The Playgroundsfestival was a joy. Hidden in the little town of Tilburg, the festival had great speakers and good talks. With talks from: Edouard Salier, Mate Steinforth, Physalia, Encyclopedia Pictura, Ben & Julia, David Wilson, Spread Motion, Heyheyhey, Matt Lambert, Studio Takt, Tokyoplastic, David Wilson, DVEIN, Kyle Cooper and Onesize there was never a dull moment.
And of course there are the titles. It seems to become more and more important for a festival to have good titles. It’s like a pissing contest. Festivals compete in the coolest, biggest and most creative title. After the Offf 2011 titles it would be hard to go bigger, so Leon van Rooij (festival director) must have thought: ‘let’s be creative’. He was playing with the idea of doing ‘live’ titles. A titleshow so to speak. He contacted creative design studio HeyHeyHey and they were more then happy to go to work.
It was great fun to see the unsuspecting speakers present themselves without really knowing what was going on. The show was on thursday, recorded, edited and played back on friday. Of course ‘you had to be there’, but still, the end result is pretty funny and a totally new take on festival titles.
Erik Sjouerman of Studio HeyHeyHey about the process:
Playgrounds Festival asked us in August 2011 to make the title sequence for their 2011 edition.
The brief was basically this: ‘please make the titles for Playgrounds 2011 but do it in such a way that it’s more than just a video, it needs to be a ‘you-should-have-been-there’ moment’.
HEYHEYHEY is ‘a design studio with a special interest in whatever comes to our attention’ (so says our website) and even though we were a bit scared by the possibilities of this assignment we knew we’d be able to come up with something more or less doable. We like to create, what we call, ‘supermoments’ and this might become one of them.
Our first ideas ranged from “something like the Muppet Show” to Real Life 3D that needed real viewer-participation, and after we gave it some more thought we realized that we were A. On a very, very tight budget, and B. We pretty much needed to do it all by ourselves.
The end result was a set that resembled a sitcom wherein we would ‘process’ most of the speakers and have them -without knowing beforehand- act out their own titles. This needed to be done as live as possible and we had to record everything so we could edit an actual video of the whole thing a day later.
The biggest problems we encountered were mostly on the production side: what we wanted had to fit in Playgrounds’ very tight day schedule and we needed a bunch of people who’d actually do the processing of the speakers. On top of that there were loads of issues with the cameras (we couldn’t just rent extra stuff) and everybody from production to lighting at the venue had to be briefed and on board.
After all the preparations we had just one day to practice all scenes with a team of people we never met before. Luckily everybody pulled through and, with the help of Playgrounds it all worked out in the end.
We can safely say this performance/ video is one of the weirdest and most stresfull things we did so far. We’re really happy with the end result and the fact that everybody, from audience and speakers to our janitors seemed to enjoy these crazy 5 minutes.
Production and Concept: HeyHeyHey
Opening animation: Heerko Groefsema
Music: Studio Takt
Brass Band: De Koppersnellers
Camera: students Zoomvlietcollege
THANKS! Leon, Joris, Fons, Heerko, Diderik, Bram, Sander, Wessel, Wouter, Brecht, Bram, Emma, Jonas, Jeroen, Rik, Koos, Bas, David, Niek, all the Playgrounds speakers and the audience.