QED’s extraordinary projection outside the British Museum
The BFI restoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s silent masterpiece Blackmail was shown for the first time at a special outdoor screening at the British Museum, the location of the film’s chilling chase sequence. The film was accompanied by an ensemble of 18 musicians, conducted by Timothy Brock, performing Neil Brand’s specially arranged score.
With the programme commencing before sunset the projection challenge was to ensure that the screen images were sufficiently bright to be seen in almost full daylight conditions, and also that this glorious BFI restoration could be fully appreciated by the sell-out audience of over 1,000. Thus four of QED
‘s new Christie WU20K-J projectors were quadruple stacked in order to produce astonishing high brightness images of exceptional quality.
This 3-chip WUXGA DLP 18,000 lumen digital projector delivers superior performance and quality Xenon illumination with natural colour accuracy and stability to ensure it provides high performance and more lumens per watt in the smallest chassis in its class.
Attending the screening QED director Paul Wigfield commented, “When I was on my way to the British Museum I stated that I would be reasonably impressed if we could see anything on the screen in daylight conditions — but upon arrival I was truly blown away by the brightness and the clarity. It looked more like a poster than a projection. The fact that we were able to quadruple stack the Christies with such accuracy was also incredibly impressive.”
Additional pre-screening content was played back from high spec Macbook Pros. Source switching was handled by an Analog Way DiVentix II seamless switcher ensuring that all elements of the rig were fully digital, and the film was simultaneously relayed to an on-stage monitor for the conductor via a 100m DVI fibre-optic link in order to provide frame accurate synchronisation with the main screen image.
Prior to the screening the entire audience was asked to put on Alfred Hitchcock masks and were then captured by a photographer on the roof to create an eerie, yet fascinating group shot to commemorate this extraordinary once-in-a lifetime experience.