Directors Showcase, Cannes [video]

The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase is one of the highlights of the Cannes Lions Festival, and has become one of the most popular events during Cannes week. Again this year, it took place in The Grand Auditorium, with overspill into the Debussy. Saatchi & Saatchi senior creative team Jonathan Santana & Xander Smith came up with the initial concept for this year’s showcase – ‘Hello Future’, a dark, retro futuristic setting with a ‘HAL’-like host. Juliette Larthe – an independent producer (formerly of Warp Films) pulled a creative team together: Marshmallow Laser Feast (Memo Akten, Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel), Aaron Meyers, Jamie Lidell, Clark, Mark Titchner, Gary Card.

The (MLF) directed the visual performance, created all the graphics for the ‘HAL’ character, the titles, and various other ‘interludes’ (such as a special hypnosis moment). The team worked closely with Aaron Meyers who developed the kinect performance software for Jamie Lidell’s section, and the stage + lighting + sound designers to pull together the overall look and feel.

The graphics app used was made in Cinder and there are 3 stage computers each with a Kinect running an OpenNI-based openFrameworks application that sends information over OSC. The software was controlled live with controls mapped to an Oxygen8 midi keyboard and a few little controls on an iPad running Mrmr.

The process of creating images was very analogue utilising found objects such as a step ladder, a couple of broom sticks, rear projection perspex, large metal bowl, bin bags, gaffer tape and glass prisms. These were then filmed with a handheld pointgrey dragonfly2, sending this live feed into a laptop running modul8, playing with a few midi sliders and knobs to deform and affect the image in realtime and project onto perspex, and then film that back with Canon 5D. The show was run using the new VDMX to play content on the 14x8m rear screen, and the side ‘banana’ screens.