The 20th Annual BET Awards were held virtually this year and was broadcast on the CBS Television Network. Nominees Summer Walker and Usher delivered an intimate, yet socially distanced performance, with the singers appearing in living room sets. The backdrop for their performance came in the form of pastel projection mapping, driven by a disguise vx 4 media server, provided by LMG Touring in Las Vegas.
The BET Awards marked the 40th anniversary of Black Entertainment Television and celebrated achievements in music, sports, TV and films. Musical performances were pre-recorded with live vocals and rolled into the live virtual show hosted by Amanda Seales.
For the Summer-Usher performance, Summer appeared first in a pink-hued living room with moving pink clouds projected behind her. After a few bars from her track ‘Session 32’ she began singing ‘Come Thru,’ which samples Usher’s ‘You Make Me Wanna’ from 1997. Then Usher was revealed in a separate blue-toned living room set with a backdrop of blue clouds before he walked across the space between sets to join Summer in her environment.
Initially, LMG Touring was prepared to provide an audio rehearsal package for Summer’s band rehearsals at its Las Vegas facility, but LMG’s involvement quickly grew to encompass hosting the entire shoot for producer Happy Place TV and providing a projection mapping package for both sets less than 48 hours before the event. A disguise Rental Partner, LMG upgraded all of its disguise media servers to vx 4 systems last year.
“The art direction of the video shoot was a blank canvas of projection, including light-colored furniture, with all talent and the set lit by video content,” explains Josh Spodick, the disguise Media Server Programmer at LMG Touring. “We used disguise’s projection mapping ability to properly light the different pieces of furniture and the talent from different angles without seeing odd cuts and shadows from different projectors. We used timecode embedded in the playback tracks to ensure the content was the same for each take and from each camera angle.”
We were very thankful for disguise’s ability to adjust color on specific pieces of content as well as on an entire projection surface in order to boost and grade colors for camera.
Josh Spodick, disguise Media Server Programmer at LMG Touring
LMG Account Executive Juliana Stern notes that, “the disguise Visualiser enabled the producers to see the set while it was being built, which was very helpful” with the production’s fast turnaround.
They “were amazed to see the 3D model of the set in disguise before anything was constructed,” echoes Josh. “The producers were able to look at content selection choices and timings while the carpenters kept working.”
“Once the previs was ready they were good to go,” adds Craig Mitchell, LMG’s Managing Director/Touring. “The client trusted our experience and expertise to come up with a technology solution for the production, and the disguise toolset was perfect for this application. disguise not only offered Visualiser but also fantastic built-in projection mapping tools and VFC cards for easy output to the projectors.”
The shoot went smoothly with “no issues,” Craig reports. “disguise had the toolset to pull off the visuals and deliver a great show.”