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Concept to Completion: MassMutual New York

February 13th, 2017


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This post was written by our president and creative director, Reed Rankin

MassMutual NYE event January 2017

My favorite thing in business is working with clients who seek a creative flair for their events. We've been fortunate over the years to work with many clients who have brought us their ideas to execute, or have asked for help in creating something unique. We'll meet to discuss their ideas, then I'll spend some time preparing some options and doing some concept renderings to illustrate them. Once they approve of the design, we design, fabricate, acquire or rent the props, backdrops and set pieces.

A recent example of this is a New Year's Eve themed event we created for our clients at MassMutual New York State. To celebrate the start of a new year with an expanded organization that includes Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse offices, Joseph Dileo, the General Agent of MassMutual Buffalo, tasked us with creating an event that would feel like a traditional New Year's Eve celebration and would also reinforce the message of a new, stronger family moving forward together.

We created a lounge area that featured large scale photo murals of famous landmarks during a New Year's Eve celebration: London's Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and a Chinese Dragon. Each mural contained a caption describing traditions relative to each culture. We also made a large scale working clock with an antique face, symbolizing the countdown to midnight.

For the stage itself, we built a scale model of an iconic building in Buffalo, traditionally the site of the city's outdoor New Year's Eve ball drop. We placed the 10' high building model center stage in front of a painted backdrop of a night cityscape. Incorporated into the model is a custom-made ball covered in color-changing LEDs and rigged to descend at midnight. Flanking the stage were two 7' x 12' rear projection screens that carried live and recorded video as well as the awards presentation.

We framed the awards presentation as a live TV event with Emcee Nicholas Picholas hosting the awards and occasionally checking in via "live remote" with the offices in Rochester and Syracuse. These video segments were prerecorded and scripted to appear like live interaction. At "midnight", everyone joined in for the countdown and ball drop, and then the DJ took over with dance music for the energetic crowd.

The accompanying images show our process of Concept to Completion: initial renderings and plans, and the final pieces installed at the event. We're on to the next one.

REED RANKIN'S ARTIST RENDERING OF EVENT DESIGN

 

 REED RANKIN'S ARTIST RENDERING OF EVENT DESIGN

 

SCALE MODEL OF ELECTRIC TOWER BUFFALO IN RPM STUDIO

ELECTRIC TOWER MODEL AS SET PIECE FOR CORPORATE EVENT

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