Coldplay goes interstellar

Mullings and his team met with the band several times to show their progress on the visuals, get feedback and help refine the films towards something that matched the band’s grandiose vision.

“Generally speaking, the ideas didn’t change too much from our original concepts,” says Mullings. “It was more a case of enhancing those concepts as we progressed.”

He continues: “The greatest creative challenge had to be interpreting the songs in the right way, getting the mood and aesthetics right and having empathy with the vision of the band. We were really creating a huge digital backdrop that needed to amplify each performance without distracting from the music in any way.”

The films had to look clear and crisp to both the fans in the front row and those standing over 100m away at the back of the stadium, so they were created at a resolution of 2,000x500 pixels. Hello Charlie created 3D elements in Maya and Cinema 4D, and applied VFX in After Effects. Where it was necessary, Hello Charlie edited elements using Final Cut Pro.

“We used every bit of software at our disposal to create as much diversity and visual interest as possible,” says Mullings.

The team passed the movies to the stage crew as a series of QuickTime movies that were played back through the onsite systems. They were kept in time with the music thanks to timecode queuing from drummer Will Champion.

Mullings says that he’s most proud of “the way that everything came together as a whole and the fact that Coldplay felt that what we created did justice to their music. It was a great privilege to work with a group of artists that have such a great global appeal at a time when they are literally one of the biggest bands on the planet.”


Project: Tour Visuals
Client: Coldplay
Studio: Hello Charlie,
Software: Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Maya, Maxon Cinema 4D

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