For the fourth consecutive year ETC London projected a series of giant images and text messages onto London’s 352-foot high Shell Tower as the metropolis rocked into 2008.
As in previous years, ETC was appointed by event producers Jack Morton Worldwide.
The spectacular, which included the projections, was organized by the Mayor of London in conjunction with the tourist organization Visit London. The images were part of a memorable pyrotechnic, lighting, and visual extravaganza designed to capture the spirit and inclusiveness of the Olympics this year, as well as looking forward to London’s own hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The event took place along the Thames, encompassing the South Bank between Jubilee and Westminster Bridges, and included the London Eye and Big Ben. An estimated 700,000 people went to central London to bring in the New Year, with an estimated 180,000 watching the event live from the banks of the Thames, while BBC 1’s live broadcast reached several million additional viewers.
The projections started at 9pm and ran up to a 60 second countdown just prior to the midnight lighting and firework show kick off.
Artwork for the slides, including the countdown and the Happy New Year finale image, was coordinated by Jack Morton's creative director Dan Colborne, while ETC undertook all the camera obscura and perspective correction work required to fit the images to the building.
ETC London's Ross Ashton designed the projection format, covering the full surface of the building with eight PIGI 6Kw projectors to produce mega bright images. The projectors were sited nearly 500 feet away on the edge of Jubilee Gardens, in a curtain-sider truck in a 4 top/4 bottom arrangement, complete with 40cm lenses. Each machine produced a 164-foot x 164-foot image, and these were overlaid for optimum brightness.
The load in was on December 28, followed by overnight programming and rehearsal sessions before the show, which was operated by Karen Monid using a PIGI OnlyCue system. ETC London’s chief engineer was Andy Murrell and all the project's logistics were handled for them by Paul Highfield.
Ross Ashton comments, "It was great to be working with Jack Morton on this seminal event again, and to be part of such a stunning and successful start to the year."
The evening culminated in a fireworks and pyrotechnics show, detonated from the London Eye and a series of barges, designed for Jack Morton by Christophe Berthonneau of Groupe F. The Eye itself was specially lit for the occasion by Durham Marenghi and Paul Cook, and the show was produced for Jack Morton by Jim Donald.