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GRiZ’s ‘Rainbow Brain’ the movie proves online A/V adventures are far from over [Interview]

At first, online streams and digital music festivals arose out of necessity, as a way to fill the absence of live music that so many fans of the EDM community were desperately craving. But today, the digital platforms that artists have used to convey their art are evolving from a temporary necessity to an extremely popular, growing, and perhaps, permanent commodity. 

Currently, the industry is left with a bevy of production groups, artists, and organizations who have gained some incredible skills and established a framework to make these online, virtual performances better and better. And perhaps one of the latest and greatest examples of how virtual streams and digital performances have evolved is with GRiZ’s Rainbow Brain the movie, an online spectacle he released in culmination with his Rainbow Brain album. 

The movie, which is essentially a beginning-to-end mix of GRiZ’s Rainbow Brain album, accompanied by an entrancing visual spectacle, features some of the most astounding production features to be levied in the virtual sector to date – some of which draw similarities to Porter Robinson’s Nurture live set that dropped earlier on in 2021. 

GRiZ and his team didn’t take any shortcuts in procuring this incredible spectacle. And with this venture, GRiZ has set the bar regarding what it takes to promote a music release to its fullest capacity. Now, the industry will wait to see if any other artists and creatives follow suit with this new and ambitious avenue of online audio-visual exploration.

As viewers can easily see, this A/V spectacle is mesmerizing beyond belief. Conscious Electronic got the chance to chat with Natalia Janusz who works for Dark Moon Designs, one of the production firms that helped contribute to the curation of the event. Dark Moon Designs is well known for its procurations at Electric Forest and the Ocular Organ, so any fans familiar with those spectacles are sure to know how far the talents of its team stretch.

CE: What is Dark Moon Designs?

Natalia (DMD): We’re a scenic fabrication company in Longmont, CO! We build scenic elements for music artists’ shows and music festivals in general. Generally, we’re known to make custom builds and interactions for various clients. We have a few art installations in-house that tour festivals and many know us with our involvement with Electric Forest and the Ocular Organ.

CE: What was your involvement with Rainbow Brain the movie?

Natalia: Paul and I were the fabrication designers. We were approached to make two more LED rings and modify the existing third one. Pretty soon the Echo Tree came into the picture and we designed and built that for GRiZ! He had the idea in the first place and wanted to see if it was possible. We workshopped the installation with Voyage Productions a good bit before we went into production.

CE: What did GRiZ have in mind when he and his team came to you with this project?

Natalia: Really it was just a simple idea of a light-up tree! The tree was envisioned as a weeping willow, with the trunk being 10′ tall. We ran with those details and came up with what you saw on the screen. Our main contact was with Kyle Kegan and Ian Davis with Voyage Productions, so the overall creative design was driven by those two.

CE: What were the hardest parts of the production?

Natalia: Getting it all done in time for sure. We used every single skill in our book and learned a couple more to get both the tree and rings show-ready. It was a pretty tight timeline so we had to offload some passive work (3D printing and such) to Brown Note Productions and call in some labor to help on various parts of the project. Staying focused and being aware of our deadlines were key.

CE: What were the most satisfactory parts of the production?

Natalia:  Loading it into Mission Ballroom and seeing it with the rest of the production for the first time was definitely the most fun. Lots of people knew that a 13′ tall tree was to be loaded in and one of the first renderings was what people only knew it by. It was exciting to get it in space and have people be awed by it. The entire shoot was intriguing to see.

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