After 50 years of touring, performing and recording around the World famed Memphis R&B/funk band the Bar Kays are far from retiring as they move into the future with visual effects and technology aimed at dazzling contemporary audiences at their upcoming gala on December 4th. When the Bar Kays and LaMarie’s Entertainment Complex (the event firm producing the gala) first came to Memphis-based animation and production house Prodigi Arts to produce the on screen visual display for the gala, they knew that showing 50 years of musical history was going to be no easy task. While video footage and mass media were just beginning to spread when the Bar Kays started their career, many performances and artifacts remain only in the memory of those who were physically present to witness them.
Larry Dodson II of LaMarie’s put it this way: “You’ll be able to see it (the history) in a way that’s never been done before,” reminding those fans who may have witnessed the Bar Kays perform long ago of what they saw re-imagined in a completely different way. By utilizing a style like animation to create entire scenes and narrative into the performance, audiences will be able to engage with the history of the Bar Kays on a completely different level.
Prodigi Arts, the production house tasked with creating the visual entertainment for the 50th celebration, is no stranger to producing animation and visual effects for special events designed to amaze audiences through vibrant imagery. Earlier this year, the creative production house created the visual media for Regional One Health Foundation’s gala, producing an immersive 3D world of blood cells, molecules, DNA strands and other micro-biological elements that audiences traveled through on 90 ft. of screen during the program. Prior to the gala, Prodigi had also produced the on screen visual display for the Memphis Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Awards and Small Business Awards over the past five years.
“While the CFO of the Year Awards is a business event, we still wanted to produce the kind of animated visual media that audiences saw at the Grammy’s or Academy Awards,” remarked Prodigi Principal Chris O’ Conner. “We think exceptional individuals deserve that kind of prestige even in their not in Hollywood.”
Comprised of digital artists that specialize in creating vibrant and contemporary styles of visual media through animation, motion graphics, image design and other digital forms, the team at Prodigi Arts will help the Bar Kays connect with an upcoming generation of musicians and listeners. While the aging band doesn’t have plans to continue their touring career for another 50 years, retirement plans are far from view.
“We’re already getting booked up for 2015, touring all over Europe, at Amsterdam, Manchester, Paris and London” said Bar Kays bassist James Alexander. “This gala will be a great launching pad for that tour.”