I don’t often do posts like this, but I also don’t like to have rules I can’t break once in a while. Most of the time we’re talking about gear, processes and better ways to do things. But today, I want to share with you a new resource that is not only a great resource, but it’s written by a good friend.
The Wide Guide is a new ebook written by Luke McElroy of Orange Thread Media and TripleWideMedia.com. As you might expect from the title, it’s a book about doing wide-screen media. While some might release a blue-print for wide-screen, Luke—who has a bit of an obsession with the color orange—released an orange print. So there you go.
Now, let me take you on a bit of a side journey. I started doing production professionally in the mid ’80s. Back then, projection was in the form of 35mm slides. Lots of them. We stacked projectors up three or four high and nested them two and three deep. Then we laid them out three wide. It wasn’t uncommon to do a show that might have 21-27 projectors in either a 6-9-6 or 9-9-9 layout, all projected on a 30’ wide screen. It was glorious. We could get up to almost 15 fps, and the sound that made was incredible.
Fast forward 30+ years, and we have some amazing tools at our disposal. The wealth of content and ideas for wide screen media is unmatched at any time in my career. The Wide Guide does an excellent job of giving you the tools you need to set up and utilize wide-screen content. It’s written in a field guide book format; there are eight chapters, each dealing with a different type of wide-screen projection. From triple-wide video walls, to edge blending to environmental projection, Luke does a great job of breaking each type down into the elements you need to know. Each chapter is fully illustrated and comes with a pro-con list along with some ways to save money, and a lengthly section of advice.
A final chapter, “Gear Guide” actually names the names of the equipment you’ll need to pull this stuff off. I really appreciate it when authors use actual equipment names instead of generic ones. If I need Matrox Triple-Head-To-Go, I need to know that. A “commercially available single input, triple output converter box,” is not that helpful. Kudos to Luke for giving us the straight dope. He even talks about the software that is used to create cool video mapping effects, including the pros and cons of each.
I would say that The Wide Guide is a book you’d keep on the shelf near your desk for quick reference. But it’s an e-book, so you’ll want it on your iPad, and your laptop so you can refer to it often. The pictures that start off each chapter will jumpstart brainstorming sessions and provide a great launchpad for those, “What if we did…” discussions.
So, go buy the book. Luke is a friend, a great guy and has been on ChurchTechWeekly more than a few times. He’s a wealth of knowledge and has a heart to help the church use media intentionally. It’s only $10, so you’re giving up two fancy Starbucks drinks. Or just expense it. That’s what I’m going to do… Check it out at the TripleWide website. Oh, and just so you know, Luke's not paying me to say this stuff. It really is a great book, and you really should go get it.