More technical notes on the staging of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

The Quicktime videos for the "Drood" projections are 1080 x 768 pixels, compressed with H.264 codec. They are embedded in an Apple Keynote file (Apple's equivalent to PowerPoint). The data rate ranges from 3,000 kb per second to 2,000 kb per second. It is recommended that a Macintosh MacPro tower computer be used for playback. We used a MacPro laptop with a 2.4 GHz processor, and it was not powerful enough. When there were big movements within the videos, they were not smooth and stuttered on the video projector. Perhaps the more powerful MacBook pro computers would work, but they have not been tested with the "Drood" content.

Conversion to PowerPoint for PC does not work. The videos can be played on a PC using the method described in the document linked below (opens a new window), kindly provided by, who assisted in a recent staging of the show:

How to run "Drood" movies on a PC.

With the required 10.5 ft by 15 ft projection screen, a very good, bright, industrial video projector is needed. We were lucky to have both the video projector and the rear projection screen donated to us for the duration of rehearsal and performances. These two high-end pieces of equipment are essential for a good quality show.

The "false proscenium" can vary in complexity of construction. Ours was built from lumber and luan plywood, anchored to the stage floor and with jacks and cabling from above. The jacks spanned the space between the "false proscenium" and the rear-projection screen at the top so that there were no jacks or metal screen legs obstructing entrances of the actors. The construction could be simplified, using styrofoam, although being that lightweight it could wobble as actors pass by it. The scenic painting was done by hand, gridding up the design from a print-out. A file could be provided for digital output for the scenic design on the proscenium, although it would be somewhat low-resolution.

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