The spotlight was on Navistar's new International LoneStar Harley-Davidson Special Edition at the 38th annual Mid-America Trucking Show where Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) created the launch's dramatic lighting system.
The invitation-only launch event, held in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, unveiled the new semi manufactured by Navistar, Inc. under license from Harley-Davidson. Only 250 of the vehicles will be made in 2009, all in sleeper configuration. They include such features as Harley-Davidson headlamps, Harley badging on the 150-gallon fuel tanks, seven-foot chrome exhaust stacks, Harley gauge faces, silver-and-orange striping over underlying black paint, and a horizontal bar billet-style chrome grill. The cab boasts a 42-inch wide sleeper sofa surrounded by rosewood cabinets and a walnut floor.
UVLD lighting designer Greg Cohen and programmer Cameron Yeary were hired by production company ProActive for the event, which captured Harley's reputation for freedom, independence and the spirit of the open road.
In order to accommodate the needs for both a product reveal and a banquet, the venue was split into two discrete areas. For the first, the audience of press and dealers sat in the arena for a presentation on a new prototype engine. A traveler opened to reveal the huge dining space. Cohen notes that this was when things got dramatic: "It was after everyone was finished eating that the main event took place: The new Special Edition semi was revealed with a lot of motorcycles and more than just a little smoke." Although Harleys driving through a banquet is hardly an everyday experience, it was clear that the dealers were most interested in the star of the evening, the newly branded semi.
Executive Producers Josh Covin and Mac MacKenzie leveraged their long-term relationship with UVLD to help deflect the budget reality of these economic times. Exploring existing vendor relationships allowed value engineering to take place on a show where a lot of equipment was called for. "We were able to tap Dallas-based Gemini Stage Lighting's extensive inventory of moving lights to give us some products I've not used before, including Robe 2K washes," notes Cohen. "By working with a great vendor to find what great products they may have on hand, we were able to bring more to the table than had we insisted on a particular fixture."
Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) creates lighting designs for corporate theater, live entertainment, themed environments, trade shows and special events. UVLD is a partnership of 10 designers working in all aspects of lighting design; their work has been seen on stages and screens nationwide and around the world. Clients include IBM, Mitsubishi, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, Volvo, Volkswagen, John Deere, Microsoft, Cartier, Victoria's Secret, FedEx, Avon and Audi.