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Monday, November 26, 2007

Mary J. Blige Performance at Nokia Theater Nov. 20th

Returning to the Nokia Theater I was treated to a backstage that was actually empty. After Sunday's American Music Awards show and seeing how crowded it was, it was a pleasure to be back there and working with the local 33. This time they actually had time to work with us. The environment was so much more chill.

Tonight we only used the Versa Tubes for Mary's, "Just Fine" Track. After that we rolled it off stage and broke it down.

backstage with my powerbook, uc-33 controller and table.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Backstage at the American Music Awards
Nov. 18th Nokia Theater Los Angeles CA.
I was hired by Vello from V Squared Labs who was double booked. I provide visuals on Element Lab's Versa Tubes for Mary J. Blige at the America Music Awards which were broadcast live on ABC. Vello developed the content and I mixed it live using Modul8 software.
I had lots of celebrities hanging over my shoulder, (Kid Rock, Slash, Chris Brown) watching the show and watching what I'm doing. No pressure, there were only 7.5 million viewers watching the awards and I never got a solid rehearsal without some technical difficulties. Not to mention the camera feed they gave me was suppose to be a wide shot of the stage so I could see what I was doing, but in the end the camera kept getting tight shoots.
The versa tube design was based off of Mary J. Blige's music video, Just fine".
They wanted to repeat the same look. With over 40 acts we didn't get a lot of time to rehearse on stage, so it was really a, "flying blind" kinda performance.
However, it worked and I nailed every cue.
It worked out so well that they wanted us to come back and do the same thing the following Tuesday night for her solo performance at the Nokia theater.

VJ Culture in DJ Times Sept. 07 Issue
Thanks to Jay Spero for writing the article.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oracle World SF w/ The Magnetic Poets
Nov. 10th-15th The Magnetic Poets performed opening and closing sets for Oracle World's main conference hall in San Francisco CA.

(a low down shot of the CG-8)
Magnetic Poets- The same band that I performed with in Torino for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Could Beijing be around the corner?
Each set was audio/visual and was compiled during our break between sets.
Scott Dewar, Christopher Hedge, Julian Smedley, Ed McCLary and myself.
Scott and I on the visual assault. Scott served up textural images and I added motion graphical elements.

(a shot of the back of Julian's head)
Ed on drum kats triggered visuals off my PC which was one channel of 5 coming into the Edirol HD440.

(The screens spanned the whole D hall at the Moscone).
However, most of the time we were only playing on plasma displays.
The band was on it, despite our 6:30AM call time.
Keep in mind this footage is of a rehearsal!

Video footage is from my crappy little canon power shot camera so please forgive the audio. (higher res video should be coming soon).

Friday, November 23, 2007

Chicago Red Bull Art of Can exhibit

Nov. 7th opening night in Chicago for Red Bull Art of Can. (Also a very big birthday for myself. I won't say how old but it's a big one).
Using the 360 rotations of the artwork we created earlier this summer we created atmospheric visuals for the opening night of Red Bull Art of Can Chicago.
Out front as guest arrived we had a title graphic.

Upon entrance there was a large 4x10 plexiglas screen. The producers of the event wanted to keep all visual treatments on some kind of glass screen. We used 3M vikuiti Film on the back of the glass wall behind the DJ. vikuiti film is a new screen product that traps light from rear projection and amplifies it out the front. It is ideal for retail store fronts where you want to be able to see the image during the day. (Note if will only work on north facing facades). The dark gray film creates a holographic like image if the background is right. However, the film material is very expensive, at least $550.00 for a 39"x22" cut. It is somewhat reusable if it is removed within a couple of days.
With the help of Casey Bishop from Simplistiks we also setup projections on the waterfall
and across the room on plexiglass.

All the content was designed to be secondary to the artwork. Minimal.

River East Art Center gallery is a beautiful gallery with lots of glass walls and features. We wanted to integrate with the design by keeping the projections on glass.

