Creative Projection: Don’t Get Boxed Into Typical Gear Usage

A few years back, I decided that I would take the resources I have been blessed with, and start to think about how to use them in the ways I’m called to, and to then push them to their limits.

Creative Projection: Don’t Get Boxed Into Typical Gear Usage
A view of the We Are One Women's Conference, held this year at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas.

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Creative Projection: Don’t Get Boxed Into Typical Gear Usage

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Another example involved our Women’s Conference, which occurred just last week.

Our women’s team really knows how to dream big, and I love it. Their budget, though, doesn’t always match up to their dreams.

At the beginning, the women’s team walked into the design meeting with hopes and dreams of a massive LED wall to display content on. I then spent the next couple of weeks calling in favors and pulling in numbers for an LED wall rental.

Unfortunately, the most I could get the price down to was around $13,000 for the week, but after submitting that number, I was told the women’s team had only planned to spend $2,000 on scenic.

Like I said, big dreams.

That meant we were back to the drawing (or rendering) board.

Sketch after sketch got tossed in the trash can, because I didn’t have the money to pull off what they wanted, and I found myself that I couldn’t get that original idea out of my head.

I had to switch my mindset, and ask, “What do I have?” Not “What do I not have?” While I have projectors hanging in spaces that weren’t originally planned to be used for this conference, I then had to ask, “How can I use them?”

I decided to build my own screens, with the available budget, using Unistrut, spandex, and magnets with what I had for funds. We designed the setup using Vectorworks, exported to Cinema 4D, and the video team then went to work creating content.

(Note: We did have to tweak the content once the setup was done, because almost always the plans change when setup happens).

Once this was done, the setup transformed the room, and you couldn’t notice that the projectors didn’t match perfectly, since the screens weren’t touching. We even inverted the mask at one point and used the projectors to serve as quasi lasers, to shoot slow movements in between the screens, creating a very immersive and intimate moment.

My last example also involved a different Women’s Conference; one where they wanted bling. The theme for the conference revolved around diamonds, and how they shine out. Achieving this was tricky, because I didn’t want to just have a projector displaying a glimmering diamond and call it a day.

These women deserved a something more intentional. One that could get their focus off their lives for a little bit. 

I had one spare projector laying around during this event, and pitched an idea that I truly wasn’t sure would work or not.

The idea? To build a 10-foot 3D diamond out of plexi, fill it will haze, and then project into it.


More About Kevin Penrod
Kevin Penrod has been studying lighting design for 11 years. He attended college at West Texas A&M, where he studied Theatre Arts with concentrations in Lighting Design and Business Management. He is currently the Lighting Designer at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, where he manages the creative lighting design, scenic elements, and their implementation. In his free time, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and newborn son and remodeling his home.
Get in Touch: kevinpenrod@tfc.org    More by Kevin Penrod

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