Saturday, August 20, 2016

Old Hall Theatre Test Projection

Date: Thursday, August 4th, 2016
Location: Projecting from the roof of Pizza Tree onto the north-east corner of the old Hall Theatre (opened in 1916 but discontinued as a theatre for going on decades now): Cherry street, between 9th and 10th, Columbia, Missouri.
Equipment: Epson EX5220 Projector 

The Occasion:
   A test for a possible future LOCD projection site - including a kind of inaugural first outdoor public projection featuring four images related to the project.
   My brother, Micah Fletcher, was about to move away from his hometown of Columbia for the first time in his life to go and live in Princeton, New Jersey where he has been accepted into the Graduate Program in Quantitative and Computational Biology. I wanted to mark this exceptional moment in some way, so I included the following from a trailer for the 1956 science fiction motion picture Forbidden Planet :
    "Today, man prepares to take
     his first step outward into space
     - tomorrow he will explore the stars."

   The clip shown below involves some of the initial set up - including the sounds of the rumblings of  Pizza Tree's  hood and hvac systems with birds and summer cicadas thrown in here and there to punctuate the space.

Clip duration: 10:18
0:00 - 3:49 set up and waiting for the sun to go down a little more with ancient greek kylix
3:50 presentation begins

Images shown in above clip:

1. A portion of an Attic red-figure kylix painted by Douris c.490-485 BC (Berlin Museum)
2. Clip from a trailer for Forbidden Planet. 1956. The first motion picture soundtrack to be comprised entirely of electronic music.
3. Jackson Pollock in East Hampton, New York - filmed by Hans Namuth in November, 1950.
4.  Part of the final sequence of  Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1956 film Le Mystère Picasso.

   Thanks to my dad, Randal Fletcher (whose projector we used), and brother, Micah Fletcher for hanging out with me on the roof as we staged this test on a classic hot and humid Missouri summer evening. Also, thanks to John Gilbreth (owner) and Scott Hampton of the most excellent Pizza Tree restaurant and to Stan Kroenke, owner of the old Hall Theatre, and his agent Gina Rende for allowing us to make this temporary video installation happen.

Test results:

   The above side-by-side comparison of the last part of the July 1st Orr Street Studios LOCD Project tells you just about all you need to know regarding how well this particular machine (EPSON EX5220) performs from this particular distance in this particular setting. Highly constrasting masses of value relationships like the kind used in the ancient greek vase paintings seem like the only visibly reasonable solution in this context, which I think is a good challenge in that it forces practice to keep from getting lost in a kind of "where's waldo" field of subtle refinement that sometimes tends to happen when the feel for the larger masses gets lost.

   Finally, all of the views you have seen so far have been from the roof where the projector is. Here's some footage to give you an idea of what it looks like at street level:

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