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Video Design: A Distant Horizon
UK – Biffy Clyro have just completed its most successful UK tour to date, sweeping through the arena circuit with their characteristic vigour. Musically the band is on a roll, its ever developing song cycle has been touched by a new found sensitivity in their latest album Ellipsis. This added depth is surely one of the stimuli to Misty Buckley’s elegantly rendered set design, Jack Banks’ startling, urgent video direction, and the sublime operation of LD Richard Larkum.
Buckley’s design, a series of four ever smaller square portals that frame the steeply sloping stage deck, lead to a vanishing perspective upstage centre. All portals are clad in Winvision video tiles, part of the touring system supplied by Video Design that includes a 48 foot wide (16:5.34 aspect ratio) upstage main screen, and a hi-def eight camera package. Banks needed some particular tools when he came to exploiting the opportunities the various video surfaces offered.
“I’m using a Ross Carbonite Black+; I think Alex Leinster of Video Design is one of the first to buy into it. In practical terms, other more popular desks are getting huge. This is much more compact but lacks nothing in terms of the functionality I need. So, a good investment on his part. The other great thing is Ross have an office in the UK at Pinewood and when you call them up you always get to speak with a real human being and they respond. They have a high service level. The same can be said of Video Design; there’s always a 24-hour response number and there’s always someone there. The thing is questions pop into your head at awkward hours and I’m wonderfully sketchy about such things. So being able to talk it through directly when the thought occurs is ideal. Video Design are perfect in that respect, you get to speak to someone who understands your dilemma and can offer up solutions.”
So fertile is Buckley’s vision that Banks saw it as ever evolving. “I’ve never sat back on any show and thought, ‘Well, that’s finished’. In a highly creative medium like this, especially in the context of something like Misty’s design, you need a supplier nimble enough to respond to a variety of constantly emerging needs. If you just want a big slab of screen and some cameras there are other places to go. That’s a bottom feeders’ market, little in the way of creativity is happening there. But if you want go somewhere new with your work then you need a company that is supportive of experimentation. Alex Leinster has established a level of service from Video Design in the last couple of years; he is prepared to take it on.”
Leinster was typically phlegmatic about his company’s role. “Working with people that have the artistry of Jack and Misty will always present surprises. But no one here rolls their eyes and groans when those surprises occur. In fact, we embrace them, there is always something new to learn. More to the point, it’s rare that what we learn is not of value to other clients downstream.”
15th December 2016
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