The installation of 13, 8-foot LED video boards gives The Bushnell a unique opportunity to provide our patrons with a new kind of performance experience in downtown Hartford. A permanent experiential exhibit that will surprise and delight our audience before they even enter our theaters! Taking inspiration from Disney parks, museums, and other unique digital exhibits, we will create a digital performing arts world to experience and interact with throughout the outside and inside of our building. This installation will be a prominent feature in downtown Hartford, running for thousands of theater patrons every week. We're looking to build a design team that will help us create an amazing world of performance in our new digital space.
What We Know
We will design a theatrical environment across the new exterior LED screens, several interior tv monitors, and a projection-mapped lobby wall. With cutting-edge video and sound, we will share an ongoing rotation of sponsor messages and promotion of upcoming shows. But the main event will happen on show nights when a series of looping, live action music videos and entertainment numbers will be performed by a diverse set of musicians, dancers, and artists from our community.
We envision an Art Deco-themed playground (see what has inspired us!), an extension of the historic architecture of our building, but with a modern flare. Rich, gold patterns traced in dancing beams of light have long been part of our brand, but we want to build on this foundation in creative and experimental ways.
The six screens on Capitol Avenue (see gallery) provide the greatest opportunity for “single canvas” viewing. Interaction between performers on different screens or objects/people/design elements traveling between screens works best here.
The other exterior and interior screens will carry the same look and feel as the performance screens but provide space for other messages and show promotion. The pairs of screens on either side of the performance canvas could be a “waiting area” for the next act, a backstage world!
What We Don’t Know
We want to know what we haven’t thought of yet. What can the performance space look like? How will the performers be revealed? How will they interact with each other and with their environment? How will they reveal sponsor names and show promotion? What will serve as transitional elements between performances and other messages?
We are looking for submissions from all varieties of designers to help us build our world. We want to create a unique vision from the minds of a diverse range of designers... sound, sets, lighting, concert visuals, music videos, 2D and 3D animation and more. This cutting-edge installation requires a unique hybrid of theater, video and motion design.
Please submit what you think this performance space could look like. We’re not looking for a whole design, but a preview of what you could bring to the team in your area of expertise.
Download a PDF of sign locations and technical specs.
View a reel of other experential projects at The Bushnell.
Below is the first performance content we were able to test on the screens. Note the six screens consecutive screens are used as a single-canvas viewing space, while other consideration should be given to the courtyard (5 signs) and Trinity street (2 signs).
What We Envision On the Screens
As audiences approach and enter the building on a show night, they will be treated to looping performances on the exterior screens and on the lobby projection wall. All performances will be recorded separately, giving us the ability to provide dozens of unique combinations of performances on different show nights. You’ll see something new every visit to The Bushnell!
Questions to consider when developing your proposal: How do performers interact and move? What environment to they exist in, and how does it change over time? How do they enter and exit the screens? How does each screen feel connected to the rest of the screens in the area, but also entertain on its own?
Sample Performance Types:
Hip Hop Orchestra
A Capella Group
African Drum Group
Little Kids having fun!
The next group of performers are waiting to go on the performance screens. These areas could live on the two screens on either side of the performance canvas. What do these areas look like? What are the performers doing? How do we display sponsored graphics and show promotion within the world of the show?
We will display the branding of our upcoming shows and reveal sponsor logos on other screens in the courtyard and throughout the building. How do we transition or visually tie this non-performance content to the rest of the design?
Is there another unique way to use these signs that we’re not thinking of? We can’t wait to hear your ideas.
Gather RFP responses: May 20 – end of June/early July
Production: July - August
Postproduction: August - September 15
Testing & Revisions: September 15 – October 10
Premiere Signage: October 12, 2021
How to Submit
Email your submission to Alex Page-Hatley (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ryan Glista (email@example.com). Your submission must include:
An introduction to you, and the skills you bring to experiential design, video production and/or motion design.Include 5 samples of past work that may apply to this project.
Written proposal. Please describe in detail how you envision each category in the last section. Focus on the pieces you’re interested in and can contribute the most to!
Design samples. We want to see and hear your best ideas in your own medium. Your submission takes the form of style frames, storyboards, animatics, music samples, or something else.
We will evaluate submissions and schedule a meeting to discuss the specifics of your proposal. We’ll provide a production document and work together to outline deliverables, copyright, timeline, and budget in a signed agreement.
Your submission will be judged in 4 categories:
• Entertainment Value
• Demonstration of Technical Capacity
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