Life Is a Beach for WorldStage Server System Lights Huge Monitor Wall forand “Surf the Musical”
New York (Date, 2012) – WorldStage caught a wave this summer with “Surf the Musical,” which played at Planet Hollywood’s Peepshow theater in Las Vegas. The new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications Inc. was tasked with providing an on-stage display system for the show that would support the very large surfaces called for by the set design.
“They wanted a very bright, very high-resolution image – much brighter than video projection and higher resolution than LED video tiles, which meant considering video monitors,” recalls WorldStage president Josh Weisberg who served as system architect for the project. “I had seen the Sharp PN-V601 60-inch thin-bezel monitor at InfoComm and thought it might fill the bill: The mullion is very narrow, the image area is very large and it’s very bight. Coincidentally, the producers had been looking at this product prior to our involvement, and that seemed like a good omen.”
Set to a Beach Boys soundtack and directed by Kristin Hanggi, who helmed the Broadway hit “Rock of Ages,” “Surf the Musical” reunited WorldStage with projection designer Darrel Maloney. A positive experience with the UVA D3 media server on their prior collaboration, the “American Idiot” tour, made the D3 a given for the new production. And WorldStage recommended the Adaptive Technology wall-mounting system, a critical element in seam-less monitor walls.
WorldStage was challenged to configure the display system from 136 Sharp PN-V601 monitors. “We obviously didn’t want to utilize a single server channel per monitor,” says Weisberg. “That meant we would use the scaling engine built into each monitor to help ‘spread’ the display signal. The question was how far to spread it and how this would be configured. Spread across too many monitors, each server output would become pixilated. Spread across too few would require many more server channels. In the end, after testing and many discussions with Darrel, we arrived at a happy medium.”
Having decided upon the number of monitors and server channels, WorldStage EIC Barry Grossman designed the distribution and transmission system using a large routing switcher, fiber connectivity and some local distribution amplifiers to complete the signal chain. Building the playback and distribution system took place just five weeks before the delivery date. Adaptive Technologies assisted with the massive job of installing the monitors.
“The show’s video looked amazing,” reports Weisberg. “It was spectacular, especially a tracking sequence where video on the upstage screen moved in sync with a Ferris Wheel gag as well as the flying of the wall itself. The resolution was so high on the content and display that the images looked crisp from four feet away. And in the house, they looked as good as anything I’ve seen.”
JB Gold was the producer of “Surf the Musical.” For WorldStage, Raul Herrera was the server tech, Hector Vega the install tech and Ben Keightly the programmer.
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.