Multimedia Studio Moment Factory Brings The Lumina Enchanted Night Walk Series To The U.S.

At Astra Lumina—the first Enchanted Lumina Night Walk based in the United States—visitors are guided on a luminous journey to connect with the stars before they return to the sky above through illuminating encounters of lighting, projections, and sound. This 15th event in the series is located at Anakeesta Theme Park in the Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and opened on October 21, 2022. 

This nighttime event was created by Moment Factory, an international multimedia studio. Live Design chats with Patricia Ruel, creative director for Astra Lumina at Moment Factory to get the inside scoop...

Live Design What was Moment Factory's role in this event?

Patricia Ruel: At Moment Factory, we have seen tremendous success with our Lumina Night Walk series that are popular around the globe. We seamlessly integrate multimedia in an outdoor, natural site to immerse visitors of all ages into an imaginative world that sparks emotion. We were very excited to work within the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was a dream location in terms of the natural beauty of the site. Our team worked to develop a universal storyworld using dynamic light, original soundscape, and projection to connect with the stars before they return to the sky above. Our goal is to bring people together for a magical one-of-a-kind experience. We were thrilled to learn that tickets sold out during the opening weekend.

LD: How does the video/tech interact with the architecture?

PR: We design our nightwalks to enchant visitors while working with the environment to leave nature as undisturbed as possible. For Astra Lumina at Anakeesta, we used a mixture of sound, lighting fixtures, media bars, and video projection to immerse the visitors into the world we’ve created while leaving a minimal impact on the environment. Our goal is that you’ll see lights and projections seamlessly weaved into the surrounding environment without ever breaking the illusion of the story world. 

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LD: What technology is being used, from screens to media servers, etc.

PR: Astra Lumina comes to life through the use of a range of multimedia technologies. We use media bars displaying video content created by a motion designer to create vibrant, colorful and dynamic content expressing the story of the shooting stars. We also employ video projection on a see-through mesh and hundreds of LED pixels to enable attendees to feel surrounded by the stars shimmering into the wood.We use multimedia technology to create worlds in which people feel immersed. It's not so much what tools we use, but rather it's the way we use them that creates a sense of wonder. It's a mix of real and virtual, integrated in a natural environment that makes this experience so unique.

LD: Who creates the content and what is the design intent for each installation?

PR: The success of our nightwalks require collaboration across a range of specialized teams including programmers, architects, creative designers, artists and more. We have a full range of creative, technological and production expertise under one roof that collaborate from a conception phase, through a design and production phase, to an integration and operation phase.

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LD: What is the most challenging part of this project? 

PR: Definitely the stability of the installation in both technical and creative terms. Using technology outdoors is challenging because we have to make sure that the installation can withstand all weather conditions and that the technology is hidden, not only to respect the environment, but also to be as unobtrusive as possible so that day visitors are not bothered by equipment.

We put a lot of emphasis on ensuring our nightwalks are seamless and are often working up to the final hours to ensure everything is in perfect sync, especially since the nightwalk story is told in synchronized chapters. We also have to be deliberate on our content strategy to ensure our story is accessible and interesting to the range of visitors who might attend from the young, energetic child to their grandparent and everyone in between. We definitely succeeded here and are incredibly proud of how it turned out. Next up is Astra Lumina Los Angeles at the city’s beautiful Botanic Gardens. Stay tuned! 

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