STUDIO MENO Talks Camo & Krooked Live!

meno logo orange eyebrow

Headed up by highly skilled VJ and visual production genius Justin Beardsell, STUDIO MENO has not only  been responsible for creating the iconic, lightbulb lit “H” which has become a symbol of Hospitality and a firm feature at events up and down the country, he has also developed the mind blowing Camo & Krooked live show which was debuted at Hospitality Brixton on Friday 30th September.

In June this year, the Camo & Krooked live show was just an idea in Justin’s head, a scribbled drawing on a piece of paper…just three month’s later and the idea is now a reality. We speak to the man himself to find out more about his creation.

1) Can you briefly introduce yourself + what you / your team do behind the scenes at Hospitality and more particularly, for the Camo & Krooked live show?

My name is Justin, and once upon a time went by the name of VJ Meno. I now run Studio Meno, designing and building visual production elements for live events.. everything from custom video screens for festival stages to interactive gallery installations. Since the beginning of this year I’ve been working with Hospital Records creating video and light installations for the Hospitality nights, including the big ‘H’ seen at this year’s Brixton shows. In about June, Chris asked us to come up with some ideas for Camo & Krooked’s first live show, which we did and have been working on it in collaboration with the boys and of course Chris and Josh at Hospital.

2) So how many people do you have working with you and what are everyone’s roles?

Studio Meno is primarily myself and my brother in everything except genetics, Erwin. We both share most of the workload, but I guess I do most of the talking! We’ve also got a larger close-knit family round us for support when we need additional pairs of skilled hands and heads.

3) How long have you been developing the live show for and what has the process been like. What have been the high and low points?

I guess discussions for C&K started around June/July. I first excitedly drew Chris a drawing of my idea on a scrap piece of paper backstage at Lovebox festival, which was of course almost completely incomprehensible to anyone but me. But I went away and did a better one and took it to show Chris and Josh at the Hospital records offices. One of the two little stick men even had a new era hat on so you could tell which was Krooked!

Then after a couple of months of knocking ideas back and forth, Erwin and I began building the ‘cage’ as it came to be known in our studio, meanwhile I began working on some animations. At this point it started getting quite exciting, with the boys coming over for a tech talk about how we were going to make the video work with their live show. Once this was sorted I cracked on with the rest of the animations and putting the finishing touches to the cage. All this time we chatted a lot, particularly myself and Reini, about our ideas for the show, and this for me was one of the best parts. They were keen to see a real 8-bit influence in the graphics, which I was more than happy to work with, and I suggested the animation of the bars falling around them to open the set. They then took the audio for this and beefed it out and we ended up with a real collaborative opening for the show.

Low points? What Low points?! HA! We don’t talk about the low points, but needless to say they involved last minute technical ‘quirks’. But we had them sorted in time for the show, so they’re already forgotten.

4) For those who haven’t seen it, can you describe the basic set up for the Camo & Krooked live show and how it works?

The setup is basically two large curved led screens, each one 3.6m high and 3m across, one in front, and one behind. Because they’re kinda see through and because of the metal upright poles which support the structure, it forms a sort of cage around them in which they play. the video can spin around them and up in down in front. When the back screen is lit; we see them play, when the front is lit, they disappear. I was trying to think of optical illusions at the time, and this was one of the reasons I started playing with this idea. During the show, individual elements of the live show send midi information over to me which triggers the corresponding video clip for that section of the set. Most of the animations were made individually for one particular synth section, one drumroll, one hook, whatever. After that its up to me to add elements of video where appropriate, fade bits in and out, and just VJ live with their set.

Have a look at the Camo & Krooked live show in action yourself in this video below…

You can catch Camo & Krooked *LIVE* at the following Hospitality events this autumn: Bristol (7th October), Leeds (14th October), Manchester (22nd October), Oxford (29th October), Cardiff (5th November). Head HERE for tickets.

For more information on Studio Meno (live visuals + installations) visit their website:

Posted 13th October 2011 in Blog, Features