Throughout the year I was given a series of commissions to extend the animation for the train window installation at Lou Lou's. When I first worked on the animation last year, it was 16 minutes long upon completion. Since then over the year I have extended it to 45 minutes, sourcing and creating all aspects of the animation. The animation itself is shown on 50" TVs behind custom built train windows in the lower alcoves of the club. Due to the fixed perspective nature of train windows I was able to work mostly with 2D matte elements, although towards the end of the year I upgraded my computer and started compositing layers of vast 3D animated landscapes. I was averaging about 5+ minutes of content per month.
The majority of the new content can be seen in the showreel section above.
I worked on the build and stayed on as AV operator/projectionist for the whole run of this show. As usual there was a very diverse range of jobs to be done; setting up and keystoning the projection mapping equipment (3 x 15k~ lumen projectors of varying lamp life, in a van), trying to keystone them in the daytime before the audience arrived, setting up pop up stages for musicians, operating networked dolby theatre equipment, setting up various AV art installations, general audio operation for key moments of the show, etc. I worked closely with too many people to name, but primarily Christian Mock. It was a very social event and a pleasure to work on.
This month I have been working on one of the longest motion graphics commissions to date. I was working with professional animator and compositor Ian Sargent under the direction of Franchesco Pastori. The project brief was to create a 20+ minute rolling fantasy landscape animation which would be viewed through a train window TV display (the same one I installed back in September) at private members club LouLou's.
At the start of the month I was mainly creating content for Ian to use for the creation of the scenes in the animation, as the project developed I started compiling entire scenes by myself (pictured above). A basic outline of my workflow: Use Cinema 4D for close up shots, import camera data and 3D location markers to after effects, match up footage with faux 3D layers then finish off with grading and final adjustments. Overall the experience was intense and we had a lot of creative freedom.
I had an interesting opportunity this month to work as a prop maker for a Giff Gaff advert. The company was Fallon and I was under direction from Ollie Tiong. It was a crazy job, I hand crafted around 100 synthetic eyeballs using improvised techniques and helped craft large quantities of fake blood, guts and other internal treats. It was great working with old friends and new alike!
For this project I was asked to create a series of vibrant animated computer interface animations. It was for a post-apoc sci-fi feature film set in Norfolk. I was commissioned by Ollie Tiong. I used a variety of tools for this project; audio analysis tools, custom graphics animated with After effects and even some generated visuals programmed using Processing. I will upload the videos and hopefully film snippet as soon as I am given permission.
Working under direction from Franchesco Pastori via Imaginary Party for an event in Lou Lou's. I set up a series of 50” monitors with a hidden tannoy system in the underground alcoves of the club. They are set up behind fake train window frames to give the feeling that you are in a moving train carriage.
Immediately after I finished working on SC Brazil I worked on Secret Music: Laura Marling, my job included audio operation, technical set-ups and digital and 16mm projector operation and maintenance. It was in the same building where our Shawshank show was set. A lot of my tannoy cables were still intact from that previous show, which was handy. After that in August it was a similar job except outdoors in Hackney Downs Park, Future Cinema presents Dirty Dancing. We used the same inflatable air screen from last year in September when we did Grease. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy working in the sun and it feels great to see 5000 people a night turning up to these shows.
This 4 month Secret Cinema project was the biggest and most ambitious yet. When Terry Gilliam came to the show, I heard he was especially impressed by the technical/AV aspect which I was deeply involved with. It’s very difficult to describe the challenges we faced on this project, over a hundred monitors including PCs, TV walls, projectors, an improvised CAT5 AV network, audio monitoring patch bays.. The venue was the entire ex-BT exchange building Delta Point in Croydon, 13 floors almost all of which were accessible to the public. I was working under direction from Christian Mock who was head of AV, I also had an assistant and was in charge of directing some extra crew we hired to help. The control room was an unusual mixture of digital and analog systems. Since Brazil's visual style was CRT monitors, I was using analog video patch bays and doing a lot of manual/local control. We controlled the audio and most of the video through the building's internal cat5 network, which I had to physically discover (no computers used, just using the direct cat5 connections between floors / hubs). For the main dual 20k lumen projectors we were using a fibre run.
Additionally, before the build started I was commissioned to create a series of motion graphics idents for the pre-narrative project. These would be used for viral videos and various other pre-show campaigns. I was given source material (cherubs and sketches) and asked to visualise them as fully animated idents, you can check them out here.
Furthermore, I was asked to make interactive visual content for a couple of the installations. I used Processing to make an interactive visualisation data files orbiting and getting sucked into a black hole, audience passing through the installation could press a button to repel the data temporarily. The other program I made was a simple spoof random job generator program wired up a big button.
On this 3 month project I was working for Christian Mock. We are the 2 man AV team for Secret Cinema. The setup in the office consisted of the main screening control computer, a backup running in sync and my own laptop controlling the audio cues throughout the building. There were a total of 3 screening rooms, 2 in the main building and 1 in the GYM which could hold a good few hundred people. Overall we had around 400+ people a night. The audio set-up for this event was quite complex, we had some high end equipment hired from Mark Hornsby as well as our own tannoy speakers which I set-up and wired with separate zones for different sections of the building.
September - December 2011
During October and November I worked on a secret project as a Technical Advisor which was postponed (Secret Cinema: Brazil). But towards the start of December all of my time was consumed by the new Secret Cinema production of The Third Man. I was working as Area Art Director, designing and dressing multiple installations including the police department and Dr Winkel's flat. I collaborated with Helen Haywood and Aurelien Farjon in these areas. I also helped with various little extras including designing fake documents, projector slides and assisting Christian Mock for the first time in the AV department.
Around August and September I was working on the following album art:
Developing ideas for an audio-visual production between me and Daniel Swilley, electroacoustic composer. Click the image to go to the behance project page.
March 2011 (+April update)
Rhizome project uploaded. This consists of excerpts from a large body of experiments using generative branching organic particle systems. The basic shape was generated using thinking particles in Cinema 4D, details were created using various techniques including manipulation in ZBrush.
Cosc audio-visual released under Entity net label
I made this animation as my 3rd year final animation project at UEL.
The project involved motion capture for responsive and natural camera movement, video textures created from spectral visualisations and various audio - visual data interpretation techniques.
December 2010 - Secret Cinema Berlin - ALIEN
This was the first time Secret Cinema held an event in Berlin. It was also my first time creating motion graphics for such a large scale event. Fortunately the theme did not involve a lot of intensive rendering so I was able to create a wide range of footage within the space of a week before travelling to Berlin.
Once in Berlin, I had time to render out a few more videos of data scrolling and tech diagrams moving around. I worked closely with certain members of the german team Flora and Fauna to ensure my work, amongst other visuals were displayed in suitable areas.
Nick is an experienced motion graphics content creator, animator, interactive installation artist, programmer, audio producer, technician and projectionist and has worked to fulfil many of these roles within the scope of individual projects. Some of his main employers have been Secret Cinema / Future Cinema, Lou Lou's, Seiji and Giff Gaff.
n [at] nnenov [dot] eu