Million Dollar Space Invader: Updated

Okay, a little secret about me. My grandfather had some actual arcade systems when I was growing up, and when he moved away from St. Louis and our family moved to Atlanta, we got to take the arcade systems with us. So to this day, my parents have in our basement a 1950’s pinball machine, the original Astroids arcade and the original Space Invaders arcade unit. It looks just like this:

I love this game, and of course when I saw this video online the other day, it reminded me of my childhood! haha. So I had to share it with this community. It’s a projection of the Space Invaders bug.


Isn’t that sick! Want to know how they did it? Here we go… 

Back in August (2011) for the Fiesta Electronica de Verano, Summer Electronic Party in Bogota, Columbia – VJ and visual artist Laura Ramirez Leal transformed a regular structure of scaffolding into a living, moving projected 8-bit Space Invader! #Awesome.

The backstory is this– The festival organizers had done the typical single screen with stage and lighting for the past 6 years and didn’t want to stay static for the 7th year… so they decided to think outside the box and try a new concept. So Laura and her teams got to work with two production companies doing test and sample shots in their warehouses to show Festival Organizers their idea… and of course, the winning concept was the Space Invader!

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As you can see above, this is a much smaller scale than the real life Invader that this team used at the actual festival, but it was perfect to sell the idea. Once sold on the idea, the crew began to work out the details of the actual stage. Using traditional metal scaffolding and a lightweight white scrim-like material on the front and back of the structure, the VJwas to sit in the middle of the unit so the visuals would completely surround them. Hats off to 1024 Architecture for designing this staging/scaffolding rig.


They utilized the power of two incredible softwares, Modul8 and MadMapper to work out the visuals so the artists could VJ in real time. 5 animators, 150 technical engineers and operators from 5 different companies… a consortium if you will. Unlike some of the other projection pieces we’ve showcased lately, this project only took two projectors, 2 – 20,000 lumen christie projectors. For those who are curious… though the budget wasn’t made public, most people online believe this project was in the $1,000,000+ range! (Updated below) WOW.

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*Pictures curtsy of Modul8


UPDATE: After seeing this post, the creator informed us that the budget was MUCH MUCH less than $1 million.

Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at 

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Optika says:

    Thanks for the review guys 🙂
    The speculations about budget are insane ! it was much, much less (If so, I’d be a millionaire at this time ! ). What you see in the first picture is a mockup to make tests and was builded after to have the project approved. Pictures by Modul8 😉
    Laura-Optika VJ

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