Scharff Weisberg was tasked with providing video support at three venues within the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a by-invitation-only memorial service for famed artist Robert Rauschenberg who passed away earlier this year.
"They did an excellent job and guided us through all of the technical challenges of a very complex event," notes Mark Pace, an independent event coordinator with extensive background in convention and performing-arts facility management. "It is my understanding that the Rauschenberg Memorial was the first time the Museum has had a 'simulcast' between The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium and The Temple of Dendur, not to mention a delayed webcast of the event." Speakers for the Memorial were split between the Auditorium and The Temple of Dendur requiring the live feed from each room to be broadcast to both rooms.
"The two rooms were designed as common event space for the Memorial," echoes Scharff Weisberg event manager Tony Rossello. "Each space had a host of speakers, and the presentations bounced from one space to the other. We facilitated this through eight fiber lines as part of the infrastructure of the building. We had two cameras in each room capturing the presentations."
The Auditorium was used as master control for both rooms providing some switching, playback from Grass Valley Turbos and PowerPoint display. "When a speaker called for visuals in either space, they were called up on the Grass Valley Kayak switcher here, and placed as a PIP window in either space," explains Rossello. Projection was single screen, using Barco SLM-R12 projectors. Communications were facilitated through RTS running over the telephone infrastructure between the rooms.
For the Temple of Dendur a Barco Screen Pro II was used for switching. PIPs were created locally using the media playback from the Grace Rainey Rodgers Auditorium through fiber and switched locally. A distributed sound system was also furnished.
In addition, Scharff Weisberg supplied two video projection systems for the Museum's Great Hall. They consisted of double-stacked Barco SLMR10 video projectors shooting in the 16:9 format plus four 32-inch monitors on stands; all media was run from DVD sources and was unique to each screen.
"I attribute the Memorial's success to Tony Rossello," says Mark Pace. "Tony not only provided us with invaluable guidance about what equipment and personnel were needed for the production, he also anticipated many of the problems that may occur when planning for a live production requiring the highest level of expertise from the crew and the highest quality of equipment."
By way of example, Pace cites Rossello's discovery "that we had the incorrect aspect ratio for the projections in The Great Hall. He could have simply stretched the image to fit the screen, but instead he alerted us to the problem and we were able to correct the aspect ratio providing stunning imagery in the balcony arches above The Great Hall. Tony also coordinated with the two production companies we used in Florida to produce background video for the production."
Pace received "the highest of accolades" from Mr. Rauschenberg's family, the Trustees of his Estate, and friends who attended the Memorial. "I attribute that success to the professionalism of Scharff Weisberg, the Museum staff and Glorious Food caterers. It was a pleasure to work with all of them."
Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, firms with extensive histories in the presentation and staging markets, recently announced a co-ownership agreement. While continuing to operate independently, the two companies work together strategically to provide clients with state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting equipment and services. With a strong presence on both coasts, Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications are able to deliver a large array of cost-effective services on a national level. For more information, call 212-582-2345 or visit our website at www.scharffweisberg.com. For more information on Video Applications, visit www.videoapps.com.