City of DreamsCity of Dreams | Macau, China, 2009
What It Was
City of Dreams wanted a signature attraction that could help distinguish itself from the competition. The City of Dreams water theme lent itself to an immersive experience that would lead the audience on a magical journey that had relevance to the resort, Macau and China. A new type of theatrical space was invented for the project, that included a 360 degree space where a story could be told that exploded on all sides of the audience. The Bubble Theater houses the first presentation "Dragon's Treasure" where the story of how City of Dreams was built on top of the ruins of a palace of the Jade Emperor from Chinese mythology. The Bubble becomes a magical portal that allows guests to dive down to visit the Jade Palace and visit the dragons, whales, octopus and fantastic creatures in search of the Pearl of Wisdom.
What We Did
The Bubble Theater is a 20 meter tall x 30 meter wide elliptically domed space. 15 video projectors blend to create one high resolution surround projected environment working in concert with a 52-channel audio system to create one of the most unique and dynamic venues in the world.
Lightswitch layered 10,000 LED pixel points along with small and large strobes, moving lights, and larger LED fixtures within and behind the perforated dome. In addition, several moving elements are able to penetrate the audience area through portals. These include jellyfish and coral, some of which house elaborate water screens. RGB and white LED systems are controlled via video pixel mapping, as are other elements within the lighting system, which allows the lighting to synch perfectly with the video media sources.
Lightswitch worked with their partners at Ptarmigan Consulting to design the elaborate control system that was both DMX and video driven.
Several types of custom LED fixtures were created with Lighting Science Group for the project; including in-ground wash and spots, IP68 linear water fixtures and effect lighting that adapted to moving LN2 nozzles.
Why It Worked
Dragon's Treasure show has become a big draw for City of Dreams, bringing thousands of people to the resort every day to see the show. People react well to the story, action, media and lighting effects with gasping, clapping and general looks of astonishment at every show.
The creative team strived to design a new entertainment medium where the story could expand beyond 2 dimensions. Video, LED's, lighting and surround sound combine to create a new experiential venue that blurs the boundaries between the show and the audience.
Lightswitch was involved from the beginning of the project and brought its expertise in entertainment, architecture and placemaking along with the show's creative producers, Falcon's Treehouse and Mr. Geoff Benham, the Special Effects Project Manager of Melco Crown Entertainment Limited.
Lightswitch was intimately involved in all aspects of the production, which helped create a cohesive spectacle. Involvement in other areas of the casino included the West Entrance, exterior lighting for the Bubble and the Virtual Aquarium. The Virtual Aquarium acts as the main entrance to the resort, with projected mermaids interacting with guests from within a curved acrylic environment with water streaming down the front. The lighting for the space plays in-sync to the media, splashing complementary colors over coves and the main chandelier.
Images and video courtesy of Jason Goldenberg