Science Faction of New York City is combining attention-getting laser displays with the old-fashioned tradition of barnstorming through the countryside to sell the locals on a new item. In this case, the product being promoted is Lucky Dog--Dial 10-10-345, the discount long-distance telephone service.
Science Faction used its one-of-a-kind futuristic mobile laser projection truck, Laser One, to bring the message of Lucky Dog (pictured) to 20 cities in 20 days. The self-contained laser projection head-end, built on an International truck frame, is 34.5' (10.5m) long and weighs over 45,000lb. The Crawford generator delivers 200kVA, enough to power two Coherent Innova large frame lasers (consisting of a 30W argon and a 6W krypton tube), proprietary Science Faction RGB projectors/ scanners, and another specially constructed 360-degree laser that rotates from its top-of-the roof perch for those ubiquitous aerial beams long associated with the typical summer festival laser show (or science fiction movie).
Laser One (which comes complete with its own sleeper compartment) is designed for laser events for audiences of up to 25,000 and uses a 10kW sound system, consisting of Bose speakers and QSC amps. Audio and timecode are run from CD and DAT, with most images stored for live or on-the-fly playback on proprietary computer systems. The truck, says company president Dick Sandhaus, "contains a full sound system, and a screen of our own design that after inflating can reach a size of 60' high by 50' wide [18x15m]. It has a 1,000-gallon reservoir for water storage and usage during the show. All we need upon arrival at a show site is a water hookup and an early sunset. Our systems are designed to provide a complete turnkey laser event; for Lucky Dog, we displayed laser messages and animation for two continuous hours."
For this show, the animation consisted of an 80'-high (24m) Lucky Dog thinking about long-distance telephone service, with comic book-like messages appearing in a bubble over his head, then finally pressing the buttons. Besides the rush-hour display (often on the side of downtown buildings), specially timed laser shows were scheduled to coincide with evening newscasts. "This event was really an advertising campaign with a movable billboard. We reached millions who viewed the show live, and tens of millions who saw it via the TV coverage," Sandhaus says.
The 21-year-old company plans to upgrade Laser One's capabilities and outfit another truck. Science Faction is currently preparing its first-ever holiday laser attraction, which has as its theme "Light Snow Expected," and will be displayed hourly at Grand Central Terminal inNew York City.