Live Legends uses disguise to host dynamic nightclub shows in China
The Live Experience Specialists, who have, in their own words, “a dedicated creative team,” used Disguise professional line media servers to drive dynamic LED video displays at each location.
Live Legends Creative Director Daan Oomen developed the concept design for the clubs, including the interior design; lighting, video, laser and motion design, and production of shows. He and his team also formed local teams to operate the shows to international standards. The Disguise Media Servers were chosen for their reliability, flexibility and ease of use in these high level permanent installations.
The first “One Third” club opened in Beijing at the end of 2017 with the concept of reviving an old factory building. The windows of the factory are fitted with 3mm LED video screens, which tell the story of the past, present and future of the factory. Live Legends produced six different timecode shows featuring dancers. The shows are scheduled and locked so that the local team can host them all night long.
A smaller club linked to One Third, ‘OTKun’, opened in Kunming in February. Its concept embraces the power of darkness into the night and includes massive LED video screens and organic shapes in rectangular and cubic shapes.
More recently, Hangzhou expanded the clubbing scene with the launch of a brand new “One Third” club adjacent to the new Cirque du Soleil theater. Similar to its predecessor in Beijing, it’s built in a former factory – a former foundry turned into a train station – where history comes to life for club-goers via a large-scale LED video canvas.
Live Legends was invited to bring their vast skills, knowledge and worldview of live events to the club’s second location. “We provided all the creative elements from concept to execution, including the production of the show and the interior and technical design, which required coordinating all visual disciplines and optimizing the guest experience with flair and imagination, ”Oomen said.
Regarding all of the Chinese clubs in the Live Legends portfolio, he noted that “the pixel maps of these clubs are insane. OTKun’s displays are 26K wide by 4K high, so the only choice to power them was to dress up. We also wanted a show control solution that local teams would find easy to use. the disguise made it possible to hang all the elements together and, using a simple touch screen, to access the entire system and start a show with the touch of a finger.
Dave van Roon, Video Specialist and Costume Programmer at Live Legends, added, “Disguise media servers are able to push all those pixels while remaining stable. We like the flexibility of the system as we have timecode shows followed by input from local VJs mixed in with pre-programmed base theme looks.
“In our shows, everything is connected. With SMPTE and UDP, for example, the lighting desk will track shows so that video, lighting, special effects, motion, and lasers are all in sync. Once the system is programmed, we go home and the local team, without any prior knowledge of the disguise, has to make it work. So I developed a tactile interface with easy to use buttons. To start a show, all they have to do is select the show to play and press “go”. If the VJ stream is still on screen, it will disappear before the show starts. And since it uses disguised Telnet communication, the interface is fast and still works.
van Roon also noted that disguise was also essential during the pre-production phase of each of the clubs.
“We scheduled all of the shows in our studio in the Netherlands using Disguise Visualiser and the Lightconverse 3D show platform. That way we were able to test all the triggers and see how the content would work with lighting, motion, and lasers. So when we got to the site we could focus on troubleshooting and tweaking the details, ”he said.
“With projects of this scale, it is possible that the actual LED video screens will be constructed slightly differently from the drawings,” said van Roon. “But in disguise, content mapping is conceptually separate from output mapping, so you don’t have to worry about it. You can schedule the show as it was designed and use the output stream to make sure it looks exactly the same.