News for the Hospitality Executive
Orlando, Fla. (May 20, 2010) — There is no such thing as "too big" for PSAV® Presentation Services and The Disney Event Group (DEG) here. Presented with the idea that the future is a "blank canvas" by Transitions Optical for its 2010 Annual Convention, the PSAV/DEG team conceptualized filling the 84,000 square-foot ballroom at Disney's Yacht & Beach Resort with just that -- a blank canvas or immersive video screen -- to support the meeting message: "Never Lose Sight of the Possibilities." The collaborative effort resulted in the production of a Wide Area Video or WAV that is longer than a football field and the "World's Widest Single Blended Video Display System."
“This event demonstrated the ultimate partnership between creativity and technology,” said Rick Barranco, Producer for Disney Event Group. “From my 25-plus years in the industry, I can honestly say that this project was the ultimate example of partnership and collaboration. The creative influenced the technology, while the technology influenced the creative. We could not have accomplished this without [PSAV] being involved from the beginning."
PSAV is the leading supplier of audiovisual and event technology to hotels, associations, producers and meeting planners worldwide. With more than 800 luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers worldwide, PSAV is totally committed to making every live event an unforgettable experience. The Disney Event Group provides meeting planners with exclusive access to resources of the world's premier entertainment and creative content company.
“As the onsite event-technology provider at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, PSAV really understands the business; we partner with them exclusively,” Barranco said. “But this event was really that rare diamond in the rough."
He explained that the Disney Event Group has clients that really trust its judgment, so part of the "Disney Difference" is to produce a show with perfect technical execution, knowing that their team will work with trusted partners like PSAV to make that happen.
“PSAV brought outstanding, even outlandish, ideas to the table,” Barranco said. “They used their connections in the AV equipment industry to get help from manufacturers to pull off this event of historic proportions.”
From Concept to Completion
Since 2007 PSAV and DEG have been producing an annual convention for Transitions Optical at this Disney resort. Each year upon its completion, the event planner, would ask: "How are you going to top this unforgettable and outstanding event next year?"
For 2010, Transitions Optical wanted to share with convention delegates its future vision for the company, especially in the midst of a changing economic climate. The company wanted its attendees to visually understand that change is the new normal, and their future was a blank canvas waiting to be filled with unlimited possibilities.
Beginning in June 2009, the collaborative PSAV/DEG creative teams began conceptualizing how to literally wrap the convention hall with just that -- an enormous blank canvas. The idea was to help the meeting goers return back to their youth; a time when they were unafraid to paint a bright future, unencumbered by life’s boundaries.
The goal was to wrap the entire ballroom with a 360-degree blank-canvas look, including 315-feet of projection surface, thereby creating an immersive environment. However, creating a cost-effective, super widescreen experience during a down economy, without compromising the creative vision, was going to be a challenge. Developing a new solution that met the customer's budget also was a challenge.
"The criteria was to design the system around gear that was readily available from existing inventory and avoid exotic sub rentals," said Jess Stephens, Regional VP of Operations for PSAV in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "What we needed was a system that could fit into an 84,000 square foot ballroom with a 22-foot-high ceiling. With a little tweaking, we were able to maneuver our rigging equipment to support the height requirements. And the exciting part was width dimensions were limitless."
After months of collaborative effort, DEG produced a nine-minute, full animation story that gave PSAV and DEG the motive to break new ground and achieve a new level of successes and skills. PSAV used 16 DL3s (a first for the industry) to create the wide screen blend for a single image animation, and included image magnification windows and Panasonic 10Ks for presenters’ content and business messages. High End Systems provided the technology that allowed the DL3s to blend. The DL3s were controlled with a Whole Hog console, using all eight universes and utilized a second console for redundancy. Video files were transferred to the DL3’s onboard AXION media servers through a gigabit Ethernet infrastructure.
So what was projected on this screen that is longer than a football field?
The Creative Content
Using the collaborative efforts of Disney animators (visual elements), film composers (musical landscape) and published writers (creative content), DEG developed a story that triggered the imagination of everyone in the room.
DEG Creative Director Ken Malquist explained: "The story began with a child practicing writing her numbers and then becoming tired of the repetition. Exasperated, she sighs heavily and the numbers are blown off the page, leaving her practice paper blank. Then, with all of the numbers scattered about, the child begins to imagine them as funny bugs and brings them to life by adding legs, fins and wings. The new creatures come to life and begin to fill not only the blank paper, but now move to the blank screen and begin to fill it from end to end. The creatures morph into fish under the sea, bugs on the land, and butterflies in the air -- all 17 feet tall and wrapping around the meeting room.
"In this immersive theatrical experience, delegates felt as though they, too, were swimming under the sea, traveling over the landscape and soaring above the clouds," he said. "They remembered how their imagination used to soar and they left the meeting inspired by the theme of this event."
According to PSAV's Stephens, this production was a tall order, but it's one that meeting delegates and the client will never forget.
When you are dealing with event technologies and are supported by Disney's finest creative directors, producers, event stage managers, project managers, and technical producers, anything is possible and big is never big enough," said Stephens said. "We at PSAV are so proud to have developed the 'World's Widest Single Blended Video Display System' in collaboration with the finest creative minds in the industry. Together we have set a new precedent for meetings using event technologies -- and this is just the beginning. With PSAV and Disney, anything is possible."
For information on PSAV products and services, visit www.psav.com.
About PSAV® Presentation Services
PSAV is the leading supplier of audiovisual and event technology to hotels, associations, producers and meeting planners worldwide. With over 800 luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers worldwide, PSAV is totally committed to making every live event an unforgettable experience. PSAV’s goal is to turn ordinary meetings into memorable experiences so the message lasts. For more, please visit: www.psav.com.
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