River Island made use of two S8 Ai media servers to make an impact at London Fashion Week, one of the highlights of the fashion calendar, transforming the catwalk show space into a multi-screen video installation at Somerset House to showcase three films, designed to play in sequence. Two films were funded by the British Fashion Council Fashion Film Initiative, premiering alongside a River Island collaboration film.
London technical solutions company RES supplied the two S8 Ai media servers via XL Video, as well as associated parts for the AV playback and projection. One Ai system outputted six unique 1920×1080 DVI outputs, with the second running three unique 1920×1080 DVI outputs. The networked systems provided an efficient solution for the nine HD projector outputs.
The Ai systems were supplied by XL Video and pre-production and pre-visualisations were carried out at RES new offices in London Bridge.
The event featured the unveiling of exclusive content that has never been seen before and the films needed to be presented in a unique nstallation style whilst being large scale, high quality and impactful.
“After considering a number of designs, we decided on an installation comprising three bespoke projection zones, each with a specific arrangement of three screens at different sizes and angles to allow a vantage point from anywhere in the show space. Films would play one at a time in a dedicated zone and guests would be directed to the next zone by a short ident or link, designed to both signal the ‘waking up’ of the next zone and create a natural flow through the space.” said Jo-Ann Thorn, managing director of Aurora Multimedia, who carried out the project.
“We wanted to achieve more than just a film screening. We wanted the guests to feel they were part of an immersive experience, and this became the main design ethos.” said Mark Watson, freelance Creative Consultant at Aurora Multimedia.
Each film was created in a different aspect ratio and orientation, which added to the design challenge for the video installation. This required one of the zones’ screens and projectors to be rotated into a portrait format. A 45 minute de-rig time presented the challenge of designing a large scale installation that could be broken down, packed and transported off site very quickly.
A total of nine 6,000 lumens Panasonic full HD projectors were used with 0.8:1 short throw lenses and nine Stumpfl Monoblox rear projection screens.
The installation utilised the on the fly projection output configuration features of Ai V8 which were used for mapping, rotating and positioning of mixed resolution media and then the timeline capabilities for show-playback.
Phil Mayer, one of RES most trusted freelance Ai server technicians, worked on both the Ai project build and onsite integration, with Mark Calvert, RES managing director managing the project, budgets and overall client expectations.
Phil Mayer using the S8 servers
Aurora Multimedia were happy to work with RES knowing how experienced they were at providing bespoke solutions for complicated shows.
“The Ai S8 was invaluable for us as a creative tool for video mapping control. It more than performed well in using multiple streams of HD video, and providing seamless playback at all times.” Said Jo-Ann Thorn.
“We really liked it’s easy capability to put together timeline based video shows,” said Watson, “as well as having an intuitive UI, which gave us more time to improve the show creatively!”