Scott Guenther of Full Stage Productions, Texas chose Arkaos MediaMaster Pro 4.0
to help create the haunting, atmospheric backdrop to aerial performances from
Dallas-based dance academy, Dance Xpress. The production, entitled Smooth
Operators, was a tribute to the music and work of English singer-songwriter, Sade.

Guenther used a single projector to project a melange of imagery onto the back wall
of the performance space, which mixed live and pre-recorded content for the show.
Guenther filmed images of the dancers in stages of preparation for the performance
– close ups of faces, arranging hair, donning point shoes etc – and juxtaposed these
with live images of the performers in mid-air and on stage. The opening number to
the show (DSC 0013) included “shadow’ images of the dancers which Guenther was
able to synchronise with the live performers, using MediaMaster to slow down and
speed up the pre-recorded footage to match the movements on stage.

A slightly different technique was used (DSC 323) when Guenther created a
backdrop for an aerial performance mid-show, by pre-recording footage of strong
wind buffeting trees and using MediaMaster to slow the speed of the video right
down. “This created a fabulously atmospheric blurring of the original image which I
projected onto the back wall behind the aerial act to give a dark, moody feel to the

Guenther also made use of MediaMaster’s edge-blending feature and its ability to
control different layers of an image for the closing number of the show (DSC
358).”We filmed a dancer in a white dress with a transparent material articulating
around her as she moved under a very harsh light,’ says Guenther. “I used
MediaMaster to slow the movement right down and switched on the frame blending
function. With this I was able to run the content extremely slowly, yet still maintain
an tremendously smooth image rendition. The result was a very ghost-like image,
over which I layered a smoke effect to give it a glowing bloom, and interspersed it
with video of the live performance. I was able to do all this by simply feeding raw
video into MediaMaster and editing it within the software through layering and

The back wall was flanked by six Chauvet Epix 2.0 Strips arranged in two vertical
columns and controlled via ArKaos Klingnet protocol. All lighting, including the Epix,
and the Arkaos video was controlled via a Jands Vista S1 console running version
2.3 software on a Macbook Pro.

“I first used ArKaos MediaMaster in 2013 and have used it on many productions
since,’ says Guenther. “I really like the system – it’s very easy to use and very
flexible and can turn its hand to anything. I can use it on any show from the very
simple single surface one like Smooth Operators to extremely complex shows with
multiple projectors or LED wall surfaces. The Jands Vista Time Line Editor is the
fastest and most efficient management system around. The speed and ease
afforded by the graphical interface (GUI) makes it so different from any other
console. I don’t have to remember any channel numbers or groups, I just select my
fixtures and the parameters I want through the GUI – it’s like having a Magic Sheet
on a console. The combination of the Vista and MediaMaster together is a great way
to work.’