Edinburgh Tattoo Returns with Large-Format Projections

PLSN Staff • Projection Connection News • August 22, 2010

EDINBURGH, Scotland – The Projection Studio, Ross Ashton's London-based large format projection company, produced large-format projections on the walls of Edinburgh Castle for the 2010 Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. 2010 marked the 60th anniversary for the spectacle. There were more than 1,000 performers, including members of the Army and a long roster of international performers, all choreographed in a mix of music, dance and drama produced by Major General Euan Loudon.


Ashton has been involved with the Tattoo for the last five years as the projection artist. This year, he signed a new three-year contract to produce the projections on the castle to complement the performances taking place on the Esplanade below.


"It's always a great privilege to be asked to work on such a unique and high profile a show like this," said Ashton, "Even more so as the true potential of projection has proved itself and has a real commitment from the organizers."


The projection area is 90 meters wide and stretches the full width of the castle walls. Four PIGI 6K projectors fitted with double-rotating scrollers made the images, three covering the castle wall area and the fourth focused on providing ‘drop-ins' in the area around the Castle gates, through which performers make their entrances.


Ashton worked with Loudon on developing artwork for the show, but was also given an open brief to suggest ideas and make visual contributions where they would have the most impact. "There was a lot of projection in last year's show, and so I wanted to create something that would look and feel totally different and, naturally, be very relevant" Ashton said.


The biggest projection pieces this year are for two sections of the show by the Massed Bands – the military bands of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards with the British Army's Guards bands joined by all the international bands, performing  "You Raise Me Up" and "Here's To The Heroes." This honoured those engaged in current conflicts – specifically Afghanistan and Iraq.


Ashton used images from the Army Media & Communications archives in a series of montages showing individuals helping to keep the peace and rebuild war-torn communities.


For the New Zealand Army band's performance, Ashton produced a Maori mask, which was fitted exactly to the Castle architecture so the entranceway became the mouth. This is surrounded by silver ferns, the National flower of New Zealand, feathering out across the rest of the Castle.


For the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces Contingent, the imagery was based on the archaeological ruins of Petra, which again was sculpted to the shapes and contours of the Castle.


The Evening Hymn was accompanied with the images of two soldiers flanking the gatehouse in Reverse Arms position, backed by a setting sun seen through a stained glass window.


The projection was programmed and operated on an OnlyCue system by Karen Monid, who also worked with Michael Barry and Andy Murrell to install the system.


The 2010 Edinburgh Tattoo runs until the end of August.


For more information, please visit www.projecting.co.uk.







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