Top trends in global technical and show production
In recent years, the industry of technical and show production has been developing by leaps and bounds. No one can deny that today, fantasy and technology are inextricably linked. Imagination gives impetus to the development of technology, and technology, in turn, provides the basis for new fantasies. And this is a process that cannot be stopped! What seemed impossible a few years ago is being realized today. And what seemed unique yesterday, today is becoming a ubiquitous trend and is used in every second event.
So without what, today you can’t imagine a full-fledged show?
The free transformation of the stage space allows the directors of show programs to feel completely free in their fantasies. Modern theater and concert equipment was powerfully modified in the direction of mechanical engineering and the transformation of space. Remember, more recently, everything that was installed or hung in the hall was cumbersome and functionally limited.
Today, a scene can suddenly change its height, shape, area, or even begin to soar in the air. This gives directors the opportunity to use dozens of instruments simultaneously in one show.
However, the complexity of the functionality and characteristics did not make equipment logistics more complex. Conversely, structures have become lighter and more mobile, and installation is taking less time. This allows artists to not limit themselves in the development of even those scenes with which they plan to go on a world tour. Today, the movement of gigantic scenery like spaceships, dragons and trains is the norm and indicator of a high level of the show.
The most interesting examples of the use of modern technology:
Take That Progress Tour: in the concert finale, a huge twenty-meter metal man seems to come to life and stand on his feet in the center of the venue.
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience: the artist moves around the dance sector on a floating bridge that disconnects from the main stage.
Sensation Wicked Wonderland: dynamic wings of the scene are constantly changing their position in space.
2. Dynamic screens and a variety of video surfaces
Not so long ago, the audience’s admiration increased in direct proportion to the screen area on the stage, today this is not enough. The task of any set designer is a complete immersion in the concept, a change of mood and constant surprise of the viewer.
Technologies allow video surfaces to move across the entire space of the stage and the hall in different planes using rotary and sliding mechanisms, as well as dynamic winches, join in one plane and crumble into small parts. But do not forget that without good content all this does not make sense.
Worth seeing examples:
The opening ceremony of the London Olympics: next to each cluster of seats in the spectator stands, LED elements were integrated that made up a giant screen on a global scale.
Beyonce Formation Tour: the giant rotary video cube has become the central element and stage decoration.
3. Lighting devices of a new type
The evolution of lighting equipment also does not lag behind the design. Once the first sign of the development of the light industry was the Clay Paky Sharpy device, which gives narrow concentrated rays of light. Even then it became clear that classical light is not enough to create a full-fledged picture that can impress the viewer. And now, one after another, hybrid devices are appearing that combine simultaneously different technologies, such as light and video.
The most notable specimens:
Ayrton MagicPanel Twin: one side is a light fixture, the other is an LED screen.
Robe Patt: A large spotlight for warm light. Previously, such a device was used only on TV and filming.
Barco Tube: a compact tube suitable for both architectural and concert light, and for use as an element of a video screen.
Clay Paky Stormy: The strobe can now play flashes of any color.
Show batten: architectural lighting device with wide functionality.
With the development of technology, the demands of customers are growing, and the word “exclusivity” has become the fundamental basis of all wishes for the show. We often hear that we want something new and unusual. But we all know that the production of an individual solution is not cheap. But there is a way out - this is "mixing."
The symbiosis of standard instruments can be achieved by the very “exclusive”: water on the same stage with fire, equipment integration in the scenery, interaction of special effects with video content, a combination of various video surfaces and more. The main thing is not to stop fantasizing.
5. Unique decor materials
A whole industry of high-tech materials is actively developing in the world, which are designed to solve the most complex and incredible tasks. Novelties may possess several, at first glance, incompatible properties: be transparent and opaque at the same time. To be ultralight and flexible, but at the same time continue to withstand the craziest loads. In one form or another, these synthetic technologies you will meet in 80% of the top events on the planet, because they allow the director's group not to put themselves in the scope of rental opportunities or well-known solutions. And the main secret is that they are available, including for events with far from space budgets.
6. Preliminary show programming
The key to success of any project lies in its preparation. This also applies to the technical component of the show. Not so long ago, the possibility of advance preparation appeared on the Russian market, and we are pleased that today software and specialists are able to offer quality services in this area. For example, using the preliminary programming of light in the studio, you will save time on rehearsals and get a more elaborate show. And arranging the work of all equipment according to the timecode will allow the show to calmly "start with one button."
7. Wireless technology
Battery-powered lights, signal transmission, Wi-Fi control of equipment and decorations - it's all real! After all, this not only eliminates kilometers of wires at the site, but also makes it possible to install equipment anywhere. Sometimes only this can save and develop an interesting project idea.
8. Direct interaction of the artist and technology
Sometimes even a programmed show or a super professional control room is not able at the right time to feel the next movement of the artist in order to react to it in time. Now the speaker himself can control part of the lighting equipment or simulate video content directly from the stage, giving commands online with his movements. Robots, drones and artificial intelligence are already performing on stage with the artist, sometimes replacing him at the right moments.
9. Substitution of content by live broadcast
The undeniable trend of recent years, which you can observe at all the latest sensational concerts is a virtuoso work with a live broadcast. And this is not a broadcast of a close-up of the artist on the side screens. This is the full use of broadcast as the main video content. A variety of angles, instant color correction of the image, the imposition of graphics and special effects on the video in real time. This approach certainly requires a thorough and thorough preparation, prescribing the exact script and storyboard for every moment of the show. But it's worth it!
I am sure that each of the readers can give examples he remembers.
The future has already come!
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that these and other technical and show production trends will be discussed by the speakers of the ONstage forum, which will be held on September 15-16 at the Prolight + Sound NAMM exhibition.
ONstage Forum is the only forum of show industry professionals in Russia. This is a meeting place for technical directors, directors, decorators, representatives of the largest venues, as well as clients and heads of event agencies in order to establish a fruitful dialogue between industry representatives.
The ONstage 2016 forum is called Future Emotions. It is dedicated to the near future of the industry, new technologies and techniques that come to the market and the unique emotions and impressions of the audience.
The exclusive part of the program will be the first ever dialogue between experts and production companies with world-famous names who have behind them the most sensational world events, such as the Olympics, “Muse. Drones World Tour ”,“ Beyoncé. Formation World Tour ”and others.
Foreign colleagues will perform for the first time before a Russian audience, share their experience, answer questions and reveal the secrets of creating the best shows.