Christie projection mapping played a key role at the third annual Fiesta de la Luz in Quito in Ecuador, Latin America’s biggest light festival.
Fifteen Christie Roadster WU20K-J projectors were the driving force behind three Christie projection mapping setups on the facades of the city’s cathedral and the churches of Santo Domingo and San Francisco.
Organized by the Quito City Council, the mission of Fiesta de la Luz is “to artistically light up the city’s main historic buildings,” according to the council.
This year coincided with the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Quito as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the event attracted 2.5 million people who strolled through the streets of the old quarters of the city over the course of five nights.
The Ecuadorian rental and staging company 3Laser was commissioned with organizing the festival’s mapping projections, thanks to its reputation as the country’s leading name for the production of large-scale projections.
Ángel Cuesta, director of 3Laser, explained some of the peculiarities of Quito when it comes to staging open-air projections.
“Unlike other cities in Ecuador where we have done mappings before, the altitude of Quito, at a height of 2,800 meters above sea level, coupled with the high contamination, creates very specific conditions,” says Cuesta.
“We carried out tests using Christie Roadster projectors from other brands with 18,000 lumens and WUXGA resolution, and the lamps only lasted half the length because they didn’t have the proper filters required; all they had were optical filters,” he says.
“That means that the pollution goes straight to the lamp bulb which produces a kind of black veil over the glass, and deposits dust on the reflector.”
At 2,800 meters high, the ventilators spin faster and the air is thinner, and that makes the sensors of those projectors mistakenly indicate that the optical filter is covered. So you have to take off the filter and that has the knock-on effect of reducing the lens life because of dust.
Christie Roadster projectors, on the other hand, “finish one show and they are immediately ready for the next, time and time again,” says Cuesta.
“All we have to do is change the air filter. In the 156 mappings we have done with Christie projectors, they have always operated as if they were brand new. And some of them have already clocked up over 4,000 hours of use.”
The Christie projection mapping during the Fiesta de la Luz were a resounding success and were highly acclaimed.
“There is no margin of any kind of post-production in live events,” says Cuesta. “They either work or they don’t; there is no middle ground. And, in this case, once again, the Christie Roadster projectors performed extraordinarily well and enabled us to exceed our client’s expectations.”