Primary Color’s assignment was to “infect” attendees at the San Diego Comic-Con with visuals for an activation of AMC’s “Fear The Walking Dead” at the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel. The objective was to convert the hotel to an ongoing live (or dead) experience across the street from the San Diego Convention Center, recreating sequences of the show to remind attendees that the Zombie Apocalypse had just broken out on the West Coast!
The challenge was to convert the hotel exterior to a scene of terror, immersing guests in an interactive, atmospheric experience that matched the show’s story line. To survive the challenge, Primary Color explored options that included 3-D installations as well as traditional 2-D graphics. Both these options would have to be installed without drilling into the hotels exterior surfaces.
Primary Color’s team of industrial designers, engineers, and installers evaluated the site, took measurements and looked at structural limitations. To pull this off effectively, realistically and safely, every detail needed to be considered with regard to materials and installation.
One iconic element was the creation of an abandoned church, seen in the first episode of the series. A structural centerpiece for this activation was an eight-foot-tall cross, perched atop an elevator shaft, which had a slanted rooftop surface. Primary Color’s design and fabrication team created a multi-purpose saddle to securely hold the cross and hang a banner off the front of the shaft that would cover existing hotel signage.
A faux-freeway sign marked the end of life as we know it and announced that “Fear Starts Here,” another echo of the premiere episode. This was constructed as an eight-foot-wide billboard with lights, appearing to hang dangerously above the audience.
Primary Color produced all hardware and graphic elements in-house. Building wraps for the elevator shaft and graphics consisting of graffiti-covered fencing completed the project with fine detail.
Primary Color’s attention to detail in design, fabrication and installation formed into a fascinating, encompassing experience, enjoyed by guests and passers-by and a constant subject of talk during Comic-Con. Guests posted their experiences continuously throughout the event on Instagram and other social media outlets.
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