Video was used for the first time to project giant images onto the 353 ft high Shell Building on the South Bank of the River Thames for the Mayor of London’s 2008-09 New Year's Eve celebrations. The Projection Studio created a projection concept and suggested that they harness the flexibility and power of video for the first time on this event, on which The Projection Studio has worked for producers Jack Morton Worldwide for the last 5 years. With LG Electronics coming onboard as a new sponsor, they really wanted to up the production values, making the show something extra special and more spectacular this year.
The projectors were positioned 150 metres away from the Shell Tower in a 12 metre tall purpose built structure, together with a complex OnlyView® control system that was set up in an adjacent cabin, and operated by Richard Porter for the show. The 30 minute looped show was programmed by Porter, assisted by Karen Monid, onto 18 OnlyView® media servers. Sixteen servers were used for visuals. Ross Ashton collaborated closely with Jack Morton’s Kate MacKay on the creation of the artwork. BBH created the LG branding and a series of celebrity ‘talking heads’ with New Year greetings, featuring the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Dame Helen Mirren and others.
Says The Projection Studio’s Ross Ashton, "It was another milestone in giant video projection for The Projection Studio, and probably the UK's largest New Year video installation to date as well as a great opportunity for us to move the company forward." Projections kicked off at 8p.m. on New Year’s Eve as up to 400,000 revellers gathered in central London to await the rollover moment into 2009. A cool countdown clock comprising a burning fuse that snaked around the building as the minute-to-midnight moment approached was visualized by Ashton and produced in After Effects by Porter.