Boeing Centennial Founders Celebration: The Production Network produces the centenary of The Boeing Company – the world’s leading aerospace company

Photos by Boeing Creative & Information Services

The Production Network was selected by The Boeing Company to create a Founders Day weekend-long event featuring 45 historic airplanes and activities for retirees, children and employees. The event included an array of activities ranging from digital and printed passports with stamps to collect across the festival grounds to booths where employees and retirees could sign images of the airplanes they helped produce. There were also food trucks and exhibitors from companies Boeing supports in the community. The Production Network technically engineered and supported the multi-award-winning artists 59 Productions that created content featuring animated sequences which were projection-mapped onto a moving 747-8 Intercontinental airplane -– a technological first.

On July 15, 2016, 100 years to the day since William E. Boeing turned his attention to the thrilling and world-changing field of aviation, 59 Productions mounted an immersive show on a vast scale -– The Boeing Centennial Projection Spectacular — for more than 90,000 spectators across 30 performances at Boeing Field in Seattle, Wash.

In addition to video content involving more the 80 products created by Boeing, the spectacular showcased five actual airplanes, including the iconic 747 Jumbo Jet and the 787 Dreamliner. These jet-airliners took center stage in an elaborately choreographed performance celebrating the rich history of Boeing, a company that has shaped modern history and helped shrink our world.

Using cutting-edge technology, each 20-minute projection mapping performance provided a spectacular visual showcase spanning a century of history and creativity. Alongside the products of Boeing, the show paid tribute to the people at the heart of Boeing: from its founding members to its modern-day team, its clients and collaborators across the world.

59 Productions worked closely with Boeing’s historians and archivists, taking historical material and creating bespoke animations which formed the heart of the projection show. The sound and lighting design was also created by 59’s team. The score was composed by regular 59 collaborator and Emmy award-winning composer Jeff Beal.
The event was produced by Seattle-based production company The Production Network, which directed the entire weekend event. The projection mapping show featured 30 projectors and an 85 foot-wide LED screen which had to track perfectly across the performance space during the show to reveal airplanes concealed behind it. To achieve this, the 180,000-pound screen was loaded onto a 32-wheeled Goldhofer -– normally used for moving large objects such as the 777X autoclave parts. The airplanes featured in the show (the 727, the 737 MAX, the 747-8 Intercontinental, the 787-9 Dreamliner and the P-8) were skillfully moved into position by Boeing’s tow teams while the projection mapped their movements using infrared technology.

TPN has produced over 100 events for Boeing over the last 24 years, said CEO John Vadino: “Working with 59 Productions’ creative team and realizing the dream of projection mapping on an airplane to celebrate Boeing’s 100th was a technical challenge we relish! The show was phenomenal! To create a weekend-long event that touched so many employees and retirees and their families was an honor. My best memory of the event will be seeing the eyes of the audience, young to old, smiling and in awe as they watched the projection spectacular. The people of Boeing are the most diverse workforce I have ever seen.”

59 Productions creative director of the project, Richard Slaney, said, “It was a great honor to conceive of and deliver this special show for The Boeing Company and to tell the stories of a company whose ambition, creativity and technological ingenuity is an inspiration.”

Sean McCormack, vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Communications, said, “The challenge was to tell a 100-year story in 20 minutes showcasing our vast array of products and services, celebrating the more than one million employees who have worked for The Boeing Company to date, and to inspire the next generation. 59 Productions’ creativity and TPN’s execution helped to hit the mark on all counts.”

Photos by 59 Productions