London-based Drive Productions Ltd. partnered with WorldStage Inc. (the new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications) on a 4D projection mapping project for HP's TouchSmart line that delivered an exciting holiday surprise - tied up with a bow - for New Yorkers.
Creature, HP's agency in Seattle, tasked Drive with creating a spectacular 4D projection-mapping show" to enchant crowds as it covered the façade of the Maritime Hotel on Ninth Avenue and 16th Street in Manhattan. Drive asked WorldStage to devise a projection configuration to facilitate display of content that would transform the massive building façade into a wrapped holiday package, which opens to reveal a fruit machine that hits the jackpot, a puzzle composed of rotating blocks, a giant handmade Christmas card and Santa's workshop where elves are busily assembling HP TouchSmart products. The captivating images would span a surface area that was 150 feet wide and 113 feet high.
"The Maritime Hotel façade was relatively easy to work with - it was very flat with no architectural details except for its circular porthole-style windows," says WorldStage's Lars Pedersen. "It was also extremely projection-friendly: It's coated with a white glossy material so it reflects light quite well.."
Drive and WorldStage worked together to positioned six Christie HD18K projectors on each of two six-story apartment house rooftops opposite the hotel in order to create the necessary 2 wide x 3 high array. Alongside each bank of projectors, sharing space on the rooftop, sat the requisite number of United Visual Artists d3 media servers used for mapping and playback purposes. A fiber-based transmission system strung between the two rooftops, connected the geographically disparate systems.
Music and sound design played a key role in the 4D projection mapping. WorldStage's David Lynd needed to deliver a punchy sound to the listening area without over-amplifying to the residential community. He accomplished this by evenly distributing six Meyer Sound UPJ loudspeakers and four Meyer 700HP subwoofers on tripods around the listening area on the street.
The four-minute main projection mapping show was repeated over a three-hour period to crowds of thrilled New Yorkers. Between shows a three-minute attract loop and countdown ran on the hotel façade. And another holiday surprise materialized, says Pedersen. "In between one of the runs a still slide came up on the hotel façade with the text of a marriage proposal!"
"It's always a privilege to work with the team at WorldStage under challenging circumstances," says Christian Sumner, at Drive Productions Ltd. "Their professionalism, experience, transparent approach, overall 'can-do' attitude and willingness to help at any time were fantastic. It's a lot of fun to work with them, and I'm looking forward to the next time."
At WorldStage TJ Donoghue was project manager and crew chief. Raul Herrera was the onsite d3 media server technician and Dennis Alfonzo was the lead projectionist.
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.