Blue Christmas

Video Designer

PATS Studio

November 2020

Director - Simon Anderson

Lighting Designer- Mig Walsh

Sound Designer- Helen Roberts

Follow this link to watch the online event:

When Covid hit I was fortunate to be invited back to Guildford School of Acting as a freelance video designer to take part in creating an effective Covid compliant production.For this project I had the opportunity to work with renowned video designer Finn Ross who was acting as a consultant on the project, which was amazing to absorb some of his knowledge, especially about how to work with different types of people in a design setting. 


The first show was Blue Christmas, a sequel to the immersive experience Blackout that I had worked on as a video engineer the previous year. This time it was a play which explores how a woman suffering with bipolar II deals with the Christmas period and all the highs and lows that come along with it. For this design we played with colour, having her stable moods reflected in steely blue, which contrasted greatly with the bright greens and reds of Christmas decor. One of my largest challenges during this was creating the phone whose constant notifications served as a key indicator of how manic our protagonist was feeling.  Creating these multiple animations, from texts to emails to calls, really helped cement my basic knowledge of after effects and showed me how valuable a tool it is to fully realise my design. 


Unfortunately, due to the rapidly changing Covid rules our nearly 1.5 hour play got reduced to a mere 20 minutes which led to lots of the ideas being trimmed or cut completely in the livestream in order to make the story flow in its reduced state. 


This was also the first time I was designing a video system by myself from scratch. Because of this, it was really helpful being based at my old university as I already knew the kit I had to chose from as well as the patching options. We had 3 projectors, one mapping the DS gauze and the other two edge blended to get the full upstage cyc. Due to budget constraints this upstage surface ended up being two bits of black serge, which is less than ideal both for colour/lux payoff and for getting it taught. With all these at play, I was pretty proud at the line up and am excited at the prospect to play with more advanced mapping techniques in the future