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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

How London techies helped Modi create campaign buzz

Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times  London, May 25, 2014
First Published: 21:35 IST(25/5/2014) | Last Updated: 21:37 IST(25/5/2014)
A London-based company – Musion – helped Narendra Modi rewrite the rules of political communication in India as he used its unique holographic 3D technology to appear across 128 locations on 26 April – one of many records set by his 2014 electoral success.
 
The earlier entry in the Guinness Book of Records for an event of this nature was of Modi’s simultaneous appearance across 53 locations during the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections, which was credited to an Indian francisee that used Musion technology.
 
Unlike the 2012 elections, Musion itself handled the 2014 project, with key staff flown into India from London, Austria, Germany, Australia, Dubai and Italy, six weeks before campaigning began. Their headquarters was in Ahmedabad, with another key base in Pune.
 
Giovanni Palma, director of Musion, told HT: “This was the largest and grandest deployment of our holographic technology and reflected the ambition and belief of  Narendra Modi and the BJP.  We delivered highly realistic images to over 1500 rallies”.
 
He added: “On the evening of April 26, we delivered 128 rallies simultaneously, this is a soon to be confirmed world record for this type of event.   With over 2500 people working on the project, this amazing feat was only possible through Musion’s 15 years of experience and our experts leading talented local people”.
 
Owned by Palma, Musion works closely with the inventor of holographic technology, Uwe Maass. Both developed a “personal relationship” with Modi during the campaign. Maass was present in India to lead and train the teams.
 
The company’s equipment list for the campaign was described as “staggering”: over 30,000 square meters of holographic projection foil; 200 Christie 20k and 14k projectors; 400 satellite dishes; 5,500 metres of trusses, 1,300 lights; 500 audio speakers; 200 sound mixers and power amps; and 14,000 metres of speaker and power cables.
 
At the campaign headquarters in Ahmedabad, Musion said its team designed and built an onsite studio. From there, speeches were filmed and broadcast live via a satellite uplink to the stages at each day’s events.
 
To enable the campaign team to monitor everything, the team also built a receiving stage at the headquarters, which received the same satellite feed as the event stages, which helped Modi’s team to view exactly what was being broadcast at any given time.
 
Holograms were delivered in two stages across India:
 
Fixed stages: These were transported via truck, with the installation team and projector travelling by bus alongside. Thee stages were 10m x 10m and designed to be assembled and disassembled at each site in a matter of hours, by trained and supervised teams.
 
Mobile stages: These were built into sea containers and transported by truck. Mobile stages had everything permanently installed and ready to work, requiring only the driver to park the truck, whilst a small team of four lower the sides to create the stage, and mount the projector and switch on.
 
Besides training local staff, Musion also deployed expert emergency response teams to resolve technical problems.
 
Palma said: “We are very excited that our holographic technology played a part in the landslide victory for the BJP and Narendra Modi…This project truly showcased how the power of advanced visual technologies can bring people together to create the world’s best shared experiences”.

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