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WorldStage Supports JC Penney’s Major Re-branding Launch And Announcement

New York (April 2, 2012) – For one of the most important announcements in the company’s history, JC Penney decided to use the company’s Analyst Meeting Day, on January 25 as the primary forum. The event, which was attended by VIP’s in the retail, fashion and finance world was followed by a pair of vendor meetings and culminated in a cocktail party for 1500 attendees. WorldStage, the new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, supported Michael McCurdy’s Production Resources team for the events, which featured a blue-sky motif that reflected the retailer’s buoyant prospects.

During the event, JC Penney’s new CEO, Ron Johnson, introduced new pricing models, brand identification, store design and a new spokesperson, Ellen DeGeneres. All these efforts are intended to modernize and reinvigorate the iconic company. Since Johnson was appointed last June, the retailer’s stock has soared; it scored a huge rally on the back of Analyst Meeting Day.

In order to mirror the new branding, which seeks to cut out the clutter of retail messaging and pricing information that afflicts today’s department store environment, the event was designed with a very sleek cloud motif that permeated the white and sky-blue meeting environment. To support that environment, WorldStage designed a visual rig that covered the meeting space with seamless cloud images along the two 112’ long sidewalls, along with a matching upstage main screen that also served as the presentation screen.

Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of this event was the site – a derelict pier on the Westside of Manhattan that would have been more appropriate for a Halloween House of Horrors than a major corporate event. However, in a matter of weeks the event team, headed by Star Exhibits, transformed the space into a state-of-the-art large-scale event space complete with heating, power, lighting, sound and the extensive video system.

That video system consisted of a media server element, a multi-camera HD video package and a Barco Encore system feeding the array of fourteen Christie Digital projectors. The main screen was a 12’x 30’ Stewart RP screen.

According to WorldStage’s Josh Perlman, “The side projection walls, which were really reveals for products – were built from fabric that moved and fluttered around – and that provided a challenge for our side wall projection team of Dennis Alfonso and Juan Mateo. The constant motion of the fabric meant we were out touching up the blending and alignment right up until show time.

“Jaime Castellanos handled the projector blending on the main screen. This was the ‘money shot’ in every camera shot during the show,” he adds.

WorldStage fed the sidewalls from six Pandoras Box media servers programmed by Alex Bright. “Alex worked diligently to keep up with the changing cues and worked closely with Patrick Denny and Brad Peterson who manned the WorldStage Media Resources Rack to encode and re-edit content as needed,” Perlman explains. “Between them they were able to seam together the content to create a look that made JC Penney happy.”

WorldStage was also charged with providing a five Sony HDC-1500 HD video camera package, which grew to six cameras when everyone arrived on site. Mike Naylor served as technical director for the show director using a Grass Valley KayakHD 3me switcher.

Last minute changes are the norm on events of this size and the JC Penney event was no different. In very short order, the WorldStage team arranged for a pre-record video session, complete with a camera dolly shot, as well as an extra day of HD video transmission. EIC Mike Alboher and Account Rep Andy Muller were on hand to allow the changes to flow through without any adverse effect on the primary plan.

“The event was phenomenal, and JC Penney was very pleased,” reports Michael McCurdy, of Production Resources. “WorldStage was great; the company has supported me for many years – I always turn to them. They delivered again for JC Penney providing superior support in the extensive video and production design of this event.”

Production Resources supported message maker Olsen Communications, Inc. for JC Penney.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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