TEM Studio Notch real time

Curating Randomness In Real-Time

TEM Studio used the real-time power of Notch for one of the world’s most famous department stores. Bringing spectacular live music visuals to the audience in store, and on online, in a way that had the artists become the audience, and the audience the artists, they created a remarkable show on the fly, every single night.

Selfridges approached TEM Studio because of their experience with spectacular large events for the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé. The brief was open - music in store to drive awareness.  They say a great project needs a great client and the TEM team had that. The Selfridges Events team quickly got excited about using the power of live experience, but in a venue specific, highly creative, efficient way.

The core format was 16 shows over 16 days: with 40 artists performing over the whole run.  With that many artists it was important to plan a system that didn't involve pre-sequencing.

“We wanted to take our large stage experience and condense it down into a small interactive space - we were able to do that because of our knowledge of using Notch and Disguise together. It was something you couldn't easily do any other way.”  

 - Christopher Davenport, Creative Director

You can see the project video here.

To achieve this feat the whole system was built around a real-time workflow, with the stage being digitally reconfigured around each of the performers. The content was all generated through Notch using two different systems - one taking camera feeds of the artists performing, the other taking that live feed and effecting it using an IMAG effect and then projecting it back on the surrounding boards so they would appear immersed in their own content.

TEM used Notch’s OSC interface to enable the team to control generative content live using an iPad controller - with dynamic looks that could be controlled by scrollers or toggles. Think of it like an environmental DJ reacting to everything - the performance, the visuals, the space - it was an authentic experience that changed dramatically for every artist.

The physical build of the stage was fundamental - the team built a modular structure that could change and have different materials put to it. “We make use of different materials, such as Dicroic panels that reflect and transmit light at different colours depending on the angle you observe them.”

 - Christopher Davenport, Creative Director

TEM had a live camera crew of 4 filming the event in real-time too. The whole concept was that an artist could turn up an hour before the show and TEM could configure the theatre-like space with series of looks from the collection of Notch Blocks and then the film crew would live stream to Facebook.  

“It was like creating a live music video. The whole concept was based on generating everything on the fly.”

 - Christopher Pearson, Creative Director

TEM were able to do this because of the power of real-time Notch and Disguise gx2 media servers:  

“A large part of what excites us is the use of a multitude of different technologies that work as one. This layering makes it hard to define where one ends and another begins”  

 - Christopher Pearson, Creative Director

And what was the impact?  

Judging from the social media coverage the shows garnered (e.g. The Unkle show had 24k views on Facebook) it’s clear to see the audience loved it. The 360 degree translucency of the content and the amount of tech on the stage was really novel.  Every viewpoint gave a different experience, and this really showed on social media - the audience could easily take a photo of their favourite artist and compose a unique look with layers over their face. They didn’t know how it was created - that’s part of the the illusion.

The client really loved it.  They were pleasantly surprised how close the final project looked compared to pre-vis:  “It looked exactly like you said it would”.  This was only possible because of the amount of pre-vis power through Notch and Disguise to demo and test video files - this kept the clients calm throughout the design process.

The other people who reacted strongly were the artists. It was like the stage was not just for the audience - it was for everyone. The performers, the audience and those watching online. A first for everyone.

“For us it was lots of strands of it that came together - Notch was the thing that tied them all together. Notch is clearly redefining an industry. Generative content has not been accessible in a show environment like this before.”

 - Christopher Pearson, Creative Director


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