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Crafting Animations For The Black Ball Event

Category: Web Exclusives
The team at My Active Driveway (MAD), providing digital imagery, recently joined Alicia Keys, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, Bonnie Raitt, Oprah Winfrey and other celebrity philanthropists for the Black Ball, a charity fundraiser organized by HIV/AIDS non-profit Keep a Child Alive (KCA). MAD contributed to a fully integrated show-wide experience for the event, delivering a series of luminescent visualizations, an animated title sequence and a unique interactive design solution allowing event organizers to track the evening’s donations in real time.

“Working with KCA year after year is a tremendous opportunity to give a voice to the plight of those affected by HIV/AIDS throughout the world,” noted MAD EP Jonny Fego. “It really means a lot to everyone at MAD to be able to give back to an organization that creates real change in communities. This annual ball is a celebration of life, a positive and uplifting experience that we are proud to be a part of.”


To communicate this year’s themes of connectivity and the empowerment of women, the MAD team created reactive visualizations that evolved as donations poured in during the show. At the start of the evening, these projections consisted of tiny motes of energy cast in a simple black and white color palette, each point of light representing an individual or community. As show organizers input the event’s proceeds into MAD’s custom interface, those lights grew into a vast kinetic kaleidoscope connected by countless geometric lines, eventually arranging themselves into a vibrant globe displaying the record-breaking $2.9 million raised to help Keep a Child Alive.



“We wanted to visualize the concept of connectivity and to show how something large is built from each small donation,” explained MAD CD Andrea Scaglione. “The images are designed to make people feel integrated into the experience, so they can feel that their presence and energy is affecting the greater cause. We hope to draw them back to future Black Balls by creating a dynamic and engaging experience that reinforces the power of giving.” 

The event marked the fifth consecutive year in which MAD has contributed their services to the Black Ball. During that time, the design-based production company has grown into a strategic and creative partner to KCA – collaborating with KCA CD Earle Sebastian to ensure a cohesive overall experience and working closely with the evening’s lighting and sound designers. 

“Each year, we try to push the envelope more,” Scaglione continued. “We’re at a very exciting point in the history of motion graphics. As things grow more reactive and interactive and come off the screen and into the real world, there’s a whole new breadth to what we can do.”



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