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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Big Thank you- VJ Culture Ranks In The Top 5 VJ's World Wide
DJ Mag UK Ranks the top 20 VJ's and top 100 DJ's worldwide. (But who really cares about them).
Thanks to your votes, I am up one place from last year's number 6 to number 5.
I personally have not seen a copy here in the US but someone on VJ Forums scanned copies and I'm posting my page here. (Don't let this get back to DJ Mag, they'll sue me!
Three years in a row now. Do ya like the Bling?

The quote they used is kinda cheesy. I wish they would have printed the bio I sent them.
Since they won't publish it I will.

Grant Davis (VJ Culture) gave up his collegiate ideals of working with deaf children 8 years ago when he first experienced a live, immersive, VJ, environment in the Black Rock City desert.
"As a Communications Disorder Specialist, I thought this was a great way to visually interpret music for the deaf", says Grant. Since then, under the name VJ Culture, Grant has provided sight and sound for audience around the world. This year returning from Torino, Italy where he performed 19 shows with the Magnetic Poets during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
UK’s DJ Mag has voted VJ Culture among the top 10 VJs in the world for the past two consecutive years.
"I sometimes think of those little, deaf children and what I could have provided for them. However, that small feel-good sensation is no match for the fame, the glitz and the bling. Maybe when my career washes up I'll return to the kids"

Bassnectar video
Lorin, - Bassnectar asked me to cut a few videos for his Album Mesmorizing the Ultra.
I created the video in spring of 2005 and it has taken this long to get it up.

or you can go here

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Be The Riottt (Riottt Festival SF)
First off, checkout
It's a great new site with a strong vision of underground culture and vision.
With Flavorgroup ( they organized one of the leading music festivals on the planet for indie/hiphop/punk culture.
The line up was sick and we were commissioned to bring visuals to the main stage at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the side hip hop room.
The main stage had 15 9x12 screens and 2 15x20ft screens on either side of the stage.
we had 5 different feeds going out to the projectors. One of the feeds coming in was a photo booth located on the dance floor. Guest could have a series of pictures taken (like a photo booth) and then they would get prints of their photos and a wireless transmission of the photo would be sent to the VJ booth and mixed live with the visuals.
Casey Bishop and Pete (from "thisispete) provided the visuals in the hip hop room.
This was a marathon of video mixing. Basically a 11 hour show.
In the Main room Chris from Brotherhood of Light and I held down the main mix for the majority of the day and night.
It took 2 Edirol V4's and 1 Edirol HD440 to pull off the matrix of images.

Minneapolis Red Bull Art of the Can
The final destination for the Red Bull Art of the Can. This time the exhibit is at the Weisman Museum built by Frank Gehry. This was the easiest of all the installs. Purely a simple two projectors on pipe and base stands and live VJing. The content was combination of 360 rotations of the artwork that had been photographed in months before. We took the individual psd files of each 16th rotation and created full motion video. Then the rest of the content was loaded into the Edirol CG-8 and performed live.

Dallas Red Bull Art of the Can
Dallas plays host to another Red Bull Art of the Can with a completely fresh take on the visual installations.
For dallas we incorporated two VJ Culture installations and provided live video mixing for the gala party and opener.
In the center of the room were 5 circular screens that were spanned out across two projectors.
I created masks in after effects and used the Matrox videohead 2 go card. (more of a review on that in a few days). The video res size was 1440x480 and the matrox card allowed the quicktime to be played out on an expanded 2048x1536 or something like that. One of the challenges of this installation is that it had to be simple to operate once I was gone. As simple as turn on and launch the file. I used webex remote control desktop software to monitor the computer from my home. That way if there were any problems I could address it from home.
The second installation was a video water fall.
The projector was tilted on its side using a magic arm. Then using a mask I created a downward motion of all the submitted Red Bull art pieces. This was installed in the galleries window and was viewable from both sides.
Guillaume Clave from NYC helped install the system and he VJ'ed at the opening and Gala parties.

