When news came out yesterday that Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched and highest-rated of any in history that featured entertainment, there was celebration at Lightborne Communications, the video-production-services company in Over-the-Rhine.
Lightborne created all the animated video projections used in Perry’s 12-and-a-half-minute set, which featured a medley of abbreviated versions of her hits amid phantasmagoric and theatrical staging, costumes, videos, dancing and set design.
And while Lightborne President Scott Durban was wary about taking too much credit — lots of artists, obviously including Perry herself, were involved in the show — he did note that no other company involved in the overall production was based in Cincinnati.
Lightborne got involved because its Tour Visuals and Stage Content division already had been working on Perry’s ongoing Prismatic World Tour. (It also has done or is working on video for tours by Kanye West, Kenny Chesney and Fleetwood Mac.)
Dan Bryant, the head of that division, explained Lightborne’s involvement with Perry’s Super Bowl performance:
“We started working on the project very shortly after she was announced in October as the half-time performer,” Bryant said. “We had done over two hours of content for her Prism tour, so she was already familiar with our company and work. We got a call from her creative director, Baz Halpin, asking us to work on her Super Bowl show.
“As soon as we found out her set list, we started working with [Halpin] for some concepts that would work with the logistics and constraints of the show,” Bryant continued. “We started doing individual frames to capture the overall idea for a particular song. That process went into November. Once we arrived at a concept for each song that everybody was happy with, we started storyboarding them out to give an idea of what the flow of ideas would be for each song.
“Then in December we started doing animatics, taking all the different frames we created and stringing them out to songs in still-frame form so everybody could get an idea of what it would look like when finally animated. That took us to the middle of December,” he said.
“Then we started animating ideas to rough tracks for her Super Bowl medley. That’s when we started using a really amazing piece of software called D3. It’s simulation software, specifically designed about 10 years ago to simulate any live event on a software platform.”
Eventually, after some intermediary steps, Lightborne had a working 3D model of the University of Phoenix Stadium, the performance stage and all the key props. Its crew started loading its animations into that.
“It gave everybody on our team, including Katy herself, a really good idea of what our animated content would look like when projected onto a 160-foot diameter surface,” Bryant said. “That’s when it gets really exciting because you start seeing the idea come to life.”
In January, a four-person Lightborne team went out to Los Angeles to participate in rehearsals. A few days before the Super Bowl, everyone involved moved to Phoenix to rehearse in the actual venue.
Although everything went fine, Bryant said there was great nervousness as the actual Super Bowl game began. Lightborne was counting on some degree of darkness for Perry’s show.
“The first and second quarter went by extremely quickly, and my team on location in Phoenix and everybody else with the show was getting nervous because it was still light outside,” Bryant said. “They had the dome roof open and 15 minutes to show time it was still bright sunshine outside and the field was being hit by sunlight. Luckily some things happened in the game that had the quarter slow down, so it went off without a hitch."
Watch the full performance:
Since Christmas is next week (Thursday), there's a ton of holiday stuff to do this weekend — everything from plays and other onstage events to train displays and elves doing things.Onstage:
It's the weekend, y'all.
And as it approaches 5 p.m. on a Friday, you're probably thinking to yourself, "What should I do this weekend?" Why not try one of these …
- Sauerkraut Pizza. Made by the Order of the Eastern Star Masons, the handmade pizzas come in whole pies or slices and are topped with tomato sauce, cheese, green peppers, onions and sauerkraut.
- Cabbage Rolls. For more than 30 years, St. Augustine's Church has cooked cabbage rolls for the festival — recently, more than 10,000 per weekend. Cooked cabbage leaves are filled with ground beef, rice and spices and covered in tomato sauce.
- Sauerkraut desserts. The Waynesville Chamber of Commerce will be serving up sauerkraut pie, sauerkraut fudge, sauerkraut brownies and sauerkraut cookies.
- Sauerkraut Balls. A classic: breaded and fried sauerkraut and bacon, served by the Waynesville fire department.
- German Sundae. This is a pile of potatoes, topped with kraut, sour cream, cheese, bacon and green olive. (Recipe below.)
Most cops discourage partying and street art — not The London Police. The British art duo has been leaving their precision-meets-cartoony signature pieces across Covington throughout the past week and tonight, from 7-11 p.m. at BLDG, The London Police will reveal the sites of their work, which includes several small-scale pieces and one mural. Meet the duo, purchase their work and see them perform live as TLP Dog Singers.
The 25th Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion takes places this weekend, bringing more than 50,000 people to Sawyer Point — making it one of the city’s largest family-focused annual festivities. Events include a parade Saturday, Sunday morning service, food and retail vendors, live music, town hall meetings and much more. Go here for a full event schedule.
As students across the Tri-state prepare to head back to school, you can do your part to ensure safe, accessible sex education is available through Planned Parenthood. The organization’s fundraiser, Summer’s Over – What a Drag…Show features two drag shows with lots of performances Saturday night at The Cabaret, above Below Zero in Over-the-Rhine. The shows — featuring drag queens and kings, including RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Mystique “Bitch, I am from Chicago” Summers — begin at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students, $20 GA or $30 for both shows if purchased online ($5 at the door). All proceeds go toward sex education through Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region.
