Flat-e have been commissioned by Warp Records and Jamie Lidell to create the album artwork, a music promo, video teasers, live show visuals and even costume for the campaign for his soon to be released self-titled album. Taking the self-titled album’s personal themes of love, betrayal, deception and perceptions and the power of Jamie’s voice, Flat-e have created an art direction where Jamie is the master of his own world. Optical illusion and dazzle patterns are the visual motifs that run through Flat-e’s art direction.
Part of this campaign Flat-e is a music video promo for Jamie’s new single entitled ‘You Naked’. The promo is the first from Jamie’s soon to be released album, conceived of by London Creative Studio, Flat-e who directed and edited the video with no post-production effects using realtime projection. The promo, as you can see in the video below, features Jamie performing in a large cube structure in the middle of a darkened room. He wears a reflective mac that appears to strobe under the lights. Flat-e developed a realtime projection app that allowed the room to shift and blend into multiple environments on the day of the shoo. Jamie affects the orientation and depth of the environment with a motion reactive microphone stand.
The visuals app was written in openFrameworks, based on a projection mapping system Marek Bereza (programmer) used in his previous projects. The graphics were all based on a triangulation which had a stripe texture mapped to them. All the different scenes in the videos are variations on that – it’s all the same program, but with the parameters in different positions – How big should the stripes be? How random should their orientation be? How strong should the tint colour be? etc etc.
This was all controlled by a separate Controller app (see screenshot below). It’s also written in openFrameworks, using Marek’s gui library, xmlgui. It let the team map parameters such as the volume of the voice or position of the mic stand, to different parameters of the visualization. They could also assign midi controllers to any slider, and control the dmx lighting inside the mic stand.
The orientation of the mic stand is measured with a Sparkfun Razor 9DOF IMU, plugged into an xbee module so it can be wireless – the firmware of the IMU had to be tweaked to make it as low bandwidth as possible to minimize latency. The mic stand was built by Rebel Mic Stands, and they retrofitted the sparkfun board inside it. The micstand came with a wireless dmx transceiver so they could control the lighting from the Controller software also.
The physical setup included 4 projectors projecting onto a steel framed box lined with projection gauze. The projectors were driven by a windows pc, outputting to a DataPath x4 box (like a quadruple-head-2-go.)
Rob and Matt (the directors) provided Marek with visual concepts and references for about 10 different ideas. Marek would go away and try to interpret the ideas. The team regularly checked in to discuss where the visuals were going, and they ended up boiling it down to one idea, but making it super adjustable to the point where you keep finding new interesting looks by tweaking the sliders. Large number of presets were saved which formed the basis for the video.
Directed by: Flat-e; Music by: Jamie Lidell; DOP & Steadicam: Thonke; Produced by: Kat Anderson; Programmer: Marek Bereza; Video Commissioner: Warp Records; Camera Assistant: Ed Tucker; Gaffer: Mark Holownia; Production Assistant: Grace Sherrington; Costume & Styling by: Francesca Salter-Dvorak; Set Technician: Matt Barnes; Runners: Fred Vernon, Rosie Taylor, Joel Stephens and Photography: Sandra Ciampone
Jamie Lidell’s self-titled album is out February 18th on Warp Records.
Jamie Lidell’s live show and world tour starts on March 8th.