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Topic: Help with projector for video shoot
Joined: Feb 3, 2020
Posts: 2
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Hi! I work in video production and have a project where we'd like to use a projector for visual effect. Looking to rent for this and am totally new to understanding projectors. I read the B&H buying guide, which got me here.

This will be in a roughly 2500-sq. ft. studio where there's a lighting rig and flexibility for places to mount the projector.

A single person will be in the shot, with a tall/wide sweep behind them. We want to project photos behind the subject and light only the subject's face, with as much care taken to not light the screen as possible (using cookies/flags, etc.).

Working on getting exact size of room and sweep. Until then I'm thinking the projector specs should be:

-At least 4000-7000 lumens
-Lens with ability to zoom
-Long throw distance & ratio, unsure of exact specs until I get room measurements

Does this sound right? Am I not considering something or way off on my specs?

Any help appreciated, and thank you!
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 12,994
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I would be very hard pressed to tell you any specifics of what you would need in terms of setup. Projector brightness is typically based upon the size of the screen, so throwing out a number like 5,000 lumens doesn't mean anything without first knowing the screen size. As well, be aware that unless you are using sourced material at 4K, then having a 4K projector may be useless.

For shooting video, you may also want/need to get a projector which can properly sync up to the video equipment so that scan lines don't appear in the final product. I know all of this is important, but I don't have first hand experience of working with pro-level gear that has these features and functionality.

You also will need to remember that the projector itself will have a fixed aspect ratio. So, if you end up with a really wide background, that's not as tall, you will likely need multiple projectors setup with edge blending.

There is a lot going on here and a lot which could go wrong. I would likely get something to test shots with before committing to a specific projector and a budget.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Joined: Feb 3, 2020
Posts: 2
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Thanks so much for responding! Lots of good call-outs.

So, the studio got back to me with a floor plan. We won't have an actual screen to project on, but will be projecting on a seamless cyclorama wall. They assure me they've projected on it before and it looked good.

Basically, we will have a huge, clean, flat surface to project on, and the ability to adjust the size of our frame to work with what the projector can do. My instinct is to rent a high-end multimedia projector or a large-venue projector, with high lumens, zoom range, and long throw distance.

Hopefully the rental house can work with us given this info? Does that seem...sane to you?

Definitely good to think about the flicker/scan lines issue. We should be able to get around this by lowering shutter speed to compensate if necessary, but will also test the camera on a few different projectors next week. Unfortunately we can't get into the studio until the day of the shoot - so it goes when you have limited budget, haha kill me now.