Stimulated kicked off 2009 in the UK where we helped launch the Pussycat Dolls “Doll Domination” world tour. The videos we created for the Dolls included original design and animation looks for 25 songs. We also created an opening fantasy film in which the Dolls soared around the world on motorcycles, bringing their brand of glitz and glam to every locale they passed through.
Also in January, we were proud to serve at one the official Presidential Inaugural events being held in Washington DC. “We Are The Future: The Kids Inaugural” was a special concert event televised live on The Disney Channel. Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Jonas Bros. performed before an audience of military children. The sell-out crowd included the incoming first families. To make this event even more special for the kids, we let elementary school children depict their hope for the future though artwork, and turned their original drawings into video animation used during the performances.
Robb Wagner worked with VH1 on their live concert special, “Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash”, featuring Fall Out Boy and Rihanna. Wagner rejoined his team at Stimulated in Burbank to work with Kanye West, and an amazingly talented creative team on “VH1 Storytellers”. Later in February, Wagner worked with ABC as Associate Director of the 81st Annual Academy Awards Red Carpet Special.
Stimulated began its creative work on the 2009 MTV Movie Awards in March. We were excited to collaborate with MTV and Eminem on his comeback performance. The live show aired on May 31st to a highly rated audience. Executive Producer, Mark Burnett provided the following comment:
“Robb, Please pass onto your team how impressed I was with this year’s show. You guys put so much work in and your artists are so talented. I honestly love your work. -M”
On the morning after the Movie Awards we began principal photography on “The Dome Project”, which was our working title for the short films and visual effects sequences we were producing for Michael Jackson’s planned “This Is It” concert tour. We shot these state of the art films over the next two weeks, taking over three full sound stages in Culver City. Michael Jackson’s vision for the films included 3D, which would have been a first-ever experience for concertgoers.
We were in concert production rehearsal at the Staples Center when we suddenly and tragically lost our friend, colleague, and leader. We were so proud and honored to help make Michael Jackson’s memorial service fitting and memorable tribute.
In the weeks following Michael Jackson’s passing, the fate of the “Dome Project” was uncertain. The films were incomplete, but we knew in our hearts Michael’s fans deserved to appreciate the work he wanted to put forth at his comeback tour. Michael’s Co-Director, Kenny Ortega felt the same way, and when Sony agreed to let him tell the story of “This Is It”, he made sure the Dome Project was part of the story.
Sony Pictures asked Stimulated to finish the films and visual effects sequences. Working closely with Sony, AEG, and Kenny Ortega, we completed the work that Michael Jackson had started. Much of the work can be seen in Sony’s feature film, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It.” To date, moviegoers have not been able to experience the highly developed stereoscopic 3D, which was designed to project on a 90 by 30 foot LED screen set directly behind Michael’s concert stage. The screen was innovative, and would have been the first of its kind, treating concert audiences to a 3D experience.
Michael’s fans have now been treated to excerpts and behind the scenes footage from “The Dome Project” thanks to “This Is It.” How fans will be able to view the state of the art films in their entirety is still unknown. This work was intended to be part of one of the most exciting entertainment events possible, a Michael Jackson concert. The fans deserve their chance to appreciate The Dome Project, and we have no doubt that time will come.
The following is from Director, Kenny Ortega:
“Robb – I appreciate the incredible and loving investment you and everyone you invited on to our project made. It has been such a privilege. I have all along appreciated your openness and willingness to do everything within your ability to serve Michael and I at the highest level. You accomplished this in spades. I love you and hope we have many years and projects ahead of us. Please use every opportunity that you have to thank your staff and all your creative team on my behalf for an outstanding job. Michael is smiling down on us all.”
After taking some necessary time to recover and regroup, we helped kick off the opening of the Microsoft retail stores. Stimulated partnered with Washington DC firm, Group Incorporated, creating digital signage media for display on 120 plasma screens lining each of the Microsoft stores. Our ability to present architectural 3D renderings assisted in our ability to realize Microsoft’s vision.
Needless to say, 2009 pushed Stimulated to new heights, and lead us to build new bonds through some truly groundbreaking efforts. We thank our friends, colleagues and collaborators for a memorable year, and we look forward to serving you in the future.
Tags: 3D, 81st annual academy awards, aeg, comeback, concert tour, Culver Studios, Demi Lovato, doll domination tour, eminem, Fall Out Boy, Fantasy Film, green screen, infinite possibilities, Jonas Bros, Kanye West, Kenny Ortega, kids inaugural concert, LED, Mark Burnett, Michael Jackson, microsoft, Miley Cyrus, military children, MTV Movie Awards, original design, pepsi smash, rihanna, short film, sony, staples center, Stereoscopic 3D, storytellers, the disney channel, the dome project, The Pussycat Dolls, This Is It, uk, VH1, visual effects, washington dc, we are the future