Creative Works Uses Unreal Engine & disguise For Guns N' Roses

Creative Works, a digital creative agency based in London. focuses on real time content creation for live events, most recently using Unreal Engine and disguise to create the show content for Guns N' Roses North American tour. Guns N’ Roses has embraced new technology at their live shows over the past five years, getting the crowd hyped before the band walks on stage. Their Show Openers are created by London-based Creative Works, who are now using Unreal Engine and disguise to create their real-time story-driven content.

Creative Works has a process called Universal Content Creation™, which uses real-time creation tools such Unreal Engine to create resolution-independent content that can be translated cross-platforms. “Creating the Guns N’ Roses show opener came about from a conversation standing on the stage with the band manager at Slane Castle back in 2018. The desire was to create a method and system for the band to come out to, one that excites the audience and builds to a crescendo, somewhat inspired by Axl Roses’ jaunt as lead singer for AC/DC”, explains Jeremy Leeor, creative works co-owner and managing director. “Now in its fifth version and ever evolving, the show opener has become a creative staple within the Gun N’ Roses live shows.”

Creative Works created the content for the Guns N’ Roses Laboratory Break-In North American Tour 2021 Show Opener. “Our storytelling approach centers around an eternal conflict between the Appetite for Destruction (AFD) Robot and The Red Baron.” says Dan Potter, Creative Works co-owner and executive creative director, on the development of Guns N’ Roses show openers since 2018. “The inspiration came from the Robert Williams' controversial Appetite For Destruction painting, with the characters going on to developing their own personalities.” 

Characters include AFD Robot - a dastardly, mischievous criminal on the hunt for a personal gain and The Red Baron, a monstrous saber-toothed beast constantly on the AFD Robot's tail. “The Red Baron never quite catches the AFD Robot but gives him a good scare in the process,” says Potter

Functionally, the Opener acts as an entertaining show opener to bring the band on to a cheering crowd. At the end of every opener a sequence of all the tour logos produced by Creative Works hails the band's entrance. The flurry of gunshots heard is used by the band as a signal to get into position, ready for the show to kick off. “The first show opener created for Guns N Roses, coined 'The Troubadour Opener,' was a chronological retrospective around the idea of the 'Story So Far,” explains Potter. “This then developed into a visually dazzling journey introducing the AFD Robot and Red Baron into the fast-paced 'Chase The Bullet' show opener, where McBob’s voice lead-in was also first included.” 

A show opener generally starts with a written treatment and story maps. Character concepts, scenes, and prop sketches are then developed and signed off by the band. 

Act 1 - Arriving at the Victorian Laboratory

It's a rainy dark cold night. The kind of night the deviously criminal and hard-nosed miscreants come out in to search for trouble. AFD Robot arrives at a Mysterious Victorian-style Laboratory. He holds out a piece of paper with an arrow labeled ‘Virus’ on it written in blood. It’s night-time and it’s thundering and raining. A luminous green light is emanating from the windows and gushing from a fountain in front of the entrance suggesting ominous activities and going-on’s in the building. It entices AFD Robot towards the entrance. As AFD walks toward the door, he gets distracted by the Plague Doctor Statue, looking up at it and tilting his head to the side.

Cut to a close-up of the Plague Doctor Mask. As the camera pulls back it reveals that AFD is now wearing the Mask and nonchalantly lights the 'Bomb' Cane fuse as a light.  AFD arrives at the locked, barred door and in typically defiant style breaks into the building through the front door, kicking it in. An alarm starts to go off, red light flashing in all the rooms. Oblivious to the racket, AFD enters the building.