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Case study – Point Source stars with Secret Cinema

Andrew Brister 22 December 2010

Point Source Productions teamed up with Secret Cinema for two of its recent screening events in London: Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner at Canary Wharf and the David Lean epic, Lawrence of Arabia, at Alexandra Palace.

Secret Cinema events operate by providing a creative, immersive experience for its audiences in which to view the film, recreating settings and characters reminiscent of the films such as Blade Runner’s Chinatown and Lawrence of Arabia’s souks and deserts.

More ambitious than Secret Cinema’s customary one night extravaganzas, Blade Runner ran for eight screenings and proved to be the 11th biggest grossing film in the UK that week.

Point Source Productions supplied a QX30S trussing system and lighting which included ETC Source 4s, CCT Minuette Fresnels, PAR 64s and floor-mounted Birdies providing general cover and uplight. Martin MAC 550s were also used to recreate one of the major effects in the movie of searchlights sweeping through the streets of Chinatown. 

Fuzz lights and festoon lighting, loaded with energy-saving lamps created a ‘grungy’ feel, combined with smoke effects from a Tour Hazer and two Data II units, with further smoke effects provided by a JEM Glaciator.

All mains power distribution for the ‘live’ catering stalls and shops in Chinatown and for two large LED screens was also provided by Point Source Productions, along with approximately 1.5 tons of cable.

Lawrence of Arabia, which followed in September, was the largest and most ambitious screening yet, playing to an audience of 5000 people. The team at Point Source Productions had only a matter of days to transform Alexandra Palace’s West Hall, Palm Court, West Corridor and the Great Hall into scenarios representative of the film including an authentic market in the West Hall and a screening area in the iconic Great Hall.

The main challenge was to provide a full design and supply package – including power for all catering, projection and sound and all decorative, feature and scene lighting, distribution and control – to each of these areas, at very short notice and over a Bank Holiday weekend.

Ten tons of sand were brought in to create dunes through which Lawrence makes his entrance on camel prior to the start of the film. The lighting gave an expansive ‘epic’ feel creating the illusion of the sun and heat of the desert. This was done using big swathes of single source light and shadow created by a rig composed almost entirely of 5 kW Bambino and Leonardo Fresnels with Rainbow colour scrollers and a 4 kW HMI Fresnel projecting through the rose window to represent the point source of the sunlight.

Blade Runners pictures copyright Mike Massaro
Lawrence of Arabia pictures copyright Alex Bougrine

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