June in LA means E3 to a lot of us. E3 means gaming, gaming, gaming. Do you realize the gaming industry has higher revenues than f...
We just got through another successful awards show season in LA, and man are our arms tired. We never get bored with this stuff - we are so appreciative of our clients who come back to us year after year to help out with the big ones. This was a gorgeous room that Cheryl and Andrea and the rest of the Sequoia team put together, to celebrate Hollywood's most celebrated. Sequoia has been doing this event for 20 years or so, and every year looks completely original. Tough task indeed. We provided lighting with the lighting design by Matt Levesque as well as audio for an all star band. Fun!
GIRLBOSSES RULE What a great gig - The Gathery from NYC included us in their 2017 #girlboss Rally in DTLA. #girlboss began as Sophia Amoruso's autobiography and is now an epic, unique culture. The book inspired a website which attracted legions which greenlit a new show on Netflix. The girlboss rally was a curated gathering of 500 women (and some men) to engage with over 50 presenters, and each other, to talk about everything there is to talk about. The vibe was amazing - Just thrilling, honestly - so exciting to see so many forward-thinking, positive people in an age of sideways thinking noise. Positivity RULES #girlboss RULES!
We're in a New York state of mind this week. Our Rad friends at Kamp Grizzly invited us out to the city to support them on two Adidas activations. The first one was a project in DUMBO (Brooklyn for those of us who had to look up dumbo) - Kamp built a giant set wall under the Manhattan Bridge and we did an interactive projection piece on that. And today we're at a high school in The Bronx where we installed an interactive LED floor for kids to compete upon. Respect to the ardent and committed ShowPro crew who travelled on Thanksgiving Day to rock this one.
I liked this one last night - Mostly because it reminds me that our world will never crumble when each New Year brings a new awards show. This one celebrates excellence in Chinese-American co-production of film and television. It's all about investment and sharing talent and not putting massive tariffs on non-Americans that we are scared of. Sounds good to me. Love our faves Sequoia for including us in so many interesting projects. And yes, I'll admit it, I just got turned on to this 90s song from American Football that I was dying to include somewhere. Expect to hear it again and maybe this month because we have a ton of amazing gigs in November. Massive gratitude for everything...
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.