We’re still buzzing from an amazing night at the NME awards in Brixton last week. And what a night it was. From inspired performances by Bastille, Skepta, Wiley and Dua Lipa to a suitably honoured ‘Godlike Genius Award’ for the Pet Shop Boys. The evening ended on a high with a dance set from the electronic duo complete with a spectacular ‘get your hands up in the air’ laser fest.

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Our contribution to the night started 6 weeks ago when approached by our friends at Reality to create the on-screen content to run throughout the entire show. Immediately inspired by the brief to create 16 glitchy, typographic animations introducing each category we got straight to work on our ideas. We took a very collaborative approach to the brief as each category had to feel different to the next. We explored a variety of techniques to create an 8-bit feel to our work. This ranged from hand drawn type, repetition techniques and inverting to dragging printouts of text across a scanner and digitising it again.

Our animations would need to work across a huge 55 x 27ft LED screen backdrop, plus 8 walk up LED columns and another large portrait LED screen behind the presenter. We encountered a few challenges with the screens along the way. Mainly working with a high res LED which sat in a smaller pitched LED backdrop. Our Technical Director Joe McLaughlin spent a day at PRG XL Video in Hemel Hempstead configuring our graphics to the screens.

There were some interesting resolution issues which we worked through with team at PRG XL. The modular LED panels meant they could integrate a higher-resolution area in the huge screen to run the nomination videos as crisp as possible but switch to our low-fi graphic treatment using a cheeky ‘patch’ to knock out pixels for the full screen typographic moments. It went against everything we know to do this but it worked really well…”

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Our work on site began 3 days before the event with our Motion Graphics Designer Jamie Thodesen being on hand to adjust any last minute changes and re-render out.

“It was an amazing opportunity being backstage for the setup of the NME Awards. The crew worked tirelessly for three days and it’s astonishing to see just how much work goes into the setup of an event this size. Seeing our graphics come to life on the big screen during rehearsals after so much hard work really brought home just how striking the final result was going to be on the night. We had a few last minute finishing touches to make but we wrapped it all up in time, and the show ran seamlessly on the night and looked fantastic!”

We’ve had an overwhelming response from Alice at Reality and the team at NME.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your hard work making the graphics. They looked fantastic on the screens and the client was really really pleased with how it all worked. Special thanks to Jamie for being on site and making all the changes we need once we saw it on screen. We’d love to do it with you guys again. Yes please!!”.

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On the night the graphics looked awesome if we do say so ourselves. We felt so proud to have been part of such a great night and hope to continue working closely with the team at Reality and NME.

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