Shell Canada “It’s Time” 100th Anniversary Celebration
Shaw Centre – Calgary AB
In the initial meeting with the president of Shell Canada, she remarked at the incredible journey the company has been on since it’s inception 100 years ago – and the notion of time as the great catalyst for innovation. Shell is an innovation influencer and we knew the entertainment concept would need to be innovative, technology-based, theatrically exciting, yet impactful. noted in her objectives we found inspiration in the words “time” and “celebrate”. The decor of the room played into the technology/entertainment driven concept, which were the elements that brought the evening to life. The room started out as gray-scale with very little colour impact to signify the past. The environment evolved to colour through imagery and technical elements like lighting throughout the evening as we moved into the present and looked to the future. Incorporating a human element, dynamic energy-producing bikes were installed (a nod to Shell’s energy business). As the bikers started peddling, Versa Tube lights placed at the front of the stage lit up, streaking above guests heads and arcing onto a wall where over 200 more lighting tubes which had been strategically placed to look like lightning bolts (or electricity paths) ignited and continued down the wall’s 120’ length culminating into one spot where an imploding power surge sound effect rumbled and all the “energy” was transferred into a huge white 10’ x 10’ box.
Instantly, light burst from within the box and sent a solid beam of light up into the air and out of the box slowly rose a 24’ tall giant marionette constructed from polished aluminum pipe. Illuminated in brilliant light, the marionette (which was manually controlled by 7 puppeteers hidden in the box) came to life and became the host for a walk through of Shell’s 100-year history. A key to achieving the overall thematic goal of the event was securing archival footage for Shell that is available from only two companies in the world. One of them was in the UK and the other in Canada. Thankfully, we have a great relationship with both companies, and we were able to cut through some red tape and get the footage that we needed to piece together a compelling story. The footage was singularly the most important element in the project and without it; we would not have been able to bring our vision to life. The 24’ marionette was a favorite part of the show because it brought life to the experience as well as being striking both in size and appearance. From a technical standpoint we had to synchronize its movements with the content so that the marionette seemingly interacted and guided guests through the history of Shell. A challenge to be sure. When we programmed we had to consider range of motion, reach and sync up the interaction with all content. It was a diffcult task, but incredible when it all came together. The Shell “It’s Time” 100th Anniversary Event won the Esprit Award for ‘Best Technical Production’