Matt Finke, founder and CEO of Loop Light, has over 20 years of experience in the live entertainment industry, specialising in the creative concept, design and delivery of projects. Having worked on large-scale multi-layer-based video systems in various fields including architectural projection, projection blends, live interaction, AR and VR, motion tracking and projection mapping technology Matt is pretty much an expert when it comes to the use of light and video as an artistic tool.
Now Matt has answered some key questions surrounding his company’s choice of AV Stumpfl in its installations.
Tell us about yourself and what led you to use AV Stumpfl?
Loop Light has been working in the video segment for 10-12 years. We always thought using video in LED or projection is another source of light. With a historically lighting design orientated focus, today our business is visual and technology event design, consulting and execution. Multimedia is an artistic tool.
We’re always looking for new possibilities, but without any barriers in using new technology. We wanted to take another player on board that gave us additional opportunities for the future. So we started using AV Stumpfl because the media server itself opened up new possibilities other than conventional video equipment. We used the media server as a creative tool. AV Stumpfl Wings Engine Raw servers are really a product that has the potential to take shows to the next level especially in terms of performance. Once we started the conversation with AV Stumpfl we immediately received training on the Wings Engine to determine the systems capabilities.
Why did you invest in Wings Engine Raw?
We’ve invested in Wings Engine Raw 4K3 servers as the perfect tool to offer this type of native playback. The system is so powerful, especially with uncompressed file formats. In our eyes, this is the best product on the market because of its high quality streaming and that’s why we chose it for our system pack.
All our staff are trained at AV Stumpfl in Austria and their training has been intensive.
Most important to us is to deliver a guaranteed qualified service.
We do have several productions coming up where we spec the system. Most are LED walls driven by uncompressed TIFF sequence 50 or 60p.
What will Wings Engine Raw enable you to achieve?
Wings Engine Raw will help us to deliver a final result which is as natural as the eye can see. However, it is not just a perfect playback system: Wings Engine Raw is a full blown media server with a lot of yet undiscovered possibilities for example featuring the innovative control network ‘Avio’ enabling us with quite endless possibilities.
A lot of creative clients are production companies. Artists and creative companies love the fact that we can use the native format.
How long did it take you to learn to use it?
We built a task force called Stumpfl Task, led by Christopher ‘Fletch’ Flügel and Timo Weinhold, who is the system programmer in the promo video ‘Every Pixel Counts’.
We chose 3 people to be on this task force and they have been in training for three weeks. They have been doing video tests and working on beta versions every day.
Can you tell me about how the media serving technology works in your business?
It affects everything. It’s a creative tool that we use for several purposes; lights, kinetic and sound. In every well-established show, it’s the core segment. You have audio, visuals and lighting all triggered and in perfect sync, it’s the core of the communication system of a modern event.
What has been your biggest influence?
I’m so technology influenced. I remember something that Bono (U2) once said, which was “every poet is a thief.” I don’t feel like an inventor. I look at the digital World around and I’m combining it with something new. I would say technology is a driving force in new creation and we are always experimenting.
What has been one of the biggest challenges you have overcome?
Every day is a challenge. For example, I’ve been filming with AV Stumpfl although we’re usually fully booked. Doing a production is fun and it’s easy, like a second nature. Getting business development done and doing the show and lighting design is in fact a second nature. We love it as it’s our core passion. However, as easy as it is to do the production, selling it can be hard.
If you can see an idea come alive and stand out, that is the biggest reward. It is our bread and butter, we know what we are doing and we’re confident.
What are some of the trends in how media applications are using media serving?
We are seeing complex integrations as an important trend. For example, integrating lighting, video, audio, kinetics, and other digital or social applications into a live show environment. Quality and reliability is core and key. Innovation really means to integrate new media into old things. You can use tools like this to connect your car to a show or game environment, or mix technologies in the event industries.
Tech wise, it’s harder to impress the audience. A candle in a room or a smile on a child impresses every human. It’s the simple things that are important, even in show control and design. You can impress audiences with less tools that you might think you need.
How is the market in Germany different from wider Europe or the US?
The US has been the cradle for show business industry. Europe is core when it comes to technology & software inventions used in the event and show industry.
What’s next for you and your company?
The most important thing is the integration of AV Stumpfl Wings Engine Raw and our cooperation with AV Stumpfl in general. We’re looking at getting it integrated and see what we can do with it. With it, we hope to reach new levels.
What will be shown at IBC?
We will be showing a promotion video, called ‘Every Pixel Counts’. It will feature real scientists and engineers working hard in developing, manufacturing and operating the Wings Engine Raw media server. It will showcase the dedication to build a media server caring not only for the big picture but where every pixel counts. We were full on shooting for 16 hours a day, from 7 in the morning to 12 at night for two days. The results of which is an experience hopefully transports this enthusiasm we see in the Wings Engine Raw system and the people who created it.