Project Description

Happy Slap Boutique at Boomtown Fair 2022

With light, glass, and an entire troupe of performers, LEDs Akimbo created a high-octane neon stage for this year’s Boomtown Fair.

For this year’s Boomtown Fair, the festival’s theatrical team asked Notch Designer and Animator Daniel Williams of LEDs Akimbo to create something alongside the Happy Slap Boutique collective, with whom Williams has worked for years. This year, the Boomtown team requested an ambitious production that would align with their theme, “High-Tech Shanghai,” at the festival’s Zenith Stage.

To start, Williams used camera effects on the show’s characters within massive glass-fronted containers featuring low-resolution LED walls. Blue diffusions covered the LED pillars, making the set look exciting in the daytime but also uniquely textured at night.

Williams used two Notch Blocks playing within TouchDesigner: one for the camera effects and the other for the LED pillars. After sending the camera effects to the containers, he had their image piped back to a screen adjacent to the camera. Joe Fur of the Happy Slap Boutique created illustrations of facial features, which Williams then used alongside the face tracker features within Notch to create strange characters on the container walls. 

The project’s second block contained a spout input from a plugin called Slice Master, which created lighting fixtures from every slice Williams made within Resolume. The team controlled said fixtures’ RGB and intensity with lighting control software and sent out a texture from the final results via spout. Rather than using the texture as a screen mask or colour bump layer in Resolume, Williams used it in Notch to drive particle and field emissions.

“I could take full control and even busk the video panels along with the music in a way that wouldn’t have been possible with pre-rendered material.”

Daniel Williams, Notch Designer & Animator, LEDs Akimbo

Additional press coverage:
Mixmag, Clash.

Client: Boomtown Fair
Production Design: Jody Schofield
Notch Designer & Animator: Daniel Williams
Content: LEDs Akimbo
Performers: Happy Slap Boutique
Lighting Designer: Wingnut Productions

Lighting Operator: Tom Sulat
Screen Producers: Video Illusions & Versatile Venues
Lasers: Reach Lasers
Additional Artwork: Joe Fur
Photographer: Scott M Salt
Videographer: Oliver Kilpatrick