The main challenge at Oracle Open World ‘04, held in December in San Francisco, was to combine two formerly separate user groups–Oracle Open World and Oracle Apps–into one for the general session.

With a much larger audience than previous years–but the same budget–Oracle creative director Paul Salinger and creative producer Don Richards brought in executive producers Kerry Williams and Cory Burton from Invision Communications. They, in turn, enlisted Obsurca Digital of San Francisco, Radium, and Lightswitch. Together, they conceived the idea of developing a set composed entirely of video.

Rather than using a more traditional set, the environment was created by a total continuous display area that was 400’ in length and 18’ high. Two center video screens formed the anchor, with four additional screens off to each side. The spaces between were filled with Main Light Soft LED curtains with fiber optics. With a total of 18 individual video feeds to coordinate not only with each other, but with the lighting design–and only one day to load in–Lightswitch’s Norm Schwab and the rest of the design team quickly realized that all of the design work would need to happen in advance. So they turned to Tom Thompson and his team at Prelite San Francisco.

To facilitate the intricacies of the programming, Prelite deployed ESP Vision software, which allowed the video imagery to run native on the visualization software. With Schwab and Paul Efron acting as lighting designers, Phil Shearer as automated and media programmer, and Eric Fedler as conventional programmer, the system was set up to run all of the automated lighting and media from one Flying Pig Systems Wholehog® 2 with the conventional lighting run from a second Wholehog 2. MIDI from one Hog was used to issue serial commands to the media servers. Steve Swanson acted as production manager.