Open Dome Productions celebrated their official launch with a party at the Pour House Sunday night. The “immersive video production” company put two of their giant multimedia domes on Pour House property to show the world what they can do. Kind of like a mix between an IMAX movie and a planetarium, these domes use supercomputer techniques to put viewers inside a 3D experience (no blue and red glasses required).
Inside the domes, people drank beer and reclined on bean bag chairs, mesmerized. Local DJs spun records in surround sound. Video jockeys projected HD images across the spherical screen. Outside, Josh Phillips and the Overflow Jug Band opened with music on the deck. And from 6 to 9 p.m., Planet Charleston, the short film by Open Dome team member Jack Powell, repeatedly played on the dome inside the concert hall. The movie panned in and out of panoramic footage of local landmarks, from the U.S. Customs House to the graffiti behind Buffalo South, as super loud trip-hop emanated from the speakers. Cameras made downtown graveyards look like Mayan ruins and the Cooper River Bridge turn into bicycle spokes.
The experience was surreal — so psychedelic, in fact, that we had to touch the ground to make sure our bean bags were still on the floor. And we realized at that moment, if you ever get tired of Charleston, all you have to do is view it from a different angle.
Open Dome can project anything from kids’ edu-tainment to corporate presentations to festival coverage inside and outside their impressive multimedia igloos. After the viewing of Planet Charleston was over, Powell and his bandmates from the Key of Q took the stage as party people jammed in the main room.