Design and Production studio NorthHouse was commissioned by BBC Studios producers Mark Sidaway and Claire Popplewell in January 2022 to create the Platinum Party at the Palace projection mapping, video design and direction, screen visuals and broadcast graphics throughout the celebratory weekend. They delivered unique and dazzling results which transformed Buckingham Palace into the largest projector screen in the world in a show broadcasted to millions globally.
At the peak 13.4m viewers saw the platinum Party at the Palace and Prince William himself said how delighted he was to see Buckingham Palace turned into a giant IMAX screen.
Tom Bairstow, Creative Director and Founder of NorthHouse explains how the show came together “It was an honour to work with the BBC on this historic event. We really wanted to create an incredibly special and memorable show and completely transform Buckingham Palace into something that has never been seen before.
Big ideas came with immense technical challenges but as a team we’re used to large scale projection mapping (most recently, the Dubai EXPO, Coldplay’s World Tour) and built our own software to visualise the show in advance. Our software enabled us to see our visuals on the Palace from multiple perspectives and look at how varied times of day or night and weather conditions affected clarity. Once we got there, it was almost a case of pressing go.”
The 2.5 hour show was divided into daylight (20:00-21:30) and night-time (21:30-22:30) sections. Starting with NorthHouse’s LED screen visuals complimenting an array of incredible performances before the night-time show began at 21:30, twenty minutes after sunset, allowing optimum projection conditions. The final layer of entertainment saw a harmonised drone and projection show. The ‘Platinum Party’ ultimately combined talent, timing and technology to achieve staggering results.
Tom continues: “An enormous highlight for myself was ‘Our Green Future’ section. We worked closely with BBC Series Producer Cheryl Ko Pearson to draw attention to the natural world and our human impact. Sir David Attenborough opened the section (we’d filmed him on a beautiful day in Richmond Park). Feeling the audience response on the night was incredibly moving. We tend to align ourselves with projects and organisations which have environmentally friendly messages – for example, Coldplay’s World Tour or the Green Carpet Fashion Awards where we worked closely with Livia Firth’s Eco-Age to design an augmented reality show celebrating sustainability in the fashion industry – so to have the ultimate environmental crusader as part of our artistic creation was perfect.
“We could let our imaginations go wild and had a lot of freedom to create a range of visuals for the show! We poured liquid platinum over the Palace with Alicia keys, collaborated with Sky Magic on a drone-and-projection-show for Sigala and Ella Eyre, swung disco balls around the Palace for Diana Ross, dug into an incredible amount of archive footage for the Prince of Wales’ speech and for Duran Duran we peeled back 70 layers of wallpaper from the Palace inspired by Her Majesty’s amazing styling over the years.”