Jon9 enjoys benefits of Green Hippo’s Hippotizer
Friday, 18 September 2020
green-hippoAn 8K generative video wall mandala effect by Jon9
USA - As a specialist in visual content delivery, Jon9 has developed a productive relationship with the Green Hippo team and its Hippotizer Media Server range - the toolkit he finds best suited to enabling his vision.
Jon9 first used Hippotizers in building the media playback solution for Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE show in Las Vegas in 2004. It was a record-breaking system at the time. Since then, he has gone on to produce numerous immersive and experiential projects through his company Holonyne Corporation.
In 1987, he founded the first videowall programming company in the US - Programination Inc. From delivering 640x480 resolution visuals to trade show videowalls from ¾” tape decks, he progressed through Beta SP, to video discs and DVDs. “Disc-based media gave us random access and enabled interactive installations,” he says. “Finally, in the 90s, as personal and business computer technology evolved along with the emergence of the internet, we started seeing dedicated media servers in the entertainment and corporate markets.
“These players - ranging from very simple and relatively inexpensive to very powerful and very expensive - provided a lot more flexibility in how we produced content and how we delivered it to the display systems. Along with random access, media servers allowed different levels of real-time processing that could be controlled from lighting desks or a keyboard. We could link up multiple servers, synchronize them, and deliver high resolution content to videowalls and display systems of any size. This evolution transformed my business and creative life.”
His creative interest was sparked in the early 90s when he built the videowall and designed the content for a production by the Centre Theatre Group at LA’s Mark Taper Forum. “When I saw the unique power of the multi-screen medium to tell stories in a theatrical context, I was hooked,” he says. “Since then, I have continuously developed the idea of juxtaposing multiple screens, and multiple layers of video on the screens, to create a post-digital form of storytelling that is experiential instead of presentational.”
Recalling Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE, he says, “We put in 20 Hippotizers to drive the 28 projectors. It was the largest video system ever put into a permanent theater at that time. The creative team’s requirements were substantial and compromise was not an option. Green Hippo had the solution, and importantly, were willing to support us with custom features as necessary. They were fully engaged and helped us with programming as new creative and technical challenges emerged.”
After LOVE, he returned to Los Angeles with a new company, Holonyne Corporation Inc. For his first project - a 96-screen video art installation at LAX - he designed a system of 63 Hippotizers to run over 4.5 hours of visual art by 17 different artists. “Hippo provided the flexibility in programming for each of the artists to realize their individual visions,” he says.
Through various projects, the Green Hippo team has been on hand to help wherever needed. “A couple of years ago I produced an immersive ‘virtual videowall’ for the Ericsson booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,” he recalls. “We were on a very compressed time-frame with a high-profile client. My buddies at Green Hippo were instrumental in helping me acquire and configure the Hippos quickly for the show, as well as generously sharing their contacts in London and Barcelona for other types of hardware and services. The show was a big success.”
He adds, “The biggest aspect of Hippo for me is the ability to manipulate multiple layers of video in real time. This alone completely transforms the creative process, allowing the design of a multi-layered expression to emerge through creative flow.”
Jon9 is currently developing a multiscreen media experience titled 2025: The History Of The Future, which examines what it means to be human in the virtual age. “It explores the ever more frenetic dynamic between humans and machines at a time in the near future when a full resolution of this relationship may mean the survival of one over the other. It’s no accident that I’m using Hippos - some of the most complex and evolved digital display technology available - to tell this story. This is an example of a multi-screen, multi-stream immersive media experience that I believe represents the future of entertainment.”

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