About those pillars...
What do Nike and the Pennsylvania Hotel’s Penn Pavilion have in common? Pillars. The Jordan brand underpins the company’s business; mighty columns prop up this large venue’s ceiling. Both are impressive, but the venue’s pillars got in the way when the venue was revamped and renamed Pearl Pavilion to showcase the brand that buttresses Nike’s bottom line.
The Jordan brand’s 30-year history could have been presented to fans on many occasions, but surely none as fitting as New York’s NBA All- Star Weekend. It’s a magnet for people who would also be drawn to memorabilia from the master of gravity defiance, sneakers owned by His Airness himself, and another truly awe-inspiring attraction.
Our client envisioned a futuristic half-court where fans could reenact two of the master’s most famous shots. The vision was put into practice with a floor and walls made of LED panels conjuring remarkably realistic 4K images of unforgettable plays and audiences in period costume. The player’s moves were mapped out on the floor while flesh-and-blood b-ballers made assists or blocked shots. The audience responded differently depending on whether one’s MJ avatar scores. See a demo video.
satis&fy got in on the action when the venue–that infamous building across the street from Madison Square Garden that currently houses the multilevel Pearl Pavilion–was chosen. Its most recent incarnation as an event location dates back to the ‘80s, so our service package had to be rather extensive.
This wasn’t the first time we were tasked to serve as the overall production company, which is shorthand for ‘You do the renovation, painting, tidying, cleaning, and the like.’ We also brought in heavy equipment such as forklifts and hoisting platforms, and furnished people-power to support the other ten local service providers. It could be said that we were this million-dollar project’s main pillar. satis&fy LLC was responsible for everything installed at the venue, from event architecture to lighting, sound and video gear. We moved a mountain of material for the human video game developed by AKQA and Stardust, hauling in 340 8-mm LED floor panels and 560 3.9-mm Pixel Pitch wall panels providing 1,066,240 and 9,175,040 pixels, respectively, for a whopping total of 10 megapixels to display the game’s WATCHOUT-controlled graphical projections.
The quality of craftsmanship that went into our custom designs merits special mention. Our pride and joy is the infinity display consisting of 2,200 PMS Color Match LEDs and a double-sided 1.5 x 1.5 m mirror. The 30 Jordan History Suitcases added a nice touch reminiscent of a museum gallery. Hung from the ceiling and backed with gold infinity mirrors, they held artifacts that tell the Michael Jordan story. Our crew also crafted a bespoke registration desk and DJ booth, and decked out the Hallway of Greatness with high-definition, large-format photo prints. All custom builds were pimped out with an impressive array of LEDs, a new in-house service that we also offer for other projects.
Some pillars are evidently less lovable. Our team of decorators certainly wasn’t thrilled with the venue’s many obstructive columns. It took some wily workarounds to put up what surely had to be miles of muslin, hush cloth and black foil wall coverings.
And as if all that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the crew managed to juggle five other NY productions, all at the same time. How is that even possible? Only with a team of talented techies who always rise to the occasion when crunch time comes.