Blackbird VFX Sydney creates visual backdrop for Eminem's closing act for Coachella 2018

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 8.07.20 am.jpg2018 Coachella's headline act - renowned US rapper Eminem - wowed the massive crowd with a two-hour set, against a highly visual backdrop of an iconic Detroit factory created by Sydney based VFX studio Blackbird.

Eminem's performance was a cross section of his career, with guest appearances from Dr Dre, Skylar Grey and 50 Cent. Over the course of the show, the factory - Detroit's Packard building -was constantly in flux, showing its development, decay and futuristic rebuild.
Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 8.07.33 am.jpgSays Nick Ponzoni, owner and creative director of Blackbird: "We depicted its construction, it's renewal to glory days, exploding windows, three stages of decay - plants taking over and drying up, catching fire, collapsing to ruin - becoming a bleak iced over landscape, rightScreen Shot 2018-04-26 at 8.07.56 am.jpg through to the future of its reconstruction."

The factory embodies the peak and eminent slow decline of industrialised Detroit, the city where Eminem spent most of his youth and one intrinsically connected to the USA's music industry. Blackbird created visuals showing the historical arc of this building, with the significance of each artist and their performance providing story beats; guiding the thread of imagery throughout the various renditions of the building.

Only three and a half weeks before Eminem's Coachella headline performance was Blackbird approached by long time collaborators, Rich Lee & Justin Diener at Drive Studios in LA. Blackbird was to creatively drive and produce all the visuals displayed on a huge, panoramic array of screens behind the artists. Working closely with the team at Trask House (responsible for the physical set design), Blackbird developed a panoramic design, with the stage set with two storey high screens.

Says Sam Hall, executive producer, Blackbird: "This shows once again that you can create some of the most complex VFX in one part of the world and have it play in another - it's testament to our body of work and our growing international reputation. It's exciting that we can attract such work."

In one of its biggest technical feats to date, Blackbird created a master 10K output that was split out to seven screens of various resolutions, creating a single perspective panorama.

Says Ponzoni: "Not only did we have the challenge of designing, constructing and executing a project that should have taken months, we needed to figure out how to render it all in the time we had in both CG and final composites. The sheer volume of data and rendering meant almost doubling our render capacity in a matter of day.

"I've been a fan of Eminem since my teens. To know that imagery created by the team here at Blackbird was up on that huge stage in front of those artists being watched by a massive crowd at such an iconic event was surreal to say the least and definitely a career high."

To view Blackbird's current reel: click here.

For further information, contact Sam Hall: sam@blackbird.la.

5 Comments

Aus Prod Co. said:

That's huge...or as Joe Biden would say "That's a big fuckin' deal"

Well done - again shows that local talent can be up there with anyone , anywhere.

@ Aus Prod Co. said:

Sure is. But at the rate local production and agencies are slashing budgets and going in house, talent wont be here fo young. We need to support post houses, so we can stay world class.

@ Aus Prod Co. said:

Nice job guys.

And you ain't wrong there, but with big changes coming at WPP agencies it'll only get worse for post houses!

Best move for any one with talent would be overseas.

Col said:

Lucky enough to see it in the flesh - it was awesome.
Great work Nick and team.

Gav said:

Amazing work Sam, Nick and team

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