46 Mapped Projectors Market Star Wars Products On One Face Of NYC’s Empire State Building

April 12, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Forty-six projector were sync’d and blended to fill the upper levels of one facade of the Empire State Building in New York with a five minute show celebrating the Star Wars movie series and encouraging fans to buy various consumer products marketed by Lucasfilm during its “Imperial March” marketing campaign.

The art deco skyscraper, which older folks will know was long known as the tallest office tower in the world, was lit up with a projection mapping and sync’d audio show last month, for one night only. The show was run several times through the evening.

The video sequences were created by the team at Industrial Light Magic, Lucasfilm’s visual effects house.

“The need to think about it differently is that there are many unique things that need to be taken into account to make sure that what gets put on this facade will actually translate correctly and will work correctly, visually and as part of the overall story,” Khatsho Orfali, ILM visual effects supervisor, told StarWars.com. “What may look good as a composition and a scene that plays out in a movie theater or on a regular TV screen may not necessarily directly translate in the same way, to work well, once projected onto the facade of a building. It’s a very unique canvas.”

The work took four months to pull together, and included new VFX material that was then blended with archival footage from Star Wars films.

“We came up with ideas and created concept art for what would look the best, have the most impact, and know that the fans are going to love seeing,” says Orfali. “Once we got selects from those frames, we went into shot production and got to where we’re at today.”

The creative agency SUPERBIEN, which is Paris-based but has a team in New York, did the technical work on the actual projection, having already mapped the skyscraper for a previous show involving the Netflix series Stranger Things.
Skywalker Sound, Lucasfilm’s sound design and mixing firm, handled the audio. It was sync’d to a broadcast of the “Imperial March” music on a iHeartRadio channel.

  1. David Paolini says:

    Wonder what brand/models of projectors were used?

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