A Sneak Peek at the New Technology in This Year’s Christmas Spectacular

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embers of the press were treated to a sneak peek of the new elements in this year’s Christmas Spectacular, including enhanced digital projections from Obscura Digital and a snippet of our brand-new finale number, “Christmas Lights,” which features 100 Intel® Shooting Star™ mini drones.*

The director of our new finale, Tony-nominated Sam Buntrock, joined the media at Radio City Music Hall to talk about the marriage of artistry and technology in this year’s production.

“Radio City itself has this incredible tradition of technology. The band car originally used in 1933 was the first of it’s kind and still gets this incredible response. So the idea of being able to combine that technology – which is almost a century old – with technology that hasn’t really even been yet, is exciting to me!”

Travis Threlkel, co-founder of Obscura Digital (the company behind the enhanced projection’s in this year’s show), reiterated Sam’s enthusiasm about being able bring a new experience to such an iconic show and be able to expand the traditional theater experience in a way that’s “seamless to the audience.” During “Christmas Lights,” Obscura’s 36-channel, 4K projection system is synced with a 90-foot LED screen to create a magical and immersive environment for every seat in the house.

Obscura Digital’s projections enhance the traditional “Nutcracker” number.

But perhaps one of the most impressive additions is the use of 100 Intel® drones to transform the production into a 3D light show with choreographed movements that move with the music and create holiday-themed silhouettes.

“I like to draw parallels with the Rockettes and the drones,” says Intel Drone Group’s head of Marketing, Cindy Ng. “A lot of practice, a lot of choreography and its all about precision. Each drone knows exactly where it needs to be. It knows how to interact with other drones around them.”

The drone light show in our new Christmas Spectacular finale will be the longest running indoor light show Intel® has ever done, an exciting collaboration for all involved.

“I get chills every single time I hear that soft buzz of the drones,” Cindy shared. “I get excited and I hope you will too!”

*Intel and Intel Shooting Star are trademarks of Intel Corporation. For more information, see www.intel.com/lightshows

Join us at Radio City Music Hall for the 2018 production of the Christmas Spectacular—the show runs November 9 through January 1.