Las Vegas, NV- Sony brought the world of PlayStation to gamers this past December with the first ever PlayStation Experience, an event seeking to bring the community access to Sony products, designers, creators, talent, and more on a level never seen at other conventions.
The two day event, held at the Sands Convention Center, created an immersive experience with over 400,000 square ft. of gaming, panels, keynotes, and more. Tasked with lighting this inaugural event was John “Ozzie” Osborne of Ozterity Lighting.
Possessing 18 years of experience lighting events for the PlayStation team, Osborne’s familiarity with the brand allowed him to simply converse with the team about the intended experience. Choosing the gear or specific technology would be up to Osborne.
Entering the project a mere two months before the event, the designer quickly realized the road ahead was a long one.
“I was floored by the scale. My first role was to design Hall A at the Sands, a space housing a keynote, breakouts, and band performance for 5,000 attendees. Hall B included 80 booths for different games and merchandise, as well as the Sony “Ecosystem” booth displaying the very newest games.”
Ranging from simple 10’ x 10’ spaces to the 100’ x 150’ Ecosystem and including cafes, lounges, and walkways, Hall B was ostensibly an entire convention unto itself.
Osborne recruited a team familiar to him, including those who worked with him previously on PlayStation booths and events. Master Electrician and Programmer for Hall A Scott McCowan spent 8 hour-days screen sharing with Osborne during the design stage, while ME for Hall B Chris Szabo worked with Programmers Jeff Melzer and Jason Mack.
Keynote in Hall A
5,000 excited gamers filed into Hall A on the first day of the show.
“We needed to cover a lot of area as efficiently as possible,” said Osborne.
“VL3500 Wash fixtures covered the 30’ high, 300’ long printed banner behind the 90’ wide stage. The area audience and stage wash was done with MAC Auras, while we key lit the talent for the cameras with Viper Performances. The Vipers from 4Wall were brand new, they had a very flat field and they looked beautiful on the IMAG projection screens.”
56 Sharpies filled out the space with geometric patterns. To top it off, the team also lit a 20’ x 20’ area for pre-show interviews inside the hall.
Ecosystem in Hall B
The creative concept behind the main Sony booth in Hall B, dubbed the “Ecosystem”, was to re-create the digital imagery of floating symbols suspended in the air. Osborne opted for MAC Quantum Washes to light not only the symbols, but also a ‘concept car’ that was added into the booth at the last meeting.
Booths for Every Game
Creating a booth for each specific PlayStation required the team to create more than 80 different environments within Hall B. Osborne reflected on some of his favorites.
“We loved the design of the booth for MLB the Show, mostly because it was a functioning sports bar. It was beautifully built and really a joy to light.
The booth for The Order was an elaborate recreation of London in 1888, complete with pipes and a boiler made to look like it was in flames. We made the look there with smoke machines and 4Wall-supplied LED tape that brought the set to life.
The spaces for Until Dawn, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne all needed an otherworldly feel, so for those I chose the Robe Robin Pointe and MAC Viper Performance. Both had the ability to create many bloody and suspenseful effects!”
A Successful Event
In the end Osborne’s team was successful in creating an immersive PlayStation environment in not only both halls, but in every interview area, performance arena, lounge, and walkway, along with two large ballrooms in the Palazzo Hotel.
Osborne credited his experienced team for allowing him to move between locations without worrying about programming and support in every area. He also spoke highly of the 4Wall Las Vegas team.
“4Wall has helped me on the Sony press events and booths at E3 for a number of years. Having my team, who are all familiar with 4Wall gear, took a lot of stress off of me. Prep is everything on a project of this size. My 4Wall experience was nothing but flawless. Their team rolled with all the changes, and the gear was always where it needed to be when I needed it.”
Selected Gear List, PlayStation Experience
138 Martin MAC Auras
26 Martin MAC Quantum LED Washes
12 Martin MAC Viper Performances
22 Martin MAC 250 Entours
30 Robe Robin Pointes
20 Vari*Lite VL3500 Spots
8 Vari*Lite VL3000 Spots
247 ETC Source Four Pars
213 ETC Source Four Ellipsoidals
6 Ultratec Radiance Hazers
2 MA Lighting grandMA2 Consoles
1 MA Lighting grandMA2 Lite Console