Entertainment | Theatre | Broadway |

Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark

Broadway | New York, NY | 2011

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, an original rock musical with music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge and book by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger, began its Broadway previews November 28, 2010, at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York City.

What It Was

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, an original rock musical with music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge and book by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger, began its Broadway previews November 28, 2010, at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York City. Touted as the most expensive musical in history, the production is a wonder of technical design incorporating stunts, flying, lighting, multimedia, scenery and sound. The performers - propelled through the “fourth wall” of the theatre - dazzle in their release from the constraints of the proscenium, bringing excitement and tension into the house.

What We Did

In collaboration with Kyle Cooper we began work on Spider-Man in the fall of 2008, creating a multimedia system for video playback and authoring content for the emerging projection design. Working with PRG and the Mbox media server technology, we developed a program to track video imagery on moving LED panels using software that identifies the onstage location of the displays at any given moment. As previews progress we continue to work with the design team, crafting the appearance and movement of the LED display panels that track across the stage, and detailing large-format projection that is used intermittently throughout the show.

Why It Worked

The playback system is designed to be flexible, allowing for the ongoing adjustments necessary to the metamorphosis of the project. Maintaining the flow through it all are Lightswitch staff; programmers, video technicians, editors and animators who provide full design-build support. This combination makes it possible to accommodate the number and degree of modifications required to move the show forward, with the success of the process manifested in the design of extraordinary effects such as the giant tapestry “weaving” at the opening of the show. The visual impact of that moment justly garners a “how did they do that?” response from even the most jaded theatergoer.