Mood boards help create a dynamic backdrop to every performance at the MMVAs. Otherwise, we’d just be staring at boring black backgrounds! We spoke to Mathieu St-Arnaud, who has helped put together all of the designs for the past three years, and he walked us through the process of creating the oh-so electrifying looks of the glowing mood boards!
What are the steps to planning a mood board? Where do you start?
We start by listening to the song of course! And asking the artists/management if they have any specific demands in terms of imagery and colours. We don’t necessarily do what they ask for, but it does affect our creative process from then on.
We then usually do a group brainstorm from which the main ideas for the piece come out. Someone from the group then takes those ideas and create different images based around them which are packaged together and sent to the producers/artists for approval.
What were the inspirations behind the mood boards this year?
The initial overall design for the logo and set was inspired by this very neon, electronics look. We do take this into account when creating the visual but we don’t do neons for everyone! For example, we did play a lot with strong vivid colours and “glows” on various elements.
How do you build it?
It’s a process, that’s for sure! There is always a lot of screens that we need to think of, all simultaneously, which can quickly become confusing. We work with a work template that includes a realtime preview of the stage. This helps us a lot to determine what will look good or not on stage. We try to only show our creations in this stage review so everyone can get a better sense of what it will look like.
Are there any new features in the design this year that you would like to discuss?
For the last three years that we have been doing the MMVAs, we always used LED video screens, but this year we have much higher resolution ones! This is simply awesome for us, the artists and the fans. Better colours, nicer images on stage and on camera. Everybody wins!
How was it to see the final product in previous years?
It gives you goosebumps the first time we see the stage light up, then you still get goosebumps the second, third, court times around…every time it lights up, it’s electrifying! You don’t get bored of it.
What was the most complicated or challenging mood board to create this year, and why?
Avril Lavigne I’d say. Her team knew what they were looking for and she is a busy person so it was the last one we started working on and time is of the essence! We need to get it perfect very quickly.