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Fall 2016 Newsletter

All Around the Town with Terracotta Warriors

All Around the Town with Terracotta Warriors

It’s not every day we get to recreate the warriors of ancient China’s first emperor. In fact, Chicago Scenic created six custom warriors for surprise appearances throughout the city.

It was all part of The Field Museum of Natural History’s event as it welcomed nine of Emperor Qin Shihuang’s terracotta warriors into its exhibit, “China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors”.

To maximize attention to the new exhibit, The Field Museum’s experiential agency, DDB Needham, created a three-week long “Spot A Warrior” campaign that featured six custom warriors that appeared throughout the city.

Chicago Scenic teamed with fiberglass partner Weber Group in Indiana to produce six 5.8-foot tall figures, all with different facial features and uniforms. Each warrior was made with extra attention to durability, since they were exposed to weeks of Chicago’s summer weather conditions.

Once Weber Group completed fabricating the figures, they were shipped to Chicago Scenic where painters used scenic techniques to paint each figure, using small scale models to help them replicate intricate details.

Each warrior was then attached to a custom threefoot square layered steel base, bringing each figure’s weight up to 375 pounds.

In the early morning hours throughout the campaign, Chicago Scenic crews moved the warriors to different locations, ensuring pedestrian and traffic safety and providing commuters with an early morning surprise.

The Field Museum shared clues about the warriors’ changing locations via Twitter, and encouraging followers to visit the exhibit. The figures appeared at nine different public spots—including Daley Plaza, Maggie Daley Park, and Wrigley Field—as well as six hotels, and at Soldier Field for a private event.

Throughout the summer, Chicago Scenic’s Project Director Gary Heitz lent his project management expertise to ensure the project ran smoothly.

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Lincoln Dealers’ Meeting

Lincoln Dealers’ Meeting

The Summer 2016 Lincoln Dealers’ Meeting at the Las Vegas Wynn Hotel gave Lincoln Automotive its annual opportunity to showcase the company’s innovative and technological skills. It did the same thing for Chicago Scenic, as our crews met the challenge of hanging giant frameless glass panels and showcasing our automation technology in several very different ‘reveals’.

On either side of the meeting’s 200-foot stage, crews used chain motors to lift the oversized glass panels; together, they weighed 1,500 pounds. Behind the panels were white laminate walls covered with three dimensional back lit ‘badge’ shaped icons that mimic the Lincoln logo.

Another reveal at center stage featured three-dimensional projection mapping onto a custom silk that covered a concept car. Projection mapping requires such a perfect surface that Chicago Scenic included Soft Goods Manager Mark Botelho as part of the team that traveled to Las Vegas.

In addition, Chicago Scenic’s mobilator—which is more commonly used in press reveals to wirelessly and remotely move cars—moved a baby grand piano on and off the stage while a pianist accompanied the show’s vocalist.

Chicago Scenic’s shop crew of four plus Project Manager Stefan Koniarz spent ten days onsite to make it all happen during the two day dealer meeting. “It was a challenge to orchestrate the multiple reveals and automation, not to mention raising and lowering the glass panels onstage,” Koniarz said.

Terry McClellan of Scenographix designed the set. Chicago Scenic’s client was Gail & Rice; we worked with Bob Iverson, their senior vice president, and the meeting’s Executive Producer Kathy Hodges.

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Ford’s NY “Escape the Room” Event

Ford’s NY “Escape the Room” Event

Automotive agency Gail & Rice recently presented Chicago Scenic with its newest special event challenge: transform Manhattan’s iconic Moynihan Station into a multi-room “Escape” driving experience, and do it in under two weeks.

Under the direction of Project Manager Stefan Koniarz, Chicago Scenic partnered with graphics house Color Image to produce Ford’s latest successful “Escape” challenge. Using more than 3,200 feet of graphics on flats, the team created five different challenge scenarios ranging from a city apartment to a beach.

Over four days, more than 1,000 challenge participants drove a new Ford Escape through the interior “Escape the Room” game. At each stop, team participants found clues that would direct them to guide their journey via technological features and tools available in the new Ford Escape.

In addition to managing the project’s quick turnaround, Chicago Scenic worked with a local engineering firm to ensure that the set met the City’s rigorous engineering requirements.

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ESPN Town Hall—“The Undefeated”

ESPN Town Hall—“The Undefeated”

In response to athletes speaking out at this year’s ESPY awards about the gun violence that is sweeping across the country, ESPN launched The Undefeated, a multiplatform initiative aimed at bringing together sports figures to explore sports, race, and culture.

 As the first in an ongoing series, “An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibilities and Violence” took place in Chicago’s South Side YMCA and featured athletes with personal ties to Chicago discussing gun violence and how to protect and encourage the City’s youth.

Just two weeks prior to the taping, Chicago Scenic worked closely with ESPN to transform the YMCA basketball courts into an intimate town hall meeting by providing a customized rentals package that included a carpeted 20-foot circular stage bearing the Undefeated logo. We also provided chairs and tables for interviewers and athletes, as well as for the backstage green rooms.

In addition, Chicago Scenic sourced and hung the eight banners and installed six vinyl-wrapped flats for added color and signage. Pipe and drape sectioned off media and storage areas. We also managed all logistics, including material handling, crowd control, audience
seating, and production offices. An added live taping for ESPN2 occurred the very next day, so Chicago Scenic’s onsite team worked quickly to switch out graphics and ensure a smooth transition.

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Cubs Hats on Lions Heads

Cubs Hats on Lions Heads

Following the Chicago Cubs’ Saturday night victory in the NLCS game six, the lions that guard the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago were fitted with Cubs hats to celebrate the win.

Chicago Scenic’s crew installed the custom hats early that Monday morning, to the delight of many fans. Chicago Scenic was able to get the hats installed so quickly because the hats were actually custom-made in 2015, says Chicago Scenic Project Director Gary Heitz.

“ We made them a year ago when it looked like the Cubs might go all the way,” Heitz said. “But they didn’t, and the Art Institute has a firm policy— ‘No hats until a team goes all the way.’”

The four-feet long and three-feet wide hats are custom-made to each lion’s specific head sizes. (Trivia note: the south lion’s head is smaller than its partner’s head.) Moldable fabric covers the baseball-cap shaped steel armature, and a hard coating provides the hat’s durable surface. The hats are lined with upholstery foam to protect the sculptures and provide a snug fit.

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Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

The City of Chicago and Cubs fans everywhere were happy to skip work, school, and daily routine in order to be part of the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series Championship celebration.

Chicago Scenic shuffled its crew’s schedules in order to work overnight and create the stage and three-tiered press riser for the noon celebration—just 36 hours after the Cubs won Game 7 in Cleveland.

Chicago Scenic Project Director Gary Heitz and Carpentry Department Head Andy Lemerand oversaw the site crews. Heitz worked with Artistry in Motion in California to fly in 24 confetti cannons overnight.

Those confetti cannons shot off 720 pounds of red, white and blue confetti along the parade route and at the Hutchinson Field Rally.

Skies were blue and the sun was shining for this memorable celebration as Chicago turned out in record numbers (5 million people according to some sources) to finally cheer on their hometown heroes.

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