Working for We Make Stuff Happen as video content manager at this annual event is challenging and exciting. The schedule is always tight for the huge logistical challenge involving temporary road closures and a large crew to rapidly build the stage and ancillary equipment. I have taken care of video content displayed on stage and sent out to the screens along the street including a tightly synchronised countdown to the switch on itself in 2018 and 2019.
I have worked for Bertie and Haydn at Immersive-me on a number of projects. Among the most memorable and impressive was with Reeps One and Zach Walker for an event sponsored by Ballantines whisky, filmed at Printworks London.
I worked for the Light Surgeons to bring this projection to life at an event for this famous Swiss brand. I helped choose the right equipment with QED on hand with the best projectors and technicians for the job and then mapped the three walls with Madmapper software.
Working for an agency called Cake I undertook the challenge of displaying the outstanding new feature of the Nokia 8 smartphone: The ‘Bothie’ dual camera function allowed users to use and display video from the front and rear camera modules of the device at the same time. The one big snag being that the device had no video output functions built in to the operating system.
A short period of research and testing resulted in success. Utilising a screencasting app on the phone in combination with a Syphon enabled screen capture app on a MacPro, we were able to capture streams from two roving phones at an adequate resolution and frame rate with minimal latency.
Due to a booking to VJ at a music festival in Croatia I was unable to be there for the delivery of this job so I left it in the capable hands of Insight Lighting, Neal Coghlan and Jules Shapter.
The venue for the event was Beat nightclub where I took care of clients large and small for a couple of years thanks to both VJ Mowgli and Sleepytom whom both had a hand in creating such a good edge blended set-up in the venue.
Director Phil Good at Kash contacted me to provide projections and lighting for their shoot at a studio in East London. Insight Lighting supplied a van full of kit and I provided a pair of laptops with Resolume Arena to map the content all over the studio walls. It was a quick turn-around one day shoot and I think we made it look great. The editor did a lot in post!
The advert was for West African TV if I remember correctly, I can’t find it online anywhere…
I freelanced as projectionist and photographer on a series of jobs for Projection Artworks. Most of the jobs were guerilla advertising projections. We would set off in small teams with a projector and an electricity generator in a transit van and project onto landmark sites around London or in cities across the UK for lots of different commercial clients.
I had come to know the company via Richard Burns of https://richandmiyu.com/ who developed some great in-house projection mapping tools with Touch Designer as seen in the ‘Ad cubes’ pictured.
Konstantinos from Urban Visuals pulled me in to make some realtime 3D animation for this gigantic projection mapping in Switzerland. It was the 210th anniversary of this historic private bank. Working alongside Brendan from Insight Lighting and Tom Wall from Blinkin Lab to generate enough content for a long show we each made individual sections in our own unique styles to build a momentum over the duration of the night.
I was contacted by the promotion department of the Swedish lighting brand Fagerhult to provide projection mapping, content creation and an interactive display for the companies 70th anniversary celebrations.
It was great to work with the team at the London office to make the most of their building which would be used as the party venue. I commissioned Judd Brett to create an extensive timeline animation of the company history which was displayed in extreme widescreen and filled a prominent wall in the large office space. I programmed an interactive 3D lighting simulation where users moved a sparkling light source to augment the company logo on the wall outside. It was brilliant to use the Leap Motion hand tracking device and demonstrate it to the congregated lighting designers in attendance.
One morning while relaxing by the pool in Beirut in 2012 I received a phone call from Jasmin Jodry in London, she had one question: ‘Was it possible to projection map a rotating car?’ I said yes but it was difficult, and I was unfortunately busy in the sunshine.
Out of the blue two years later I was messaged on LinkedIn by someone from Imagination and was invited to discuss an upcoming project. It turns out to be the second iteration of the project Jasmin had designed previously. This time it was for the Long Wheel base version of the same vehicle so as ‘Senior technical producer’ my job was really not too challenging.
The installation had been brilliantly created by Chris Plant of Colourburst and Elliot Woods of Kimchi and Chips with vvvv in 2012. New animated content was rendered using the LWB 3D model and a new white sock for the vehicle was ordered ready for Chris to update the system. We worked to service the installation at the factory visitor centre and install and test the new content. We also devised and tested a new callibration cube to align the projectors without requiring the vehicle.
You can watch a video of the original version here: https://vimeo.com/66647673 and to quote Jasmin’s Vimeo page: ‘Jaguar and Land Rover wanted a spectacular experience for VIP customers of the new L405 when they pick up their car in the Solihull factory. The 3D augmented projection mapping tells the story of the car and literally ‘builds’ it in front of the visitors eyes: from abstract factory processes via terrain simulation to the finale where each bespoke vehicle is revealed to its client. The complex mapping covers a car on a rotating turntable plus floor and back projections in real-time 3D, a world’s first.’
For this inaugural year of the British Film Institutes fundraising gala event The Light Surgeons tasked me with programming a realtime filmstip video effect. Quartz Composer at the ready it would be a fun job. The Light Surgeons raided the BFI archive for suitable short action shots which were converted into small image sequences. I used the composition within Madmapper which gave me the flexibility to place each strip where ever I wished on a four H.D. projector output. This installation was part of the reception area and an even grander installation was in place for the main event upstairs. Working with Insight Lighting to install the system with projectors supplied by QED productions was great and the 16mm projections from David Leister set the whole thing off to a tee with the authenticity only found with the smell, grain and sounds of real film.
