2022 Davey Award Gold Winners, Nova Concepts NY, dives deep reflecting on their Online Film & Video, Craft-Art Direction winning entry “Rebuilding Old Penn Station.” A 360-degree virtual rendering created for non-profit ReThink Penn Station, the video takes viewers on an interactive tour of the original Penn Station that was demolished in 1963.
What inspired the creative direction for the ReThink Penn Station video?
Penn Station was a timeless masterpiece of architecture in midtown Manhattan which opened on August 29, 1910. At the time the station was among the city’s largest public spaces, with ceilings reaching 148 feet high. The demolition of the building began in 1963 and left behind a crowded and dark Penn Station which is still used today.
When Nova first took on this project, we did a lot of research into the original design of the station. The Nova team were shocked by the photographs of the original building, in particular the waiting room. The photographs not only show how elegant the architecture was, but the images were also inspiring to us. The architecture is like a canvas and the lighting is like brushes, creating a piece of outstanding artwork. The space looks so alive in the photographs and you can feel the beauty of the design.
Those photo images stayed in our minds throughout the entire project. When we created our video, we aimed to capture the same feeling we felt looking at the photos for the first time and make our audience relive the timeless moment (with 21st century technology updates) through our video.
How did the video contribute to ReThinkNYC‘s mission?
For our client, as a non-profit organization, they would like to help New Yorkers imagine a better future and environment for their city. However, it is difficult to imagine a better future if we don’t know where we are coming from and our history. Our video aims to tell a story of what we had in the past and inspires people to see the possibilities of the beauty that can stand within our city.
What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Since the architectural building was demolished many years ago, we were extremely limited on the number of architectural drawings we could acquire. The Nova team worked closely with our client, including some very experienced architects, and referenced several hundred historical B&W photos to ensure we could build the 3D model as precisely as possible.
Once the 3D model was created, the next step was to find the materials. We worked to find some similar, existing architecture, built during the same time frame. This dramatically helped us to reimagine our station. After the 3D model and the material were chosen, we were able to explore the camera work and lighting– which was a real pleasure for us. The challenge was not the precision but how creative we could be within our video. The clips of the quick moving clock hands or the timelapse on lighting are our creative touches that enhance the overall mood for the video and help to tell the visual story.
What is the culture like at Nova Concepts?
At Nova Concepts, we try to take the challenge from projects for our clients as opportunities to be creative and grow instead of seeing them as obstacles. We embrace those opportunities and try to think outside the box. Being creative for solutions is important at Nova to make sure we can help our clients to reach their goals but also satisfy our artistic standards. We try to always learn something through our process and not just search for the quickest, shortest path to completion. We treat each project process individually and cherish the process as much as the final result.
What does winning a Davey Award mean to you and your team?
The Davey Award is the first award we have entered our Penn Station video into, so this was a great feeling for everyone here at Nova. We are really proud to share this video with others and hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.