Electrosonic Goes To War For The Imperial War Museum (IWM) London

Exhibition View of "Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies". The Abayeh (robe) was worn by T E Lawrence, given to him by Emir FeisalObject: IWM (UNI 12241) Photographed 28th June, 2016.Exhibition View of "Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies". (LEFT) Moy and Bastie cine camera, of the type used to capture real and recreated footage for the wartime cinema sensation The Battle of the Somme.© Courtesy of The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter (RIGHT) Sony video camera used in the filming of Restrepo, Courtesy of Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger Photographed 28th June, 2016.Exhibition View of "Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies". The uniform worn by James McAvoy in Atonement (2007), Courtesy of NBC Universal Archives & Collections Photographed 28th June, 2016.Exhibition View of "Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies". Colour storyboards from Apocalypse Now© Courtesy of American Zoetrope Photographed 28th June, 2016.

Electrosonic has provided audio-visual systems integration services to the IWM London for the organisation’s new temporary exhibition, Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies, which will be open until January 8 2017.

Iconic film footage and over 200 objects are supported by audio-visual systems to take visitors behind the scenes of some of the most renowned war films from the past century.

Electrosonic was contracted to work alongside IWM’s in-house audio-visual team to integrate the systems that they had designed for Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies.

Electrosonic also supplied a range of audio and video products and services, together with the commissioning and programming of resource equipment.

Over the past 30 years, Electrosonic has built a strong relationship with IWM, working on numerous projects across the group of museums including IWM London, IWM North, IWM Duxford, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast.

“Electrosonic worked closely with the IWM AV team, designing projections, advising on speaker positioning and specifying a control system,” says Jo Saull, AV interpretation manager, Imperial War Museum. “The install team worked really well alongside our in-house AV team and sound designers to deliver the immersive media installations.”

The exhibition offers an insight into ‘how film makers have used war’s inherent drama to translate stories of love and loss, fear and courage, triumph and tragedy into blockbusters for the big screen.’

Through a combination of audio-visual displays, original archive material, artefacts from the IWM’s collection and a range of costumes, props, scripts, sketches and designs, visitors can learn how war films are made and why they are so popular.

Projection technology is utilised, along with large and small LCD screens to display clips from a variety of classic war films. These include, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List and Lawrence of Arabia. Touch screens offer visitors the opportunity to select between different films, bringing an interactive element to the exhibits.

Multi-channel audio-systems accompany the footage and in some spaces, 7th Sense Delta Nano servers were used to supply seamless looping audio in addition to video playback. This enables several visitors to listen to the audio through headphones at the same time, and experience the full effects of the drama that is unfolding in front of them.

For example, the scene from Saving Private Ryan where soldiers arrive for battle at Omaha Beach uses both video and audio to show the sheer magnitude and devastation of this event. The viewers can almost feel the fear and the despair of the soldiers and are struck with an overwhelming feeling of loss.

“Electrosonic created a custom interface, which is clear and easy to use,” explains Matt Garrett, AV infrastructure manager, Imperial War Museum. “It allows us to monitor and control all aspects of the system from both the gallery (via a wireless network) or in the exhibition’s control room, located several floors away from the gallery. We can override the pre-programmed timeline as required and this has given us the flexibility to accommodate the museum’s needs.”

Electrosonic worked alongside Idee and Klang to commission the audio system for the exhibit, with IK Multimedia providing the media and EQing system.

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