At FCB Health, we are always looking for inspiration from unexpected places. In that spirit, last week we invited our friends from HOPR, a NY-based animation and experiential design company, to give us a special behind-the-scenes look at how they created the world-famous Macy’s Holiday windows.
Nearly 30 FCB staffers took a break from their end-of-year work crush to participate in the tour. Paul Belliveau, FCB Health’s Director of Motion Design, introduced the team from HOPR, Creative Directors Neo Afan and Chris DiFiore. Then it was a quick walk up the block to 34th Street to view the windows.
This was the 4th year HOPR was chosen by Macy’s to bring the windows to life. This year the project began with a simple, one-word brief: “Space.” The result was a story of Santa and a young boy journeying through a mythologically inspired version of the solar system entitled “Santa’s Journey to the Stars.”
The project began in May with story development and extensive concept art. For example, a description of the concept for the Martians’ costumes was “a mix of 16th century Elizabethan costume and 1950s sci-fi.” Also, the “Ice Giant” planets of Uranus and Neptune were to be inhabited by actual colossal ice giants, complete with frozen beards and crowns.
By the end of August, the design was locked and fabrication began. The characters and sets were manufactured on industrial 3D printing machines. They were then handpainted and rigged with lighting effects and animatronic movement. Short cell-animated videos telling the journey’s story played on screens in each window. And finally, an ’80s-inspired touch-screen videogame added an interactive element to one of the windows.
This type of experiential work could be a great solution for our clients looking for a new way to draw eyes to their convention booth. Seems that because our worlds have become so digital focused, there is a charm and attraction to seeing real things in the physical world.