Nothing is more exciting than solving a problem in an innovative way or at least that would suppose a challenge itself, and this what happens when your work with a festival like SOS48, an art, lectures and music event that has been running for 9 years trying to expand the barriers of what a music festival is.
Being able to work on the creative direction and design for all the festival communication is something that is worth to celebrate, big responsibility and a great opportunity, normally this two characteristics come together. And this is what we all love, right? Some stimulation to boost our creative muscle. That year, the brief, provided by one of the curators from the art and lectures side was an eclectic essay about the future — and present, of our society and how we are becoming more and more in a symbiosis with technology, in particular with smartphones, tablets and wearables.
Narrowing the brief, besides the strategy and present the festival in a more artistic and appealing way for the target audience, the creative direction was decided, after some rounds and options, counting in the production, deliverables and timings the core idea was the hybrids beings, screen-faced humans living and communicating though their devices, in a futuristic time where personal interactions are ruled by technology not always controlled by the subjects themselves.
So with this approach, the research and the ideation began, how this new humans would look, how to do it, decisions, CGI or liveaction? Could we be capable of creating such a real thing? In this case, collaborating with talented professionals is always a must and a reliable option for this kind of new challenges. Including the experienced photographer Dimitri Daniloff, a well know artist always playing on camera with the limits of what is real and what is not, was one of the main supports. Also, counting with the ability and innovative thinking of Vimod was the key to invent the interactive masks and make it a reality.
Moodboards will help during the ideation and visualization process.
Work in parallel sometimes is the only option and this time was the perfect way to go. As we were researching and prototyping the mask and how they would fit the models and how the LED lights would react, we on the other hand were defining the shooting with the lighting, styling and casting, always guiding the work from some references and sketches, so the shooting day all will be structured and smooth as possible.
Mask sketches to see how this idea could look.
The masks creation process was a nice learning, try and error, build and fix. We ended up adding fixing the masks to our models faces with a solution that would helps us at the photo shoot and of course in the post-production retouching, a mouth grip was added to the back of the masks, models were titans, holding that kind of heavy artifact while we where shooting and filming.
Mask laser cut, the male would wear a bigger version.
All the magic with the LED lights and the Arduino programming was done by Vimod, as I say earlier, having professionals than can materialize what it is only in the mind, are an essential part of the process, without them, the project would have not been possible. Always surround yourself with the best people, learning from them is always a invaluable gift.
Here you can watch a Making of the whole process, we ended up, doing the filming for the line-up video in the following week, so we could have time for create the static visuals for the client, while we could work on the script and finding the locations for the film.
Thank to all the people involved and hope you enjoyed this resumed project route, first time I write about this online, and maybe I will do it with other projects in the future. Yo can see the final project here and the film also here.
Long life to the new challenges, they are hard but really what make us evolving.