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Moment Factory Gives LAX a Massive Multimedia Upgrade

L.A. Mayor unveils largest immersive multimedia system of any American airport at Tom Bradley Intl. Terminal

Travelers passing through the Los Angeles airport’s newly renovated Tom Bradley Intl. Terminal will now have seven massive media installations to help make the time fly, as the halls, walls and various other surfaces transform into dynamic entertainment features.

The multimedia content — which blends cinematic elements, computer animation and cutting-edge interactivity — was executive produced by Montreal-based Moment Factory, in collaboration with Marcela Sardi of Sardi Design, Mike Rubin of MRA International and systems designer Smart Monkeys. Moment Factory’s past projects range from rock concerts to brand experiences, including the background imagery for Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl halftime show and architectural installations in Atlantic City, Baton Rouge and Barcelona — but never something of this scale.

Instead of bombarding travelers with 30-second advertisements on all the terminal’s new screens, the Los Angeles World Airports group that commissioned the project sought a way to emotionally enhance the passenger experience for its guests, while reflecting the city’s leading role in motion-picture creation.

“Traveling these days is a very logistical experience,” said Moment Factory creative director Sakchin Bessette. “The only magical part about it is looking through the porthole of the plane, where you’re over the clouds and the sun is setting, so that’s what we wanted to create with all of the media content in the airport.”

The seven distinct media features include an 80-foot LED display, or “Welcome Wall,” that greets arriving visitors to Los Angeles, and two separate “Concourse Portals,” consisting of 10 video columns which respond to the movement of passersby and update in real time with information about departing flights, offering custom experiences for travelers bound for the terminal’s 15 most popular international destinations.

The principal attraction is a four-sided, 72-foot Time Tower surrounding the terminal’s main elevators — a trompe l’oeil feature that animates constantly, appearing to open up on the hour to reveal Busby Berkeley-style dancers operating the clockwork inside. The Time Tower synchronizes with the adjacent Story Board, which Bessette described as “a new type of cinematic experience” that is both immersive and communal, unspooling in a public space.

“It’s a very big puzzle to put together,” Bessette said of the multi-disciplinary challenge. “You need to understand architecture and how the technology works, and then you need to think conceptually about how all of this is meant to connect together to create the strongest experience that will touch a wide variety of people in different ways.”

The seven interconnected multimedia features represent the foundation content for an open-ended system, potentially allowing the airport to offer sponsorships to companies interested in branding additional content that can be added in the future.

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