Commisioned by Insight Lighting to create a custom control system for thier video mirror system to make a synchronised dynamic panorama display and dance floor lighting. Created using Quartz Composer with Kineme’s ArtNet Plugin I made a patch with controls which ran as clips with Resolume Arena. This allowed sound reactive imagery to be dynamically moved around the space and also align at set positions to create a dual output screen.
Yellow Lounge was a popular classical music event which my mate and fellow Quartz Composer programmer Jim Warrier was commissioned to create visuals for, I gladly joined him and provided some sound reactive 3d content a couple of times.
I returned from India and quickly readied for delivery of a small part of this job with Insight Lighting. I created a simple Quartz Composer waveform music visualiser but on a BIG wall using three edge blended projectors. The venue was Village Underground and Insight transformed it with a full stage design, custom lighting sculptures and projections throughout it’s caverns.
Deepvisual called me up to be on the team for this exciting opportunity to fly out to India for 10 days and get to grips with an enormous dome. What adventures lay ahead? I had done quite a bit of dome theory before but this was another league. 18 huge projectors and everything that entailed. There was a lot to learn. Gladly I was in good company, it was the first time I had worked alongside Richard Bagshaw of Digital Insanity and the talentented programmer Lawrence Ryan of 360 flicks who used software from 7th Sense Design.
We arrived to find the dome being assembled in a muddy field, not the best thing for a giant white projection screen…
That mud led to a big slip in the schedule…but the dome went up eventually and the gargantuan task of ‘cleaning’ some of the mud off ensued as we began installing the projectors.
We got it all cabled up and lined up after a few very long sweaty days and finished with hours to spare at four A.M. the night before show day.
We were just getting to sleep in our hotel rooms when the phone rang at 6am. Someone had put a nail through an electricity cable! We arrived on site to find two projectors blown and unuseable, we had to find a way to fill the gaps…and quick. A call went out and two underpowered projectors arrived by about lunchtime and we did our best, not perfect but holes plugged.
I rendered out some 2k pixel square videos of space and galaxies from some Quartz Composer patches I had hanging around, it was great so see content I produced with particle systems (and the addition of some Nasa image downloads) on such an impressive canvas.
I hope the millionaire couple who were to be wed are still happy. This was just the engagement party!
Anna Boberg of https://bopa.tv/ got in touch with an interesting and unexpected offer. Would I like to VJ at a club in Beirut?!? She and her studio would be supplying all of the content including some backdrops for the stage shows with a dance troupe. I went along for a six week contract and worked alongside a local VJ Moses Magharian (Eye See Experience).
I had a brilliant time working and making friends in Lebanon which gave me an insight into the culture and politics of the region. We were accommodated in a superb out of town apartment complex with a lovely outdoor pool and we were really well looked after.
One morning while relaxing by the pool I received a phone call from a colleague in London, she had one question: ‘Was it possible to projection map a rotating car?’ I said yes but it was difficult and I was busy in the sunshine. More about that later.
For two years running Insight Lighting designed the stages for this commercial awards show. I created lots of Quartz Composer content, some rendered video clips and some realtime 3D. I also incorporated a live Twitter feed. For the 2012 event Brendan programmed Madmapper with Artnet/DMX output to run a set of LED battons mounted within the staircase which came to life with pixel mapped animations as award winners climbed to the stage.
Full galleries including videos from 2011 and 2012 on Insight Lighting’s Flickr.
I was renting a desk in the studio of my good friends Insight Lighting when they asked if I could help create some of the content and be part of the technical team on the biggest show I had ever worked on at the time. Another great animator on the team was Pep Palau.
It was simply huge! It was held at Evolution Battersea which is a giant blank canvas for events. The set-up consisted of: 21 projectors, 12 for the 360º surround image, 8 for backgrounds visible through the wrap-around translucent mesh screen and 1 for the stage show. Main content was all delivered using Modul8 by Brendan from a MacPro with 2 GPU’s and some clever use of a matrix switcher.
The long term visuals supplier to The Orb, Deepvisual was busy on another job so he asked me to fill in for him on this show out in Hungary. I only stepped out from behind my computer for a few seconds to get a clip of the show:
This was not the first nor would it be the last show with the Orb. In 2009 I VJ’d alongside Michael Coles of Malicious Damage for the Baghdad Batteries album launch show. It was an interesting set-up in an arched venue and the audience all wore white paper suits to become a giant projection screen.
I also accompanied them on a handful of UK tour dates in 2013. It was an honour to be passed the baton and work with the Orb who have always incorporated visuals into their shows and were a huge influence in my musical youth.
Beware the terrible sound quality from the on camera microphone:
Booked again to film the massive White Party at Magna, it was a full on production. I brought in a second camera operator with High Definition kit and used a stills camera to shoot timelapse. We captured the whole multi-room event from build to teardown.
The show included a performance from John ‘OO’ Fleming’s live act 00DB. John asked me to edit a short promo for him from this show:
This was the last job I did for Gatecrasher as they claimed insolvency (as they seemed to do every few years) and screwed me for a chunk of my invoice.
Following on from the vox pops I shot after the Sheffield club burned down the company launched a new venue in Nottingham. They booked me to make a video of the VIP opening night and two further shows with Roger Sanchez and David Guetta.
David Hall Partnership the business start-up training provider whom had helped me produce my business plan a year or so previous came to call asking me to make a promotional video for them to use as a marketing tool.
I set about interviewing some of their previous clients with successful businesses around the city region. I edited the resulting footage into a compelling set of stories covering the full range of businesses.