NEW YORK CITY — Creative studio Nice Shoes (www.niceshoes.com) recently partnered with an array of global directors to complete film exhibits that are part of the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ). The museum, which opened on March 28th, is a sprawling architectural wonder, with galleries and courtyards spread across over 52,000 square meters.
The Doha Film Institute (DFI) produced the project for the NMoQ and through technical director, Dean Winkler, tapped Nice Shoes to help visualize the history of the country across 10 galleries featuring floor-to-ceiling immersive films. The films were crafted to draw in visitors, using imagery in resolutions 10 times that of IMAX screens. These rich visuals are displayed on 114 4K projectors, with 308 speakers that provide immersive soundscapes.
Nice Shoes’ CTO Robert Keske worked closely with Winkler and the creative team onsite, fine-tuning the technical setup, which is custom-tailored to the museum’s curved design. A total of 179 servers were provided by London-based Realtime Experience Systems (RES) to handled the presentation.
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 and animation for Alchemy in Gallery 10 - a :30 HD video installation directed by video artist John Sanborn, and led by Nice Shoes creative director Harry Dorrington. Nice Shoes also led the 8K color grading for multiple galleries for films directed by Mira Nair, Abderrahmane Sissako and Christophe Cheysson.
Gallery 2 - Flora and Fauna - is set largely underwater, and required Nice Shoes’ senior colorist Sal Malfitano to retain brilliant saturated ocean blues against beige walls and a kaleidoscope of nine interlocking screens. The resulting film runs 18 minutes with nine concurrent timelines that are displayed using 21 projectors at 8K resolution.
For Gallery 10 - Alchemy - Nice Shoes crafted CG textures, liquid water, bubbles and gaseous sequences. The experience uses 30 screens in escalating size to 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, director Sanborn and museum stakeholders were able to put on a headset and see how the film animated across the 30 screens.
“We were able to capitalize 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,” says Angela Bowen, executive producer for the entire project. “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.”