Simmons
Head of Digital Media: Richard Porter
Projection team: David Voyce, Harry Ricardo, Adam Bending, Dan Hall, Mike Snarr
Video team: Neal Law, Steve Kallmeier, Matt Hill, Martin Duckett
Lighting Designer: Paul Cook

Photographs

Mike Snarr (1-5)
Steve Heliczer (6/8/9)
Richard Porter (7/11)
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