CBS called on WorldStage for video support as Carnegie Hall’s famous stage showcased the latest CBS stars and shows.
“CBS has used Carnegie Hall as its upfront venue for some time now,” said Shawn Oatey, WorldStage account manager/project manager. “Over the last three years, the production team has taken the path of using more of the proscenium and larger projections. This year’s upfront continued the process of moving away from the traditional rectangular widescreen-look, allowing speaker support content to live anywhere in the projected space of the proscenium.”
WorldStage was charged with expanding display beyond the hero screen to incorporate the architectural elements of Carnegie Hall’s proscenium stage. The network wanted to display content across the big canvas of a stage more accustomed to hosting symphony orchestras than upfronts.
“The overall project was demanding from a logistical and schedule standpoint,” said Oatey. “Working in a venue like Carnegie Hall presents numerous challenges, and the CBS team did an amazing job in a compact period of time.”
CBS Executive Producer Jane Gottlieb said, “WorldStage’s engineering and client service are the reasons why CBS relies on them for our events. We’re impressed with the complex work they are able to accomplish within restrictive parameters of space and time at Carnegie.”
Oatey described the array of display surfaces, which worked separately and in tandem: “A hard-wall scenic element painted white created the lower projection surface. There was a large white muslin hero screen surface for the main content. And white muslin scenic elements above the hero screen area, left and right of the center audio speaker cluster, which were also dressed in white. In addition, there was a rear-projected, 21x12-foot screen, which formed a backdrop for the center-stage ‘Mousehole’ entrance and main camera shot.”
WorldStage used 18 projectors to cover the display surfaces: 16 brand new J-Series Christie Roadster HD20K-J projectors, plus a pair of Christie HD10K-M projectors for rear projection on the ‘Mousehole’ entrance.
Projection design called for two separate 2x2 quadrant projection spaces, one inside the other, to create a seamless overall look that encompassed the entire stage and proscenium arch. “The larger outside quadrant projection was 80 feet wide and 51 feet tall and covered by four double-stacks of projectors,” Oatey explained. “The inner quadrant, for the hero screen, was 61 feet wide by 24 feet tall and covered by another group of four double-stacked projectors.”
Switching was performed with three Christie Vista Spyder X20s, which managed and distributed the content from 22 Dataton WATCHOUT servers. WorldStage used projection positioning, warping and masking to create an almost 3D projection mapped feel to the set.
“This show is a collaborative effort. All of us on the CBS team work hard to create something special and a little different each year,” Oatey said.