When conductor Robert Ziegler first got in touch with Stagecast to ask if we were interested in working on a film for a video game soundtrack, we were instantly intrigued! It soon transpired that this was, in fact, for the latest release from Genshin Impact – one of the most popular mobile game releases (and the highest-grossing globally). Similar films produced for previous iterations of the game have received millions of hits online, with fans posting their reactions and critiques. Stagecast CEO Matt Parkin tells us more:

“From our very first discussions with Genshin Impact’s in-house music staff, it was clear they really care about the artistic and production values of their soundtracks, the videos made to showcase them, and how much their millions of fans appreciate that attention to detail too. We knew we had to deliver something special. Thanks to ongoing Covid travel restrictions, all our contact with the Genshin team throughout this project was online, meaning an even greater level of trust and responsibility than usual fell upon the Stagecast team to manage, plan, direct and edit the concert film from start to finish.”

Genshin Impact were keen to see a landmark London venue used for the shooting of the main film with the London Symphony Orchestra, and Stagecast were able to secure access to the iconic Alexandra Palace Theatre, re-opened in 2018 following major restoration, making a stunning backdrop for the finished film:

The name of the new region featured in the Genshin Impact world is “Sumeru”, roughly corresponding to South Asia. The musical score therefore features folk instruments from the region, alongside the symphony orchestra, including duduk, ney, oud, santoor, sitar and tanpura. This led to some interesting challenges around layout and how to film the musicians. Director Phil Glenny gave us an insight in how it was to work on the project:

“This was shot more like a music video than a traditional orchestral concert recording. With concert recordings, we often only get one take from the orchestra to capture all the required shots, whereas here we were able to ask the orchestra to perform the music as many times as we needed. This meant we could do some takes with the cameras close-up to the instruments, and other takes with the cameras further away to get those beautiful wide shots of Ally Pally. Because it was recorded to a click track, we knew the tempi would always be the same no matter how many takes we did – the finished film came together in the edit like a giant video jigsaw puzzle!”

The finished film reached over 1 million views in its first week online, and is generating extraordinary buzz and positive feedback from fans:

“Everything about this is so damn good! The composition, the musicians, location, the miking up and sound balancing, the videography!”

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In addition to producing the concert film, Stagecast also collaborated with production company Particle 6 as executive producers for 2 further Sumeru music videos, and additionally sent a small documentary crew into various studios to capture the recording process. The full soundtrack for the new game release was recorded by the LSO (conducted by Robert Ziegler) and a stellar lineup of folk musicians (led by Bhangra expert and renowned tabla player, Kuljit Bhamra) at multiple locations, including the famous Abbey Road Studios. You can see more in this exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary: