I was never into the cult of shoes. I liked my shoes, and I would make sure they were fashionable, but I never cared about the concept of a shoe. They were something I required to wear to get around, and the most I looked into it was a certain amount of fashion along with them. I did not understand the fervor that surrounded a new Air Jordan, my only comparison was the same types of lines around a new Iphone (I did not stand in those lines either).
Life decided though that I should pay attention to this world.
When you are a professional in a field, you meet other professionals. As you encounter new projects and paths to hone your skills, as do you other like minded friends. After just working at your job for so long, you know people all over and sometimes, this produces work. One of my friends runs a visual company, Nightride Visuals. They employ visual artists in my home town Boston, as well as in Dubai and other parts of the world. His name is Jay. We don’t see each other much as we both travel and work all over. Him a bit more, he is the VJ for Steve Aoki, who continually plays around the world. A few times in the past he has reached out to me for events. This time it was some Nike event. Little did I know.
I quickly realized that this event was a big deal. The email chains I started being added to were full of various people from Nike, design agencies, animators and production groups. There was a lot of discussion about content, pixel maps, staging and runs of show. At first I didn’t know what the event was. As I learned more, I found this event was for the unveiling of a brand new Air Max. On top of that the incredibly famous rapper Travis Scott was performing.
The day of the event was interesting. The event itself was in LA at 1st and La Brea, which is a very nice (expensive) part of the city. They were going to do a first for me: shut down the street at 6PM and create an entire concert/block party at 11pm. So in 5 hours they needed to create an entire stage, concert, commercial (they filmed on, more on that later), and race (a race ran right into the event before it started). How did they do this? With lots of money. Everything was solid, there was backups for backups, and more than enough people. They staged the entire production in a hidden warehouse days before. The day of they set up everything on wheels and trucks and forklifts and moved it all into place.
Once they had the stage up, it was time to get setup. I had a powerful display, 2 media servers and then 2 additional backup system, just in case! For reference I have done most shows with 1 computer. Sometimes in a bigger production (like Visualize Somerville) we use several. But I have never had 3 backup systems for one screen!
This team brought in a camera car. Basically a converted SUV into a mobile steady cam setup.
Travis Scott played a hit list of all of his songs. Combined with the energy from being on location with so many shoe lovers, it really caught me. These people were excited about this design, and it made me excited too. I was lucky to be part of it, and I only can look forward to the future events I get to be part of.