kayneLIVE founder Benji Kayne recognized as Tech Game Changer in Interactive Event Lighting by HuffPo Live and Verizon
Revolutionary interactive and reactive environments such as the Nike Flyknit Pavilion in The Bowery NYC and Berlin, the Red Bull Psychedelic Driving Range, and the Nike Free Hyperfeel Experience have earned kayneLIVE founder Benji Kayne and the kayneLIVE team recognition by Huffington Post Live as a Tech Game Changer.
Below is the transcript from the segment.
Mike Sacks: KayneLIVE is a boutique production agency focused on producing interactive events using both standard and customized show technologies. And joining us like to discuss this is Benji Kayne. He’s the creator and president of KayneLIVE and these segments about technology game changers are powered by Verizon. So, Benji first question, basic question: What is KayneLIVE?
Benji Kayne: KayneLIVE, we’re a production agency that specialized in live events using unique lighting, audio, video technologies to amplify these live experience.
Mike Sacks: Now, I have a comment here. Verizon asked its communities if they had any questions for you and one of our own associate producers asks, and her name is Allison Bresnick – Hello, Allison – She asks, “What is interactive lighting exactly?”
Benji Kayne: That’s a great question! So, interactive lighting, so the lighting itself, the units themselves may not be interactive. But the way we use them, and the way we create an experience for the attendees at whatever the event is, is interactive. We’re all familiar with interactivity and touch screens. It’s taking that to a much larger level, and the entire room around, you using lighting and video technologies can come to life based on how you interact with it. It may be touching it. It may be walking through the space. It may be entering it, or your existence, or what color shirt you are wearing.
Mike Sacks: Woah!
Benji Kayne: Or a piece of technology in your shoe that’s activating something with the lighting in the audio or audio video environment.
Mike Sacks: That’s really super cool!
Benji Kayne: Yeah!
Mike Sacks: I have a clip from a Nike event that you worked on. I want to show you the clip and I want you to tell us a bit about what you did here. So let’s look at this and talk us through it as we’re seeing it.
Benji Kayne: This is in Berlin at the Nike Flyknit Pavilion.
What you’re seeing right here is an indoor, 900 meter running track, that was created in an abandoned train station in the middle of Berlin. As guests ran through, all sorts of different experiences happened. The lighting followed them through the entire path. As you’re seeing, they are running through a fog wall as they enter. Basically, every guest walked in, and the place came alive just for them. Everything reacted to them – the lights followed them through the space, the lights drew them through the space. And one of the coolest parts is that when they left, each room was left in a completely different state than when they started. We all know that it kind of resets itself for each guest, but you leave feeling like – Wow, this entire environment just changed for me!- which is one of the really cool things that we get to do with interactive lighting.
Mike Sacks: So, what type of training does it take to really learn everything we just saw there?
Benji Kayne: Well, surprisingly, I have no formal education or training in lighting. It’s something I kind of picked up. My mom always jokes, seriously, that my first word was light.
Benji Kayne: My second word, very shortly thereafter, was hot.
Mike Sacks: Meaning you actually reached out and touched the light bulb?
Benji Kayne: I reached out and touched the light bulb, oh yeah!
Mike Sacks: Hot! Do you have the scars and the burns to prove it?
Benji Kayne: Probably, yeah! Probably still there. And I used to poke holes in coffee cans and put it on my Fisher Price record player, put a flashlight inside, and make my parents sit in the basement and watch it for hours!
Mike Sacks: Amazing!
Benji Kayne: I always enjoyed lighting. I started as a mobile DJ doing Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and one of my favorite things was bringing on more effects like disco balls and lasers and things like that. One day I kind of realized that part of the business was growing so much bigger than just the DJing part, and started focusing towards that and how we can create unique experiences for the guests in the room.
Mike Sacks: I have a comment from one of our HuffPost viewers live, Daniel Z., Daniel Zabs saying, “I’ve been hearing a lot about 3D projection mapping but I’ve never actually seen it in use. Can you explain what it is, how it works, and how it can be used to create an immersive experience?”
Benji Kayne: Sure. 3D projection mapping is a really cool way of using projection, just a standard projector, usually a cinema projector, to map the architectural features of a building or surface, and actually use that building, or the surface itself, as part of your experience. It could be projected on the outside of the building and it will trace around the windows and the columns and you can create really fun, exciting shows. 3D projection started by just projecting while playing music and having some cool visuals go on, but it’s grown from there into really interactive elements. On a campaign in Istanbul, where the projection mapped a grid on a building with windows, and guests could, using their phone, control Pac Man-like character. If they got to the end, they got a text code and they could redeem for an ice cream cone right under the game. All on a giant, central street in Istanbul. There’s other ways. We did an event recently for Red Bull, where we brought in professional golfer Rickie Fowler, who’s a Red Bull sponsored golfer, into a psychedelic driving range. Using 3D projection mapping, in this old abandoned arena in Washington DC, we were able to send him on a hero’s journey where out of the floor and out of the walls dragons and volcanoes …
Mike Sacks: How much time is put into making something like that?
Benji Kayne: To set up an experience like that, we work on it for months. We design it for weeks. We’re on site for four to five days to set up for what could be anything from a 2 minute to a two hour experience.
Mike Sacks: Wow. Now, your last name is Kayne, K-A-Y-N-E, KayneLIVE. Have you ever put a call into or maybe a promoter call you, and you show up with the equipment, “You’re not Kanye! You’re not Kanye! ”
Benji Kayne: We haven’t quite gotten that far! But all the time, especially when I rent some of the larger equipment from the big production shops, we’ll get it and it will say Kanye West Live on it, and I know that the guys in the warehouse are sitting and packing it thinking it’s Kanye. But someday, Kanye is going to Google himself and find us!
Mike Sacks: Well you are KayneLIVE, not Kanye West Live, and we are HuffPost Live, thanks for watching!
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