Visual design studio PXLFLD recently deployed Hippotizer Media Servers from Green Hippo, the specialist creator of tools for the real-time manipulation of video for the AV industries, to provide the visual backdrop for a top-secret party and live performance by singer-songwriter Veronica Maggio.
Conceived by Red Bull, the exclusive event, staged at the Nobis Hotel in central Stockholm, was available only to fans who completed a treasure-hunt-like series of tasks.
Nikolaj Brink, Maggio’s lighting designer and a recent addition to the PXLFLD team, was responsible for the event’s show design, and called in his colleagues to deliver the show’s visual playback elements. But with the limitations imposed by COVID-19, this was a show with a difference.
PXLFLD’s Anders Granström explains, “The stage was built in the hotel’s grand lobby. To maintain social distancing, the audience enjoyed the concert from their hotel rooms, looking down at the performance, while a multi-camera production was broadcast to their hotel room TV sets.”
With this audience viewpoint in mind, the team opted for an LED floor beneath a plexiglass stage deck, while clusters of Barco projectors maximized the visual impact around the lobby. “The biggest challenge was to create an immersive concert experience with a block party feel, despite the physical distance between the artist and her audience,” said Brink. “The LED and projections played a huge part in achieving this.”
Granström’s playback solution used two Hippotizer Boreal Media Servers to handle the 8K projections, while a single Amba+ Media Server delivered the content for the LED floor. Visuals were mainly custom content created especially for the event by PXLFLD, plus some elements from Maggio’s touring shows designed by André Jofre and Anders Heberling.
With the media server rack concealed beneath the stage, Granström and the team used their standard network-based workflow to sync servers, media management and custom ZooKeeper layouts to keep a good system overview from the ‘front-of-house’ position (actually a second floor storage room). The entire show was seamlessly controlled from a GrandMA3 console.
“We used PixelMapper and the usual Hippotizer tools to achieve the projection mapping,” says Granström, “and native Hippotizer engine effects were used for composition and final on-site adjustments.”
He concludes, “To be able to put on a show in the current global situation, and once again experience the response from a live audience, was pure joy and something that we’ll remember for years to come.”
Photo: © Alma Bengtsson / Popmani