Saks Fifth Avenue New York is one of the world’s most visited department stores and its traditional holiday season display has become a must-see attraction to locals and tourists alike. For this season’s dramatic lighting show American Christmas Inc. teamed with projection mapping innovators Integrated Visions Productions to feature a seamless integration of LED and traditional lighting fixtures with an architectural projection mapping display on the world-famous Manhattan store façade.
An Enchanted Experience was a unique presentation of projection and hard lighting layered on the same surface into one display. To complement their projection design, Integrated Visions Productions installed an array of 1800 LED nodes, strobes, up-lights, and lit garlands for use not just as an accent to the projections but also to interact with projected elements across the same structural details to produce a spectacular result.
Three Pharos LPC4s were synced with Barco HD projectors driven by a Coolux Pandora’s Box Media Server. The LPCs communicated via DMX, ArtNet, SMPTE and MIDI to control all the lighting elements and trigger the other control components in a complete frame-locked synchronised show. This included Pharos’ control of a digital audio workstation to trigger playback of the various frame-synced audio tracks. One of the key reasons Integrated Visions Productions chose Pharos was to solve the issue of keeping both the lighting/audio system on one side of 5th Ave in perfect sync with the projection equipment across the street. In addition to the use of SMPTE, a backup ArtNet triggering system was also implemented to be sure each show was presented without fail and in perfect sync.
The ease of creating pixel matrices in the Pharos Designer software plus its triggering and control management enabled the many lighting elements to be designed directly as video layers during media production, integrating video and lighting on a much tighter level. The entire show, presented exclusively by MasterCard, played every 10 minutes to an anticipated audience of 25 million and was a fitting homage to the incredible legacy of Saks Fifth Avenue, born in the roaring ‘20s when shopping was glamorous and everything felt possible.