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Topic: Recommendations for Short Throw "Digital Backdrop" Projectors
Joined: Jan 13, 2015
Posts: 1
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Hello. I'm a high school theatre director in need of projector recommendations. I've seen cool projection use in contemporary church services similar to what I'm trying to do, so I'm hoping to garner wisdom from all of you:

In our mid sized auditorium (40 ft wide x 32 ft deep proscenium stage, 650 seats in audience), I'm looking to utilize projectors for projecting digital backdrops onto a large white cyclorama curtain on the back of the stage. The cyclorama is 40 ft wide by 30 ft tall. (For example: if we were doing the musical "Into the Woods", I would like to project a looping video of a forest as scenery background, instead of using an expensive painted canvas.)

I do not believe there is enough room on stage to rear project images, as our cyc curtain is just 3 ft from the back wall. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

My thought was to hang a few projectors from one of our battens over the stage, and essentially "daisy chain" the projectors together, so the projected image covers the amount of space we need (roughly 40 ft by 30 ft on the cyc curtain). So it would be front projection coming from an upward angle down onto the cyc. The batten is about 10 ft away from the cyc.

What are your recommendations? (Type of projector? Number of projectors needed? Do I need a video switcher? Other equipment? Etc.) We are pretty low budget around here, so I'm hoping to snag projectors for under $1k a piece, even if it's sacrificing on quality a little.
Joined: Jul 1, 2015
Posts: 1
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Did you ever figure this out? We have a similar size theatre, and I also teach high school theatre... I'm trying to do the same thing, and am researching options.
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 12,652
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The short answer to all of this is that there are solutions, and they will likely run upwards of $250,000 or more to do this reasonably well.

If that budget doesn't scare you away, then you should contact a professional integrator who can help you out. This isn't a solution you pull out by asking online. It requires years of knowledge and involvement with extremely talented people to pull off.

Likewise, requiring projectors to be mounted from a specific location to provide coverage from top to bottom is going to make things more interesting and could drastically increase the number of projectors required.

I would expect a number between 6-12 projectors rated upwards of 5,000 lumens to be required.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.