Author: Joe Sexton

Things I’ve learnt working at RTR #3 – Brightsign and love

A few weeks ago, RTR Productions donated projections for the Equal rights campaign, you can see the projections on Smith st Collingwood between 6pm and 3am every day.

I made a short video of Cris configuring the projector which is hosted above the Amlock locksmiths store.

Video images and content is hosted on a brightsign media player which uses a serial data connection (RS232) to turn the projector on at 6am and off again at 3am.

Things I’ve learnt working at RTR #2 – Automation

I’m a huge fan of automating processes with computers and hardware.

This month I had the absolute pleasure of working with two very talented Australian artists/curators (Judith Torzillo and Victoria Cleland) at the Melbourne City Library. It’s a pretty cool library that’s hidden on Flinders lane and hosts facilities to an eclectic group of people: locals, travelers, students, and creatives.

Judith Torzillo and Victoria Cleland have transformed the City library’s exhibition space with “Without a Jewel” videos, audio, books and paper.

Without A Jewel presents four artists currently exploring the edges of jewellery: Renée Ugazio (Australia), Anneleen Swillen (Belgium), Paulina Rodete (Mexico) and Zoe Robertson (UK)

RTR Productions helped Judith and Victoria with the Video and Audio Integration work which was fairly straight forward using Samsung professional screens and Brightsign media players. Where things got a little clever was the automation of content with scheduled playout. All of the video and audio equipment was automated with on and off times that was in sync with the library opening times. The system has been fully automated since August 2nd with no human intervention. The Exhibition closes this Sunday 3rd September, it’s free and I highly recommend a visit.

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Things I’ve learnt working at RTR #1 – Withered Flowers

Working at RTR Productions is great, you get to see a lot of innovative technology solutions being used to solve adhoc problems for clients. This is mostly with audio video and lighting systems but also includes control systems, media streaming, staging and… well almost anything, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say “we don’t do that”.

There is a lot of planning that goes into production projects and in most cases, RTR stages a full run down of the equipment used at the Melbourne warehouse. This is why RTR has such good flow when bumping in on site.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working with the RTR Installation team that is headed up by Matthew Withey. Similar to the Productions team, the Installation team work on adhoc, custom solutions which require careful planning and attention to detail. They are also similar to the production team in that they get to work at some pretty amazing buildings around Melbourne. This is what I’d like to mention in this post.

I’ve been completely blown away by some of the architecture and venues we’ve been installing equipment in. The one venue I’d like to highlight this month is from the Melbourne University. I had the absolute pleasure of working with the guys from Soundcorp who installed a face recognition camera in one of the main lecture theatres, the camera identifies the lecturer and automatically follows them on stage, the video feed is then projected onto large screens behind the lectern and around the theatre, it’s pretty amazing to see working. The theater is massive in size and hosts seats for about 500 students.

The thing that really caught my eye was the wall paper which is a beautiful piece of art by Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel called Withered Flowers. Together, Job and Nynke created a handful of eccentric and quirky wallpapers, The Withered Flowers pieces is by far my favorite. It was exciting to see Melbourne University using some high tech which was beautifully camouflaged by the Withered Flowers wall paper.

Job and Nynke created seven pieces in total which you can see here.

Resolution VS Screen Ratio

I’m normally not someone that writes blogs but quite often I get asked about projectors, screen, displays, monitors, TV etc. However, I believe lots of people are a little confused between resolution and screen ratio.

Last week I got told from an old school friend that 16:9 is better than 4:3. “I’m not quite sure what you mean” I told him, do you mean you prefer the ratio 16:9 VS 4:3 or do you think the quality (resolution) is better on a 16:9 screen?

