Venetian Blinds for the Pet Shop Boys
Total Solutions’ main brief was to invent a giant projection surface that disappears in the blink of an eye to reveal a wall of lights and strobes and then to return as if by magic.
“The venetian or V Blinds as they became known had to be invented as nothing on this scale previously existed,” said Chris Cronin, Total Solutions Group CEO. “We used as much of the standard concept as possible, but beyond that there was a lot of trial and a bit of error.”
Total Solutions used DC motors to drive the rotation of the blinds, which were linked to computerised drive modules that accept DMX inputs. The limits – both max speed and movement – were pre-set by the Total Solutions team so LD Rob Sinclair could control these parameters from a fader on his lighting desk.
“One of the trickiest things was finding a wire that was light and flexible enough to support all blades – which are 3m long by 200mm deep – and strong enough to rotate them all simultaneously,” added Cronin. “We eventually discovered a shark fishing line with a breaking strain of 100kg. The line is thinner than a guitar string so it’s not visible to the naked eye. This makes the blades look like they are floating in mid air.”