Monterrey Forum Monterrey Mexico

I'm working on a new A/V project with David Starfire. we are mashing up some of David's original music with classic rock, indie and breaks. David plays bass and drums while DJing and I VJ. We lock most of the base layer video down on DVD and use DVJ's for base layer playback. Then I had extra fluff with other playback devices.
Forum invited me to play back in spring of 07. I invited David as I really like his musical style and we both wanted to work on a project together.
David and I.
We decided that the visual elements would have visual statistics. Meaning statistical information about issues like global warming, human trafficing, eco-friendly info but, presenting it in a way that was interesting and won't stop the dance floor from dancing.
The venue were we played.
Forum is produced every 4 years and is coined to be the Olympics of performing arts.
Forum was held at the Parque Fundidora in Monterrey Mexico.
Performing artists from all over the world performed nightly. From french circus parades to Puppet operas and even our own DJ/VJ collaboration.
6 nights a week for 3 months there are different performances going on. The scale of this event is huge. The park is the size of a fair grounds here in the US and the
scale of production is amazing. Parque Fundidora use to be a mill decades ago and it still has the remains of numerous buildings as a backdrop for the festival.

Hatch Fest Bozeman MT. 07
Each year I'm privileged to attend Hatch Fest in Bozeman MT. This year Aaron who was helping me in San Francisco with LoveFest did most of the work installing the video at Emerson Lounge for Hatch.

This time around instead of hauling heavy VGA and BCN cable on the plane we used cat5 cable and VGA and Svideo baluns. The quality looked great and the weight of the cables was a quarter of what it would have been using traditional cable. Since Bozeman is a small town it's hard to find video rental equipment. So, most of the time I bring everything with me.
CTA Architects created the fabric environment. Red Bull curated the evening events and Aaron, Nate and I provided visuals for the bands and DJ's.
Bozeman knows how to have a good time. The parties lasted longer than I did.

LoveFest 07 SF CA

Each year I do this I am so busy setting up I never get a chance to go outside and experience the Love Fest daytime activities that are happening right out in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. This year was no exception.
Reason I never get to experience it? We are responsible for 2-3 rooms of visuals. This year it required 12 projectors and Union labor. (meaning things don't go as fast as if it were my own team). Sean Cooper, Kev lar, Chris Samarvich and Aaron Hiejt
This is my 3rd installment of the Lovefest (Love Parade) official after party.

were apart of the team. In the main room we had a massive 30x22ft screen plus 2 15x20' screens and 4 10.5x15ft screens. We also had hexagon screens behind the DJ being controlled with different images in each hexagon via Modul8. We had 3 mixing stations to control the visual assault.

The bottom side screens took live camera feeds of the dancers who would perform in front of the screens. We would process the feed through the korg entrancer and various VJ software. Allowing us to grab realtime loops of the dancers and buffer them in RAM. The girls were wearing illuminated props to accentuate the visuals and feedback into the screens behind them. The crowd of 10,000 loved it and so did the dancers.

In the side room we installed 3 screens pictured here. Vello and Sandra did a headline A/V set in there.

These events turn into a full 24 hours of production. We arrive at 10:00AM and work straight through the night into the morning.

Some of our gear scattered across the floor.

Exprescion Alcatraz Island

Via Flavor Group I was invited to create video installations for a number of locations around the island of Alcatraz for Scion's Exprescion party in June 07.
This was one of the hardest installs ever. Since the inland is a national park we were not allow to hang any screens from walls or even tape things down to the floor.
It was an remarkable experience spending so much time on the island. I spent a couple of nights out there. Sleeping on hard concrete floors in the cold. The weather was beautiful and it was still cold. I couldn't imagine what those prisoners had to go through.

With the help of Kev lar we created a number of different looks for different parts of the party. There was a fashion show in what used to be the mens shower.

Circus performances in the former hospital, a dance floor in the mess hall and live vjing in the theater room.
we also did laser graffiti on the side of the building where guest arrived via the ferry.
As far as equipment goes we had to bring everything over via a barge. All my equipment was put into large buckets and then a crane lifted the buckets on and off the barge. Even the Scion cars were brought over there by barge.

