Touted as one of the most exciting ways to showcase artwork, entertain and advertise, master projectionist and founder of North Eleven Projections, Johann Medford spoke delightfully of the internationally accepted concept which is now gaining popularity in T&T.
Revealing how his obsession ballooned into a side-line business, Medford, a doctor by training, admitted he accidentally stumbled onto the concept as he worked on the website launch for fashion-designer Meiling back in 2009.
"I was projecting on to a surface but it passed through the surface and hit the building which created a 90-foot tall model, which was never intentional," an animated Medford said. Inspired by the audience's reaction at the time, the intensely private Medford said he began carefully researching the concept which he was familiar with, having lived abroad for a number of years.
During his first-ever media interview, Medford revealed he has always been fascinated by lights and shadows and this medium not only allows him the ability and opportunity to explore it further, but to breathe life into any object.
"We try to offer a first-class service to government agencies, businesses and private individuals wanting to highlight their products and services in a different way" Medford, who would only state that he was in his "forties" said Projection or video mapping can turn an object into a display surface for video projection.
These objects may be complex industrial landscapes such as buildings, small indoor objects or theatrical stages.
By using specialised software, a two- or three-dimensional object is spatially mapped on the virtual program which mimics the real environment it is to be projected on. The software can then interact with a projector to fit any desired image onto the surface of that object.
This technique is used by artists and advertisers to add extra dimensions, optical illusions and notions of movement onto previously static objects.
The video is commonly combined with, or triggered by, audio to create an audio-visual narrative.
Because of the specific requirements for three-dimensional objects, the projection content must be configured and calibrated specially for each new space.
Realising he had become bored with his life as it was back in 2007 as a full-time doctor, Medford said, "I decided to try something different." After much research a determined Medford decided to go deeper into the space.
Linking up with the organisers of the T&T Film Festival (TTFF) in 2009 and 2010 to host community screenings and outreach programmes as they each had commodities the other wanted, Medford said he was galvanised into action and began accessing training worldwide on the subject of projection mapping.
Listing his ultimate goal as the cohesive marrying of projection mapping with video-jockeying, Medford said he now works with all genres of artists during which he will match content to music.
Amused that he has never had to advertise North Eleven Projections as recommendations have all been word-of-mouth, Medford stressed he was not a graphic artist or running n animation studio.
Employing a number of graduate students from the University of T&T (UTT) to assist him, Medford who also acts as a guest lecturer at the facility - said he was a "softie" when it came to persons requesting the use and loan of equipment.
He asked, "How do I charge someone who wants to release their debut music video which will be about three and a half minutes long?"
Asked how he was balancing his growing business with family life, Medford said he had stepped back somewhat in the last couple years.
Confirming he had encountered clients whose ideas did not always match their budget, the San Fernando resident said his love of medicine and helping others still remains.
"I have patients and I always try to make them a priority" a reflective Medford said.
Despite the slow-down in the economy, Medford believes that during times of challenge in one's life, it was always neccessary to reinvent oneself - essentially, to project into a brighter future.
North Eleven Projections climbs to success
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