He told me that “a projector that projects an image on 16:9 is higher resolution than a projector that projects a 4:3 image as 16:9 is WXGA and 4:3 is XGA”.
I really like my friend and I didn’t want to have a heated discussion or even worst an argument so I told him, “on this one mate we have to agree to disagree!”
Here is the way I see it. (I hope my friend will read this one day)

The aspect ratio of a screen/image can be 4:3, 16:9, 16:10 etc. and is the relationship between the width and the height of the screen/image. Doesn’t matter how big or small the screen/image is, and if it is in mm, cm, metres, inches etc if the width is divided into units of equal length (for example on a 16:9 is divided by 16) and the height is measured using this same length unit, the height will be measured to be 9 units.

The display resolution of a projector, Digital TV, computer monitor etc, is the number of pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. This is to put it in a very simple contest and explanation, so even my friend can understand it!

It is normally written as width × height,(I think that’s where my friend got confused) with the units in pixels: for example, “1280 × 800” means the width is 1280 pixels and the height is 800 pixels. This is sometimes called “twelve-eighty by eight-hundred”

Another meaning of “display resolution” is for displays such as plasma display panels, LCD, DLP projectors and similar technologies, and is simply the number of columns and rows of pixels creating the display (e.g. 1920 × 1080).

So to end this brief blog, if you like an image 16:9 better than a 4:3 because you like that ratio better, that’s great but remember a 4:3 image can be of higher resolution that a 16:9 image, for example UXGA (1600 x 1200) 4:3 image VS HD720 (1280 x 720) 16:9 image.

Please have a look at the Vector Video Standard image below. (please note I did not make the drawing below, I got it from the net)

Should any of you have a friend like me and wants some help in clarify some details, please do not hesitate to email me at



Resolution VS Screen Ration
Resolution VS Screen Ratio

Stage Fright – Overcome Your Fear

Whether you’re speaking at a corporate event, a groom reciting his own vows, or an artist singing in front of your biggest audience, stage fright can affect anyone.

Overcoming stage fright can be daunting, however may be much easier than you think. Once you master public speaking or performing you are equipped with a powerful tool that can be used to inform, persuade or entertain your listeners no matter how big or small the event.

Our team has been in the industry in Melbourne for many years and we have seen it all. Stage fright can remove the real joy of an event for the speaker and sometimes even the guests. To help our readers we have compiled some tips that will help first time speakers or performers through their anxiety in order to have a great wedding, festival, show or event:

Practice Calming Techniques

Be it meditation, yoga or simply taking a few deep calming breaths before stepping out on stage, calming techniques can help lower your heart rate and bring anxiety down.

Know Your Content

For a corporate event like a seminar where you might be the guest speaker, know your content well. Especially if you haven’t prepared the speech yourself. If you are a singer, know your songs and your set list well in advance.

Rehearse, Revise & Record

No matter what the event, practice practice practice. We cannot stress this enough. Not having to refer to notes and reducing the risk of losing your place really helps. Once you know your speech off by heart, get your phone and record yourself talking it slowly and confidently. Practicing this tone will help you on the day, and playing it back will let you know if you need to change anything that sounds a little off when read out loud.

Know Your Audience

It is always easier to speak to people you are familiar with than those you haven’t, so walk the room and introduce yourself if you don’t know your crowd.

Concentrate on the Message

Realise the importance of the message you are trying to deliver, not the way the audience perceives your delivery of it. Focus on individuals as you deliver your message, this will make it feel to you like you are in a one on one conversation, and will give the message stronger meaning to your audience.

Don’t Focus on Mistakes

Mistakes can happen and they are not a big deal unless you make them one. Imagine the times you have sat in a crowd and the speaker has made a mistake, you are generally empathetic, thinking ‘oh that’s no big deal’ and you probably forget about it within a minute or so. Your audience will be the same, so if you slip up, take a breath and just keep going.

Know that People want to Listen

Most people want you to be successful, and want to understand your message. This should give you a confidence boost knowing that people are open minded and understanding.

Improve Through Experience

Ultimately, there is no better way of getting over stage fright than simply getting up on stage and doing it over and over again. It does get easier, and after a while it can even become fun.

