Epic Rock is a groundbreaking theater production converging classic rock with modern dance, interactive video, elements of nature and steam punk fashion.
Epic Rock’s interactivity was created through a marriage of work by Media Director Robb Wagner (Stimulated, Inc.), and Creative Director / Choreographer Paul Roberts (One Direction, Robbie Williams).
Epic Rock is the highest rated title among Carnival Cruise Lines’ Playlist Productions, an ever-growing suite of high impact theater shows produced under Carnival’s fleet wide $500 million Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program. Wagner and Stimulated, Inc. have played key roles in the creative development, production and success of Playlist Productions, highlighted by their interactive work on Epic Rock.
A bold creative concept, Epic Rock was conceived by Paul Roberts for Carnival Cruise Lines. The production was rehearsed in Hollywood, Fla., before premiering in Dubrovnik, Croatia onboard the totally transformed Carnival Sunshine.
“Epic Rock is our most successful Playlist show. Ironically the idea was almost too bold to produce. Our creative development director Kerry Stables was passionate about the project, as were Robb Wagner and Paul Roberts. That passion is evident on our stage, in the energy of our performers, and it resonates with our guests. They love Epic Rock and so do we,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines.
To create video interacting with live performance, Robb Wagner’s team filmed Paul Roberts’ dance choreography in December 2012 at Carnival’s Hollywood rehearsal studio. Roberts ran the dance workshop with the “hut-hut” discipline of a marine drill instructor, as he wanted to be sure the dance moves Wagner filmed were dead-on perfect.
Wagner was already familiar with filming flawless synchronicity through his experience with Michael Jackson. Wagner was the Producer of Jackson’s planned “This Is It” 3D concert tour, on which Stimulated was the production company chosen by Jackson and AEG to produce the 3D film and video portion of the tour.
After filming Roberts’ dance workshop, Wagner and Stimulated worked for the next several months creating moving images of earth, wind, water and fire to interact with the live performers onstage. “When I saw what Robb had done, I didn’t need to change a thing,” said Roberts, the director of the show.
Wagner collaborated with Stimulated’s worldwide creative team of media designers and animators to achieve Roberts’ interactive concepts. The result is a stunning production in which live performers use supernatural powers to command the movement of earth, air, fire, and water in LED screens, all performed to classic rock songs from such bands as Queen, Guns N’ Roses, and Aerosmith.
Epic Rock is proof that virtual scenery can be highly effective when combined with select elements of physical scenery, special effects, a killer sound track, unique costume design and a talented cast of high-energy performers.
Media design by Robb Wagner, Stimulated, Inc. Lighting design by Brian Monohan. Costume design by Lucio Bolivar, Dynamx, Inc. Music production by Nick Thorpe, Westwind Music Group. Special Effects by Matt Dillingham, Advanced Entertainment Services & Tom Harman, LaserNet. Scenic Design by Scenery First. Software used by Stimulated, Inc.: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Maya, Cinema 4D.