‘Life of Pi’ the play – powered by projection

Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi was famously adapted into a feature film in 2012 by director Ang Lee, and in 2019 the play production of Life of Pi premiered at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, after which it has seen great success at London’s West End, Broadway and is now on UK Tour with a US Tour starting at the end of 2024.

Video Designer & Animator Andrzej Goulding is responsible for the video design of Life of Pi. With his team, Andrzej is using projection to map the entire set, including the floor, walls, the boat, as well as other temporary surfaces that the acting company put together onstage.

Andrzej’s team use the Epson EB-PU2220B, the world’s smallest 20,000-lumen projector, including two on the rear wall, two on the floor, one top-down onto the boat and then one from a front-of-house circle position, making a total of six Epson projectors. Lenses include three ELPLU04 short-throw zoom lenses for the floor and the boat, two ELPLU03 short-throw zoom lenses for the wall, while the front of house unit utilises ELPLW06 and ELPLW08 wide-throw lenses and the ELPLM15 mid-throw lens.

Andrzej commented: “Projection is the only viable option for this design as LED, for example, wouldn’t have suited the project. Projection always looks more painterly and you can always create more surprises within a design using projection as you can literally go onto any surface you want.

“The key things that always make me choose Epson is the size of the units for the amount of lumens, for sure. The lens options of Epson projectors are also very useful as we will never end up with a lens calculation that sits within a lens hole as that doesn’t exist with the Epson range. The other key area that causes us to choose Epson is the noise of the units. They are quiet and have a good setup for theatre productions with little details like the LED lights on the unit turning off for show mode, which for a play is very useful.”

The Epson projectors used in this production were provided by professional sound and video specialists, Stage Sound Services. “

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#3LCD, life of pi, rental and staging

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Key facts

  • Six Epson EB-PU2220B projectors used for the Life of Pi play production.

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