Breaking a World Record in Las Vegas
Sometimes the long shot becomes the unicorn project. As creatives it’s a far away dream to find patrons driven to create marketing spectaculars with artistic integrity. Not to mention at mind boggling scale. These projects require bold marketing teams, executives with vision, and flush funding.
Over 1.6 million lumens of light. A custom song by world famous DJs Alok, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and KSHMR. This is the story behind the project that started as a 5 minute projection mapping show, and ended up as a world record, multi million dollar project, leading to an 8% increase in North America for a 50 billion dollar company's most valuable gaming property.
When Garena reached out to Limelight in May of 2021, the email was simple; we want to do a special projection mapping event at a location that is iconically American [considering NY, SF or Vegas]. The goal was to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Free Fire, the most downloaded mobile game in the world [2019 & 2020] on a spectacular scale.
Garena was planning celebrations around the world and this project was the crown jewel. With the event scheduled for August, the timeline was tight with no location selected and an ambitious concept; what happens when we merge video game assets with Limelight’s signature style of architectural mapping.
The wish list was straight forward; iconic location, 5 minute artwork, celebrating the artistry of the game. With no venue selected, Limelight hit the road. Since many restrictions around the pandemic were still in place in NY and CA, the team placed focus on Las Vegas. In addition to being business friendly, Las Vegas was hurting from the loss in tourism, so we knew building owners would be open to working with us. In addition, if we found the right canvas, the drone footage with the Vegas lights in the background would be breathtaking.
After a lot of measurements, tough negotiations and logistical challenges, Limelight secured the perfect venue; the Tropicana. The white surface of the hotel not only provided a breathtaking frame with the Vegas skyline in the background, it also had an employee parking lot where the equipment could live. We were able to tape off a section of the parking lot for our gear, to build out our 4 story projector tower, which was critical in a city where real estate comes at a premium.
With our site secured, it was time to create a 3D model of the building and get creative. While the site was being selected, we had begun storyboarding. Our Creative Director worked closely with the client to workshop how we could bring assets from the video game into a mapping environment. The result was one of the most unique and exciting marketing projects Limelight has worked on.
At the start of the show, some of the game's best known characters emerge from a laser scan on the building. During the show 3D assets from the game, including a stage designed for in game play was used to show the world class DJs who create the song specially for this event. Alok, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and KSHMR all illuminated the Vegas skyline as a part of the mapping experience alongside characters from the game.
Around 60 days out things got really interesting. As the client started to see the potential of this massive installation, the decision was made to pivot from a 5 minute tapped event, to a 2 hour private party with the top gaming influencers. This required our creative team to come up with ideas on how to create a lot of high quality content, and fast. The first layer we added was a local dj and drummer who performed a 20 minute set with his incredible 180 degree LED drum kit, complete with a mapped backdrop by Limelight.
Next our creative team decided to leverage this massive display and created welcome signs for all of the influencers. As they arrived, we displayed their gamertag and social media links on the building. This was an absolute hit. It was low cost to the client and quick for our team to create the graphic package for each gammer. When each influencer arrived at the party, their name was displayed on the building. They were then able to take photos and post, giving the event a ton of extra visibility and social media posts, which was one of the main metrics of success in the project.
Midnight thoughts after 18 hour days tend to fall into two categories; genius or worthless. While pouring over the projector plan, and considering the absolutely massive scale of using 52 Barco projectors, spread out over 4 tiers of scaffolding, a couple thoughts dawned on us. Was this the largest system ever built in the US? And what is the world record for the largest video game display?
Research revealed that while there was project with 8 more projectors on the Hoover Dam, they were only 20,000 lumens and HD, being completely dwarfed by our 48 30,000 4k Barco’s and an addition 4 of the larger 38,500 lumen models, for an output of over 1.6 million lumens. Additionally, the previous world record for the largest projected video game display, set by Xbox, was almost doubled with this project. And so began the process to connect with Guinness World Records in order to pull off an incredible last minute push to break a world record. Breaking that record became a defining moment of the project and brought another moderate cost, high value win to the production.
To round out the programming for the evening, Limelight had one more surprise in store. With the opportunity to share their work on one of the biggest projection mapping stages ever created, past Masterclass students were commissioned to create an artwork under the theme of “Revival”. Their expression of how to move forward in a world ravaged by the pandemic. Alongside some of Limelight’s senior artists, masterclass alumni created solo artworks that were displayed one after another as a collection. The result was powerful and added a layer of meaning to the evening.
This project required over 15 vendors and over 100 team members. It came at a time when the event industry needed it most, and Limelight was proud to produce a project at such a dire time for the live event industry. It’s a project we’ll never forget, and hope to build upon in the future.