Take a look at our unique design for the hit musical, We Will Rock You!
We were approached by the director to design scenery, lighting and sound for a production with no large scale set pieces in a venue with limited wing space.
The decision to stage this show with no traditional scene changes was mostly down to practicality as the show moves quickly between many far-fetched locations – a futuristic high school, a junkyard, an evil corporate headquarters, and an underground hideaway for Rock n’ Roll obsessed Rebels to name a few…
We based the scenery around a large white cyc that curved from downstage-right, up and around the back of the set. In the upstage-left corner was a 4.5m tall circular screen made with a back-projection membrane. Both of these surfaces were projected on to form the various locations demanded by the script.
The back projection screen was used primarily as a 1984 style television screen where ‘globalsoft’ propaganda could be intercut with video communications from other characters to those on stage. Green Screen footage was captured during the technical rehearsals and quickly graded to sit inside a 3D rendering of the spinning ’GS’ logo. This footage was then formed into a line-by-line triggarable cuestack which could accommodate the live actors varying line delivery and occasional skipped lines to give the illusion of a live conversation every night.
The cyc projections were used as virtual backdrops and set extensions for many scenes throughout the show. All of the virtual sets were made as 3D models so that depth based atmospheric effects and lighting could be added (and more importantly easily edited) to match the physical lighting on stage. The set contained many hidden effects that could all be controlled via the lighting desk such as practical lamps, smoke-spewing fans and vents, and vintage CRT monitors which matched with the projected content to blur the lines between the physical and digital scenery.
The outcome was a slick production with a coherent visual identity, it also allowed the director to achieve scale with a show in a difficult venue.
As the physical set up and the video content was all produced in-house, We were able to rework the projections for different productions with different casts and venues. This has also led to many different projector set-ups being used, with some wider venues requiring edge blending on projectors used side-by-side, while in other We have overlaid multiple projectors to achieve brightness over long throws.
I had high expectations of the M3 Productions design and it did not disappoint! I was amazed at the creativity and attention to detail. As the audience entered, we were transported into another world with an amazing scenic landscape, flickering lights, 'malfunctioning' screens and incredible soundscape. One word, incredible!Audience Member