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(photo by Brandon Wise)

DOWNTOWN — Organizers of the 27th annual Twilight Dance Series are trying to find a replacement for the high-tech big screen that projected performances to hundreds of people gathered on the sand south of the Santa Monica Pier to watch the free concerts.

This year, the series, which features 10 concerts, partnered with Screenworks to secure a 9 foot by 12 foot LCD screen that far outshined previous concert displays.

However, this discounted $5,000 per night deal came with an expiration date.

Originally, Screenworks was set to provide the screen at $8,000 for three nights. The series’ organizers later negotiated the increased discount and secured the screen for two more nights in September.

That would leave the next five concerts screen-less.

Craig Hoffman, head of corporate partnership development and strategic planning for the Pier Restoration Corp., which produces the series, said he was very passionate about rallying resources to find a replacement screen for the remaining shows.

Artisan Design has donated an 8 foot by 8 foot rear projection screen to replace the LCD. WSR Creative, one of the series’ production partners, has pledged to donate cameras and equipment. The series’ own production team is volunteering time to set up the system.

“We’re 90 percent of the way there,” said Hoffman. “We just have to cross a few more hurdles.”

The only missing piece of the puzzle is securing cameramen.

Hoffman said his team was reaching out to their networks to find people to volunteer their time. It’s difficult finding people on such short notice, he said, but he remains hopeful.

Screenworks’ two additional concert dates were set for September because the organizers had to coordinate with CityTV’s schedule to cover the Twilight Dance Series. In the past, CityTV has provided projector screens, but with Screenworks’ LCD screen, they committed to only filming this year.

The local access network annually sets aside money in its budget to cover the series — they traditionally supply equipment and videographers for five of the 10 shows.

“Five shows is something we can handle reliably and competently. If we go beyond that, sometimes we struggle,” said CityTV Manager Robin Gee.

As series administrators continue to comb for videographers, the fate of the projection screen hangs in the air.

This isn’t the first time that funding has caused problems for the popular concert series. In 2010 the producers of the series needed help from City Hall, local businesses and the public to secure funding to produce the slate of shows.

news@smdp.com

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