Sound Design: ‘Avenue Q’ Additional Video


Cairns Choral Society’s 2017 production of Triple Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q, which incorporates video content as part of the production’s ‘Sesame Street for adults’ style. Whilst I was originally involved as a performer, I was also asked to produce the television advertising, and other video content for the web, I was also asked to contribute additional video content specific to the local production.


Part of the production calls for a giant ‘Bridezilla’ monster to appear looming over the set. Due to the height limit of the theatre, it wasn’t clearly visible from the back half of the audience, so I was asked to produce some video content that could be added during that scene.

I feed the on-stage monitors a chroma green signal and used them as a green screen to record the puppet, then added fire and smoke elements on site. As an added gag I added the classic Toho ‘Godzilla’ roar. This was then loaded into the production’s QLab system. Appropriate planning prior meant that all of the shooting and editing was conducted on-site and made available to the director for instant approval and revision.

Director Michael Lee Porter operating ‘Kate Monster’ as Bill Cooney films against chroma screen

The director and producer also decided to use the ‘Bad Idea Bear’ characters to present the house pagers regarding safety and copyright information. These were again filmed and edited on-site for approval by the director and producer, then loaded into QLab.


I asked Bill to create a couple of videos for our production of Avenue Q. I needed a puppet-monster-bride going crazy on the screen, and a curtain warmer announcement to the audience video. Bill came up with fun inventive ideas to make the puppets work on camera. He directed the scenes and did all the post production editing. I was elated with the final product. He even snuck in a wonderfully camp Godzilla roar that worked in beautifully with the puppet’s movement.

Bill also was the mastermind behind our YouTube doco-adverts “QBER” – and prepared a car for video and audio recording, and edited a few hours of footage in short snappy fun 3-5 minute videos that we used for promotion.

When it comes to editing, Bill has a good eye for what to keep and what to throw away. He is quick to produce the AV and it always was great quality.

– Michael Lee Porter
Director, Avenue Q

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