Under the creative influence of set designer Mark Fisher and lighting designer Al Gurdon, with production manager Jake Berry and video technical director Stefaan Desmedt watching over the tour on the road, Madonna's MDNA tour sports the largest video screen in the world (eight columns of Daktronics 10 mm SMD Outdoor Video LED Display), according to tour promoters.
Filling those screens with multimedia content was largely the responsibility of Moment Factory, following an acclaimed collaboration for the NFL’s Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis that featured Madonna. “The show is a theatrical journey," says Sakchin Bessette, creative director and co-founder of Moment Factory. "It goes through so many different worlds and emotions, and they are all linked together in a great way. It’s a real honor to have the chance to work so closely with Madonna. She has changed the musical landscape so profoundly, and so many times, over the course of her career.” Swedish film and music video director Jonas Akerlund and Dago Gonzalez also created some of the video content for the tour.
The team had four months to develop concepts, create designs, and produce multimedia content for songs across three acts of the production. The process required full 2D and 3D animation production as well as the coordination of multiple video shoots in India, New York, and Montreal. The artists at Moment Factory took advantage of the full potential of the screens on the set—also comprising two Winvision 875 LED Screens for stadium dates with content running through a setup of three d3 Technologies d3 HD Media Servers and six Barco FLM-HD20 projectors.
The main stage surface actually contains 36 cubes, motorized and covered with the Daktronics LED modules, that can be raised and lowered during the performance to create a constantly evolving visual environment. The results are widely varied: “Girl Gone Wild” is set in a photorealistic 3D cathedral; “I’m A Sinner” takes the audience on a kaleidoscopic train trip through India; and the grand finale, “Celebration,” is a full-throttle blast of shape, color, and movement.
“With Moment Factory, it’s never about ‘providing content;’ it’s about creating a piece, a story in itself, which is very close to my philosophy of art," says show director Michel Laprise. "Projection is a medium that employs a great deal of technology, and one of the many qualities I much appreciate from Moment Factory is the way they make it feel and look so organic, very warm. Their team has a way of working that is similar to that of a painter or a visual artist.”