Creative studio Nice Shoes, with headquarters in New York, partnered with a diverse array of top global directors to bring wonder and beauty to commissioned film exhibits as part of the highly-anticipated opening of the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ). The museum, which opened on March 28, 2019, is a sprawling architectural wonder, with its galleries and courtyards spreading across over 52,000 square meters.
The Doha Film Institute (DFI) who produced the project for the NMoQ, through their Technical Director Dean Winkler, tapped Nice Shoes as a partner to help visualize the history of the country across 10 galleries with awe-inspiring, floor-to-ceiling immersive films. The films were meticulously crafted to draw in visitors with state-of-the-art technical specs, resulting in 21.54 billion pixels per second image resolution–over 10 times the quality of IMAX screens. These rich visuals are displayed on 114 4K projectors, with 308 speakers to provide immersive soundscapes throughout the 11 galleries. Nice Shoes CTO Robert Keske worked closely with Winkler and the creative team onsite, fine-tuning the technical setup, custom-tailored to the museum’s curved design, supported by 179 bespoke servers provided by London-based Realtime Experience Systems (RES).
Ten art films produced for NMoQ in association with the Doha Film Institute by noted international filmmakers visually represent Qatar’s history. Nice Shoes collaborated with directors and museum curators to map each film to multi-dimensional museum walls and HD displays, ensuring each project retained the consistency, vibrancy and resolution of the original footage. The studio enabled the filmmakers to review the films through the construction of scale models of each gallery, as well as through the configuration and reconfiguration of projectors within a custom post production suite dedicated to the films. This was done in tandem with designing and implementing custom workflows for each film that would ensure the comprehensive edits were cohesive and transferable to the museum installation.
The studio developed design & animation for “Alchemy” in Gallery 10, a 30 screen HD video installation directed by video artist John Sanborn, led by Nice Shoes Creative Director Harry Dorrington, and led the 8K color grading for multiple galleries for films directed by Mira Nair, Abderrahmane Sissako and Christophe Cheysson.
Gallery 2, “Flora and Fauna” the museum’s largest gallery, and set largely underwater, required Nice Shoes senior colorist Sal Malfitano to retain brilliant saturated ocean blues against beige walls and a kaleidoscope of 9 interlocking screens. The resulting film, at 18 minutes with 9 concurrent timelines displayed using 21 projectors at 8K resolution, boasts the highest resolution single image in the world.
For Gallery 10, “Alchemy,” Nice Shoes crafted CG textures, liquid water, bubbles and gaseous sequences. 30 screens in escalating size present the industry-centric film, which tells the story of Qatar’s natural gas industry. Challenged to think of the presentation as a ‘sculptural piece,’ CG, color, scale and pacing were choreographed with illustrations and animated mock-ups prior to crafting the film’s final VFX. While the team employed scale models for review, they also brought this gallery into Virtual Reality. From pre-visualization through final renders, Sanborn and museum stakeholders were able to put on a headset and see how the film would animate across the 30 screens as if they were physically in the gallery.
As Angela Bowen, Executive Producer for the entire project states, “We were able to capitalise on our strength as an emerging technology company to harness the creative and technical team here at Nice Shoes, to leverage advanced post production technology and processes to help create this world class museum. It was extraordinarily satisfying to see the vision revealed to a global audience and to know it will be there for many years to come.”
Embodying Qatar’s history with cinematic projections that exemplify the sheer size and scope of the winding museum interior, NMoQ architects and creative teams revolutionized the museum blueprint with a sophisticated layout and comprehensive, immersive experience.
ABOUT NICE SHOES
Nice Shoes is a creative studio. We deliver problem-solving solutions across the production process. We create lasting experiences and immersive worlds. Headquartered in New York City for over 20 years, we are an independent, client-focused studio with locations throughout North America and a global talent roster.
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Our team of artists and producers work smart and play nice.
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