The initial stage of creating the video design for the Sam Fender arena tour was establishing what feeling and mood it should have. Through Discussions with Sam Tozer and our previous experience with Sam at the BRIT awards, we began with each member of the FRAY team generating still looks. These looks weren’t necessarily related to a particular song, but the process helped us find the overall feeling and pallete of the show.
We knew that we needed to integrate live cameras deep within the content of the show, so from the very beginning of the process we tried to keep in mind what Notch could offer us and how it could be combined with traditionally animated content out of After Effects.
One major challenge with this show was that Sam and his band do not play to any form of clickor timecode track. True musicians in the way that they respond to one another, creating a unique experience every night. This in turn effects how you build content. It becomes impractical to create something that locks to the beat or visually build something up for it to seamlessly respond on the drop in the music. Everysection of the song had to be made up of individual cue-able parts. Each part is triggered by the lighting operator, and safety nets had to be built-in should the band decide to loop back around on a certain section of a song and be playing at a slightly different tempo to the previous night.
For some songs this meant that the video content is simply broken into 4 or 5 parts. However others required 35-40 sections; each of which needed to be triggered at the right lyric or musical moment.
The use of Notch became essential to the look of the show as it developed. Each look had a set of exposed parameters that meant every detail of the look could be tweaked and programmed to happen on cue.