E\T\C France recently supplied a stunning, complex, and elegant high powered video projection show for leading Parisian jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels. The images were projected onto the front of the their newly redesigned flagship store in Paris’s majestic Place Vendôme.

Produced by Aslize and designed by Scenographism, the projection show featured two Christie 25K projectors and E\T\C France’s OnlyView control system.

The event marked the end of a year of celebrations for Van Cleef & Arpels’ centenary, which started when they moved into the Place Vendôme salon in 1906. The interiors have now been completely redesigned by designer Patrick Jouin, creating more space and bringing a contemporary chic aspect to classic French style and the historically significant ambience of Place Vendôme.

The opening was a select, invitation-only red carpet event for Van Cleef & Arpels’ 500 best clients. The exclusivity of the occasion demanded some very special presentation, so Van Cleef & Arpels turned to innovative event producers Aslize to conceive and design a ‘magical’ video projection show.

The idea was that this could be appreciated by arriving guests and also enjoyed by the public walking and driving thorough Place Vendôme

“Projection was the obvious solution,” says Aslize’s technical director Dan Fernandez, “It looks stunning and has a massive impact.” It also meant they could safely bathe the building—subject to historic restrictions—in light, images, and animations without physically touching it.

Image designer Fabien Martineau has completed many high profile projects with E\T\C France and often uses the medium of video and large format film projection in his work. “They are the only company I would consider using,” he explains. “They have the best equipment, a massive amount of expertise, and the flexibility of OnlyView saves much time and stress in programming and the final realization.”

Martineau created an animated show storyboard to meet Van Cleef & Arpels’ tough aesthetic brief, which also had to be related to the relaunch and what was happening inside the showroom “The nature of the project was very specific,” says Martineau. “They wanted very subtle, elegant, understated, and beautiful projections with lots of detail.” Any colors used also had to be restrained and in keeping with this theme.

These projections are the most challenging to produce and apply in the world of painting buildings in light.

Once the creative was approved by the client, Aslize and E\T\C France came up with the technical specifications.

Using the highest-powered video projectors allows intricate and delicate details to be reproduced and complex animations to flow seamlessly across the canvass.

This is why they chose the two Christie 25s to cover the 30mx10m high surface area with 16:9 aspect ratio images.

Martineau spent a month compiling source material for the three-minute looped show—a combination of digital photos of jewels, drawings and conceptual sketches taken from Van Cleef's theme and Jouin’s designs. He also took elements from Jouin’s work in wood, glass, and metal materials inside the salon—roses, garlands, sunflowers, and fairies—fusing them with the impressive architectural aspects of 22 Place Vendôme in the projection show.

The Van Cleef & Arpels building is an interesting shape, split into two halves on a corner of the square. The right hand side features five prominent Corinthian style pillars and has a lot of depth, while the left half is a much flatter and has a simpler aspect. It’s all constructed from sandstone, which is ideal for projection.

The finalized program files were stored on four OnlyView computers—one for each projector, a master, and one for running the 5.1 audio soundtrack.

Onsite, the projectors were positioned 25m away in two specially constructed, discreet hides, designed by Aslize. All the necessary perspective and keystone correction was done onsite using OnlyView software—which makes it an extremely quick and easy process. All the masking to fit the images to the building was also completed in OnlyView by programmer Nicolas Manichon.

The resulting footage saw the front of the building come alive with fairies whizzing in and out of the columns, working their magic; roses and garlands ‘growing’, snowflakes flying, butterflies fluttering, and stars twinkling. Ephemeral, and perfectly fitted to the lines and contours of the building, the creative and technical aspects of the show were a huge success and thrilled the clients, their guests and the public alike.

E\T\C France’s five person crew consisted of Nicolas Manichon, Robin Darraux, Yannick Kohn, Patrick Lefevre, Patrick Matuszek. The event’s production manager was Marie-Elise Chocroun and the stage managers were Adolphe Peres and Vincent Renault.