LOVE NIDA Gala Dinner

Sydney Australia 6 September 2008

Client: National Institute of Dramatic Art



For five decades Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art has been the cradle of the Australian performing arts scene. The institution has nurtured many now famous performers and actors and continues to break new ground. NIDA produces many shows and events each year, most of which form part of the students’ syllabus. The Love NIDA gala dinner was no different and gave the third-year technical production students an opportunity to design a themed dinner and to work with various projection technologies.

The Electric Canvas mentored the students over the project production period providing them with the background and tools to work with the technology. Large-format PIGI projection was used to project a “reflection” of the colourful table tops that had been designed and painted by the students onto the ceiling above the guests. The large metal mesh feature wall at one end of the space was transformed into a funky fish tank using powerful video projectors and the OnlyView media system. We deliberately projected the video from an oblique angle to expose the students to real-world physical challenges that are common in the theatre. The OnlyView system handled the keystone deformation and edge-blending so the image appeared undistorted and fitted the mesh exactly. The tank was brought to life with numerous animated fish and other strange objects conducive to the Love 60’s theme. A popular feature of the fish tank was a yellow submarine that made regular appearances. In another part of the room was a black enclosure fitted with a life buoy into which guests we encouraged to place their heads. Once inside, the guest could see the entire function from above on a plasma screen but in fact, they themselves we being captured by a hidden video camera that placed their face inside the bubble window of the submarine much to the delight of their fellow guests.