The sad thing is, this event happened 6 months after I'm posting this. There were so many notable, interesting and emotional things that I've forgotten since then.

The crew on one of the many walk throughs.
The rangers were pretty cool to deal with. However, when it came to install, they were watching us like hawks. I felt like I was in a prison!

Xarene and I took a couple of weeks in Sept to do cultural research in Barcelona.
It was much needed and you can see all the pictures on my flickr site. There would have been more photos but thieves stole my camera and phone.
We used the time to hunt down street art and Invader tags.

We also visit the great outdoor club at the Forum by the beach called Cubik.

You can go to youtube and see more videos of the space.

Red Star Soul Tour 07

Red star soul tour
Through out the Aug. Sept and Oct. I provided visual support for the Red Star Soul tour. I was working for Corso Communications.

First stop was Los Angeles at Boulevard 3. Artists Common and Chrisette Michelle
We used a couple of projectors and tapped into the house system which is nicely setup for video.

My favorite and most inspiring artist was Erykah Badu.

As for a DJ, Jazzy Jeff and Kenny Burns had the crowd whipped into a frenzy in Atlanta..

I did the stops in LA, Cleveland, Detroit, Washington DC, Philly and Atlanta.
Artist line up included.
Alicia Keys
Anthony David, Chrisette Michele
Common D-Nice, YahZarah
DJ Cassidy, Deemi
Eric Roberson, Erykah Badu
Jazzy Jeff, Kenny Burns
Raheem DeVaughn, Raphael Saadiq
Teedra Moses,

Moto GP Monterey CA.
I was contracted by Flavor Group to setup and provide video for a outdoor exhibition during Moto GP in Monterey CA.
I brought out my inflatable screen 15'x20'. We double stacked to 5K projectors to boost the image.

Live bands, DJ's, motocross jumpers etc. However, most impressive was the inflatable screen!

My right hand man Sean Cooper saved the day.

Red Bull Flugtag Austin TX

Aug. 07 Red Bull had me come out and provide live mixing on the giant LED screens placed around the park where Red Bull was host Flugtag Austin TX. A great event
Est. crowd of 200,000 people. It's one of my favorite Red Bull events.

Tiesto Bill Graham Civic SF CA

Late July we produced the visuals for Tiesto in Concert at Bill Graham in San Francisco. About 9000+ kids came out for that show. Produced by Skills it had two other rooms with top notch DJ's. Uberzone, Mark Farina, Derek Carter, etc. I was shocked that both those rooms were empty when Tiesto was playing.
Tiesto had his own LD/VJ who had a tight lighting and visual show.
I was happy to check out the other rooms during Tiesto.

Art of Can Chicgo Red Bull
In Chicago we had more of the same. In hind site we should have had a glue screen, green screen and yellow screen. That way if we had any color too closely matched to the screen material we could have substituted it.
Some of these shots took up the whole studio in setting them up.
I had photos of all of this but my camera was stolen in Barcelona before I dumped them.
This glass chess board was a huge pain in Larry's but. We ended up roto-scoping a lot of these.

One of the hardest colors to deal with in motion graphics is the reddish color of the Red Bull logo. Since I work a lot with Red Bull it is always an issue color correcting and putting into motion.

We also used the content during the opening at the gallery. (See later post)

Green screen shoots for Red Bull Art of Can

In July I spent two weeks in Philly and Chicago producing green screen shoots for Red Bull's Art of Can.
We were filming 360 rotations of artists submissions for Red Bull's Art of Can gallery.
Larry was DP on the shoot and in post the compositor.
Because of the highly reflective nature of the cans it posed a huge problem getting a clean key or eliminating the camera or lightings reflection.

We had over 40 subjects to shoot and some of these pieces took hours to setup the shot.
Not to mention some of these pieces were barely being held together.
subjects like this ice cube like sculpture were especially difficult to key in post.


Here is the final video. Our final output was flv with alpha. If you go to the Art of Can site you can see the art pieces as they drop into the gallery.