Matt Finke, founder and CEO of experiential production company loop light, has over 20 years of experience in the live entertainment industry, specializing in the creative concept, design and delivery of projects.
With a specialism in media serving, he has worked with large-scale, multi-layer-based video systems in various fields, including the architectural projection, projection blends, live interaction, AR and VR, motion tracking, and projection mapping technologies. He has worked across all industry sectors on large-scale events globally, including BMW M4 Concept 2016, ESC TV show 2014, BASF 150th anniversary 2015, Audi TT 360-degree experience 2015, Mercedes Benz Global Training Experience 2014, and Adidas Global Brand Conference 2014. In 2013, Matt received the OPUS German Stage Award for his long history of creativity and use of the latest technologies in his work around Germany, Europe, and across the world.
We chatted with Finke about loop light’s use of light and video as an artistic tool as well as his new, additional role as an AV Stumpfl brand ambassador.
Katinka Allender: Describe the birth and mission of loop light.
Matt Finke: loop light has been working in the video segment for 10-12 years. We always thought using video in LED or projection is another source of light. With a historically lighting design-orientated focus, today our business is visual and technology event design, consulting, and execution. Multimedia is an artistic tool.
KA: How does media server technology work in your business?
MF: It affects everything. It’s a creative tool that we use for several purposes: lights, kinetic, and sound. In every well-established show, it’s the core segment. You have audio, visuals, and lighting all triggered and in perfect sync; it’s the core of the communication system of a modern event.
KA: What has been your biggest influence?
MF: I’m so technology influenced. I remember something that Bono from U2 once said, which was “Every poet is a thief.” I don’t feel like an inventor. I look at the digital world around, and I’m combining it with something new. I would say technology is a driving force in new creation, and we are always experimenting.
KA: What are some of the trends in how media applications are using media servers?
MF: We are seeing complex integration as an important trend. For example, integrating lighting, video, audio, kinetics, and other digital or social applications into a live show environment is common. Quality and reliability are important. Innovation really means to integrate new media into old things. You can use tools like this to connect your car to a show or game environment, or mix technologies in the event industries.
Tech-wise, it’s harder to impress the audience. A candle in a room or a smile on a child impresses every human. It’s the simple things that are important, even in show control and design. You can impress audiences with fewer tools than you might think you need.
KA: What led you to use AV Stumpfl?
MF: We’re always looking for new possibilities. We wanted to take another player on board that gave us additional opportunities for the future. So we started using AV Stumpfl because the media server itself opened up new possibilities other than conventional video equipment. We used the media server as a creative tool. AV Stumpfl Wings Engine Raw server is really a product that has the potential to take shows to the next level, especially in terms of performance. Once we started the conversation with AV Stumpfl, we immediately received training on the Wings Engine to determine the system’s capabilities.
KA: Why did you invest in Wings Engine Raw?
MF: We invested in Wings Engine Raw 4K3 servers as the perfect tool to offer this type of native playback. The system is so powerful, especially with uncompressed file formats. In our eyes, this is the best product on the market because of its high quality streaming, and that’s why we chose it for our system pack. All our staff members are trained at AV Stumpfl in Austria, and training has been intensive. Most important to us is to deliver a guaranteed qualified service.
We do have several productions coming up where we spec the system. Most are LED walls driven by uncompressed TIFF sequence 50 or 60p.
KA: What will Wings Engine Raw enable you to achieve?
MF: Wings Engine Raw will help us to deliver a final result which is as natural as the eye can see. However, it is not just a perfect playback system: Wings Engine Raw is a full-blown media server with a lot of yet undiscovered possibilities, for example, featuring the innovative control network “Avio” enabling us with quite endless possibilities. Also, a lot of creative clients are production companies. Artists and creative companies love the fact that we can use the native format.
KA: How long did it take you to learn to use it?
MF: We built a task force called Stumpfl Task, led by Christopher ”Fletch” Flügel and Timo Weinhold, who is the system programmer in the promo video, “Every Pixel Counts.” We chose three people to be on this task force, and they have been in training for three weeks. They have been doing video tests and working on beta versions every day.