Washington Park will be abuzz this weekend, as per usual. The City Flea sets up Saturday, fulfilling all your quirky shopping needs (plus eats and drinks from local foods trucks and vendors) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Later that night at 9 p.m., it’s Date Night Movie time with Julie and Julia (which sounds more like a Date Night with Mom Movie, but we’re not judging). And Sunday is full of free performances, starting with ArtsWave’s Sundays in the Park. Cincinnati Ballet Second Company will present a free performance and dance-along at 2 and 3 p.m. To really make the most out of your day (without opening your wallet), stick around for Shakespeare in the Park at 7 p.m., where Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will present a free performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The 2013 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wraps up this weekend with final performances Friday and Saturday. If you still haven’t checked out any of the freaky, funny, unique performances in this 10th annual fest, go here to check out show reviews and find a full schedule and festival guide.
Cincinnati Rollergirls host their last home game of the season at the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday. The 'girls face Kitchener, Ontario’s Tri-City Roller Girls in a double-header that kicks off at 7 p.m. And it’s Fan Appreciation Night, so expect plenty of free CRG goodies throughout the night! Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($15/$17 for courtside seats). Happy Hour (dolla dolla beers, y’all) starts at 6 p.m. Find tickets and more info here.
Last weekend, teams of filmmakers throughout Cincinnati (and across 125 other participating cities throughout the world) participated in the 48 Hour Film Project, requiring them to write, shoot and edit a movie in just two days. On Friday, they received a movie genre, character, prop and a line of dialogue to include in the short film and the rest was up to them — the finished product had to be completed by Sunday. This Sunday, the public can check out the eclectic mix of results at the Thompson House. Screenings take place at 1:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and admission is $10 for a single screening group, $30 for the whole day.
Short Vine in Corryville is on its way to becoming the next happenin’ spot in the local arts scene. Don’t believe me? Check out the opening of 71 Gallery (2609 Vine St.) 5-10 p.m. Friday. Local artist Tony Dotson has created the space for outsider artists like himself as well as graphic designers. The gallery’s debut artist is Eye Candy Design agency’s Janet Berberich, who also works on Short Vine. Berberich also helped develop Artbeat on Short Vine, a monthly event that also kicks off Friday. Check out our feature on Dotson and Berberich here.
Date Night Movies return to Washington park Saturdays this Summer but don’t let the event name fool you — anyone can enjoy these free, open-air films. The movies run 9-11 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 17 (no movies Aug. 3-10). This week’s selection is the 1954 mystery classic, Rear Window. Go here for a full lineup of summer events at Washington Park.
Photography’s bad boy, Tyler Shields, returns
to Cincinnati for another exhibit at Miller Gallery, kicked off with an opening
reception in Over-the-Rhine Friday. Known for his controversial celebrity
photos, Shields last exhibited at Miller Gallery in October as part of
FotoFocus. Now he’s back showing off his latest collection of photos, Suspense, featuring images of people
falling, floating and flipping across striking backgrounds. Friday’s opening is
a pop-up gallery party at the Hanke Building (1130 Main St., OTR). VIP $50
tickets grant 8 p.m. admission, free valet parking, an open bar and photo op
with Shields. General admission from 9 p.m.-midnight is $10 and includes three
drink tickets. It’s
sure to be a super party and a great chance to brush shoulders with the “who’s
who” of the art community. Proceeds benefit Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit with the
mission to photograph every child with cancer until every child is cured. Buy tickets here or bring cash at the door.
Across the river in Newport, Powerhouse Factories celebrates music festival season with a Summer Shindig Friday. Enjoy live music from The Pinstripes, a great view from Powerhouse’s patio, great deals on the factory’s excellent assortment music posters (BOGO half-off) and frosty beers from MadTree Brewery. The free party runs 6 p.m.-midnight.
The Fringe Festival continues this weekend
(through June 8), with plenty of original, unusual and just plan weird theater performances throughout the city. Go here
for performance reviews, a complete
festival schedule and the official festival guide. And getcho Fringe on!
The 46th annual Summerfair takes over Coney Island Friday-Sunday. This festival, one of the oldest continuous art fairs in the country, features more than 300 fine artists, crafters, youth arts organizations and performers exhibiting and selling photographs, pottery, textiles, jewelry and much more.
Are you a Shark or a Jet? A Greaser or a Soc? A Mod or a Rocker? Do you rock a scooter or a motorcycle? Either way, folks from “both sides of the tracks” will come together this weekend for the Queen City Mods & Rockers Rally, a weekend-long event to promote unity between both types of motor enthusiasts. Events include family-friendly rides, a pin-up girl contest, a bike rally, happy hour, a group breakfast and more. A $30 pass gets you admission to all the three-day events. Go here for more info.
