Well, I've FINALLY gotten around to posting this. A friend of mine has a beautiful house on the Chesapeake Bay, and we make an annual pilgrimage there every summer to wind down for about 9-10 days. Last summer, I brought my InFocus 5700 up there to surprise my friend with a proposition: what do you think about making a movie screen for an outdoor theater? Being an engineer, he was MORE than up to the task.
1. Rigid construction; no fabric (I wanted a stretched screen, but he was buying the parts, so he won).
2. Should be relatively easy to put up and take down each day. He didn't want it left up during the day.... because of THIS requirement:
3. Must be erected poolside and shot OVER the pool... why? Because it would be cool. No other particular reason (he's an engineer) and given the long throw and great light output of the 5700, I agreed, despite my worry about possible water damage to my projector.
4. We must be able to store it somewhere at the house for use on each of our pilgrimages.
We opted for a three-panel hardboard screen to meet all 3 requirements. Painted them with flat white exterior latex. I was REALLLLLY worried about the two seams showing up in the picture. I was even OBSESSED that it would detract from my viewing pleasure. Turns out that they were barely noticeable from our viewing distance, AND the Cool Factor outweighed the negative aspects of this.
I don't remember the exact dimensions, but I think it is 10'8" x 6' (16:9) or about 12.25 feet diagonal. One thing I immediately noted AFTER making it-- I am used to building for HD/16:9... I should have done 1.85:1. Poop. So, I'm going to bring some black masking for it this summer to crop it down better.
I have to say that I was VERY concerned about being able to shoot my projector the 20-something feet and without absolute pitch-black darkness like my home theater. I was AMAZED at the brightness. We were all stunned actually. I could have easily gone to a MUCH bigger screen. I zoomed out as much as I could to see how bright the picture would have been with an even bigger screen, and I estimate that I could have done at LEAST a 16-foot diag. screen from 30-33 feet throw.
So here are some pics! Hope you like it. I know we did.
#3 doesn't do the image quality justice, but I wanted to shoot a flash picture.
#4 and #5 (in next message) are pushed shots... approx 3-sec exposure, no flash, with the movie on pause. So, yes, they are overly bright... but NOT by much. This screen had some solid punch!
Also, note the colored pool lights and the effect of the long exposure on the surface of the pool.
With one day for materials shopping and two days to build/paint, we only had two nights for watching.
Can't wait for July 2008!