UV/FX produces Dual-Image Backdrops for Southern Comfort’s underCOVER™ concert tour
When Mowalla Productions was looking to give their client Southern Comfort an exciting look to their underCOVER™ concert tour, they contacted UV/FX. The 2009 SoCo sponsored 10 city tour featuring Polyphonic Spree, The Hold Steady, and Ghostland Observatory needed a brand-oriented look that wouldn’t sacrifice the wow-factor. Whitney Fitzpatrick, Allison Knapp, and Jim Dorroh of Chicago-based Mowalla Productions wanted to tour with a flexible and light-weight scenic system that packed a visual punch. Not wanting to compromise, they became interested in UV/FX’s brand of dual-image soft good scenery for the touring concert stage. The UV/FX Dual Image allows for two scenes to be incorporated into only one piece of scenery!
UV/FX brought in scenic designer Jon Craine to collaborate on the piece. Craine (www.crainedesign.com) has been a frequent collaborator of UVFX over the years due to his in-depth knowledge of designing with ultraviolet sensitive materials for stage, television, and themed environments.
Craine worked with the brand and Mowalla to develop visual imagery that could be applied to a series of soft goods, including a 15’h x 20’w backdrop and two sets of 15’h downstage legs. Although the schedule was aggressive, Craine and UV/FX were up to the task, thanks to their experience and efficient working relationship. Craine provided a series of concept artwork based on the brand’s art direction. Southern Comfort was looking for an image that was inspired by modern rock poster art, yet was true to the brand’s identity. Working within the parameters of the Southern Comfort brand was particularly important considering that the imagery Craine developed would also be applied to marketing and advertising materials.
Craine eventually hit on the concept of a Southern Comfort-inspired city built upon the popular tenants of music. Craine used the recognizable Southern Comfort bottle (which he wasn’t allowed to alter) as the central unifying compositional device around which the city grew. The music city featured a collage of speaker tower “buildings” and guitar necks rising around the giant Southern Comfort bottle “tower”. The name of the heavily branded tour, underCOVER™, was featured on a scrolling banner that grounded the entire composition.
The imagery was applied to a central backdrop and modified for application to the downstage legs, which had to be designed to be rigged either horizontally or vertically depending upon the venue. The scenery was produced by UV/FX artist Rhett Butler using their custom line of clear, ultraviolet-sensitive scenic paints. Completely transparent under regular colored stage lighting, the paints are colorful and brilliant when viewed under ultraviolet lighting!
Look for the underCOVER™ tour coming to a city near you!