PY1 is a masterpiece of cutting-edge technology and storytelling

Photo: RefinedMoment

Former Ubisoft and “Assassin’s Creed” Creative Director, Alex Amancio, is spearheading a new vision as co-founder and CEO of Reflector Entertainment. The transmedia company focuses on cross-platform storytelling. Amancio is at the helm, along with Cirque du Soleil Founder and Reflector Co-Founder, Guy Laliberté.

Technology has Changed the World We Live In

Cross-platform storytelling centers on one universe that branches out into multiple storytelling platforms. “In traditional storytelling, you essentially derive everything from a single film, comic book, or book and then you essentially adapt it to the other mediums,” Amancio describes in Reflector’s video. “Which means that you usually have a lesser story because a novel story isn’t necessarily the best film story. We believe that a property should be agnostic to all that,” he explains.

“You should build the story, strong story, strong universe. And then what you do is you play every single one of these different mediums like sections in an orchestra,” he continues. “The advantage is that every single fan will have a different entry point into the IP, and will have a different perspective depending on the order that you essentially consume the different medium.”

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The experience allows fans to connect the lines, come up with their own theories, and debate. In the initiative, Amancio and Laliberté are creating a community. They are building direct relationships with fans. It cultivates an environment where the fans’ contributions become just as important as the creators’.

When Technology Meets Magic

The Montreal-based multimedia studio is now venturing into an even more exciting part of next-gen storytelling. The PY1 Pyramid project offers a clear indication of Reflector’s imagination. It’s a peek into what their innovation will bring to life. Their work with PY1 has been described as “part science-fiction, part engineering marvel, and part Silicon Valley dream lab.”

PY1 is a multimedia show based in Montreal. Guy Laliberté’s Lune Rouge Entertainment produces it. With the help of experts and artists, this groundbreaking experience stretches the imagination. It allows people to get lost in a completely immersive experience.

The team is under the leadership of Amancio and Head of Development, Simon Tremblay. PY1 uses cutting-edge technology to create a brilliant multimedia show that is so outstanding that it surpasses the wildest of imaginations. It’s a clear example of what can happen when modern technology meets intelligent storytelling.

Everything is Designed; Few Things are Designed Well

Reflector did things their way to ensure that PY1 would be a one-of-a-kind experience. They created Maestro, a proprietary interface system. The platform bridges all of the pyramid’s technologies together under one interface, including audio, lasers, lights, and video projections. They created the real-time pipeline integration with the ability to diffuse large-scale 3D worlds on multiple screens simultaneously.

Furthermore, Reflector provided the visual effects for the experience and created the VJ interface toolkit. The team also developed a visual mapping of the pyramid before it was built, which was the best way to ensure seamless planning.

Photo: RefinedMoment

Their new VR system was designed to video-conference in the pyramid. This made it possible for different partners to collaborate from around the world. The same volumetric capturing technology was used for Madonna’s Billboard Music Awards show performance. It was recuperated to create some of the special effects. To apply real-time methods of storytelling, all of the visual effects were made in Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine is a complete suite of creation tools that allows for the most imaginative of artistic visions; it’s great for teams of all sizes.

Imagination is More Important than Knowledge

PY1 is a captivating show. The area provides space for 1,000 people and is 81 feet tall. There are 360-degree projections, kinetic set pieces, atmospheric special effects, and exterior video mapping. On-site, there are two different configurations. Gabriel Coutu-Dumont’s “Through the Echoes,” is a 60-minute multimedia experience that “transports you on a technological odyssey through space and time.”

A soundtrack that incorporates a genre-blending array of masterpieces accompanies mesmerizing visuals. The daytime show includes the voice and original work of the philosopher Alan Watts. Guests take the central role in the multi-sensory experience, which allows for a unique perspective.

After the sun sets, immersive themes take place under the night’s sky. The nightlife experience takes guests through seven different thematic worlds. Attendees must be over 18 to journey through the pyramid after dark. Inspired visuals complement the sound of electronic music as you venture through your world, creating your own adventure.

Choose from Candy World, Underworld, Astral Plane, Sci-Matic, POP, Eye Wonder, or Taboo.

PY1 brings an immersive experience of technology, music, and wonder like no other
Photo: RefinedMoment

PY1 will be in Montreal for a limited time only. It runs from June 1 through September 29. The experience heads to Miami in the fall of 2019. In every city that PY1 tours, they’ll be highlighting local musical artists.

Tickets are available at

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Sari Cohen is a journalist based in the Greater L.A. Area. She began her career in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedy writer/performer and over the years has developed scripts for both the stage and screen. She currently covers music and live entertainment for AXS, reviews movies for Hollywood First Look Features and writes for InLove Magazine. She also pens funny stuff for popular sites such as Cracked and Screen Rant. You can often find her at concerts or on a red carpet somewhere, talking to someone about something. From on-the-scene reporting to exclusive interviews, she tackles every topic from music, movies and television, to fashion, lifestyle and politics. You can check out more on Twitter at @ask_sari or follow her adventures on Instagram under @thesavvyscribbler.