London event series Anomalia first appeared on the capital’s underground party scene in November last year.
Since then it has established itself as one of the most exciting and forward thinking events in the country. Why? Well the night has a focus on fully immersive audio-visual experiences. Its mission is to provoke the senses and evoke your deepest emotions, send your spirit soaring and bring your heart to places it’s never been before.
Musical and visual storytelling always characterise each event, and themes so far have included Alice in Wonderland as well as party focused on Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist with a body of work spanning five decades. That is the event next up on March 3rd at the Steelyard London with Audiofly, BLOND:ISH, Maher Daniel, and Yacine Dessouki. Here, we speak with Graphics eMotion President Julien Abril, and the guys who create immersive multimedia experiences at events and festivals worldwide.
“I’m personally a HUGE FAN of Miyazaki’s work, as goes for the team here in Montreal, so when I learned he will be the inspiration, well I knew ANOMALIA Chapter 2 would be insane!”
How long have you been doing it, how did you get to this point, what skills and experience do you have?
We founded Graphics eMotion (GeM) 6 years ago, I became the president with my two partners Nadir and Hassan, but over all I have 11 years in CG world and productions, a huge background in the film industry VFX, and video game industry VFX.
I think my first VJ gig was during Coachella festival in 2006, in a huge hotel where the VIPs and Artists were coming to party after the festival shows, I ended up VJing live, in Improvisation mode during an improvise set of Daft Punk, it was a crazy 45 minutes.
And does the company have a unique style or approach to design that stands you out?
We always approach a project with 2 main objectives, 1/ find the best and hide the technologies to create magic, and 2/ Create a strong narrative that people can relate on, to make them travel and make them feel emotions
Tell us about your working process, where does it start, what steps are taken to get to the end?
It always begins with a discussion and a will to imagine with the artists, musicians, creators, then we start to envision what will be the story we want to tell together, visually, then which kind of technology can support it, finally be sure that the implementation of the concept is perfectly done. Oh yeah having fun in the process too!
Do you work to a brief or have freedom to create whatever you want?
Depends with who, where and when, for ANOMALIA, the production team believed in our work, since the first call, and really let us create and dream crazy about their project, which is the best, based on trust and respect and again a lot of fun !
What tools do you use, is it all digital or is there any analogue, physical work you do as part of the process?
We use mainly cg world software for creation Adobe suite (photoshop/afterFX/illustrator, etc), C4D and other 3D software (for all 3d content)
Tell us about your work for Anomalia – what have you created, what the aim and back story?
For the first edition, we went down the rabbit hole with Alice, and made the audience feel that they were living an adventure through the eyes of the blue dressed girl of Disney, basically approaching each aspect of the story, trying to recreate each part of the narrative, also highlighting the “main characters” the mad hatter, the cat, the queen & the caterpillar.
How have you reacted the art to Hayao Miyazaki exactly? Is there direct correlation?
I’m personally a HUGE FAN of Miyazaki’s work, as goes for the team here in Montreal, so when I learned he will be the inspiration, well I knew ANOMALIA Chapter 2 would be insane! I’ve seen all of studio Ghibli movies, I love the stories, the fantasy, colors, characters and magical worlds, a limitless source of inspiration for guys like us.
What should people expect and be excited about at this event?
Well, I can assure you that they will be transported somewhere else, to a place between dream and reality 😉 the Team and I are specially happy to work in partnership with the super Talented Pao Lopez, from Colombia, who is taking care of all the physical decor, we’ve had the chance to work with her in different places in the world such as Tulum, Saint Maarten, Paris, London…our creations fit perfectly together.
Do you think visuals and immersive experiences are the future of dance music events, or will they remain special one off occasions?
I think that immersivity and story telling have always been part of the dance music events, starting long time ago, in the caves where the visuals were shadows from camp fire, and our ancestors were dancing on drums beats, fire flames are now video projectors and LED lights, but we are humans after all and the same instincts remain today, just a lot more high tech!
Anomalia Chapter 2 takes place this Friday at The Steelyard London. For more of a peak on what to expect check out the official aftermovie from Anomalia Chapter 1 below
Images: LarryJ Photography