Agency: Google Art, Copy & Code; Grow
Creative Lead, Production Lead, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer: Ian Watt
For over 150 years, New York City's retailers have delighted visitors with holiday window art displays. I collaborated with Google to bring the magic of these windows to the web for the first time ever.
The experience lets users walk through NYC, exploring the windows of the city’s most iconic stores. Beyond moving down the entire facade of each retailer, users can take a closer look and explore each window in hi-res detail.
I had the privilege of leading the project - from early concepting, to developing the production approach, directing the shoot, to creating the launch film with original music only days from launch.
To let users “walk past” the windows, I developed a capture method Google fondly refers to as “panography” - a new medium that blends hundreds of photographs into a giant interactive 3D panorama.
With a three-week timeline, I had to ensure both our production and post-production workflows would be powerful and efficient. I engaged with a production house, working closely with them to convey our approach and gather insight to collaboratively improve our workflow.
Confident of this new capture technique and post-process, we dove in head-first. I flew to NYC to oversee production, and the team diligently endured 5 back-to-back all-night shoots. By capturing in the early hours of the morning, after the crowds had left, we were able to get a spectacular view of these windows.
During the in-betweens of our shoot, I was running around grabbing as much footage as possible for the upcoming two-day sprint on the launch film.
When we got back, it was full steam ahead for launch day. While putting the launch film together, I was simultaneously overseeing the image-sequencing, ambient audio, creative interview, and VR asset production. Lots of coffee going on right about now.
The launch film was an adventure to say the least - I had about two days to make it happen. The site itself was pretty much down to the wire too, which didn’t give me any assets to work with. So I created animatics based off the site’s progress as it developed in real time.
We originally wanted a performance license for the song “Winter Wonderland” and hoped to create our own version of it for the launch film. Our quote was out of scope, so we decided to move on. I had already chosen new music for the video at this point, and the team asked me, “Just in case they take our offer, can you compose this?” - launch is in like 18 hours btw
I literally ran home, and in about an hour I landed on a reimagined version of the song.
This was truly a comprehensive project for me - taking this from concept to reality in multiple aspects - and I loved every second of it.