We had a fun one in San Fransisco with Pandora this week. Alison and Nicole invited us up to support an Analysts meeting in a beautiful but production-challenged room. Chris G. and the team managed to get a pretty big look out of a low ceiling venue with pillars that potentially blocked sight lines. Sometimes I'm as excited about a gig that overcomes technical challenges as I am by the ones that are fun-house spectacles. Sometimes. Great for us to support emerging integrated marketing analysis and new tech companies that are all about music. Who wouldn't agree with that? Favorite Pandora station right now - Kings of Leon. KOL is OK, but the bands that support the station are perfect.
So happy to be hanging with our friends from Bounce/AEG again - They produced the gig-to-be-at to celebrate a new Chanel No. 5 fragrance - Old Hollywood came out to pass the torch to the sons and daugthers of pop stars and assorted illuminati. We hinted at what was happening inside the Sunset Tower hotel with provactive projections of the classic bottle on the facades. Not an easy projection shot, but the boys sorted it all. It was fun hearing a teen party person walk by, staring at the projections, saying "that is SO cool!".
Projection = forever young
This was just a really clean installation in a funky downtown warehouse for a crazy-fancy car company. We were invited by Shamin Abas whom we met on our last-ever gig with our dear friend Craig Donahue. RIP Craig. Shamin was tasked with introducing the new Ferrari GTC4 Lusso to the LA market, so she brought us in to make it shine. This is a two seat supercar coupe that only costs $300K. Nice way to dip your toe in with Ferrari. We did the gig at 440 Seaton which is one of many up-and-coming beat up, old warehouses in the arts district downtown that are becoming the places to be. I heart gentrification, I have to admit. Nice reveal with live performance introducing the car with a bunch of low-lying fog and video and audio effects. If only they had an electric version...
I'm probably not bringing up anything you haven't already thought about, but have you noticed that every trailer you see at the movies is basically either a video game or a comic book, for the big screen? Well that's fine with us, 'cause we're doing a shit-ton of gigs for the gaming industry, and we like that. Although E3 took kind of a strange turn this year, the private gaming gigs have taken off in a huge way. Here we have our favorite Comic-Con gig with Team-Jordanah promoting Fox product, and below is a super secret Twitch broadcast of a new video game that is taking over the world (hint - there's a lot of killing in it - that should narrow it down). These subscription gaming services make Apple Music and Spotify look like penny-ante card games. I take my video game money and I tend to hang more at Laemmlle's but that's cause I'm old and snobby. It's fun watching this madness unfold before our eyes.
Not only do I feel we're living in the golden age of independent music, but the same goes for the art of marketing. It's the wild wild west out there - everything is new and disruptive and frankly awesome. Yes people are pissed that SXSW is a big Doritos/Pepsi/Chevrolet fest, but are there still 2,500 amazing bands playing? YES, and they're playing on bigger and better stages provided by people like US. So pipe down. On that note, Adidas contacted our new faves Kamp Grizzly out of Portland, to build a "creators lab". This was a marketing event that combined art and soccer - sounds nuts, but it was truly original and impactful. You can see the 100' wide interactive projection screen in the picture above - World class soccer players (and local kids, too!) played games with our screen kicking balls in to moving targets, igniting particle graphics effects and more. Vartan and team did the laser scanners and front end for us as we created the biggest touch screen on planet Gaia. Welders and tatoo artists and scientists and gamers worked along side soccer legends on a 100' x 100' double-wide soccer field. All of this in the Barker Hanger. Man, we hereby dedicate June as KAMP GRIZZLY month - awesome new clients like Kamp are the reason we don't just close up shop and start a punk band.
File this one under "never did this before". CCW and Brodey Francis came to us to build a "virtual strong man" gag for Toyota. Rather than swinging a sledgehammer and ringing a bell, guests at this touring Toyota activation are asked to smash a guitar à la Pete Townsend, to test their rock and roll muscle. I'll update with a picture from one of the gigs themselves, but I wanted to show you all what we built in the shop. Our resident Genius Eric Simpson created an interactive LED rock-o-meter from scratch, including pressure sensors, climbing LED circuit boards, and even audio triggers that play increasingly complicated guitar riffs depending on how high up the guitar neck you climb. Super proud of Eric for figuring this stuff out - I could spend a lifetime trying and would never hit the Rock God status he achieved.
Although GNR and LCD Soundsystem and a bunch of DJs were at the top of the bill this year, both weekends were pretty much owned by Sia. Huge press, rave reviews, massive audience, and our favorite 14 year old dancer Maddie from Dance Moms performing along side of Her Sia-ness. Seibo brought us out to do projection mapping on her backdrop. Super cool concept - Sia does not like to be lit (or seen), so production designer Michael Keeling designed projection to do most of the lighting. Yes we left Sia in dark "doors" within the projection, often. And when we didn't anti-light her, she hid behind the bangs of her wigs. Smart girl - write hit songs for others and get paid massively, have a few hits yourself for fun touring stories, and still be able to sit in a Pete's without anyone bugging you.
SPECIAL MID-MONTH POSTING! We've always said our greatest accomplishments at ShowPro are the families that we've raised while working here. Imagine this - Melissa/Ligo's boy Sol and my/Cheryl's son Charlie are heading off to college in the fall. Unreal - we're still trying to figure out how that happened so quickly. Sol is going to study business (and yeah, some theater tech) at DePaul in Chicago. Charlie is studying Music Industry and songwriting at USC Thornton. Walking Miracles... So So proud. Now we need you all to send us gigs so we can pay for this!
I don't need to tell you how excited we were to get a high profile gig at South by Southwest this year. Trust me, Cheryl and I would have been there either way, but it was cool to do something really creative with a new client in between acting like teenagers seeing bands all day and all night. Our friend Erika Urquiza is working with a new super-groovy agency in New York called A2G. They do mad stuff - all experiential events and spectacles. They brought us out to Austin to install a massive touchscreen. Relevant but tasteful imagery from their client The Gap was projected on a 12' x 32' screen and as guests interacted with the content, they produced particle and other effects. Even the bands playing in the room effected the projection. Extra Bonus - Ryan Adams and Avett Brothers played the first night. SXSW sawed us in half this year - just the way we like it.
It's awards season so that means two-for-one. We worked on the big Recording Academy Grammy post party at the convention center, as well as the Sequoia-produced Governors Ball for the Oscars. Such a great honor to be involved with both. Seriously, we feel super lucky that we continue to get invited back to work on two of the premier special events in the world. Grammys had a CandyLand type feel - Like Katy Perry CandyLand - kind of psychedelic and really fun for guests. Oscars was gorgeous and subdued and masculine and classy. I don't have a shot of our Oscars room and it's the last day of the month so rather than blow the post, I've included a shot of the broadcast stage. That thing was gorgeous - It's all about content - You can have massive projection or LED, but without stellar content, it's just gear. Here's to the creative types!!
Visual Artist Chris Milk is touring the world with a large scale interactive Triptych, which has stopped at the Sundance Film Festival this week. Don't worry, I had to look up Triptych, too. It's a story of birth, death and transfiguration realized on three massive projection screens. We did the lighting, video and audio installation for producer Mitch Kirsch at Planet Events who rep'ed Milk and his team. This is three big screens with a shallow reflecting pool in front of them. Guests come up to each of the screens and their shadows are digitally captured and reprojected. Milk's software then paints the shadows with 3D models of birds growing, then deconstructing, then experiencing rebirth. Really Cool. Massive amounts of snow up at Sundance and cold, too, which makes a visit to this installation even more Triptychy.