Press release

Christie Pandoras Box pulls the strings with the Dead Puppet Society

Christie®, a leader in creating and delivering the world’s best visual and audio experiences, is pleased to be technical sponsor for the Dead Puppet Society’s production of The Wider Earth by David Morton. The award-winning drama tells the story of a young Charles Darwin’s around-the-world journey aboard the HMS Beagle – is showing at a purpose-built theatre in London’s Natural History Museum. Christie provided the Pandoras Box Players, Pandoras Box Manager and Widget Designer software to control animated projection content for the 11-meter screen, which provides a vibrant and detailed backdrop for the actors and puppets on a revolving stage.

The Wider Earth blends the traditional storytelling medium of puppetry with creative sound, lighting and video elements in an impressive spectacle at the 357-seat venue located in the museum’s Jerwood Gallery. The screen depicts many of the exotic locations that Darwin explored, further immersing the audience in the action told by seven characters and 30 wooden puppets. The backdrop is a 3-way projector blend mapped to a curved canvas screen stretching over 10 meters wide and 2.5 meters high. Each projector relays its native resolution of 1920 x 1200, creating a 5000 x 1200-pixel canvas. Pandoras Box manages the warp and blend, as well as controlling the internal shutters of the projectors via Art-Net.


“The projection provides a powerful representation of the places that Darwin traveled to on the voyage, and it allows us to deliver the landscapes in a visually compelling way,” says Nicholas Paine, executive producer, Dead Puppet Society. “Pandoras Box combines with other elements – sound, lighting and of course the performers and puppets – to help create visual theater.”

“The use of the timeline triggering through Widget Designer and a local preview of all three screens made it quick and easy to allow Lx (Lighting) to plot to a scene while vision worked a few scenes ahead,” says Sam Maher, technical manager, Dead Puppet Society. “There are two extremely useful features in Pandoras Box that I wouldn’t want to go without again. One is the use of mapping the players from the Manager’s preview window via a simple and quick method. The other is the ability to send Art-Net straight from the timeline via a custom DMX profile. This has allowed us to perfectly time align the internal shutters of a projector to be frame accurate to the content every time.”

Maher adds, “The use of Widget Designer in a system removes the feeling of limitation; its ability to integrate with virtually any other system via almost any protocol opens up the ability to create in a new way.”

“It’s fantastic to be able to support this unique production, which is taking place in such an iconic and appropriate location of the Natural History Museum,” says Mike Steinbrecher, global technical sales manager, Christie. “Dead Puppet Society is committed to communicating compelling narratives in creative ways via its own medium of visual theatre. It’s productions like this that are the reason why Pandoras Box was created – to provide the tools to allow the innovative minds of artists, producers and creative talents around the world to deliver engaging visual experiences and demonstrate the power of stories.”

​​About Christie®

Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. is a global visual and audio technologies company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio Inc., Japan, (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors and complete system displays, Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centres to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images. Visit www.christiedigital.com for more information.

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