Nashville-based event production company DWP Live was charged
with providing the technical equipment and installation for an
experience full of breathtaking visuals and incredible sound affects
at a Tennessee zoo. Four major vignettes created by a local visual
art shop were powered by 13 Epson laser projectors, ranging from
10,000 to 20,000 lumens.
Visitors were immersed into beautiful projection displays and bright
colors after taking a few steps into the zoo. From there, a
combination of stunning projection mapping and immersive lighting
features lit up their path for a unique after-hours experience.
A Standout Experience
DWP Live was engaged to provide and install the technical
equipment throughout the experience. The result was dreamlike.
After the zoo closed for the day, guests could experience one third
of the 90-acre property lit up with four remarkable vignettes,
connected by LED-lit pathways and smaller displays. Each element
used a single master show control that kept everything in balance
and in sync.
Visitors began their journey at the zoo with a welcome show
projected on the ceiling of a beautiful, covered courtyard. DWP Live
used a single, 15,000-lumen Epson Pro L1755UNL to create the
The first vignette featured motion images and sounds of baboons,
captured and set to music. Using a 3D model, the images were
mapped onto the towers of the zoo’s playground using four Epson
EB-PU2010B 10,000-lumen projectors.
Next was an evening parade of sorts, which used three Epson Pro
L20000U 20,000-lumen projectors to map a running tiger and a
heard of elephants onto a line of trees in a field.
The third vignette took visitors inside an Andean Bear habitat, with
colorful effects mapped onto rocks, a tree and a stream, using two
Epson Pro L20000U and Pro L1755UNL projectors. Throughout the
installation process, the entire installation team was courteous
when working around the inhabitants. Danny Whetstone, founder and
CEO of DWP Live, explains, “At night, the zoo staff would move the
bears out of the habitat so that the team could go in with a small
crane to place the projectors in their enclosures and leave the
animals virtually undisturbed.”
The fourth vignette was truly spectacular with images of animals such
as leaping fish, owls and salamanders projected onto jets of water in
the zoo’s pond and synced to an original composition.
“We set up a shootout of projectors from five
different manufacturers, but it soon became
obvious that Epson was our best choice.”
– DANNY WHETSTONE, FOUNDER AND CEO,
“It was the most holographic scene in the show,” Whetstone said.
“The ‘screen’ was a 23- to 25-foot-high curtain of water, about 75
feet wide, and was projected onto using a single Epson Pro
As the experience came to an end, guests could walk through the
zoo’s famous flamingo exhibit and see the birds live in their lagoon
lit with pink LED lights. “Flamingos are very inquisitive,”
Whetstone recalls. “The lighting professionals had to work around
the animals during the installation, and they spent quite a bit of
time planning where the cables and equipment would go to make
sure they didn’t chew up anything.”
Whetstone says this zoo project was the first time DWP Live had
worked with Epson. He decided to make the change to ensure the
projectors were up to the challenge of an outdoor live event.
“We set up a shootout of projectors from five different
manufacturers, but it soon became obvious that Epson was our
best choice,” he explains.
“The Epson color reproduction is superb, and we felt Epson’s
geometric setup software would be a huge plus, just because it’s
so easy to use.” Epson large-venue projectors all include
automatic multi-projector alignment and edge-blending software,
which dramatically reduces setup time.
“We also appreciated the fact that we could run the 10,000 and
15,000-lumen1 Epson projectors on a standard, 120-volt circuit.”
That also simplified the setup.
In addition to maneuvering around live animals and their
schedules, the biggest challenge for the project was the need to
install each projector in a custom, weatherproof enclosure, which
would be mounted on custom-built towers designed to be as
unobtrusive as possible. Here, too, Epson was an obvious choice
with their flexible laser projectors that allow for versatile
positioning and installation.
In particular, Epson’s newest 10,000-lumen EB-PU2010B
projector is much smaller than previous generations. “To be able
to produce so much light out of such tiny boxes is really cool,”
Whetstone says. It meant that he could use smaller, lighter-weight
enclosures and far less massive towers than would otherwise be
As a result of this zoo experience, Whetstone added several of
Epson’s newest 16,000-lumen1 EB-PU2216B projectors into the
DWP Live inventory for day-to-day use with a wide variety of
customers. “We’ve been super happy with the product and with
Epson’s support,” he says.
A Fantastic Outcome
Whetstone says he was glad to have been part of such a memorable
show and an amazing team.
“I had several friends and family members attend, and they all told
me how much they enjoyed it and how they recommended it to
others,” he explains.
“It was a fantastic outcome.”
“The Epson color reproduction is superb,
and we felt Epson’s geometric setup
software would be a huge plus, just
because it’s so easy to use. We also
appreciated the fact that we could run the
10,000 and 15,000-lumen1 Epson
projectors on a standard, 120-volt circuit.”
– DANNY WHETSTONE, DWP LIVE
This article was originally published by Epson America on March 15, 2023 and can be viewed here.