One superwide job with spooky effects.
By Clare Baker
While paranormal activity is hardly something one would qualify as reliable or consistent (or, for some, real), certain locations lend themselves more easily to the notion of the existence of the supernatural. A deserted, old mansion? Yes. A rickety, run-down hotel? Sure. But a busy, bustling street corner in lower Manhattan? Not so much. This past winter, however, a chill might have been sent down the spines of pedestrians walking along the side of a building in the NoHo neighborhood, not as a result of the icy weather, but because of a disembodied voice whispering "Who’s there?" What was that?" and "It’s not your imagination."
A quick look around, though, would have revealed that this was actually just part of an elaborate out-out-home advertising campaign, complete with an 18 x 48-foot wallscape promoting the A&E reality show, Paranormal State, which follows the lives of members of Penn State University’s Paranormal Research Society. The campaign was coordinated by A&E’s media planning and buying agency, Horizon Media, which partnered with BlueBlastMedia to execute the audio aspect of the promotion. BlueBlastMedia, a vendor of the Holosonics Research Labs equipment, provided Horizon Media with a sound system incorporating Holosonic’s AudioSpotlight technology; this technology projects an isolated sound beam down onto a selected area-in this case, the 150 feet of sidewalk directly below the building in question. For the wallscape, A&E worked with a subcontractor who hired Image King to output the graphic.
Graphics were designed by A&E and then sent to Image King. After receiving the files, Image King corrected the scale of the graphics and did "elemental" color correction in InDesign, says Spencer Jacobson of Image King. Using its EFI Vutek 5330 with Vutek ink, the company then produced a proof of the graphic at a reduced size onto 14-ounce biodegradable flex vinyl, which was sent to A&E for approval. After receiving the go-ahead, Image King output the final graphics using the same printer and materials. The wallscape was printed in sections 15.5 feet wide, with printing taking three days to complete. Image King then finished the graphic using its Kabar RF welder and a Leister IR seamer; finishing time was two days. The installation of the graphic, which took three days, was coordinated by outside installers.
In business for 22 years, Image King has 80 employees between its four locations in New York City, Long Island, Las Vegas, and southeastern Maine. The shop is capable of providing an array of valuable services and application to its clients, including out-of-home, retail and P-O-P, trade-show, and museum graphics; photographic prints; display fabrication; finishing and installation; and on-demand and variable-data printing. A possible addition to that list, given the frightening effects of the A&E wallscape: scaring people silly.