Best Use of Technology at ICEAWARDS19

ICETEAM
Case Studies
10.08.2019 10:59

WITH SUCH A HARD AUDIENCE TO IMPRESS, ITV TOOK CREATIVE AND TECHNOLOGICAL RISKS WHICH RESULTED IN AN IMMERSIVE JOURNEY AND REALLY HIGHLIGHTED TECHNOLOGY AT ITS BEST

CATEGORY : Best Use of Technology

SPONSOR : Sparq

WINNER : ITV

EVENT : ITV Studios Global Entertainment Drama Festival ITV

LOCATION : London

DELEGATES : 400

The Objectives
Each year, the fortnight preceding the Drama Festival sees buyers travel from all over the world to attend multiple competitor showcases; a hard audience to impress as they have seen it all before. 

This year’s tactic was to take even more creative and technological risks to ensure that the bespoke content was delivered in a bold and unforgettable way. Not only did this chosen format stand out from competition, it generated the desired talkability and buzz around the priority titles for the second year running.

The Challenges
Contracted four months before the event, the Grade II listed status of the Roundhouse brought both prestige and challenge to the project. Whilst the team were intent on protecting and complementing the iconic architecture and history of the building, the boundaries of creativity and technology needed to be pushed in order to deliver on the desired objectives and offer up an experience like no other for the audience.

The venue’s rigorous health and safety regulations were a challenge from conception to delivery; during the three month long production tender several creative solutions were discounted due to unique restrictions and infeasibility, adding pressure from the outset to ensure that the finalised solution would be achievable within the space and timescale. Once agreed, finding a seating solution that would cater for the guest capacity and comply with regulations was the next challenge to overcome. 

The Event 
Held at London’s iconic Roundhouse the ITV Studios Global Entertainment Drama Festival saw over 400 delegates experience a range of new titles from ITV Studios’ production labels and leading independent producers.

Featuring a spectacular 360-degree projection, the audience were immersed in a world of storytelling; showcasing some of the most exciting upcoming titles.

Making the most of the impressive birdcage architecture, a larger than life 360- degree projection solution was adopted. The main hero screen measuring 14.3m x 6.79m was created using two Barco UDX-4K32 projectors and delivered full 4K playback, with a total canvas size of 19k x 2k resulting in an image size of 39 megapixels. 

65 metres of custom-made voile draping were installed around the venue’s iconic pillars to allow the content to seamlessly run out from the central screen, completely enveloping the space.

A staggering 21 Panasonic RZ970 laser projectors were used to display content between the pillars, producing a combined brightness of 250,000 lumens of light output, this created 19 screens, working alongside the hero screen to create the 360-degree experience - That’s more projectors than the Brits!

The entire system was delivered via a linked e2 graphics switcher using the latest 4k HDMI 2.0 input and output cards. The e2 allowed further redundancy in the system and additional capacity for external sources and PIPs to be added if required. This area was coined as ‘NASA’ and managed a whopping 2.9tb of content. 

It wasn’t just the video content that delivered an immersive audience experience. The in-house sound equipment was repurposed to create a 5.1 surround sound system. This, combined with the 360-degree projection, created a completely immersive viewing experience for the audience, putting them right in the heart of the action. 

With the video content taking centre stage, a simplistic lighting design was used to enhance the event environment whilst ensuring the on-stage panel speakers were beautifully lit. Working alongside the in-house lighting rig, the team installed new front, side and back lighting using Clay Paky Scenius Profiles. Not only did the fixtures effectively light the stage, they also ensured minimal light spill onto the 4k hero screen. 

The Results
As a result of the event, the ITV Studios brand was catapulted into a world class bracket, with clients on the day commenting that the event had raised the bar for competing events. The event not only helped kick start sales conversations, but buyers were still talking about its effectiveness at MIPTV the following month; asking for ‘save the date’ information so they could plan their buyers schedules in advance. 

According to verbatim feedback captured on the day and post-event, the experience was perceived as industry leading by attendees and survey results show the overall rating of the experience grew from 70% to 85% year-on-year. 

Due to an extremely successful communications campaign, it was a sell out against audience targets once again. With 406 total guests, the audience grew from 38% from the previous year, with 14% of this audience growth representing clients and with the total turnout performing 101% over the targeted audience figure, further cementing the event as a must have ticket within a saturated events calendar.

Judge Comments
In such a strongly contested category the winners demonstrated how they went above and beyond to utilise every single element of technology at their disposal within the event industry.

This not only enabled them to provide a great experience for everyone who attended, but also, carefully picking each individual area of technology to best exploit and showcase the content they had created. This had been custom made to run across multiple media servers to ensure the viewing is as dynamic as possible across a full three hundred and sixty degree angle.

Using technology in this way demonstrated how they applied this to best suit the many obstacles they faced with creating the event in such a unique space with so many different timeframes and challenges present within the environment.

Their application and synergy formed these together into an immersive journey that really highlighted technology at its best and at its most effective when used in this way. This resulted in a truly technology centric journey that is not only visually impactful but highlights why they are the rightful winners of this category.

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