(The New) Tillicum Village Opening Day
Project Management, Scenic Design, Musion Eyeliner Integration, Video Content & Creative Consulting: TPN: John Vadino, Matt Yoder, Aaron Miller, Norm Spencer, Aaron Good, Pat Duffy, John Shrader, Gary Barks and Alex Berry
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The Tillicum village experience begins at the ticket booth on pier 55 in downtown Seattle and includes an Argosy harbor cruise across Elliot Bay, an amazing meal featuring an authentic Salmon Bake and free time to explore Blake Island or historical native artifacts. The main event and arguably the most memorable component is the new Dance Show for which TPN services were engaged.
The longhouse Dance Show is a 21 minute, 3 second stage performance illustrating a slice of the culture of Blake Island’s original inhabitants, the Coast Salish peoples. To turn their creative and script solutions into reality, EXCLAIM turned to TPN’s production group and video talent. Early on it was determined that Musion Eyeliner technology was the best program solution as it provides a modern delivery of the ancient traditions threading the new EXCLAIM script. The Tillicum musion show will challenge you to see the difference between live actors and holographic-type video images; a test that generates buzz and curiosity while bringing modern innovation to the ancient art of story-telling and native dance.
In late summer 2010, TPN was tasked to design and build the new set/stage, integrate the video with the creative story, install and integrate Musion and completely revamp the Show lighting and audio (to accentuate Musion technology). It was TPN’s Matt Yoder, Project Manager who wastasked with overseeing all of these components.
Imagine the challenge of this site – it is an island, eight miles into Elliot Bay accessible only by boat. It was the leadership of TPN’s Aaron Miller, Technical Manager, that enabled the team to successfully move 35,000 pounds of equipment across Elliot Bay. Sitting with Miller and the production team on show day, I gathered some data on the quantities of equipment that went from ship to shore to longhouse. Like trivia? To re-build the stage it took 15,000 pounds of lumber. To remake the stage floor? 112, six-pound bags of concrete. The site now enjoys a totally new lighting system, thanks to Alex Berry, occupying 240 amps of power – much of which is the earth-friendly LED lighting, and an impressive 8,500 watts of “fist-pumping sound” makes up the audio component. With these numbers one begins to understand the leap from “small-island theatre” to a destination.
Impressive still was the new integrated, automated, video, lighting and sound system. In a few weeks time, TPNers will have gone home, but thanks to the skillful programming and design of TPN, using Medialon technology, the Tillicum staff will be able to reproduce the show, over and over again, with the literal push of a button.
Musion requires a very specific amount of space in order to produce the “magic” effects. The stage in Tillicum had no such space. Rather than rewrite the creative vision, the project team engineered a mirror-bounce solution that allowed the projectors to throw light accurately. “…In the rafters a large front-surface mirror “cheats” the full throw distance by bending the light at a 45 degree angle and shining it on the bounce screen on the floor. Mirror bounce systems aren’t too common in permanent installations, however this project had the added difficulty of needing to converge two projectors beams into one on the mirror before the light is bounced to the ground.
The scenic design is beautiful, even when void of programming. The intricate Native American imagery, painted by TPNer Pat Duffy, is calming to the eye and, despite the “fresh paint” it gives you a sense of history and permanence.