As with any event, if you are part of the organisation of it, having additional stresses of planning the event can increase anxiety on the day. Utilising an event manager or company such as RTR Productions who focus on providing ‘stress-free’ events will also assist in making your event as easy and pain free as possible.

White Night 2017

For the 3rd year in a row, RTR PROductions have been an integral team member in the prestigious event White Night. DAE Global the event organisers certainly stepped it up this year putting on a sensational production that surpassed the scale and creativity of prior years. RTR PROductions are honoured to be involved in an event that just keeps going from strength to strength.

We spent many months planning and preparing for the magical event that graces Melbourne CBDs streets for 12 hours every year. From 7pm to 7am many of Melbourne’s city roads are shut down and transformed into stages, light installations and large scale artworks. If you haven’t been to a White Night  before I highly recommend you check it out, you will not be disappointed!

Those months of planning came in handy on the day as a few unforeseen changes (including the possibility of poor weather) meant we had backup plans onsite and available. We were rather impressed with the Collins Street stage at 60m2 that was set up by the RTR crew in 19 minutes! A record yet for our team and one to beat for next year.

The 3 main stages consisted of:

Truck stage on Collins street for a large band setup with dancers rotating on the 60m2 elevated stage.

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The Birrarung Marr stage and ground support structure 8m x 6m with wings.


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And the Bourke Street stage 8m x 4m x 5m ground support truss structure with wings, roof and back.

All in all a successful event and great effort by all crew and operators.

NGV Summer Sundays

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Summer Sundays were an initiative put on by the Gallery that includes free performances by local musicians and DJs, food and pop-up bars in the NGV Garden and a free drop-by activity for kids. RTR Productions being the NGV preferred supplier for audio, visual, staging and productions designed a series of ground support structures, staging and audio visual solutions for the series of free concerts.

The events were a success even though there was a couple of weekends where last minute bad weather caused some re-arrangements to the structures. The RTR crew were able to quickly work around the inclement weather for a great result.

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AV Installation and Corporate Events

RTR Productions specialise in AV installation and corporate event audio hire; our team has worked effectively with clients to make different events successful whether big or small. We continue to provide our clients with efficient and effective installation service at an accurate level of technological achievement. We aim for 100% client satisfaction and meet the different expectations set by customers in any event hire or occasion.

Our highly qualified and professional team of AV installers has a keen eye for details and is dedicated to achieve the desired result as expected by the clients. Our installation teams are trained regularly for product handling and knowledgeable in line with this work and they are capable of handling your system (maintenance, service and upgrade) when it needs one. They stay up to date with the latest equipment and installation procedures; you can trust that your system is in good hands.

We not just install audio visual equipment we also design and do custom AV installation to meet your needs whether it is for a boardroom, video conference and multi-room systems. With the knowledge in latest AV technology, we can provide you with a great selection of audio visual systems installation done carefully and professionally to match your expectations.

From simple to full production AV installations, call us up! We are always ready to assist you!

Melbourne Writers Festival Bookshop 2016

Our team at RTR Productions again provided the pop up bookshop for The Melbourne Writers Festival, located inside the atrium of Federation Square the bookshop had a new design this year with a new entrance facing Flinders Street and all new banners. Built on a floor with multiple planes of fall, our Nivtec staging is ideal with adjustable legs to create a level surface for the bookshop floor and our eurotruss box truss is ideal with its elegant looks and high ratings. If you need a temporary structure for an event why not get in contact with our team on 03 9331 6522.

Nivtec Staging Hire from RTR Productions
Nivtec Stage
Pop Up Stage Hire
Staging Hire for a pop up bookshop

New Product Review – 6×4 Outdoor Stage

RTR Productions have just added a new structure to our ever growing range of outdoor stages, coming with a standard stage size of 6mt x 4mt with an option to increase to 6mt x 5mt the new stage is an elegant solution for events of any size from community and council events through to entertainment zones at major events.

If you need a stage structure for your next event why not speak to our team about our range of stages on 03 9331 6522.