This engagement provided an opportunity for attendees at the celebrated Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California to put themselves inside the spacesuit of a 50' tall roving astronaut sculpture. A Los Angeles news outlet summed up the experience as follows:
“The immense moving astronaut sculpture certain to become the central visual touchstone of Coachella featured ... an opportunity for selfies on the grandest of scales …”
Producing this experience required a number of technical innovations. Coordinatiing with the artist team that built the astronaut and a projection-mapping vendor, a system was designed and installed that could fill the astronaut’s visor with images, using multiple projectors and media servers. This provided a large-scale canvas for video and visual effects. LED panels were installed on the astronaut’s chest to form a dynamic name badge, and a camera system was mounted on the helmet for a “POV view” that could be channeled through the on-board media servers along with the other video content.
The most important goal was to add an element of interactivity and personal engagement to the large-scale art piece: to involve the audience, to give members of the audience a chance to identify with, or – better yet – to become the Coachella astronaut.
To bring the audience into the experience, a custom video capture and playback system was implemented, with a portable camera rig that included a tablet-based app for control of video capture and playback on the on-board media servers. This was used to capture video clips of attendees, as well as of several of the world-class artists performing at the festival. For attendees, playback was sequenced in such a way as to allow individuals time to capture images of themselves as the astronaut, which of course were shared abundantly on social media channels. In the case of performing artists, the massive astronaut was often positioned near the stage so the artists could look out over and see themselves looming over their audience. The on-site producer directed festival-goers and performing artists alike to engage with the experience.
The on-site production demanded constant interaction with the social media team as well as artists’ representatives — content was captured on-site and the team also pulled images from remote fans to integrate into the experience. When these “selfies on the grandest of scales” were displayed on the astronaut the team would coordinate acquiring images of the unfolding event to push out to social media channels. The result was an epic experience not just for the audience at the event, but for people around the world — bringing awareness and excitement around the event to an even greater level.
We help clients refine objectives and messaging, explore methods for measuring success, and identify how a given engagement fits into larger strategies. We recommend and conduct research to better understand the needs and desires of audiences. From these processes come detailed plans for creating compelling experiences with measurable results.
From high-level design concepts down to detailed specifications, we imagine visions for audience experiences and create roadmaps for their successful execution. This is often an iterative process, with visualizations at increasing levels of detail — describing information architecture, navigation and interaction paradigms designed to meet well-defined goals.
From refining existing assets to generating new graphic and motion design, typography treatments, user interface components, dynamic infographics, video, animation, sound design and more — we make sure all the essential pieces are in place to convey messages and inform audiences in an engaging manner.
While a great deal of the interactive magic happens in the software realm, many solutions also involve hardware components such as embedded sensors, microcontrollers, networked devices, audio and lighting — as well as integration into scenics, staging and architectural environments.
We manage the creation of solutions from initial concept through final delivery — wherever it takes us. Our event production staff has installed and supported digital solutions and associated infrastructure at venues ranging from museums and trade shows to galleries, festivals and more.
We develop and maintain propietary platforms and processes to streamline the creation of interactive experiences. This ensures that the solutions we deliver for our clients are developed as efficiently as possible and are based on proven pipelines and infrastructures. Modular architectures and tools for content management facilitate a continuing lifecycle for many solutions.
Drawing upon experience shipping several major software applications for digital media and design — and leveraging our platforms and production experience — we develop stand-alone tools to further creative endeavor and optimize communication channels.
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