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"Heaven on Earth": multimedia show nominated for the Xaver Award

Published on 4/8/2016 by Christoph Spangenberg

The "Heaven on Earth" pre-Christmas show enchanted Zurich. Visually intensive video projections transformed the classic stage set into a screen. The interplay of design, lighting, video art and technology formed the basis for the work of the producers, directors and actors. Winkler Multi Media Events has now been nominated for the Xaver Award for its technical planning and implementation – the most coveted prize for live communication in Switzerland.

Himmel auf Erden Zürich, Winkler Multi Media (MCH Group)

Yet another pre-Christmas event: the starting situation

To ensure that yet another show could be successfully staged in the contested pre-Christmas season in Zurich, the customer, Carré Event GmbH, set out its demands particularly clearly. The "Heaven on Earth" show had to feature a unique and sensational stage concept which differed from other shows to date and touched the audience. "The show design had to be unique, ensure surprises and accompany and visually enrich the story on additional narrative levels", explains Norbert Egli of Winkler Multi Media Events. As the technical supplier, the Wohlen-based company was responsible for planning and implementation. And, with the outdoor cycle racing track in Zurich-Oerlikon as the venue, those staging the show were confronted with a rather unromantic setting.

Heaven on Earth: implementing the show

The creative, technical concept has spaces and episodes flowing into each other in a visually attractive, versatile and fluid manner, without need for any stage sets to be shifted around. A classic stage set in white wood constitutes the first narrative level. This is deliberately designed in a crooked and fragile manner so as to reflect the instability and unfathomability of the world of magic.

Himmel auf Erden Zürich, Winkler Multi Media (MCH Group) 

"We then employed projection mapping to breathe life and variability, and also magic and technology onto this constructed stage set", says Norbert Egli in explaining the second visual narrative and illustration level. To do this, Winkler Multi Media created video and picture material that was a perfect fit, making it possible to tell the story in "Heaven on Earth" with attractive transitions and speedy transformations.

A combination of analogue technology and digital precision

This visually impressive multimedia technology, moreover, had its origins in analogue work. Those in charge drafted the stage design with paper and scissors and then digitised it in CAD. This data formed the basis for developing the highly detailed projections, which constituted a perfect fit and for which hand-drawn illustrations were compiled. "This combination maintains the charm and warmth of the imperfect – of manual craftsmanship – while linking it to the options, rapidity and precision of digital technology", says Egli. Hence the interplay of design, lighting, video art and technology forms the basis for the work of the producers, directors, actors and acrobats.

Himmel auf Erden Zürich, Winkler Multi Media (MCH Group)

"Heaven on Earth" nominated for the 2016 Xaver Award

The audience and the press were delighted. Changes of scene were implemented uncannily swiftly, making a major impact", wrote the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, while Sonntagsblick called it "A feast for all the senses". "We implemented a unique and delightful idea in the perfect manner in technical terms, making it even bigger in the process", says Egli from Winkler. For this, the company could win the Xaver Award once again – the most coveted prize in Switzerland's live communication sector. For "Heaven on Earth", the Wohlen-based company has been nominated in the "Best Supplier Services" category, together with Bolt & Bold. Winkler was even able to take two Xaver Awards home last year. The company won the "Best Public Event + Show Entertainment" category and also the audience prize. The 2016 Xaver Award will be presented at Messe Zürich on 26 April.

Photos: Winkler Multi Media Events

Christoph Spangenberg

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