Shakira knows how to step up her game of live shows by cleverly employing spectacular multimedia stage designs. Her latest El Dorado tour is a major example of bringing under one roof some of the most notable industry masters, including renowned professionals from design studio Vita Motus and digital media artists from the interactive media studio Sila Sveta.
Think about the last time you went to a live concert, attended a top-level music festival or was lucky to see a tour performance by your favorite artist or band. We bet you were there not just to hear them sing but also to see the show with your own eyes. The visual element of any staged music performance is undoubtedly an integral part of the spectacle – this is what makes each performance a unique immersive experience, attracts new audiences and eventually fills up everyone’s social media feeds.
Needless to say, the stage design industry is not left untouched by digitalization – virtually any surface on the stage now can be turned into an LED screen or canvas for projection mapping. This gives stage design companies endless opportunities to transform the appearance of the stage without actual physical transformation of the set. Immersive virtual worlds change at a click of a button adapting to the needs of different artists and moods of various music styles. It takes no time to visually transform the set for a heavy metal band after a lyric ballad was performed on the same stage. This is the crucial task for multimedia content production companies – to take the most out of the proposed setup or develop one from scratch and create a versatile solution that will complement the overall stage design.
Major Shows As Beacons For Multimedia Stage Design Industry
Some of the world’s biggest music shows often get as much attention to their designs as to the performance itself. Eurovision song contest, for instance, is one of the major examples of how one versatile stage setup can be used for numerous performances, creating a unique setting for each of them with the help of multimedia technologies. Projection mapping, LED screens all over, complicated lighting designs, bespoke multimedia content, kinetic solutions and custom settings for each song – that’s what makes the whole event a unique experience and makes each installment of the international music contest a reference for future music shows and festivals all over the world.
Another great example of a spectacular show that inevitably attracts a great portion of public attention is Super Bowl Halftime Show. Yet again, how the show is designed is as important as who’s performing – new technologies and multimedia tools get no less social buzz than the lineup of the show, celebrity outfits and other popular topics. An unbelievably complex stage is usually erected within minutes, which makes the task even more challenging for the producers, stage designers and technicians — the modular structure must comply with the status and scale of the event, be visible for the huge stadium audience and appealing to the live broadcast viewers at the same time.
Multimedia Stage Design Empowering Concert Tours
It is not surprising that artists address not just stage design professionals and production companies but also multimedia design studios when planning grand concert tours. For performers, creative digital content is a powerful tool that can transform the stage and add a signature stylistic touch regardless the city where a particular show is performed. Flexible stage design and adaptable content allow recreating the intended look and feel of the show no matter where it is staged. In such a way, fans across the globe have an opportunity to witness the performance in a unified fashion and share the same experience universally. A synergy of flexibility and universalization is what makes multimedia content the best tool for enhancing stage designs.
How Stage Design Companies Collaborate With Multimedia Content Creators
An international media studio Sila Sveta has always been keen on working with artists, musicians and big festivals. In the end, stage design is what gave inspiration to start the company, and stage in general has always been a playground for the studio to try new creative ideas and test new technologies. Sila Sveta is proud to have some big names of the international music world in the portfolio – the studio was engaged in digital content development for Drake, Halsey, Lindsey Stirling, J Cole, The Neighbourhood, Big Gigantic and others. Multimedia content by Sila Sveta was seen at Coachella Festival, Eurovision Song Contest and other major events around the world.
Shakira is one of the latest international stars to join the list. Her name translates from Arabic as «full of grace». Born in Columbia, she became famous worldwide for her incendiary music and sensual choreography. She has delivered dozens of global hits during her career. The talented singer recently started her worldwide tour El Dorado in support of the new album with the same name, and the tour is a major example of how multimedia design is woven into the exquisite stage structure used as canvas for the smashing tour of a charizmatic artist.
Sila Sveta was invited to join the project team to contribute to the overall visual experience by developing bespoke multimedia content inspired by some of Shakira’s biggest hits. Multimedia content from Sila Sveta, created exclusively for several songs performed during the show, completes the tour stage design created by Vita Motus — a multi-disciplinary production design firm working with today’s most influential artists, festivals, and brands. Here’s what they say about the project:
“The El Dorado stage required powerful scale and presence to fill arenas, while exalting Shakira’s silhouette. Carefully masked floor and stage LED carry the album’s story, each song being mood-boarded and colored individually to comprise a cohesive, climactic whole”.
The three mega screens on the stage background act as a universal backdrop for the concert – multimedia stage content and lighting scenario create a unique setting for each song. The stage setup is strictly symmetric but the shape of the screens is rather unconventional – this distinctive feature helps to create a memorable image of the whole show but allows enough flexibility at the same time. Another screen is mounted on a long podium on the floor providing more space for vivid imagery.
Working closely with Vita Motus, who were responsible for the overall creative direction of the show, as well as responding to the artist’s needs, Sila Sveta developed colorful visuals that coordinate perfectly with the overall style of the show and respond to the mood of each song. As a result, the creative collaboration of numerous parties engaged in the production of the show resulted in creating a truly unforgettable experience, a vivid mixture of smashing hit music and cutting-edge creativity.
Exclusive interview with Vita Motus, multi-disciplinary production design firm famous by their work with Kendrick Lamar, Halsey, Die Antwoord, Shakira and many more.
Walk us through the usual stage design development and implementation process: how the initial sketches are developed and discussed with the client, who’s involved. How much time is there between the brief and the first show?
There’s very little uniformity to the process, as it totally depends on factors like level of client involvement, timeline from when they first engage us to the launch, and the more general scope / nature of the project.
There’s always the initial creative meeting where we gather creative directions, limitations, and considerations from the client. Based off that information, we create anywhere from one to three concepts for the client to review. Once they’ve reviewed and decided what they like best, we refine the winning design. Einstein once said, “Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure.” We strive to design like no one has before, but them ensure it can be executed.
At what stage do content production studios join the process? Do they have freedom in creative expression or do they have a specific brief?
Media houses will be given greater or lesser freedom of expression, depending on the project and client. Some artists come to us with very specific ideas of the type of look they’re envisioning, and we look to the media house to help us create it. We tend to have a Creative umbrella over the initial concept and then get the media house to direct the minutia of the media.
How was it in Shakira’s case?
For Shakira, we spent months mood boarding specific looks she wanted for each songs. Since there were so many and deadlines were tight, we divided the songs up between multiple media houses. We had Sila Sveta and another media house out with us during rehearsals to make live revisions as needed.