Projection mapping using the latest Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors is enhancing the world-famous Radio City Rockettes productions at New York's Radio City Music Hall – including the 2016 engagement of New York Spectacular and the upcoming Christmas Spectacular.
Engaged by The Madison Square Garden Company, DWP Live has deployed three distinct arrays of Christie Boxer projectors – eight on each side of the theatre and six in the projection booth – to create an immersive environment with a kaleidoscope of colours and imagery onto the archway ceiling and backdrop.
Danny Whetstone, DWP Live founder and president, said: “We did a temporary installation on short notice a few months prior for the ‘Adele’ live NBC broadcast at Radio City. After some meetings and a demonstration of the Christie Boxer projector, we were thrilled to provide our services to the Madison Square Garden Company to enhance its 2016 production of New York Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City with our content design upgrades to make the show come to life in a big way and more immersive for the audience.
“When discussing projector options for the upgrade install, we knew we wanted 30,000 lumens and a significant improvement in brightness, contrast and colour depth. The Boxer was chosen as the best option because of its flexibility, lower ambient noise level, and its ability to natively display 4K resolution,” Whetstone continued.
DWP Live and Christie had to working on an extremely tight deadline over the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. The installation was completed in only five days with the Rockettes already in full dress rehearsal and only two weeks before the New York Spectacular opened. “We definitely jumped through whatever hoops we could to get this done and Christie was super accommodating, making sure we received everything we needed to get it done on time,” Whetstone added.
The storyline around New York Spectacular celebrated New York City in the summertime and centered on the trip of a lifetime for two kids, who, while on a vacation in New York, were separated from their parents. The city magically comes to life to help to reunite their family in the end. The production features iconic scenery of New York locations and landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Wall Street, Central Park and Times Square, alongside larger-than-life statues like the Statue of Liberty and the Wall Street bull.
“All of the content works to bring the audience closer and makes them feel like they are in the environment rather than just watching it,” said Whetstone. “With the installation of projection mapping technology, Radio City was virtually transformed – creating a new live entertainment experience. I had the pleasure of seeing opening night of New York Spectacular, and the projection mapping brought another level of awe and excitement to audiences. Rather than just focusing on the stage, the show became an immersive experience. Being involved in this project from installation to audience member reminded me why we strive for excellence – to provide the best experience possible for all who see it.”
The installation is raising the profile of DWP Live as a company that not only produces one-off events using projection mapping, but also permanent projection mapping installations. “The key takeaways from this installation are our ability to work on a short timeline and our delivery of a quality product that will be enjoyed and experienced for years to come. We don’t look at any projects as one-offs. We develop and design a real structure for the long term,” Whetstone concluded. “Not only did this project help us build on our long-standing relationship with Christie, it created a footprint in New York City at one of the most prominent venues in the world and strengthened our relationship with the Madison Square Garden Company and Radio City Music Hall. We are proud of what we accomplished and very excited for future collaborations.”