“Horse Guards and The Old Admiralty building will be both the backdrop and the canvas for immense breathtaking projections. This huge visual spectacle will see the buildings come to life …” BBC Media Centre.
In this final event to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, Joanna Lumley was joined by a host of stars to celebrate and commemorate the conclusion of the Second World War. Hugh Bonneville, Sheridan Smith, Paterson Joseph, Sir Bryn Terfel, Sir Willard White, and Nicola Roberts pay tribute to those who served in the Far East campaigns. Descendants and military members will give thanks to the veterans of the Second World War in this spectacular event.
We had a complex and delicate task from the outset. A physically challenging environment, the visual storytelling needed to work with the colossal scale (227 metres x 36 metres) and intricate architectural structure of The Old Admiralty, Horse Guards, and Dover House buildings. An emotionally challenging subject; our work needed to be heartfelt, beautiful, poignant, and allow for moments of light within the shade. This is a story of human character and endeavour, our main communication tasks; to ensure that all generations fully appreciated the enormity of the true meaning of VJ Day.
Our projections acted as backdrop to the readings, testimonies, and musical performances. The conception, design, and production of this emotive visual storytelling comprised 29 separate sequences, each with its own unique character and stylistic theme. Although these were created over a compressed timeline of 5 weeks, our design integrity, craft, and quality of work shone throughout.
Our projections transformed the buildings into huge canvases to set the scene for numerous environments of the Far East campaign – the jungle, the Pacific Ocean, the battlefields, transporting the audience to the unforgiving terrain. At the heart of the event, the canvas provides the voice to some of the last surviving British and Commonwealth veterans unable to attend in person, to share their deeply moving experiences. This included a wonderful musical tribute to the late Dame Vera Lynn.
As the BBC Creative team commented, it was a difficult enough project with the restrictions Covid put on everyone. but this made everyone’s achievements even more remarkable. This was a hugely ambitious task for all involved, both in physical scale and with the complexity of such a powerful narrative.
This magnificent 75th Anniversary Commemoration of VJ Day was a moving and fitting tribute to honor all those who served, those few still with us, and the thousands who lost their lives in this last act of the Second World War.