E/T/C London's Ross Ashton was asked by the President of Malta, George Abela to create a high power video projection show to run right through the two hour Rockestra concert, a high profile fundraising event for the Malta Community Chest charity.
President Abela is the patron of the charity, the largest on the island ... and with an enthusiastic audience of 12,000 packing into the Malta Conference and Convention Centre (MFCC), this was the largest ever indoor event to date on the island.
Ross Ashton has a past history of spectacular work in Malta, and for this they wanted some high impact additional visual production dynamics. The concert, under the music direction of Sigmund Mifsud included specially orchestrated versions of rock classics by Queen, the Beach Boys, the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple etc., plus instrumental pieces performed by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Also appearing onstage were several local artists including rockers The Riffs, Pawlu Borg Bonaci, Neville Refalo, Daniel Cauchi, Jotham Saliba of Scream Daisy and more.
Says Ashton, "It was a great honour to be asked back to Malta to work on this show - I mean I couldn't really say 'no' to the President! With so many musical genres and eras encompassed in the concert, it was also a really exciting and fun challenge to produce the two hours worth of projection artwork".
E/T/C London also supplied all the equipment and crew to make the projections happen, which were beamed onto a 20 x 16 metre upstage white screen behind the orchestra.
Two front projected Christie 18K machines were used, overlaid to ensure the brightest image, complete with E/T/C's flexible OnlyView control system. All the video content was stored on the OnlyView Servers, and programmed in OnlyView and After Effects by Richard Porter and Karen Monid, with Monid running the show.
The E/T/C team created the artwork under Ashton's direction. Each song had its own individually styled video content.
There was plenty of 1970 retro moments to match the Led Zeppelin/Deep Purple/Eagles era music. The Deep Purple section featured an Egyptian theme with lots of pyramid references. They created a Venetian dream sequence for Bohemian Rhapsody, and a fantasy theatre look for Queen's "Barcelona". Hotel California was an eventful road trip across America!
The projections added a colourful, pictorial dimension as well as stimulating, imaginative narrative suggestions to the music - and were one of the talking points of the highly successful show.
Apart from the sheer volume and diversity of content needing to be created for a 2 hour continuous show, Ashton reveals that his other main challenge was working with a flat surface! More used to projection onto building, objects, mountains and other miscellaneous surfaces and taking into account existing and intricate architecture and form ... this time he literally had a completely blank, flat, white canvass on which to work!
The spectacular results spoke for themselves!