New York, NY– Broadway’s musical sensation Be More Chill ended its marvelous run this month after playing 30 previews and 177 regular shows at The Irene Diamond Stage and the Lyceum Theatre. The Stephen Brackett directed musical, called for an all-star projection team to illustrate the experiences of the main character after he swallows a pill-sized supercomputer and instructs him how to be more chill. 4Wall Entertainment provided Designer Alex Basco Koch and company with a complete projection package to map the entire set with video.
Four Barco UDX-4K32 projectors were mounted on custom-built brackets that allowed two units to hang from the loge seats positioned house left and right. This allowed the projectors to be hung without damaging the historic architecture of the theater. The projector’s 4K UHD resolution and 31,000 lumen light output ensured accurate color for the content projected on the Beowulf Boritt set.
“The content is a candy-colored digital environment that’s designed to both overwhelm the audience, fill the stage, and settle into the background to let the audience’s attention stay with the actors,” explained Designer Alex Basco Koch. “The content changes in aesthetic and tone as the story progresses and the dangers of the supercomputer become apparent.”
To drive the array of complex video projections, 4Wall supplied disguise solo and 2x4 pro media servers.
The set was a series of open portals like the frames of an iPhone. Two of the three portals were automated, and Alex needed to map the front and inner panels of the portals, blend the projectors and track the set as it moved.
“The disguise solo served as our pure production machine while we had three 2x4 pros for our display machines and understudy,” Video Supervisor Kim Caldwell explained. “Our programmer, Ido Levran, used the machine in Alex’s studio to pre-program while we built the system in the shop. As we were only using the solo in a production role, we were able to build the racks without delay and add the solo back in at the last minute before load in without issue.”
The automation tracking features of disguise were also a bonus for the production.
“disguise proved super-helpful dealing with projection on a moving scenic piece,” said Kim. “The automation tracking was reliable and efficient in moving the tech process along when the creatives were gathered in the room.”
The final curtain call for the Be More Chill cast was on August 11, 2019. Following the last performance, composer Joe Iconic took the stage to give a speech and performed The Goodbye Song with the cast, family and friends.
Alex spoke of the service 4Wall provided that helped make this project a success.
“The service from 4Wall was incredible. Having Art Lavis join us in the theater a few times to check in on tech was invaluable,” said Alex. “It has fostered great conversations about how to use in the gear in the future, and helped us when we made adjustments to the order during tech.”
- Designer – Alex Basco Koch
- Associate – John Erickson
- Assistant – Stivo Arnoczy
- Video Supervisor – Kim Caldwell
- Programmer – Ido Levran
- Illustrations – Roger Miller
- Animation – Stephanie Beattie, Gabriel Bielawski, John Erickson, Kevan Loney
- Intern – Emilia Wojciechowski
Founded in 1999, 4Wall Entertainment is a global full-service lighting, video, and rigging company catering to all facets of the entertainment industry. From corporate events and theatre to concert touring and television, 4Wall provides superior quality rentals, services, new and used sales, and system installations. For more information visit www.4wall.com