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Final Major Project Showcase: Escape the Reawakened

The first of our special showcases of this years’ third year Final Major Projects. First stop, with a slight sense of foreboding, we visited Escape the Reawakened; an escape room experience with a frightful theme. 

The idea for the immersive event started life [or, perhaps, came back from the dead] in October of 2020. Fitting for the month of all things horror and scares, the student group agreed upon setting themselves the challenge of creating an escape room event. 

After months of creative planning and research, the groups’ efforts culminated in a series of escape room experiences, attended over two days by bubbles of the students’ friends and family. And boy, were they in for a treat … or trick.

Entering studio A with some trepidation, having been plunged into darkness, we made our way to the backstage area where we met with BA (Hons) Live Events Production student, Alex Crossland, who introduced us to their event. 

“Today, we’re doing our Final Major Project. My group’s event is Escape the Reawakened, a zombie and horror-themed escape room. In this, we’re using 3D sound, lighting and visuals to create an immersive atmosphere.” 

Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021

The students created a completely original build, from designing and making the interior set to constructing the rooms themselves inside the larger studio to allow for the escape room to be controlled and monitored. 

Behind the scenes, the students had brought together some of the industry’s leading technology and kit to create a unique and hair raising experience.

A stand out aspect of the event was the use of a 360 degree sound system that created the all-important immersive sound effects. This was made possible through the use of d&b audiotechnik Soundscape software using both En-Scene and En-Space tools playing out via T10 loudspeakers. All of this was controlled via a Soundcraft Vi7000 mixing desk, allowing the students to configure a heart-racing soundtrack of growls and howls as well as create sound effects in real-time.


Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021

Through the use of multiple Epson projectors mounted securely by the brilliantly innovative frames from Running Free AV [definitely not running free from the room!], the students projected silhouettes of the walking dead onto a Holo Gauze screen, only adding to the atmospheric sounds of the zombie apocalypse that awaited anyone who dared escape the room! 

Creating the entirety of the set, props and video was certainly no mean feat, incorporating all of the students’ skills in design, production and content creation. Original videos created to show the events of the world outside were seamlessly controlled through Green Hippo’s Hippotizer system.


Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021
Escape the Reawakened, 2021

Before we left the group to get on with their final rehearsals, we had a quick chat with Tara Nesbitt, BA (Hons) Stage and Production Management student to bring us back into the real world and out of the zombie experience!

“It’s been exciting being back doing what we do, especially after a long time of not having any work. As well as that, it’s been really great to be able to bring friends and family in to experience what we’ve created!”

With all our student projects and events, these would not be possible without the continued and unrelenting support of our industry partners. All of whom, despite the difficulties that this academic year has brought, have never failed to support our students and staff in allowing them to achieve some phenomenal and, in this instance, frightening events!

Escape the Reawakened was a project by; 

Alex Crossland, BA (Hons) Live Events Production 

Ben Wilson, BA (Hons) Live Events Production 

Bethan Marks, FDA Live Events Production 

Jodie Wilcock, BA (Hons) Live Events Production 

Lucas Johnstone. BA (Hons) Live Events Production 

Megan Collier, BA (Hons) Live Events Production 

Ollie Brown, BA (Hons) Live Events Production 

Tara Nesbitt, BA (Hons) Stage & Production Management

Watch this space for the next Final Major Project showcase special! Want to know more about what it's like to study at Backstage Academy? Join us at our next Virtual Open Day, Thursday 12th August 6 - 8 pm.   


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