In his role as Director of Product Management, Joel St-Denis brings more than 20 years of experience in software, video and projection to Christie. Since joining Christie in 2007, Joel has successfully launched and supported several products and software releases that meet the technical and business requirements for fixed and rental staging-type installations. Joel’s role also involves conducting market research and developing a strategic direction for these supporting products and software for Christie’s business line of projectors to ensure that these solutions meet the needs of the AV industry. Interview by InPark editor Judith Rubin.
What are you seeing in your role at Christie that’s going to impact the attractions and live events industries in the near future?
As a Product Manager in the AV industry, one of the most important aspects of my job is getting out and seeing customers, attending trade shows, and experiencing firsthand how our products are being used, something which has been challenging for the past two years. The silver lining of having traveled much less has been the ability to focus more on the new products we are bringing to market in 2022, and many of them are directly aimed at themed entertainment and live events. As the pandemic restrictions continue to ease, we are seeing a lot of demand for our latest 3DLP RGB projectors, and software including Mystique and Pandoras Box. I am personally looking forward to getting back into the field and showcasing these new products.
Regarding Christie products and some of the latest innovations:
• What would you like integrators to know?
Many new integrators now working with Christie are surprised to discover we have our own internal teams dedicated to helping them with proposals for complex AV systems. We have been working internationally with integrators for over 15 years and have been involved in hundreds of multi-projector proposals from initial concepts all the way to assisting with final installation.
• What should creatives pay attention to?
As a creative person looking for projection as a medium, you should know that Christie has the widest range of RGB pure laser 3DLP projectors on the market. These projectors are the only illumination technology that approaches the full Rec. 2020 color gamut, giving creative folks the ability to imagine, create and display content on a projector in ways it has never been seen before. The difference between traditional projectors and RGB pure laser projectors must be seen in person to be truly appreciated. If you get a chance to attend ISE or InfoComm 2022 be sure to come visit the Christie booth (Hall 3, Stand 3K600 and N2145 respectively) to see this with your own eyes.
What are some of the important tools for projection mapping, interactive experiences, smaller spaces, and branded or IP-centered media?
I always like to tell people one of the coolest things about working at Christie is we are one of the only projector companies that has taken a holistic approach to working with our customers. We understand that complex interconnected AV systems are required to deliver an engaging experience in dark-ride theme park attractions, or large-scale projection mapping, and for this reason we offer more than just displays. We have software solutions such as multi-channel media servers capable of playing back content a 4K60, while also offering the ability for live interaction through motion detection. We offer camera-based projector alignment software to ensure that projectors are always perfectly aligned. And finally, our fulfillment team are experienced field techs that will work alongside integrators at the planning and deployment stage of complex systems to deliver a dependable solution.
In AV technology, is there an “elephant in the room” that many people are overlooking?
I have been in the AV industry for 20 years, and I can honestly say, content and setting up an ongoing content strategy is often underestimated, or simply overlooked beyond day one. For example, one of the most satisfying and entertaining experiences in AV is watching a projection mapping show on a large-scale building; people will stand in one place in awe for several minutes watching a beautiful colored display. Many of the projection mapping installations are installed on a permanent basis and repeat visitors will grow tired of watching the same content over and over. Permanent large-scale projection mapping is typically a considerable financial investment, and it is important to budget for an ongoing strategy to keep the content fresh and engaging.