From Vegas to Atlanta
This is going to be a crazy month. Already since I moved from SF to LA I have only been home a week out of a month and a half and by mid Nov. I will have been home 2 weeks out 2 and a half months. I like to travel but I also hear the weather in Santa Monica is beautiful right now and the beaches are spacious and warm...
Anyway, Red Bull has launched for the second year in a row a gallery exhibit called, Red Bull Art of the Can".
Atlanta is the first stop of this 3 city tour which includes Dallas and Minneapolis.
Visit to see photos and the videos we shot of the artists who made amazing pieces with Red Bull Cans.
The day I arrived we were scheduled to start installing that morning. However, a double booking for another event that night meant we had spend another all nighter installing our custom screens and projectors and have it up and running in less than 20 hours.
Toshi Hoo arrived in Atlanta ahead of me and got a lot of the content prep done so the screen install would go a lot smoother. We used after effects to create a mask for each screen. Then we burned the final movies to DVD.

We used a light diffuser material with a combination of fasteners and rocks to assembly the screens. Zach, from the Temple of Gravity and B Complex manufactured the screens.
We also wanted a clean look for the gallery and instead of hanging projectors from traditional clamps and mounts we had the artists from B Complex in Atlanta bend some steel for us and give us a nice ornate end to a pipe and clamp system.
The event was very successful, a great turnout and everything worked.
The exhibit was up from Oct. 14th -31st so the all elements of the insallation had to with stand time and careless visitors.

Still in Vegas---Mercury World
Even though I didn't get back to the hotel until 10:30AM I had a dress rehearsal for Mercury World w/ the Kenwood Group 3 and half hours later.
It was a very, very difficult rehearsal. I wasn't hitting cues and the band wasn't on top of it. I would have to say it was one of my darkest moments as a VJ.
The rehearsal went until 1:00AM and then I had to go back to Empire Ball Room where I had just mixed last night, or was it this morning, or today.... something like that.
Now Toshi and I had a low-rider convention after-party. Toshi took the brunt of the work since I was so crashed out. We had to work that gig until 4:00AM. What made it even harder is that no one came to their party. It was dead.
So now it's 40 with only 3 hours sleep and now I'm going to crash for 3 hours and do a opening performance at Mercury World with the San Francisco band, "The Mission".
You can see the video of it here.

Jon Schwark Vjon produced the opening and created the majority of the content. I just pushed a few buttons.
Seamless projections spread across 4 screens.
A Spyder system in the back of stage controlled the majority of the show.
The show was a 3 day event, The two final days were with DJ Scientific
Can you believe it, I created a visual mashup for intro to guest keynote speaker Madeleine Albright and CEO of HP Mark Hurd. Quite a twist from the crowd I was working with last night at the low rider after-party

Exprescion Vegas
Well, I flew from Bozeman to Salt Lake City where I was stuck for 7 hours waiting to catch a connecting flight to Vegas. Since I hadn't sleep from the Hatchfest gig I was very tired but I couldn't sleep because the airline kept moving the flight from terminal to terminal.
When I arrived in Vegas I had to go straight to the venue and start setting up. Toshi Hoo from Hoo Media met me there to help with the show.
We worked until showtime to setup two screens in the main room and 3 screens on the patio outside. Connected to our VJ booth was a photobooth where guest could get there picture taken and the images would be transferred wirelessly to a laptop in our vj booth. Then we would mix the photos in with the set. It worked out very well and as you probably know it was very vegas style.

The party was for Scion, produced by The Flavor Group (SF). It started at 9:00 but at 3:00 a new crowd came in from the late night industry scene. It was a good vibe, the crowd was not my style but it was a good party and the these late night industry people know how to hold there own.... That is until 10:00AM. I don't have any pictures at 10:00AM. It's probably a good thing. I wouldn't want to incriminate anyone. Props to Prem and Louis for their organizational skills ( and The Do Lab for their creative energy and amazing light art.
AKAirways for the inflatables.

I've know gone 40 hours without sleep and no Methamphetamine. (I don't do that). Not to say these girls would either :-)

Hatchfest 2006 Bozeman MT

This makes it three!!!
Three years in a row that Hatchfest and Red Bull have invited me back to their amazing audio/visual film festival. I love coming up there, especially this time of year. The leaves are falling and the weather is crisp.
This year Red Bull created lounge environment for panel discussions by day and party by night.
The crew from CTA Architects and Engineers created the environment with 4way stretch fabric. Chris Nowak illuminated the space and I brought in the projections with the help of Red Bull, Aaron Hjelt.

