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In 2019 I helped Studio Moross to bring the Spice Girls UK tour to life. I worked as a freelancer to create on-screen animations for the tracks Holler, Do It and the show closer: Wannabe.
[image description]: Scary Spice, Baby Spice, Sporty Spice and Ginger spice standing on stage in an open-air stadium with their arms in the air, surrounded by blue and purple confetti.
[image description]: A photo from the perspective of the crowd at an open-air statium in the evening. The stage features two large screens and an even larger wing between them, with performers dancing below it. There are also two thin banners spanning the top and bottom of the stage setup. The two large screens show a closeup of the performers, while the ring and the banners have the words "SPICE BOYS" written across them in red, white and black sans-serif fonts.
The tour travelled around the UK and Ireland in May and was played in outdoor arenas. Because this overlapped with early evenings, the earlier show visuals were designed to work impactfully in daylight.
[image description]: A closeup shot of Ginger Spice singing in front of a red screen. She is wearing a tiara, a pearl necklace and an elaborate classical blue and red ball gown with gold detailing. There is a live band performing in the background.
[image description]: A closeup of thering on the stage, illuminated red with the word "SPICE BOYS" written across it. The 'o' in 'boys' is a wireframe globe. The Spice Girls perform below, with two male backup dancers jumping off of black oblong boxes with the same globe emblem printed on them.
[image description]: A shot of the whole stage, very similar to the first shot, except all red elements have now turned blue. The words "DO IT" are written across the ring in slanted letters.
The visuals for Do It were focused around the fictionalised "Spice Boys", played by the backup dancers. The visuals took the branded nature of the Spice Girls and ramped it up to 100, plastering the screen in logos and trademark icons.
The Spice Boys themselves moved with robotic, non-human movements, so we created geometric wireframe versions of the dancers and opened the track with a boot-up sequence inspired by works of science fiction like Ghost in the Shell and Evangelion.
[image description]: Three images of a semi-abstract male figure made of black polygons with red light shining through the gap between each one. The figure is shown in three positions: one is posing like a greek statue, the next is sitting down non-chalantly and the final image is a super-close-up of the figure hunched over from the side.
[image description]: The stage from further away. The screens and banners display yellow and black slanted lines. The ring has the words "play my game" in black italicised text on a yellow background. Yellow fireworks are being fired to the left and right-hand side of the stage. The Spice Girls and backing performers are standing on a D-shaped walkway in front of the stage, with the crowd around them.
A new remix of the track Holler was created for the tour, which featured a much heavier, trap-inspired instrumental behind the vocals. This new sense of pace and energy made the previously quite mellow song one of the punchier tracks in the setlist.
The visuals created to accompany it emphasised this quality, reducing the palette and imagery to the black and yellow stripes found on industrial warning signs. This made good use of the ring at the centre of the stage, as the stripes acted as a great motif to rotate around it.
[image description]: A far-away shot of the stage at night. The roof of the stadium is open and red fireworks are shooting up into the sky. There are red and blue lights illuminating the stadium and the crowd. The stage screens and banners are displaying the Union Jack flag and the ring displays lyrics from the song "Wannabe".
The final track of the set I worked on was Wannabe. Being one of the defining songs of the Spice Girls' back-catalogue, it was not only a huge honour to work on, but also a lot of pressure, as it was the final song in the set.
Harping back to the 90s and early 2000s, when Cool Brittania was in full swing, the track visuals used the recurring motif of the abstracted union jack, which was used to unveil the lyrics to the song in a Kareoke-style fashion.
[image description]: Ginger Spice, Baby Spice, Scary Spice and Sporty Spice stand on stage in front of screens displaying the UK flag, an audience and red fireworks.
Creative Director & Producer: Lee Lodge
Choreographer & Stage Directo: Paul Roberts
Music Production: David Odlum
Set Design: Jason Sherwood
Art Direction: Kate Moross
Lighting Design: Tim Routledge
Costume Design: Gabriella Slade
Producers: Hazel Falck, Max Badger
Studio Manager: Alice Best
Researcher: Mable Cable
Touring Production Manager: Holly Sandeman
Animation Lead: Tim Marriott
Animation: Rez Alom, TR Bennett, Rory Cahill, Nick Canticus, Therese Detje, Dexter George, Sayeed Islam, Peter Kent, Leio Kirtley, Linus Kraemer, Lara Lee, Andy Needham, Ashley Park, Rose Pilkington, Teresa Tang
Design: Harry Butt, Rachel Noble, Stephanie Fung, Berke Yazicioglu, Marianna Orsho, Christina Poku, Nick Greenbank, Oscar Torrans
Typeface Design:Marianna Orsho