It’s no secret that Northside is the city’s premiere taco destination. The neighborhood welcomes its third taco joint Friday with the grand opening of Barrio Tequileria. This latest addition comes from the folks behind popular food truck Taco Azul and will specialize in authentic Mexican/L.A.-style street food, tequila and mezcal. Doors open Friday at 5 p.m. and they’ll be serving up tacos and drinks until 2 a.m. Check them out on Facebook.
installment of Macy’s Art Sampler Weekend takes place Saturday. Enjoy free art
activities and performances all day in venues across Greater Cincinnati,
including: tours and music at the Contemporary Arts Center, Hip-Hop, spoken
word and crafts at the Taft Museum of Art, belly-dancing, toe-shoe performances
and Kung-Fu at the Cincinnati Ballet and an Amazing Arts Race from ArtsWave
Young Professionals. The sampler send with a Sock-Hop in Washington Park
featuring Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's Marvelous Wonderettes. Look up the full
schedule by event, venue or category here.
Contemporary Dance Theater celebrates 40 years of bringing modern dance to Cincinnati with the FORTY40Gala Saturday. The evening includes music and dance performances, retrospective displays and videos, a silent auction, complementary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, all in the historic Emery Theatre. Go here to read our interview with CDT’s founder, Artistic Director and CEO, Jefferson James.
Have you been waiting for the opportunity to let you inner Maverick shine? Well, grab your aviators, zip up that jumpsuit and fly on out to SkateTown USA’s Top Gun-themed “Roller SK80s” party Saturday. Whether you’re a regular rollergirl or you haven’t skated since the actual ‘80s, there will be enough fun to go around with music, a photobooth and an all-you-can-drink bar (dangerous much?). Admission is just $10, which includes skate rental and drinks, and proceeds benefit Disabled American Veterans. The party runs 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. and word is there will be a shuttle to a hotel after-party. Go here for details, directions and tips on finding some prime ‘80s garb.
The Cincinnati Museum Center wraps up its Passport to the World series with this weekend’s Asian Culture Fest. Visitors will travel across China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Nepal via cultural displays, hands-on workshops, music and dance performances, an authentic Asian marketplace and much more. The fest runs Saturday-Sunday. Find a full event schedule here.
As part of that initiative, the city of Cincinnati on Tuesday announced an agreement signed by Cincinnati city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. as well as city managers of Newport and Covington, Ky., agreeing to allow licensed taxicabs to freely commute and transport passengers across city lines from July 1-15. This differs from normal taxi law, in which a Covington driver who picked up passengers in Covington and transported them to Cincinnati, for example, would be barred from picking up another group of passengers within Cincinnati limits, instead required to go back to Covington to seek business.
Licensed taxi drivers who wish to take part of the integrated system are required to attend a "Hospitality Session" hosted by the City of Cincinnati, which will offer recommendations for interacting with international visitors and offer drivers World Choir Games schedule information. With completion of the session, drivers will earn a purple World Choir Games placard for their car, signifying their ability to commute across the river.
In May, City Council voted to approve a number of changes to the Cincinnati taxi system, to be implemented over a series of three stages, beginning July 1 to coincide with the influx of the World Choir Games. Changes included increased fares, an expanded arsenal of taxi stands and improved signage.
Today is also the kick-off of American Craft Beer Week. That’s a thing! Cincinnati has a rich brewing history, so it’s no surprise that local watering holes are celebrating the creation and consumption of delicious craft beer. Tonight, Arnold’s taps Bell’s Third Coast Ale — one of two fifth-barrels in the entire city. Find Arnold’s full ACBW schedule here.
The Crazy Fox in Newport hosts open mic and all-night happy hour every Monday. All musicians are welcome to perform in a friendly atmosphere, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The Seedy Seeds’ Margaret Darling guest hosts this week.
It's Only A Day Away
Tomorrow, Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati. Help raise awareness about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati from 5-10 p.m. There will be live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and more, for $5 at the door.
This American Life presented a live cinema event last Thursday that featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual elements. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, a hilarious short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. The theater in Newport where I watched the show was far too empty — I found the show more entertaining than any movie in theaters right now! Those who missed out have another chance to check out the program in theaters Tuesday. Sure, it will be a recording of the live show, but the charm and excitement of the live format will surely shine through. Without spoiling anything, the stories they were able to assemble were killer: laugh-out-loud, misty-eyed, thought-provoking TAL goodness.
Be sure to download this free app before you go — the TAL crew pulled some strings to allow audiences to use their phones at one point in the performance. Go here to find nearby theaters screening the show tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Can I gush any more? No. It’s worth the $20 ticket. Please go.
Ricky, Julian and Bubbles bring the trailer park to town for
a night tomorrow! For those unfamiliar, Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian
mockumentary-style comedy series and movies that has developed a
cult following over the past decade. It’s white trash hilarity at its finest.
If last year’s live show was any indication, Tuesday’s “Community Service Variety
Show” is sure to bring the LOLs. Buy tickets here.