“You need to watch this video.” No doubt, you’ve already heard that said at least five times today. But in this case, you really do need to watch this video–it’s in that elite, 10% to 20% of videos you “need to watch” that you really need to watch. I promise.
It’s the latest music video for musician Jamie Lidell. In it, Lidell sings in front of a stunning cube that glows like a gigantic canvas of right angles. Thanks to smart 3-D projection by London studio Flat-e, even Lidell’s reflective jacket joins in the show (as does his mic, but that appears to work like a big glow stick rather than a projected screen).
The effect turns the stage into a seamless digital canvas, all rendered in real space without green screens. And that unto itself would be pretty cool! It’s a glowing cube, after all. But the kicker is that Lidell’s cube is responsive.
“We wanted to make Jamie feel totally in control of the visual, so he could play it almost like he would with his audio equipment,” Flat-e producer Kat Anderson tells Co.Design. “As the same setup is going on tour with him, we wanted the system to be very robust.”
So the entire rig is actually controlled by Lidell’s sensor-stuffed mic. By tilting the mic stand left or right, his virtual environment will tip in unison. He can adjust the motion of his own stage in real time, playing whatever spontaneous impulses a live audience evokes.
It’s an ambitious idea, combining a stage show with a music video, rendering real-world effects that could be far more easily implemented with some post-production fakery. But I imagine that for Jamie Lidell fans, it will only make the environment of a live show that much more impressive. They won’t just be experiencing his music; they’ll be experiencing the full-blown spectacle of his unbelievable music video.