See more photos, a video-demo and making of below.
Ode To Life
Every year, the City of Barcelona chooses a foreign city to spotlight during its biggest festivities of the year, the Mercè Festival. Montreal was chosen in 2012. In response to this honor, the City of Montreal asked Moment Factory to create an original multimedia show to be projected on the Sagrada Familia Basilica’s Nativity façade, a worldwide architectural icon. Moment Factory’s team of multimedia artists, led by director Nelson de Robles and producer Johanna Marsal, started to work on this unique project in May 2012, just 4 months before the big event.
From the very beginning the architectural mapping show on the Sagrada Familia promised to be a great challenge. Logistically, three authorities had to approve the project at every stage of its development: the City of Montreal, the City of Barcelona and the Sagrada Familia Committee. This meant that Moment Factory’s team had to always keep in mind the needs of three distinct groups of people. Another constant consideration in the creative process was to work in compliance with the historical aspects of the building, including all the sensibility for the content and the technical on site installation it implied.
Inspiration and Storyline
While researching the Sagrada Familia and its architect, Antoni Gaudi, we found a series of beautiful preliminary sketches he made of his Basilica completely colored. That is when Gaudi’s passion for nature and color became our central inspiration for both the story and design. Following these researches a timeless and universal concept emerged for us: the Creation of the world. For the narrative structure, we considered the mystical aspect of the Basilica and chose to divide our story in 7 acts, in reference to the 7 days of the Creation. By starting our story with the drawings of Gaudi we could be inspired by his vision: we realized Gaudi’s dream of seeing his church in color.
Technique and Technology
Our team of multimedia artists created a show using 2D and 3D animations, and created multiple optical illusion effects. Technically speaking the architectural complexity of the Sagrada Familia makes this, by far, the most detailed building Moment Factory has covered in light and projection. To achieve the precise mapping that was needed to successfully highlight and animate the architectural details of the intricate facade, we used our proprietary software called X-Agora. The system allowed us to map and visualize video content on a virtual 3D model, permitting seamlessly integrated video projections, moving lights and textured lighting effects on the organic and modular façade of the Basilica. Thanks to the never-ending construction of the Basilica, we were able to end the show by dropping 1800 LED butterflies from its cranes, for a magical final touch.
In every experience we create we start with the public in mind. With Ode To Life, we wanted to celebrate with the Barcelonians, to demonstrate Montreal’s creativity and to create a bond between these two regions. We wanted to leave a positive impression of Montreal’s participation to the 2012 Mercè Festival and to convey a message of joy and hope. The Mayor of Barcelona confirmed that we achieved that goal: he mentioned, in an interview, that our show gave hope to his citizens in this time of the Catalonian crisis.
The public’s reaction was unanimous: after every performance, the public turned toward the control booth to applaud our team. A total of 113 000 people came to see our show over the weekend. To prolong the enjoyment, we produced a video that we shared on the web. It was very successful: in the first month, the video was featured on 234 websites and viewed almost 190 000 times in 147 different countries.
For us, the process of creating the first video mapping show for the Sagrada Familia was a beautiful adventure that we will never forget.
Executive Producer : Éric Fournier
Producer : Johanna Marsal
Multimedia Director: Nelson de Robles
Scriptwriter : Mareike Lenhart
Creative Director : Sakchin Bessette
Technology Director : Dominic Audet
Creative Collaborators : Dominic Champagne et Brigitte Poupart
Music Composers : Anthony Rozankovic et Misteur Valaire
Lighting Designer : Gabriel Pontbriand
Lighting Engineer: Dominic Lemieux
Technical Directior : Alexis Bluteau
Original Idea : Jacques Renaud (RENAUD – Architecture d’événements)
Projectionist : Francois David Gagnon
Sound Designer: Jean-Michel Caron
Project Coordinator : Geneviève Isabelle Michaud
Motion Designers : Fabricio Lima, Charlotte Risch, Aude Guivarc’h
Graphic Designers : Frederic Cordier, Joanna Czadowska, Gabo Gesualdi