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Chris Werner Creates Color Base for Saks Holiday Display With Illuminarc

Chris Werner Creates Color Base for Saks Holiday Display With Illuminarc
Chris Werner Creates Color Base for Saks Holiday Display With Illuminarc

USA – Every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas over 500,000 people stop at 611 Fifth Avenue to take in the Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Display. It’s a safe bet that none of them will leave disappointed this year. Created by American Christmas, the luxury retailer’s 2016 “Land of 1000 Delights” extravaganza dazzles visitors with a magical winter candy land that features 4,678 square feet of foliage, more than twice that amount of garland and over 2000 jumbo candy ornaments, plus a Chris Werner-designed light show that makes the ten storey department store building glow with holiday cheer.

The owner of Los Angeles-based Chris Werner Design, Werner uses an extensive collection of fixtures supplied by 4Wall Entertainment to create over 300,000 individual points of light on the stately building. Playing a key role in this mix, and providing a consistent color base for the lighting display, is a collection of Colorist Line 12Qa fixtures from the Illuminarc division of Chauvet Professional.

Werner has positioned the RGBA linear fixtures on two levels of the Saks Fifth Avenue building (the third and fourth floor) to uplight the sections of its brick exterior that are not covered with effect lighting. “When you create this kind of lighting display on a building, you want to have your design appear against a colourful background,” he explained. “What you don’t want is to have effect light in one area and then an unilluminated section of building in the other. The Illuminarc fixtures were essential to creating a colourful background in the display.”

Run in 48-channel mode and controlled by a grandMA console, the Illuminarc Colorist fixtures are used to wash the building in different colours during the holiday lightshow, which runs every ten minutes. The output of the Illuminarc fixtures (1,382 lux at 5 meters) is bright enough to stand up against the light of the other powerful fixtures that are used to create the show.

“The Illuminarc fixtures are bright and very effective,” said Werner. “Anytime you have a show like this, you need to be able to count on your fixtures. Of course, you also need good partners. We were fortunate to have tremendous support from the team at Saks Fifth Avenue, 4Wall and AMA Sign & Electric. The people at American Christmas were amazing as partners. Fred Schwam, the CEO, Kent Fritzel, the executive creative director, and Stephen Worthington, the creative director, were instrumental in making this a success. In the end, I think we all created something very beautiful.”

That beautiful creation has become a signature part of Manhattan’s holiday landscape. It’s been said that if you wait on a corner in New York, it won’t be long before you see something extraordinary. Those who wait ten minutes outside Saks Fifth Avenue on the corner of Fifth and 49th during the holiday season know this to be true.

21st December 2016

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