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Greetings,
I play music with the trio Djesben. My band members and I would like to add some projections to our live show, and we're eager to learn more about how to make that happen.

The rooms we play are usually fairly small (50 to 200 people in the audience) with ambient light, and a variety of layouts and wall colors. There is often minimal room on the stage for additional gear. The images we'd project need not be super high resolution or contrast - they're mostly to add some atmosphere.

From what little we know, it seems that ultra short throw, rear projection with the projector on the floor would be the way to go. Do folks here have any comments or recommendations for a projector?

We'd also like to buy or make a screen that we could bring along to gigs and set up easily. Could folks here recommend what size we should target, and point us to some options or instructions? We've seen advice about using grey spandex, grommets and bungee cords, which sounds like it's within our capabilities.

What would folks here recommend for a frame or way to mount the screen?

Our budget is probably around $1,000 though we could revise that if it's unreasonable.

Thanks for any advice you can send along!

Christian Crowley
Washington DC
Djesben.com
 

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Sounds like a great project to work on, I'm not really the best person to answer this question but rear projection would be the only way to go as you have found. How large a screen would you like to go? The advantage with using spandex is that you can make round or any other odd shapes. The challenge would be keeping the spandex perfectly smooth with no creases.
Another option would be to use LCD TVs as the cost has come down substantially for screen sizes even as large as 60" as you would need a fairly bright projector although you have said your not looking for uber clear images, just an affect.
 

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I would suggest getting a factory made screen that is made to be folded up, put in a roadcase and transported I've used the Da-Lite Fast-Fold screens a lot and they are easy, fast and high quality. They aren't cheap but you would be glad you got it. Here is a link to the smallest one that I could find...
http://www.projectorzone.com/Da-Lite-Deluxe-Fast-Fold-54x74
On that webpage select the DropDown box labeled "Material" and you will see the Rear Projection matts that are available for it. The biggest one that I've worked with was 15x20 feet.

And here is some free open source graphics that you can project onto it.
It's a great 1 hour liquid AVI file.
http://video.universoulightforms.com/
 
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