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IMAGINE: Laservision Sets 2X Guinness World Record for Projection Shows!

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IMAGINE at Dubai Festival City - 'A Child's Dream' by Laservision

Laservision has just set a new Guinness World Record for “World’s Largest Permanent Projection Mapping” with IMAGINE, their large-scale show in Dubai. For this post, we interview Matthew Tuey, Marketing & Creative Concepts Manager to learn all about it.

IMAGINE is an incredible mega-media attraction, where the InterContinental Hotel of Dubai Festival City is transformed into a 4,857 square meter canvas for video mapping. The spectacle has also set the “World’s Largest Water Screen” Guinness record! It doesn’t stop at projection, it also “combines high-definition video, water-screens, dynamic fountains, lasers, surround-sound, intelligent lighting, and powerful flame effects.”

“We knew from the beginning that we wanted these two world records. Nobody has done anything like this before” – says Matthew, proud of what the team has accomplished. We can’t agree more… the show is magnificent!

Laservision is an Australian based company creating “unforgettable sensory experiences” by providing mega-media entertainment solutions. They focus on permanent attractions, architectural lighting and special events. Before IMAGINE, Laservision had also set the “World’s Largest Light and Sound Show” record for “A Symphony of Lights” attraction in Hong Kong. They really know their stuff!

Creating The Show

The initial concept for IMAGINE was born 5 years ago. Matthew remembers that “it all started when Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate (AFGRE) approached Laservision with the idea of creating a world-class spectacular, as a key feature, to complement their upgrade of the Dubai Festival City Mall.” He says that “Dubai is full of world firsts” hence why they wanted to do something amazing, with special multi-media tech for the entertainment industry; something never seen before…something that really stood out. 

“The client wanted to create an immersive experience, something that was truly unique, for local residents and tourists alike. For us, in our vision, we wanted to push the boundaries as well. We wanted to make the iconic Intercontinental hotel, a shining jewel.” Listening to Matthew speak is inspiring. I feel that watching the show for the first time would be a surprise, definitely a wow moment!

As for the time frame, Matthew is very exact “the show opened on December 26, 2016. It has been running consecutively every night, and it will continue to run every night in the foreseeable future” He says that “even though it launched in December, the team had been working on the installation and programming of the show for a year prior to that, so January 2016.”

The great thing about IMAGINE is that, as said before, it runs continuously. As Matthew puts it, “it’s not just open one day. It’s an ever-going show. It’s open everyday.”

The Premier Spectaculars

The main features of the IMAGINE attraction are the Premier Spectaculars. The audience can come out and enjoy them regularly. Matthew tells me “they’re more like stories, like narratives… it’s like going to the theatre and watching a short mini-movie. These mini productions use all the assets, and are very entertaining to watch” 

IMAGINE has two premier spectaculars which Matthew describes perfectly:

STARDANCER is an ethereal experience, its quite beautiful and interpretative. It features ballet and contemporary dance. It’s very artistic. It’s got a great classical soundtrack to it.”

A CHILD’S DREAM is a more fun and adventurous kind of experience. It’s full of fantasy and it’s very upbeat. We really wanted to use this production as an engagement tool, so kids got to draw on an ipad. They went to the dream station, and they would draw pictures from their imagination on the tablets. Then we would project them up on the Intercontinental hotel for everybody to admire.”

In addition to these impressive productions, the attraction also offers dynamic fountain shows every half hour, with vivid colours, lasers, fire effects, and modern music soundtracks. Perfect for the imagination!

But wait, there’s more: the IMAGINE attraction also allows for other events. The massive space and assets can be used for concerts, or can be integrated into special events like National Day, New Year’s Eve…etc.

Some Challenges

The timeframe was an important challenge.

“The scale of the project was huge and we basically built it in a year. We really had to do something that exceeded the market expectations, so there was a lot of hard-work and creation by our technical wizards to make it work everyday; and we accomplished our goal” says Matthew. He adds that “one of the bigger engineering challenges was to make, not only the software, but also the hardware, stable. We needed to build specific foundations for the 60 HD projectors used on the Intercontinental hotel.”

With temperatures in Dubai reaching 45-50° (113-122 F°), another challenge was the weather. “We constantly have the heat to worry about, so air-conditioning is essential for the devices to work on a long-term basis and not fail”

With this in mind, I am in total admiration of how the team at Laservision masterfully pulled it off!

What Will The Future Bring?

“There will be new additions to the video mapping project. In the future, we will focus on continuing and expanding the IMAGINE attraction, providing more wow moments for the audience.” – Matthew has just made me – and I’m sure all projection mapping fans – very happy.

I think that says it all, and it definitely sounds exciting – more projects for the attraction, and I already want to hop on a plane to Dubai! 

Can’t wait for the stories to come…