Melissa Weigel – STORY

Melissa Weigel

Melissa Weigel

Director of Multimedia | Moment Factory

And this was my reaction to learning what Melissa Weigel and Moment Factory get to do. Please everyone, stop, stare, watch and take it all in.

This summer I started to think more about immersive art and entrainment experiences. Film is naturally a passive entertainment, but are there ways where you can make people stop and stare in awe. A really well crafted and acted story can do that – The Way Way Back did that for me. A giant IMAX screen with amazing visuals literally envelops you in the story – Gravity, anyone? An event like Secret Cinema in England where the story is recreated in real life – check out this Secret Cinema event for Grand Budapest Hotel. The Disney theme parks puts you in that world. (Go to California Adventure park and wander around the Bugs Life world, you will feel like a bug, or walk through Cars Land – it will stop and turn you around in amazement.) My guess is a live event like Cirque du Soleil would do that too. Or please go stand at the Grand Canyon and just let yourself be swept away by the sheer vastness of it.

Then there’s what the Moment Factory gets to do. I’ve spent the majority of my life working with technology and assisting with the orchestration of live events and services. Moment Factory takes those same technology elements (projectors, developers, code, art, photography, timing, scheduling) and hides them so that they become the backbone of a world that they create. The technology is hidden so that the world seems to appear through magic. Technology in a sense is magic anyway.

Michelle Weigel talked about several of their projects, but my favorite concept was the way they incorporated technology into a forest. Their client was trying to get more people to visit this forest in Canada. So the forest became their canvas to tell a story to attract visitors. There is a video below.

And as a side note, it’s fun to see a female in that role.

My choppy notes are below.

New media arts and entertainment studio. Offices in Canada and a new office in LA.

Culture of spontaneity and fun. Sharing and support.

NIN concert and an interactive exhibit at the children’s hospital.

Non traditional use of video and seamless integration of mediums. Hide the technology to eliminate distractions from the emotions trying to illicit.

Stay crazy. Be professional and deliver on time but be creative and crazy.

Focus on collective experience.

We do it in public.

Individuals have their own unique experience within a collective experience.

Audience + spaces + digital media = new forms of communication

Experience design. Each person will have their own experience. Use sensory and visual cues to communicate instead of words.

Architecture, cinema, video game design, etc… Merging together

Foresta Lumina

Show and site specific installation

Hide technology so it seems like magic. They used the forest as the canvas.

Live Shows

Creating a living memory to experience. Expectations grow and the need for collaboration is necessary. Every job is important.

Madonna MDNA Tour

Musical theater on steroids. Choreography above stage and below.

Bridge the technology and the story.

Visual content helps tell the story but let Madonna still be the center of attention.

Hurry Up and Wait

Everything happens in some organized chaos. Use your imagination to fill in the blanks.