Advice and Resources

Capturing emotional richness in projection design: A look at the creation of Bright Star Scenic Projections.

With a plot that spans the decades between 1920 and 1940, our Scenic Projections are challenged to not only anchor the plot in its time, but reflect the emotional arc of the story.

As a lover of musical theatre, I don't just think of Steve Martin as an iconic, frenetic stand up comedian and actor, but as the musical force behind one of contemporary theatre's most emotionally rich love and redemption stories. The lyrical color and nuanced storytelling calls for equally resonant scenery. With a plot that spans the decades between 1920 and 1940, our Scenic Projections are challenged to not only anchor the plot in its time, but reflect the emotional arc of the story. I chat with Brianna Spicer (our product manager) to learn more about the process.

Lawrence: Hi, Brianna! Thanks for taking the time to chat Bright Star! I want to dive right in and ask about the origins of the art style.

Brianna: We wanted the projections to feel timely and make geographical sense, so we utilized a historical drawing style of illustration. You might say it's a little blueprint-esque. It's soft antiquated shapes behind sketched linework to give a historical impression. Also, there are different sorts of textures layered overtop, such as crumpled paper, that also helps achieve an aged look. Finally, we utilized a warm color palette to give it that quintessential southern feel.

Lawrence: Do you have a stand-out scene?

Brianna: I really like the Train Depot, immediately following intermission. We begin in the sky with the curtain warmer and pan down to the train, which takes off into the next scene. It's a high detail, animated train, which creates a real contrast with the painterly style of the scenery. It brings this great sense of movement and energizes the audience for the second act.

Lawrence: What's a key takeaway for theatremakers when making a decision on digital scenery?

Brianna: Really take a look at the illustration style at Bright Star – we designed it to help cement the time period, but not be overbearing – the soft illustrations and color really help focus attention on the action and provide a really lovely palette of colors for light design. I hope they love it!

Bright Star Scenic Projections are available to license from Broadway Media. Click here to learn more.

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