Microsoft KeynotE Set Build

Overview:

The Custom Made team were briefed by our agency client who needed our technical expertise to finalise a set build for a Microsoft Keynote address in Sydney.

With the modern-day restrictions resulting from the global pandemic, the digital space has become an essential tool for corporate communication. Typically an event of this nature would be staged at a hotel conference centre, with thousands in attendance. Not any more!  We were tasked with dressing up a studio set for the filming of a keynote address to be live broadcast over the internet.

Custom Made liaised with the studio and agency teams to develop a set that was sympathetic to the required camera angles and prominent digital screen centrepiece. With Microsoft having such a strong, well known brand, the challenge for our team was to bring this to life in a studio environment.

Using the combined resources of the agency artists and our extensive supply network, we developed a solution that combined 3D elements and striking print to create a vibrant backdrop for the broadcast. Combined with the studio lighting, the 3D elements took on a life of their own as the perfect accompaniment to the presenters on-stage. There was certainly no doubt this was all about Microsoft!

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Design and Planning:

Initially planning to use the digital LED screens provided by the studio, we realised that while they would be vibrant, they wouldn't be dominant in the studio space. This led us to develop a concept that involved the use of large, static elements that would compliment the digital screen centrepieces.

Using the Microsoft logo and assets as a starting point, the design evolved into the creation of large wing panels with a profile cut to suit the Microsoft artwork asset, along with some 3D logos carved from large foam blocks. These elements allowed us to maximise the use of the studio space and offer an exceptional on-screen impact. The combination of the movement on the LED screen and the clever pattern design on the wing panels provides a strong contrast that presented beautifully when viewed through the camera lens.

As we were planning and producing for a studio environment, we needed to ensure the design and execution of the build was sympathetic to being viewed through a camera. This meant considering all of the variables that are involved: studio lighting, camera angle, presenter locations, and depth-of-field, among other things. This required us to draw on different expertise to ensure we had the boxes ticked, with many decisions made in consultation with the studio production team.

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Production and Logistics:

Production of the elements themselves was relatively straightforward given the level of planning that had gone into the design. With that said, it was extremely important to execute the build to the highest standard as the studio lighting is unforgiving to any imperfections!

Using vector logo files, a combination of hot-wire cutting and 5-axis routing, and a few coats of paint, our team were able to produce the most striking logo elements. The Microsoft logo was 3.6m wide! This created an exceptionally dominant look and feel for the brand.

 

The large wing panels were constructed by our in=house carpentry team, using a combination of timber and aluminium materials. Our Brandframe set panels are re-usable for many backdrop elements, which makes them both a cost effective and environmentally efficient alternative to the single-use elements typically used in these situations. Our print team used our wide-format latex ink machines to produce the vibrant print that was applied to the backdrops.

With the entire filming program taking place on a single day, our installation team was on-site early to assemble the components. Testament to the planning and production of the elements, our team were able to complete the installation in under two hours, allowing the rest of the production and studio team to stay on their strict schedule!

Now safely bumped-out, the elements are in our storage facility ready for use in future Microsoft filming and activation events!

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