Thursday, September 6, 2012

Newspaper Pixels

Johannesburg slowly emerges on the wall of Theatre on the Square...

A pixelated wall for theatre backdrop.  How exciting.  I know.  I spent the whole... and I mean the whole of Tuesday tearing up the Sunday Times (because of course the play being Sunday Morning - only a Sunday newspaper would do - even if no one knows - it still counts) breaking off bits of prestic and sticking the individual pixels onto the theatre wall.  What a mission.  I was in such a flat panic that I wouldn't finish in time.  But miraculously I did... here I am two days later and my fingers are still so sore from ripping prestic - who knew!?  It was worth it though.

So the 'how to' of a newspaper pixel backdrop...

Have a wonderfully inventive and super talented designer - for us that's Alastair Findlay - to come up with the design of the image... a semi-circular Joburg skyline... ahh.  The rest of the circle is completed on the stage floor with a semi circle of more hap-hazzardly ripped newsprint which demarcates the playing space amongst other thing of course... (and this has always been part of the design)  So now it is no longer the semi-circle of life but the circle... of life.  Deep.

Set aside like about 9 hours... or get help.  Help would be good.  (Important to note... I did of course actually have help over the weekend in the form of Nick my husband and Amelia my stepdaughter.  But sadly I had asked for the stage wall to be painted grey and it really didn't work - there wasn't enough contrast... so it was repainted on Monday when we did our full tech leaving only Tuesday and me to complete the wall.  Hectic.

Then project your image image onto the wall and outline it in chalk.  Ensuring that you don't let your computer go to sleep as the image will have moved when you wake it up again.  Mmm.  Frustrating...  So there I was every few minutes running up into the empty theatre seats, where the projector was balanced, to my computer and running my finger along the mouse pad sensory thing...

Yip.  Develop a system... mine was this:

1.  Tear the paper into the pixels using a metal ruler for straight lines
2.  Rip and stick balls of prestic onto as many pixels as you can stand (whist you are sitting cross-legged on the stage)
3.  Grab a massive hand full of prestic ready pixels and get sticking
4.  Start from the bottom up... such brilliant advise from the site The House That Lars Built (which incidentally I stumbled upon after deciding to do this... but it was key piece of advise that made it possible ... try any other way and you'll see what I mean.  Thats a challenge)
5.  Step away often to see the image emerge, creating delight, giving you the energy to 'keep calm & carry on'

My favourite pixel leading up Ponte tower.

Inspired by The House That Lars Built we made a physical tweet board... for why you love Joburg...
a few of which I will instagram and tweet and bite-size blog...

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