AOA’s Jes Van Zee Wins Digital Graffiti Best-in-Show with Panasonic

3 min read

AOA’s Jes Van Zee Wins Digital Graffiti Best-in-Show with Panasonic

5 Questions with the Multi-Media Designer at the Live-Projection Competition.


Q: What is Digital Graffiti and why are you and AOA participating?

A: Digital Graffiti is an annual spring projection-mapping competition that takes place in Alys Beach, Florida. This year, Digital Graffiti kicks off its 11th annual festival on Friday, May 18, 2018. The event features projection art installations, food trucks, and vendors meandering through the streets of Aly’s beach providing fun for the whole family. With the honor of being accepted into this event, AOA has prepared an interactive media piece that will entertain guests as well as expand our design portfolio. AOA is a project management, production, and design company working in the themed entertainment industry.


Q: What is the concept of your piece, what are you trying to achieve?

A: Two projectors, set approximately 10 feet apart, will overlap separate animations and live footage. The overlapped images combine to create a new meaning. As a guest walks in front of the projectors, two shadows are cast which separates the imagery back into their original forms. A microphone stand in front of and in between the projectors is placed with the words “Speak Up.” If a viewer speaks into the microphone, their voice will not be projected for the audience to hear, but will rather cause further rifts, distortions, and glitching in the videos as well as the soundscape. This installation is exploring how people can affect the imagery with their body language and interpretation which in turn affects other people’s perception of the art. It can also be seen as a metaphor for how people are encouraged to speak up, but often times when they do, they are either interrupted or not heard.


Q: Why did you choose Panasonic projectors? Are there any specific features that were important in your selection?

A: We are pleased to be using the RZ21K, specifically for the brightness, color and the Solid Shine technology. The 3-chip DLP offers a wide range of flexibility which is critical for this outdoor live venue. Digital Graffiti is as much about the mapping as it is about the color. With 21,000 lumens in a small body, it really packs a punch.


Q: What are the unique challenges of live event production and how does the technology you’ve selected safeguard against these challenges?

A: Digital Graffiti offers a couple challenges. First, we have only seen our canvas via photos and Google Earth views. We need to use a projector that is flexible and easily adapts. We will also be using these projectors outdoors so climate control will not be available. The RZ21ks offer a wide temperature operating range and are robust enough to need virtually no maintenance. The projectors will also be transported across the state of Florida, so portability was very important to us. We needed a unit that was easily transported, but bright enough to bring our design to life.


Q: What has been your experience working with Panasonic?

A: AOA works closely with Panasonic’s Hollywood Laboratory East to provide research and development testing for projectors. AOA has projection mapped a featured wall in PHL by creating custom 3D and 2D media content. We recently completed a “first of its kind” projection mapping project and also created film content for an exclusive event at the Kennedy Space Center while using Panasonic projectors.

Credit: Jes Van Zee, AOA