While working as an Executive Producer at a visual effects company in her hometown, Molly Gray got a taste of doing media content when they were hired to create visuals for a few songs for a Kenny Chesney tour. She was immediately hooked to the medium, a “junkie from the first taste”. Chesney’s Director Shaun Silva gave them many opportunities and she continued to fall in love with the craft. When Kenny took a year off in 2010, she sought new clients, landing Jay Z & Bon Jovi. Inspired, she ventured out on her own to start a company that exclusively did visuals for performance environments and at the top of 2012, TANTRUM was born.
As one would suspect, what makes Tantrum flourish is having a passionate force from an owner that truly loves the industry. “For better or worse, I love it”, she tells us. Those of us in this field know that despite the long hours and hard work, it is pure passion that keeps us pressing forward. We are a unique blend of creativity, exuberance, and dedication, and Molly is no exception. Equipped with experience and the knowledge to educate and inform every animator that she hires, there is rarely any misperception of what they’re about to get into. Molly is forthright in her communication from the difficult challenges of the project to the reward of seeing 60,000 fans throw a tantrum when the artist hits the stage. It is this “Tantrum” that inspired the company’s moniker and it is the continued inspiration for her unending drive. “It’s a moment that gets me every time”. Yep, she’s definitely hooked.
I became hooked to Tantrum’s style the moment I saw their reel (link below). Holy WOW. It was like being reunited with something I had been looking for for a long time. Brave, raw, edgy, and seamless, Tantrum’s art is undoubtedly a force to be reckon with. Truly inspiring!
Tantrum is distinct in that, unlike many companies that are born from the creatives that make the product, Tantrum is led by a Producer. The business model was not deliberate, but simply a literal bi-product of her reality. Molly explains, “Years of working in commercial advertising have engrained in me that the brand is the lead, so in this case, a music artist, or a song, or a vision for a tour. As the Producer who operates Tantrum, I try to bring on creatives who are held accountable to a vision higher than their own art, but I also expect them to never betray their own art”. How about that for creative integrity?!
Molly’s enthusiasm spreads across all of Tantrum’s work and she considers each collaboration to be a major highlight. “Tantrum is such a new company, every new project is a mark that we’re doing something right. Every new project serves as a reminder that we’re vital”.
SHOUT OUT: “So proud to have designed media for Dierks Bentley’s tour because I finally got to work with Production Designer Bruce Rogers; also on that team was Chris Reade, a relentlessly collaborative Lighting Designer with bold vision! I love Dierks’ bravery when it comes to the honesty of his music. I loved Lil Wayne because I got to learn that it’s ok if a piece of animation doesn’t work. Led by Production Designer Justin Collie on Lil Wayne’s AMERICA’S MOST WANTED TOUR, I got to see what it means to work the media. Collie didn’t just take it and play it, he sculpted it! I loved working on Jason Aldean’s tour; we were given a ton of creative freedom on the screens. Such abandon is unnerving and liberating. Aldean, to me, is an incredible performer. He makes it cool to listen to Country Music again. (Listen to The Truth and tell me it doesn’t hold it’s own against decades-old crooners.) I love working with Luke Bryan because he owns the stage and is such an Entertainer; his show is re-inventing what a country show can look like. Production Designers Pete Healey and Justin Kitchenman (Luke Bryan) are an amazing duo! Finally, I adore every show I have ever done with Kenny Chesney. Having worked with him for six tours, Kenny will forever be the standard I hold Stage Entertainers to. He’s a giant force when it comes to the business of his tours; but he is equally generous and easy-going. I’m amazed at the apparent ease of the dichotomy. Without the opportunities Chesney affords any young visionary who isn’t afraid to work their ass off, there’s a lot of small companies that wouldn’t be here.”
I have no doubt in my mind that this company will continue to champion unyielding enthusiasm and creativity for years to come. Keep an eye on this visionary and enjoy the Tantrum!
Check out their AMAZING REEL: http://www.tantrumcontent.com
PHOTO CRED from top:
1. Lil Wayne AMERICA’S MOST WANTED TOUR Production and Lighting Design: Justin Collie, PEDG. Content: Tantrum
2. Dierks Bentley LOCKED AND LOADED TOUR Production Designer: Bruce Rogers. Lighting Designer: Chris Reade. Content: Tantrum
3. Jason Aldean NIGHT TRAIN TOUR Production Design: Mike Swinford, Uplate Design. Lighting Design: Aaron Swetland. Content: Tantrum
4. Kenny Chesney BROTHERS OF THE SUN TOUR Production and Lighting Design: Mike Swinford, Uplate Design. Content: Tantrum