Award-winning master projection designer, Bart Kresa, and his company, BARTKRESA studio, have been creating one-of-a-kind projected backdrops for HBO’s Golden Globes party for 12 years. When Kresa began designing the projections for this event, the projectors were positioned at a 90° angle to the projection surface. However, three years ago, Billy Butchkavitz, the event designer behind Warner Media and HBO’s highly coveted parties, added a tent that obscured the existing projector positions. When Kresa shifted the projectors to positions that were no longer perpendicular to the wall, the tent cast shadows on the projection area. Moving the projectors allowed Kresa and his team to employ a crucial projection mapping skill—filling the shadows.
Patching is the technique of using lower-lumen projectors to fill in shadows in the projections. Kresa has been using this technique, both strategically and artistically, since he began designing projections 25 years ago. “In 1995, we were masking and unmasking different projectors to patch shadows,” Kresa remembers. Now, video servers, such as Watchout, allow Kresa and his team to identify the area of shadow, create the patch, and send the video of the patch to the projector that is filling that area. The Panasonic laser projectors that BKS has used for the last three HBO Golden Globes parties have uniform color between the lower lumen and higher lumen projectors, making the patch imperceptible. BARTKRESA studio is able to recreate the patch effect for each iteration of the show, and can incorporate this into their design process.
The Warner Media and HBO Golden Globes party is a great example of utilizing patching. The edge of the party tent obstructs the projection cones of the primary projectors, casting a shadow on the far edge of the projection area. Because the event takes place in the pool area of the Beverly Hilton, which is surrounded by multistory buildings, Kresa is able to add two patch projectors to shoot from two stories above the primary projectors. The higher position clears the top of the tent, filling the shadows. Despite the difference in projector angles, patching creates a seamless effect when employed correctly.
Filling the shadows at the Warner Media and HBO Golden Globes party elevates the quality of the projections to match the high-end projection and event design. The client also sees the additional projectors and coverage as added value. Kresa observes, “There is definitely an appreciation, though when you do the patch correctly, no one notices.”