Empowering a science-fiction-like set-up for The War of the Worlds musical
At the end of 2014, the curtains closed on ‘The War of The Worlds arena tour’, the successful musical based on the well-known science-fiction story by H.G. Wells. For eight epic years, composer Jeff Wayne had toured the world with his musical version of The War of the Worlds. For the sixth and final tour – the New Generation version – in 2014, he wanted to pull out all the stops. XL Video, which had been delivering the live video solution for all the tours since 2006, had the honor of also producing the Final Arena Tour, which kicked off in Sheffield on 27 November 2014 and came to a close on 16 December 2014 in Amsterdam. XL Video selected Barco projectors for the spectacular tour, which featured a stellar cast, an impressive live band, a huge 3D holography and an impressive mixture of visual effects, light and sound.
XL Video's Project Manager Paul Wood and his team chose several Barco solutions to power the lofty set-up. The system comprised a 30-meter wide by 6-meter deep front projection screen which was ‘flown’ upstage, using eight Barco FLM-R22 22K projectors in four double-stacked pairs, edge blended together to form one giant widescreen image. The four-stack system was required to get behind the 10-meter tall Martian Fighting Machine when it landed on center stage from the lighting rig.
Two Barco HDQ-2K40 projectors positioned understage were used to project onto a holographic film positioned downstage center. All the video sources – cameras and playback - were controlled and output to screen via a Barco Encore system programmed and run by XL’s engineer Philip Haynes, who also directed the live cameras. XL Video further provided four monitors showing various live feeds as backstage relays.
The intelligent approach to the production has allowed the show to be enjoyed live by a whole new generation of fans and become a timeless and classic stage presentation in its own right. "Bringing The War of The Worlds to life in many of the world’s finest arenas has been the most amazing experience, both musically and technologically", said Conductor Jeff Wayne.
Copyright pictures: Scott Davies