Seattle NYE event attracts over 1m views
Friday, 8 January 2021
handsNew Year’s Eve in Seattle
USA - When Seattle was forced to adapt its customary New Year’s Eve celebrations due to the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19; necessity, once again, proved itself to be the mother of invention.
The result - a collaboration between event production company, Modern Enterprises LLC, and projection mapping specialist Maxin10sity - was a revolutionary ‘sky mapping’ show that saw virtual lights, projection, and special effects superimposed on live footage of the city’s leading landmark, the Space Needle, and the sky above.
CEO and founder of Modern Enterprises, Terry Morgan, reports: “I’ve worked with Tamás Vaspöri (managing director at Maxin10sity) for years and have always been so impressed by what we were able to create together; namely the Borealis Festival of Light here in the US, which debuted to a wonderful crowd of over 120,000 people.”
Although the New Year’s Eve sky mapping show - fittingly named The Dream - had its own advantages (such as the absence of civic considerations like security, power, crowd control, and portable toilets) the team still only had two months to realise this unprecedented concept; mapping projections, lights, and special effects on the sky itself.
“There are challenges in all productions but, because this show is something new, we had to be very prepared and think through everything twice,” says Vaspöri. “We had to work a bit more on the storyboard but, when it was done and approved by the client, we could move on as normal from an animation / production point of view.”
He continues: “The fact that it was going to be a virtual show for broadcast actually gave us much more freedom. We wanted to do something that would blur the lines between the virtual and the real, to the point where people might not be able to decide which was which. We spoke with Terry a lot about his dream; always keeping in mind what would look best on screen and how we could draw the audience in and give them a real ‘wow’ factor.”
The show itself was to be a combination of subtle key lighting effects and more bombastic, almost surreal, moving images. All of this had to be created side by side to ensure that the illusory visuals were as convincing as Vaspöri had envisioned them.
Another key aspect of The Dream was the accompanying music, which was provided by Daniel Sadowski; a specialist in creating soundtracks for movie trailers and video games.
The entire show was pre-recorded and broadcast ‘as-live’ from KING TV studios in Seattle, before being streamed worldwide. According to a spokesperson from the Space Needle, the show amassed more than 1m streaming views in the first 24 hours alone.
“There are a lot of challenges when you’re doing something that has never been done before,” said Morgan. “With the great support team of Maxin10sity, the Space Needle, KING 5 TV, and T-Mobile, we have moved mountains in a very short time to create a spectacular virtual New Year’s Eve event like no one has ever seen before.”

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