I have to say, Hatchfest did it right. From the full-on Fashion show on Main St. to the all night parties at the lounge.
Yarrow and crew from Hatch worked hard and played hard to. On the final night I had to go to the airport at 5:00AM, that meant I as taking down my projectors while the party was still going on. I had just worked all day and into the night and then the party was still rockin when I left at 5:00AM. I was headed to Las Vegas for a 4 shows in 4 days. That meant I wasn't going to get any sleep for over 40 hours.

Macy's Passport 2006 SF / LA
Holy smokes! What a rockin good time this was.
I was contracted by Macy's and lowedown FX to VJ the kids dance performance section of Macy's 2006 Passport fashion show.
We had 3 shows in San Francisco and 2 in Santa Monica Ca.
This wasn't your typical put the VJ behind the scenes performance. They rolled by VJ booth out on stage for the segment and then rolled it off.
Macy's really took care of me. My own dressing room, clothing for the show, 3 meals a day for rehearsal and on the final gala night in Santa Monica they had me walk the red carpet. That was straight up surreal. Cameras flashing, everyone yelling, "VJ Culture, VJ Culture, look over here!!" It's kinda funny, I had a handler who guided me to each of the press. I didn't get to speak to ET or Inside Hollywood like Diddy or Sharon Stone, but instead I got to speak to all B rated stations like the Asia Channel, some hispanic station and KCRW radio. Whoever, my photo was on with the like of Liz Taylor and Sharon Stone, but I think they figured out I'm nobody and pulled the picture after a week.

This was a two week gig when you consider dress rehearsals and performances. It was fun getting to know the crew and models. Speaking of which, those models were smokin!!
I mean hot as in healthy and hot. Since they have an underwear segment to the fashion show they want to make sure these models are emaciated, scurvy lookin girls.
Even the guys were totally buff. I left like I was amongst a race of super humans.
If you look real close you can see I have two video mixing stations on this table.

I had to mix video on the vertical screen as well as the outside horizontal screens at teh same time. I used the MD-1 from Roland to trigger Arkaos running on two different machines and then I slaved one V4 to the other. I used the Edirol PR-80 with both it's firewire ports outputting to both computers running Arkaos. Basically, the same movie would play out through arkaos but with different effects on each screen.

Never mind the butt... This is the only photo I have of the kids that performed on stage will I was mixing video. The crowd on teen night was so loud when these kids came out my whole body was throbbing and I couldn't hear the music.

Here is a link to a utube video of the show.

Love Fest SF 2006

It's another one of those crazy weekends where you work from Friday morning until Monday morning. Yeah, 36 hours without sleep is normal when it comes to working a Skills party at the Bill Graham Civic Center. Arrive in the morning, work until show-time, mix until the end at 5:00AM and then strike.
This is the second year in a row I've done this show and each time I never get a chance to step outside and see the whole Love Fest (Parade).
Working with me Kev-lar from Lightrhythm Visuals and Chris from Brotherhood of Light.
It's a little hard to tell what's going on here but we had 7 15x20ft screens for the main stage and 3 9x12ft screens in the D&B room.

The intensity of the lasers, lighting and video gave a audience a full on light show.
The message boards after the party were full of compliments and praise.
Lumatech providing the lighting and Skippy from UV99 demos @ SF Apple Store

Roland and Apple teamed up Sept. 15th to bring me out to the Apple Store in San Francisco. I performed a short A/V track using only motion.dive to a packed house.
I showcased how one could use Motion and Final Cut to create the mix and motion.dive to perform the mix.

At the end of the evening we raffled off a package and final cut express.

Fashion Week New York 2006
view a movie from suspect group here:

Red bull created thier own series of fashion shows during fashion week at the Nokia Theatre in Time Square.
I was asked to create a live video mix before and after the each fashion show.
we shot footage of the show and had it in the mix as the guest were leaving.
Anyone who has ever been to fashion week can tell you. No one sticks around to socialize after the shows. People literally run out the door to catch the next show in Bryant Park.

Xarene designed and built these LED butterflies to illuminate the VJ booth.

I installed my dualview preview monitor system for the vj booth.
It's a light defuser material with a projector hitting it from the back side. I use a quad splitter to preview the images via the projector.
It's a little blown out with the flash