Wageningen, NL - 2020
Media courtesy of Mr.Beam Studio
On May 5, 1945, Germany signed its capitulation in Hotel De Wereld, in Wageningen, the Netherlands. This is commemorated every year by the lighting of the Freedom Fire in front of the hotel on the night of 4 to 5 May, in the presence of politicians and veterans This year, even the king was planned to attend. But then Corona followed. Would no one be able to attend the event, just when the Netherlands were celebrating 75th anniversary of the liberation? This is where Barco and Mr.Beam Studio come in.
Mr.Beam Studio is a creative agency from Utrecht. The team of both creatives and technicians create audio-visual experiences through projection mapping, among other things. Their work brings everything around us - spaces, buildings and objects- to life, in order to tell a captivating story spatially.
Initially, there was talk of cancelling the ceremony of May 4. But that would have been a great loss. So Wageningen asked Mr.Beam Studio to develop an audio-visual commemoration.
Quickly invented, extremely haunting
In barely twenty days, the creative agency worked out a performance, to be projected on Hotel De Wereld. From the storyboard, up to the video and voice-over to the technical side. "Projection mapping on architecture is the most challenging," says Mo Assem of Mr.Beam, "As couldn't physically sit together, we followed an entirely digital workflow. Fortunately, we were certainly ready for our test." An example of how the sector immediately reinvents itself.
Reliable projectors quickly found
Mr.Beam also had to pick the best projectors quickly. The agency went for two Barco UDX-4K40 projectors, a deal through AED Group. "We needed reliable technology," continues Assem, "and we have known for some time that Barco offers it. We almost always work with their solutions."
The devices offered guaranteed constant high brightness -37,500 lumens - and constant colours - from the widest colour spectrum on the market. All this in razor-sharp 4K-UHD resolution and without image flicker, thanks to the laser phosphor light source.
"Reliability was key," notes Assem. "Not only because the tribute had to be impeccable, but also because we had to set up and project everything in one day. Fortunately, the projectors are also easy to transport and install, because we weren't allowed to be present with a full occupancy".
Subdued, digital tribute
From 9 p.m. onwards, fourteen representatives received a flame on the square in front of Hotel De Wereld, to light the Freedom Fire at midnight in their own city. All of the Netherlands were able to follow the event live, via live streams on the internet and television. Like the impressive tribute of Mr.Beam Studio, just minutes before midnight, accompanied by a beautiful spoken message about freedom and a cello solo.
"A spectacle with an undeniable wow-factor, which, however, is secondary to the story that touches people more than ever in these Corona times. From a distance, we've reached and gathered them."
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