Production Team Talks Friendly Fires Comeback Gig At O2 Brixton Academy London

Friendly Fires celebrated their comeback gig at the O2 Brixton Academy in London, April 5. Jack James, creative director at Really Creative Media shared some insights.

Friendly Fires at O2 Brixton Academy
– Friendly Fires at O2 Brixton Academy
The visual content was produced specifically to fit the show’s concave arrangement of LED screen strips which were spaced to include gaps for lighting

The band’s management, Machine Management, brought Really Creative Media on board, having worked with the video specialists on shows by Clean Bandit, also on Machine’s roster.

It took creative director Jack James one month to bring the band’s “psychedelic” vision to life. He remembered the band expressing “a keen interest in us using practical effects such as ink droplets into water rather than trying to imitate effects through animation.”

To achieve this, James and his team built a filming rig in-house, “which allowed us to suspend high-speed cameras with macro lenses as well as the associated lighting kit in any position around our effects setups. We then used a variety of techniques such as dropping ink into petri dishes of milk and water, and pushing air through liquid to create bubbles and continuous flow patterns.

“Different tactics like synchronizing droplets of ink with the music and the use of speaker coils to effect the movement of liquid helped to create a range of visual looks to suit different songs throughout the hour-and a half set. It was quite an undertaking.”

The LED screen strips used by Fnendly Fires on stage were arranged in a concave pattern, with space in-between each strip for lighting. Since the Brixton Academy was a one-off, Really Creative Media designed the live visuals to also fit 16:9 screens, which will come in handy, once the band embarks on its packed summer festival schedule.

“This was a rewarding gig to deliver as it allowed us to experiment with creative effects in a hands-on way, away from our day-to-day digital animation techniques. The filming was slow – we often managed only a couple of takes an hour when accounting for all of the reset and cleaning time,” James recalled.

Friendly Fires’ production manager Steve Down said, “Working with Really Creative Media was an absolute pleasure. We were tight on time and budget but Jack and his team really stepped up to the challenge and delivered some incredibly dynamic and high quality content that fit seamlessly into the show design from Cassius Creative. It’s a shame we only got to do this as a one-off!”