Photo credit: Jody Hartley
Following the huge success of two acclaimed, chart topping albums, singer-songwriter George Ezra continues the momentum with a sold out UK and European arena tour.
Created around a concept devised by Ezra himself, the aim of the production was to bring an intimacy to arenas, as if inviting the audience into the artist’s living room, with the show tracking his day from sunrise to sunset.
Translating Ezra’s vision into a workable touring solution, highly experienced show designers Bryte Design developed the idea, applying their creativity across all aspects of the lighting, staging and visual content to deliver a stunning, immersive audience experience.
Central to the design, three giant upstage LED ‘windows’ displayed a vibrant mix of custom created animations interspersed with live footage. In powering this eclectic blend of imagery, the Production Team utilised two Hippotizer Boreal+ Media Servers paired with a rack mounted PC running ZooKeeper, all programmed and operated via a GrandMA2 Lite.
Speaking about the application of Hippotizer to help build the show, Bryte Design’s Video Design and Production Manager,
“Hippotizer’s functionality is the reason we use it time and time again. On this production we made great use of FX, VideoMapper and ColourBlocks, amongst others, to give us the ability to finesse the content and therefore, the video element of the show.”
Variations in the size of the venues required certain tweaks to the show’s design, and meant that all visuals needed to be scalable, whilst maintaining the original vision.
Harris continues “Our Programmer, Joe Lott, is an incredibly fast MA programmer and has a show file which allows him to quickly change elements on the fly. The Media Servers themselves were rock solid throughout both pre-programming and the tour. We’re confident this will continue through the busy summer festival season.”
Given the show’s short pre-production/rehearsal period, Hippotizer’s real time functionality came in particularly handy, allowing adjustments to video content and cameras to be made on the fly. With the lighting, camera feed and video working in harmony, the pre-built animations and visuals from multiple sources were blended perfectly across the tryptic of windows and accompanying IMAG.
Using the highly capable Hippotizer Boreal+, Joe was also able to balance the camera signals live, covering all 5 LED screens simultaneously and to make refinements to facilitate the precision delivery of the show’s visuals across the entire video canvas.
Says Harris “The Boreal+ delivered the power to handle whatever was asked of them, whilst also providing the real time functionality required to ‘polish’ the show once the custom video content was in and ready to go. Hippotizer V4’s VideoMapper also proved to be a very important tool, allowing us to map content and camera’s for each song and utilise the ColourBlocks feature for additional creativity”.
Succinctly summarizing the role of Green Hippo in the production set up, Simon concludes “Hippotizer’s functionality and flexibility has made it the perfect solution on this show.”
Designers Cate Carter and Mike Smith
Video Director Phil Woodhead
Media Server Programmer Joe Lott
Lighting Director Dom Adams
Scenic Design Flora Harvey
Video Project Manager Simon Harris