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lighting design of immersive Nissan snow globe

By Design: Christien Methot Lights The Nissan Snow Globe

As if a harbinger for a long, cold, northeastern winter, Nissan built a giant snow globe at the Oculus at the World Trade Center in New York City in December 2018 to launch its latest model Altima. The walk-in-size snow globe was produced by Stuart Wiessman Productions, and lit by Christien Methot of Design One, working in collaboration with ad agency TBWA and experiential agency Fake LoveThe idea was to set the 2019 Nissan Altima in a variety of urban winter scenes, with snow swirling under the dome.

“The role of the lighting designer was to transform the snow globe in a theatrical setting in a realistic manner, using light to move from a sunny day to a rainy afternoon to a stormy night,” explains Methot. “The lighting, the snow machines, and a video floor all worked in harmony to create the desired effects.”

lighting design of immersive Nissan snow globe

The lighting gear, provided by 4Wall Entertainment, included 12 Elation Artiste Picasso units, four Elation Fuze wash 575s, and 80 Chroma-Q Color Force II 12'' striplights.  An MA Lighting  grandMA2 full size console triggered via SMPTE controlled the video floor content via Dataton Watchout. “We were all in sync with the sound track, which was embedded in the video,” Methot explains.

The 36' snow globe was basically a custom-made geodesic dome stretched with plastic—a white opaque back half and a transparent front half. One arch of truss, like part of a circle truss, ran concentric with the inside of the geodesic dome. “People can walk inside. It was an Instagram moment in the world’s largest snow globe,” quips the LD.

lighting design of immersive Nissan snow globe

“The video floor tiles made it look like the car was moving through the environment,” says Methot, who points out that additional gear was sourced from United Rigging and VER, with Ed D’Amico in charge of the video.

“We hid the striplights behind the scenery and into the floor of a tipped forward forced perspective New York City skyline and all around the perimeter to treat the back of the geodesic dome like a cyclorama,” Methot adds, noting that the Fuze fixtures were all about the car, washing it with light.

“The Picasso fixtures added texture in the sky, from logos to clouds, which were puffy on a sunny day to streaky as we get into a storm,” says Methot. “We wanted to show the environment from sun to rain to snow, to market the new Nissan Altima SUV.”

All the color comes from the Chroma-Q striplights. “The great dynamic range of color helped us transform the space,” praises Methot. “The new lens is nice, and they are incredibly bright.”

An experiential, fully immersive experience, combining theatrical techniques and marketing savvy to tell the story of a new car!

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