WorldStage, Inc. companies Video Applications Inc. (VAI) and Scharff Weisberg teamed on an innovative product launch for Oracle's Enterprise Manager 11g in New York City's iconic Guggenheim Museum, which provided a unique architectural setting for the event. WorldStage provided the video, projection, camera and audio equipment for the launch; video projections in the museum's famed spiraling rotunda drew oohs and aahs from guests who snapped photos of the event.
Oracle's Enterprise Manager 11g connects business, technology and IT for an integrated approach to IT management. It's been hailed as the next-generation integrated management solution based on open standards and is engineered to work throughout the technology stack. InVision Communications, headquartered in Walnut Creek, California with offices in Chicago and New York, produced the event at the museum and assisted artistically in the project.
"Oracle is not afraid to push the envelope," says InVision senior producer Corey Burton. "They always ask us, 'What kind of magnificent installation can we do to promote the brand and inspire a bit of awe?'" Oracle has been an InVision client since the latter opened 18 years ago, and VAI has been a partner vendor for almost as many years, Burton reports.
Due to the museum's public schedule, WorldStage completed the load in for the event overnight. The Guggenheim's semi-circular downstairs Peter B. Lewis Theater hosted the general session and keynote address for the product launch. It was outfitted with a 9x16-foot rear-projection screen with PIPs and zoom magnification, switching and interfacing for the demo and presentation machines, digital video playback, audio support and a pair of cameras for the live webcast.
The meeting was followed by a pair of breakout sessions, one in the theater and the other on the floor of the museum's rotunda, which was furnished with a small stage, single screen, audio support and cameras.
When those sessions concluded, all of the guests assembled in the rotunda for cocktails and to view the unexpected, large-scale projections on the curved parapet surfaces of the spiraling ramp that connects the museum's floors.
"The projections created a stunning "wow-factor" as they integrated the Oracle brand with the interior in a memorable way," says Josh Weisbirg, WorldStage President and lead technical designer for the Oracle launch. "We specialize in these types of unique projects, finding ways to create design solutions."
InVision's Burton was also pleased by the reaction to the projections. "It was exciting to know that we'd gone in there and done something unique," he says. Burton enjoyed watching enthusiasm mount among VAI's technical team, too. "It was good to see the tech guys get excited about the projections. I like seeing both sides of a project: the highly creative and the very realistic technical side. We're only as good as the people who support us, and the equipment and its application is where the rubber meets the road."
During the preproduction for the rotunda projections, Josh Weisberg consulted with Steve Gilbard, owner and CEO of Theatrical Concepts Inc. and a senior technologist with WorldStage to create the 3D image mapping that content followed.
VAI selected four Christie S+20K projectors (which were leveled off to compensate for the ramp's sloped walkways) to deliver quadrant-overlapped images, each spanning 25x34 feet for a total image size of 46x62 feet. A Coolux Pandora's Box dual-output image processor/server was chosen as the content delivery and projection-alignment tool. Images, portraying Oracle brand-specific content, were displayed on four parapet levels and conformed to the curvature of the parapet walls.
VAI, Gilbard, InVision and the creative content team worked together before the show to come up with a solution and guidelines for content creation.
Pandora's Box was the key to getting the alignment and content delivery up and running in the very short time allowed for set-up. Its unique image warping technique makes image mapping a very fast process.
InVision's Burton appreciates "the deep level of understanding" that VAI brings to challenging jobs such as the Oracle product launch. "They can spot the speed bumps around the corner. They can think ahead and point out things I'm not aware of because they have so much experience in doing things like this. I have the utmost faith in everyone at VAI and don't hesitate to put my complete trust in them."
VAI's Shane Zinke was lead engineer for the product launch with Andy Muller and Tony Rossello managing the preproduction and onsite project management.
Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications are collaborating partners to clients requiring unique and imaginative solutions for their event, spectacle and large-meeting lighting, sound and video needs whether local, national or worldwide. For more information visit www.scharffweisberg.com or www.videoapps.com.