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demo-reels_crop.jpg Maria Baranova
SenovvA worked with video designer Alex Koch on the immersive design for the Broadway production of Be More Chill.

Monday Musings: Experiential Reels

“Experiential” is the hot new buzzword in the events industry…a sizzling adjective for things based on experience and observation. From seminal experiential theatre events such as Sleep No More to immersive corporate events, the game is on…the stakes are getting higher, raising the benchmark. There are so many companies out there creating compelling experiences. But how are the people creating such experiences presenting themselves…how do they want us to “experience” them?

I often look at websites to see what kind of work people are doing...some are better than others. Some are mystifying, with layers and layers of info to even find a phone number (yes, I still like to call people on the Alexander Graham Bell invention) and others are so artistic to be eye candy but not much else. Or there is no email address but a form to fill out to send a message. I usually don’t bother, but seek their info from another source.

Some companies on the other hand make it easy, not only to find their contact info but also to see their work by way of a demo reel, or let’s call them experiential reels, which in my opinion are worth a thousand pictures. Done well, a highlight reel can evoke the energy and design creativity of the company involved, drawing you into their experiential cocoon. Here are a few examples:

SenovvA, a technical design and integration group, offers experiential systems design and integration to the entertainment, special event, architectural/construction and media services industries. Check out their demo reel.

xitelabs is an experiential visual art studio specializing in 3D projection mapping, animation, production design, interactive and live operation. This creative group of visionaries is where Vello Virkhaus hangs out these days. View their reel here.

Moment Factory is a multimedia studio specializing in the conception and production of immersive environments, and one of those north of the border companies that must get its creative juices from maple syrup. Watch their reel.

Meptik specializes in interactive media, projection mapping, content creation, scenic design, and media servers in the custom design of live events.

Hetema Group works primarily in the world of theme parks and museums, with the slogan “creating stories you can touch.”

While I surf the net looking for interesting highlight reels, ones that speak to me about the company’s creativity and design depth, I am often surprised that there is no reel, or that the reel is a few years old. I’d suggest making a new one every year, or even twice a year with the “best of” projects as well as vital new ones. This is how design companies can put their best digital foot forward and invite the world inside their immersive experiences to take a look around. There is some pretty surprising stuff out there!

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