"Warrington Parr Hall projection mapping event"
Draw & Code’s latest projection mapping project was part of a spectacular event held at Warrington’s Parr Hall. The famous venue was illuminated for one night only with the story of Warrington unfolding to a soundtrack created by local students.
The event was part of the launch of the Happi App that acts as a guide to the town for young people. Students, teachers and dignitaries from both Warrington and its twin town of Hilden in Germany turned out for the launch event that finished with our projection show lighting up the night sky.
As ever, our projection mapping show began with a full inspection of the location and a 3D scan of Parr Hall. The purpose of the scan is to build a 3D version of the venue to ensure that our projections match the contours of the building perfectly. However, this time it was the colour and texture of the surface on which we were to project that really had us concerned. Parr Hall is mainly red brick, which is a challenge for projecting onto.
The answer to the dilemma was to use bright, psychedelic colours, which tied in nicely with Lewis Carroll and going down the Rabbit Hole. This was one of the main themes that the students of Warrington and Runcorn had identified for the projection; when we arrived they already had basic storyboards mapped out and the soundtrack was also taking shape.
The storyboard came together during workshops at The Heath where students worked with us on the final draft. Talented young musicians were part of the workshops too, creating a cheeky soundtrack that formed a major part of the experience. Accent Music Hub were instrumental in putting it together, although we had fun back here in the studio adding some of our own sound effects; listen out for our Mike shouting ‘Pineapple’ on the video above!
Warrington is the natural crossing point of the Mersey, so it’s a colourful place with more history than initially meets the eye. The perfect place to start our research was in Warrington’s museum; a kooky, Wes Anderson-esque Aladdin’s Cave of delights. It’s meticulously presented, a real hidden gem. We were taken by the Cabinet of Curiosity that included such delights as a taxidermy turkey being passed-off as a dodo!
We went to the museum to find inspiration and we got it by the bucketload! The experience helped to inform our psychedelic style that also took cues from Monty Python and The Yellow Submarine.
Fast forward to the big day, and after the final rehearsal we took up residence nearby in Palmyra, a gorgeous bar that served good coffee and played even better music. Here we indulged on copious amounts of nacho cheese as we mulled over how the show would go. After our apprehension about how dark the building was, it was a lovely looking show. The projectors from Fact Services were bright and clear, while our vivid colour palette did its job to stand out against Parr Hall’s red brick.
I think it’s the first projection mapping show we’ve done where there was countdown from the crowd – which was awesome. People had been enjoying a show put on by students, although we were a little too busy to get involved so we kept our heads down until it was time for the projections. In test projections and the weeks of animating it’s easy to get blasé, so it was amazing to share it with people.
The whole show went well and it was a pleasure to see our animations and to hear the student’s music. Our only downside is that the event was mainly for dignitaries and those involved in the production – we would love to share it with even more of the people of Warrington.