‘The Wonderful World of Oliver Jeffers’ is a temporary exhibition at Discover Children’s Story Centre, London. The exhibition explores the beautiful and best-loved work of award winning author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers, it also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the publication of How to Catch a Star, and features live storytelling and a opportunity to explore a series of magical spaces that include ‘the boy’s’ bedroom complete with penguins, aliens, a Lost and Found office, a full-sized rowing boat, a beach, a pier, a garden and a rocket.
The lighting budget was only £2,000 – which was the greatest challenge when trying to create an immersive experience that reflected the joy of the books. The Discover Children’s Story Centre had a huge variety of economic stage and disco lighting equipment, which was our starting point. We then decided to create a short animated film that combined various illustrations from the books, which was projected on to the main wall. We created a hidden ‘lighting control desk’ file within the video file and used this to control the lighting. This consisted of a series of coloured bars that outputted the RGB values to the DMX RGB luminaries and controlled the levels of the tungsten par cans. This lo-fi approach meant that our control system was essentially a movie file, which was extremely dynamic and synchronized with the audio and video. It is also very simple for staff to use as all they have to do is press play and the exhibition will run. Additional lighting was added within the set design, which included LED tape, decorative pendants and bespoke gobos where we utalised some of the more basic illustrations from the books.