Blaze – The Streetdance Show (2010)
MSA Visuals produced and directed the visuals for the west-end street dance show Blaze, directed by Anthony Van Laast (Mamma Mia!, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar).
Previews started 11th March 2009, after a 2 week run at the Peacock / Sadlers Wells in Holborn, London UK, it goes off on a tour of Holland and the UK. More info on the official site.
The project involves camera-tracking breakers, projection mapping onto an extremely intricate set designed by Es Devlin (Kanye West, Pet Shop Boys, Lady Gaga) – and it’s a touring show – and no one from the MSA Visuals team is touring with it – and some shows are one night stands – and the set is projected on by two projectors at very close distance with extremely short throws and huge amounts of lens distortion. So the challenge was not only to create content for the show, but also devise a solution which would enable a tourable and quick and easy setup to calibrate, and still provide us the power to map the fine detail we desire. All powered by custom software of course made with openFrameworks, including a custom media server mapping the 3D content in realtime, controllable from front of house over wifi as well as synced to Midi Time Code to be driven by the existing show control system – QLab.
We used two very short throw (i.e. high lens distortion) projectors covering different parts of the set. The show went on tour of many venues, with different projector positions at each venue – often arriving at a venue in the morning, setting up and playing that evening, and loading out the same night – with no time for laborious content adaption / calibration. So all 3D mapping, calibration and geometry adjustments were done in realtime (even adjustable during live playback if need be). Each projector was fed dynamically rendered perspectives to be mapped extremely precisely onto the set using the realtime 3D mapping capabilities of the Mega Super Awesome Interactive Media Server Engine.
Visuals created in collaboration with Robin McNicholas with additional design and illustrations by Jane Laurie. Huge thanks to the amazing production crew, super talented breakers and dancers, all the other creatives, and special thanks to Theo Watson and François Wunschel.