Positioning Vienna as a pioneer of creative tech
As a concept and production studio specialising in staging multimedia campaigns and working at the interface of media, technology and live experience design, Media Apparat has a true affinity for new media. The team realises concepts from corporate films to world premières and conferences to interactive trade fair stands.
How has the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions affected your work?
Our work has changed in that, at the beginning of the crisis, we lost over 90% of our orders because the lockdown restrictions meant our projects were no longer feasible, especially in the events sector. We put all our employees on reduced working hours and transitioned from our office to working from home. Furthermore, we were made acutely aware of the situation by having a coronavirus case in the company.
What has been the biggest challenge for you?
To begin with, financial aspects were the overriding concern – though we were then confronted with the social aspects of self-isolation and working from home. Thankfully, everything seems to have settled down a little and we can at least see each other now and again. However, project communication is one area that does suffer from working remotely. The little chats here and there just don’t seem to happen.
What idea did you submit to the Creatives for Vienna ideas competition?
The Virtual Production Studio Vienna: The most advanced virtual production studio in Central Europe, capable of accommodating broadcasts and film productions in virtual rooms, entirely independent of freedom to travel, time of year or the weather. The right lighting set-up can create almost every backdrop imaginable, and we can enhance this by tapping into the potential of virtual and augmented reality. In addition, special high-resolution LED walls are combined with interactive game engines and camera tracking. It makes it possible to film and broadcast virtual conferences with animated charts, interacted product presentations or simply a scene on the beach – followed by another high up in the mountains. Virtual environments can make anything happen without long lead times.
How did you come up with the idea? How do you hope it will inspire people?
We identified that vast quantities of hardware (such as LED walls and technical equipment used for events) were simply gathering dust as a result of the crisis and that the potential of tech experts from the events sector was going unused. We wanted to harness this potential and create new business opportunities both during and after the crisis for the events and film sector, which has been badly hit. In doing so, we’re positioning Vienna as an innovative, technological and creative pioneer.
In your opinion, what are the benefits and drawbacks of making greater use of digital tools?
Digitalisation continues to progress; we’ve been working almost exclusively with digital and collaborative solutions for quite some time now. This has immense benefits for us and, from a purely organisational perspective, probably made the adjustment to working from home relatively easy for us. In our view, the benefits are that information is much easier to distribute within project teams and that expertise is distributed around the world. To my mind, the primary disadvantage comes in when you rely solely on digital media and lose sight of analogue components. For this reason, in our office we usually have a meeting every morning at which everyone says what they’re doing that day and pins their tasks up on a board. We’ve found this method far more efficient than any digital solution.
What would you suggest as a counterbalance to video conferences?
Real-life meetings, outdoors in the park. That’s how we held our last monthly team meeting. It just feels different being able to meet up with your colleagues again, being able to chat to them, engage in a little small talk and share some personal stories. Online meetings, by contrast, are often very formal and impersonal.
Andreas Göltl, CEO
Video of the project: "Virtual Production Studio Vienna"
Services provided by the Vienna Business Agency
- Awarded at the ideas competition "Creatives for Vienna" 2020
- Sponsored in the programme "Home Office" 2020