E//T//C UK makes magic at King's Cross
Tuesday, 21 May 2002
E//T//C UK makes magic at King's CrossThe Hogwarts Express arrives at King's Cross.
E//T//C UK, the large format projection specialists, created magic at King's Cross Station last week, as Platform 1 was transformed into Platform 9 ¾ for the launch of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone DVD/video. Copies of the coveted DVD arrived onboard the Hogwarts Express, and were handed out to eagerly awaiting Harry Potter fans by members of the top grossing film’s cast.

When the idea of projection was thrown into the production mix, E//T//C’s Ross Ashton was approached by Chris Slingsby and Dave Hurd from Imagination. The platform was already decided upon, and then they needed over 100 different cross-fading images projected, large and clear, onto the wall at the end of the platform. The images were to be projected onto an arched projection surface, custom designed by Harkness Hall, attached to the wall at the station end of the platform. Since the rest of the station functioned normally, packed with commuters going home from adjacent platforms, the main challenge was in overcoming the high ambient light levels. To address this, the 6kW PIGIs were located on a bridge 125m away, with two pairs of projectors lined up together to maximize the intensity. At the start of the show, all four projectors were overlaid to produce one single bright image, but as it got darker, they were able to switch the show to the two pairs and start the cross-fading sequence.

The get-in time constraints were also tight. The only slots for the projection team to work were between midnight and 4 am on the three nights preceding the event. The first of these was taken up just with getting the projectors into position on the bridge. The slide positions were all pre-programmed beforehand at E//T//C’s office, which gained some time. A great advantage of PIGI is the flexible control it offers over all directions in the slide alignment process making it feasible to line up over 100 slides in a very short time. The projection installation was led by Karen Monid, working with Andy Murrel.

(Ruth Rossington)

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