The Columbus Area Bicentennial Commission recently celebrated the 200th year of Bartholomew County, Ind., with an immersive light projection show by Blockhouse Studios.
The company utilized seven Epson Pro Series laser projectors to create “200 Years Together: Our Stories Illuminated on Fourth Street.” The project celebrated the bicentennial with visuals that captured the history and culture of the last 200 years.
Ideating the Project
“When the Columbus Area Bicentennial Commission came to us with a vision for their illumination event, we knew we could make it special for this unique city,” Kevin Winkler, owner, Blockhouse Studios, said.
He revealed that extensive detail went into the visual art for the store window display to make it unique and offer a historical context.
“[This included] radios, TVs and clothing that were manufactured in Columbus from each of the individual eras. Because of this, we knew we needed a projection solution that would provide the advanced resolution needed to reproduce every minute detail and even read text in each of the store windows,” Winkler said.
Bringing in the Epson Pro Series
Blockhouse Studios leveraged seven Epson Pro Series projectors for the creation of the event. According to Blockhouse, the projectors are designed for virtually any large-venue application. The projectors offer innovative advanced 3-chip 3LCD projection technology, interchangeable lenses, extraordinary image quality, and incredible brightness.
Thus, the event depicted a historical story with defining moments from giant, 3D-looking images of local figures to a mix of swirling, dancing Cs. The Cs, part of the city of Columbus’ brand, appeared to spill out of the building’s windows toward the crowd.
Blockhouse also applied its background in cinematography to create the eight-minute show by filming content using a green screen.
“We try to create more of a theater-type show on a three-dimensional structure,” continued Winkler. “Additionally, we produce these shows in very high resolution, which requires more projectors than are traditionally used to cover the same amount of space. But the result speaks for itself – it’s an important part of the magic that leaves our audiences questioning how we created it.”
Winkler also stated that they wanted to make the project accessible for visitors. This meant allowing visitors to get close without casting a shadow on the projection.
“We were able to do this by getting creative and angling the projectors from across the street, which is another reason we relied so heavily on the brightness and image quality of the Epson Pro L models,” he disclosed.
“Epson’s laser projectors are designed to allow visual professionals to create memorable events, which is exactly what Blockhouse Studios did for the Columbus community,” Ramzi Shakra, product manager, Epson America, Inc., said. “As visual artists find new, exciting ways to leverage projectors, we are always delighted to see how Epson’s technology is used to bring people together for a shared experience.”
Outlining the Final Outcome
The immersive show highlighted the city and county’s past, present and future through the impressive projection on the historic Ulrich Building in downtown Columbus. The experience brought the community together over the course of a two-day celebration.
“We were looking for an opportunity to demonstrate the rich history of the Columbus area and connect the community in a safe, unique celebration,” Tobi Herron, co-chair of Columbus Area Bicentennial, said. “The creative skills of Blockhouse Studios and the cutting-edge technology they were able to bring to the project were the perfect combination. Their design and technical delivery of the show were a huge hit. They made something our community will be talking about for years to come.”