Luz Studio in Montreal has not been idle in recent months. “We’ve been lucky enough to work on a few projects,” explains principal designer Matthieu Larivée. “Among them, Canada Day broadcast. We designed a virtual audience and designed the whole visual look of the show. We also used Augmented Reality for the very first time to host artists that couldn’t travel. Some acts were performing from a remote location but their footage was used in AR in our studio in Montreal, with real stage lights, set, and video projection. This technology is frequently used in sports and news but it’s a new application for artistic performances. With that technology, we were avoiding the ‘regular’ zoom-like TV performance and we were able to create a mood tailor-made for each performance.” Live Design chats with Larivée about the details of the Canada Day broadcast for the CBC.
Live Design: What was the design concept for the Canada Day event?
Matthieu Larivée: The show happened July 1, 2020. While creating this show not many live shows were happening, and people were getting tired of seeing zoom-like mosaic screens. Canada Day is an annual show regrouping artists from Vancouver to the Maritimes and some artists that live in the US. Therefore, because of pandemic, some could not travel. We suggested to the production to do a show in an arena and use the bleachers as the background to get the feel of an audience. Having the performer within the audience. So we filmed people to create a virtual audience and mapped them on the bleachers. These were used during artists’ introductions and for the ending of a song, to avoid looking fake and to create an energy vibe at the end—in order to maintain the show flow, we created ‘likes’ —a bit like we have with social media. We acknowledged the ending of a performance with hearts, with light-emitting dots, etc… all of these with sound effects.
LD: Please explain the use of the AR technology, how was the event designed with that in mind?
ML: The AR came along because some artists could be there in our Montreal studio. We didn’t want to go full screen with an iPhone film (even if it’s well done), as we wanted to keep the emotion of the performance. AR is notorious in sports and news but not in concerts and artistic performances. That’s why we suggested creating unique environments for each remote performances and speaker. That way, everyone is in the same show.
LD: How did the lighting work hand-in-hand with the AR?
ML: What makes it hard to incorporate in an artistic performance is that the AR is another layer that you add to real stuff. The way the AR graphics are lit is what makes it cohesive By lighting up the show, the video content, and AR, we are able to make sure that everything had the same lighting direction. The Avril Lavigne is a good example of how everything is cohesive.
60 ROBE MEGAPOINTE
22 ROBE BMFL SPOT
22 ROBE BMFL BEAM WASH
34 GLP XBAR20
22 CLAYPAKY SHARPY WASH 330
25 CHROMA-Q COLORFORCE II 72
8 PORTMAN P-1
8 PORTMAN P-2
2 MA LIGHTING grandMA 2 FULL SIZE
24 PHANTOM CURVED LED STRIP (SOFTBOX INTEGRATION)
LIGHTING DESIGN: LUZ STUDIO
DOP: NORMAND CHASSÉ
LIGHTING BOARD OP: CHARLES MORIN
LIGHTING SUPPLIER:: SOLOTECH
3 DISGUISE VX4
14 BARCO UDX32k LASER
VIDEO PROGRAMMER: STEVE LALONDE
VIDEO LEAD: DAVID RONDEAU
VIDEO SUPPLIER:: SOLOTECH
VIDEO CONTENT:: LUZ STUDIO