“Notch is clearly redefining an industry. Generative content has not been accessible in a show environment like this before.”
TEM Studio used the real-time power of Notch for one of the world’s most famous department stores. Bringing spectacular live music visuals to the audience in store, and on online, in a way that had the artists become the audience, and the audience the artists, they created a remarkable show on the fly, every single night.
Selfridges approached TEM Studio because of their experience with spectacular large events for the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé. The Selfridges Events team quickly got excited about using the power of live experience but in a venue specific, highly creative, efficient way. The core format was 16 shows over 16 days with 40 artists performing. With that many artists, it was important to plan a system that didn’t involve pre-sequencing. “We wanted to take our large stage experience and condense it down into a small interactive space – we were able to do that because of our knowledge of using Notch and Disguise together. It was something you couldn’t easily do any other way.” – Christopher Davenport, Creative Director
The whole system was built around a real-time workflow, with the stage being digitally reconfigured around each of the performers. All content was generated through Notch using two different systems, one taking camera feeds of the artists performing, the other taking that live feed and effecting it using an IMAG effect and then projecting it back on the surrounding boards so they would appear immersed in their own content. TEM used Notch’s OSC interface to enable the team to control generative content live using an iPad controller, dynamic looks could be controlled by scrollers or toggles.
TEM had a live camera crew of 4 filming the event in real-time too. The whole concept was that an artist could turn up an hour before the show and TEM could configure the theatre-like space with series of looks from the collection of Notch Blocks and then the film crew would live stream to Facebook, Christopher explains ‘It was like creating a live music video. The whole concept was based on generating everything on the fly’.
Judging from the social media coverage the shows garnered (e.g. The Unkle show had 24k views on Facebook) it’s clear to see the audience loved it. The 360-degree translucency of the content and the amount of tech on the stage was really novel. Every viewpoint gave a different experience, and this really showed on social media – the audience could easily take a photo of their favourite artist and compose a unique look with layers over their face. They didn’t know how it was created – that’s part of the illusion.
The client really loved it. They were pleasantly surprised how close the final project looked compared to pre-vis: “It looked exactly like you said it would”. This was only possible because of the amount of pre-vis power through Notch and Disguise to demo and test video files – this kept the clients calm throughout the design process. The other people who reacted strongly were the artists. It was like the stage was not just for the audience – it was for everyone. The performers, the audience and those watching online. A first for everyone.