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May 7, 2018

Case Study: Alassane at The Lost Leaf

Alassane @ Lost Leaf

Photo by Sean Deckert

Creating a stage show for a musical performance is like pairing the right hot sauce to a meal.  The flavors have to blend nicely while avoiding making it difficult to consume.

Musical act Alassane is a new band in the valley composed of key players from various other powerhouse acts. Their tempestuous rhythms and powerful vocals elicit deep emotional reflection. So when we were asked to help develop their stage presence, we were excited to collaborate.

The first challenge would be creating something that matches the aesthetic of the stage show to the emotional themes of the music. The second and equally important box to check is considering the viewer’s experience. We decided to pair the organic instrumentation with organic visual content, presented in a modern and minimal context. We began with black and white projections onto a gauze screen that stood between the band and audience. All projected content was captured in camera, of light playing in different ways; reflections off water, moving shadows, through time lapsed clouds, etc.

Extended clips were filmed and then played back during the show, manipulating the speed and brightness on the spot, to match the rhythm of the live music (shout out to Mark!). We utilized the Optoma GT1080Darbee short-throw projector from behind the band allowing them to cast shadows onto the screen, which became silhouettes the audience could see through.

We intended the separation to add a bit of mystery while the size of the screen would enhance the scale of the performance. Being that the audience space is compact at this particular venue, we took advantage of the high ceilings and made the screen over ten feet tall.

We then added a bit of haze to the atmosphere for a couple reasons. First, engulfing a viewer in even light haze relaxes them, relieving the self consciousness of being at a public event, and creates a different type of connection to the performance as well. Haze also adds dimensionality to the video content by creating beam effects when it crosses the projection’s path. We used the Marq 800 Water Based Hazer and it worked like a charm.

Lastly, we lit the band from behind the screen with deep red gelled circular soft lights (Dracast Softray Smd LED 400 Round Lights) to add richness and mood to the experience. The use of red is also a consistent element in the band’s aesthetic.

The band, audience and our team were all extremely pleased with the results. We had created a cohesive art experience that was elevated and tasteful.

Are you seeking a visual treatment for your event, performance or presentation?

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Pixel Thick is a Phoenix, AZ based video production and media installation company.