“the teeming artistry Bridgman|Packer Dance pour into creating their mind-bending worlds...
They are tapping into its promises like no others.”
Daily Gazette, Schenectady
Bridgman|Packer's approach to technology
For Bridgman|Packer, it is essential that their work retain the physical immediacy of dance and live performance. The video projections exist to expand the choreographic intent. To this end, Bridgman and Packer seek the simplest production set-ups that can reveal a complex system of relations. The technology offers a broadened artistic palette and allows the possibility of moving beyond the physical boundaries of performance.
Much of the work utilizes high-definition video cameras and projectors. Both the green screen footage and the location scenes were shot and edited by filmmakers Peter Bobrow (Trilogy, Double Expose, Voyeur) and Jim Monroe (Trilogy). During the choreographic process the video is edited, projected, and integrated into the live sequences.
Multiple forms of video technology in Bridgman|Packer productions:
For Double Expose, the company filmed scenes in the streets of New York City and at Fort Totten, a Civil War era fortress located in Queens, New York. For Voyeur, both interior and exterior scenes were shot in Portland, Maine and vicinity, and in Nyack, New York. Scenes from Remembering What Never Happened were shot in the Mojave Desert.
In green screen or chroma key technique, the performers are filmed in front of a green background and on a green floor. Then, during the editing process, the green background is eliminated, creating “free-floating” images that can be resized, rearranged and re-located. This process allows for the utilization of a wide range of computer processing techniques and for multiple images of the same person to be layered together into a single video image.
For Double Expose, hand-drawn animation was created by Boston film animator Karen Aqua. The animated computer graphics were created by Peter Bobrow. Bridgman and Packer collaborated with them to coordinate the live movement with the graphics.
Video cameras are placed in multiple locations around and above the stage. The performers are filmed from different angles during the live performance. The images from the cameras are then sent straight to a projector and projected back onto the stage. At times the live video is projected on top of pre-recorded video which is being projected from a separate video projector. Through the use of specific stage lighting, the performers’ images in the live video can be matched to the pre-recorded video, creating an integrated combined image. Some live cameras are fixed and others are hand-held and manipulated by the performers. In Remembering What Never Happened, live camera images transform in time and shape through a computer processing design created by Technology Designer Phillip Gulley.