PINK FLOYD THE WALL
Prior to this professional challenge, a birthday gift woke me to this subject. The special edition of Pink Floyd The Wall.
I was going through the pages of the book when I realised the innovation on this work. A scenery that was built throughout the concert and related to specific moments of the show.
I had read that Roger Waters was very disappointed with big stadium concerts. Mainly, because he missed the closeness of prior concerts between the audience and the band.
After a concert at the Olympic Stadium of Montreal during the The Animals tour, an idea arose from frustration– BUILDING A WALL DURING THE SHOW.
The idea of building a wall between the band and the audience had itself a meaning that was beyond the concept of the concert and could indeed generate emotional appeal.
Maybe this self-inflicted barrier was promoting a larger communion between the music, the band and the audience.
Later in the book, I found the scenographer behind the greatest rock concerts: Mark Fischer. The person who brought this idea to life: http://www.stufish.com/about/mark-fisher
His major concern with the show was to ensure that ideas/philosophies were not affected by technological solutions. And that was nothing more than a concern. In fact, he had to deal with bigger versions of the same old problems (maybe this was his modesty talking).
Years later, I had the pleasure of getting to know him in talk at Experimenta Design. He started by describing the circuses that travelled across the United States during the Great Depression and finished with big stadium concerts. It was truly a great lesson.
With the development of electronic music and its integration in large-scale concerts/festivals, DJs were facing the need of a greater interaction and involvement with their audiences, because let’s face it they were nothing but some distant dots on stage.
The Daft Punk’s pyramid is an incredible example of this.
A dialogue between the group’s image, stage design, lighting dynamics and video contents with an impressive quality that are a crucial part of the show experience.
We are obviously talking about something that is only possible with new technologies. Mainly, LEDs, more intuitive scenographic content controls and the conception of live electronic music.
You can check the Jazzmutant Lemur used by Daft Punk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MUjtb3dO9M.
THE NAZI PARTY RALLY
In 1936, technological resources were way different from today’s however this was never a motive for the lack of creativity. The Nazi Party Rally in Nuremberg, filmed by the controversial German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (The Victory of Faith), became an icon that inspired many future generations.
The use of majestic scales and exhausting repetitions of shapes fit into almost inhuman symmetries used to communicate terrible power, where each person renders their individuality to an unstoppable wave.
However, these solutions are not quite new. They were widely used in demonstrations of power by the great ancient empires and more recent totalitarian regimes. Just look at the parades in North Korea or the less obvious closing ceremony of Beijing Olympics.
CHANEL FALL-WINTER RUNWAY FASHION SHOW 2012
Nowadays, runway fashion shows are extremely important for the promotion of major fashion brands.
I especially admire Etienne Russo’s work, both in Dries Van Herpen’s more intimate shows and in big Chanel events.
I cannot go on to my stages without sharing here the spectacular Chanel Fall-Winter Runway Fashion Show 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLw-hozWzpc
I was really driven by the challenge set out by FFMS for the organisation of a conference at Casa da Música dedicated to subjects like artificial intelligence or the internet.
Because the Earth is round, I found it obvious that there should be a round screen on stage.
I was very interested in the aesthetic features of this format, associated with round lives, movies and motion graphics. This was without a doubt my opportunity to pay my tribute to Mark Fisher.
The scenery was completed after handling the backstage (choir bench).
We found 80 outdated PC monitors at Multilem’s warehouse and we decided to give them a new life. We took advantage of the pixel effect and managed to connect all devices with a software specifically designed for that occasion.
A round screen requires proper content, but the truth is we cannot control speaker’s materials. Nevertheless, there were nice surprises. Especially when José Alberto Carvalho’s contents included a giant smile and the Anonymous mask. YES!
Pope Benedict XVI coming to Lisbon and his mass at Terreiro do Passo were an important milestone for Catholics and for the Portuguese State. And also, for Multilem.
We received the call for a creative proposal with great enthusiasm, but the deadline was in 6 days…
Nonetheless, we could come up with a solution if we focused on the good practices of creative development. The research (candles, waves, angels, stones), the brainstorming, the directions and the debate were part of this process. But there was nothing good appearing on paper.
The meeting with an audio-visual partner would become our inspiring moment. By seeing some technical possibilities, I recalled a drawing I used to do repeatedly – my church. Not a church in Heaven, but a church on Earth. Where we must go down to enter the church, light came from holes in the dome and the roof was only slightly above ground.
Then, we just had to adapt this to the centenary Cais das Colunas. However, it was important to keep the traffic at Ribeira das Naus and observe ceremony characteristics. A holy mass, alike other shows, also poses many challenges.
All good projects should tell a story. The concept of “my church” was obviously off limits. But the divine response came from a rock in the 70-km drive home: a pebble at the beach of Santo Amaro de Oeiras.
“This rock is exactly like the Church, they are both millenary and have changed over time, but in the end, their essences were kept. The Rock is still a rock and the Church is still a Church”.
In the end, sometimes all it takes is the artist’s talent and a stool. Barbra Streisand at the Central Park.