Revolution Technology Shines at the Academy Awards

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Innovative scrolling signage provides a moving backdrop for the stars.

As the stardust settles after the 2006 Academy Awards, a Toronto-based company is enjoying the glittering fallout of its contribution to the set of Hollywood’s grand homage to film.

Revolution Display Systems Inc. was selected to design and deliver scrolling signage for on-stage display during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extravaganza, marking the first time that this emerging technology has been featured live-to-air during the biggest show on earth. Reaching over one billion people during the telecast, Revolution provided a dynamic dimension to award presentations by Will Smith, Dustin Hoffman, Uma Thurman and Lauren Bacall.

“We are thrilled to have been a part of the Oscars ceremony. It’s essentially the pinnacle of TV broadcast opportunity and this level of exposure is a dream come true. It’s very gratifying to know that our company was trusted to deliver under very high-pressure circumstances”, says Rikk Villa, President of Revolution Display Systems.

Scrolling signs are a familiar outdoor advertising strategy in Europe, and are enjoying a surge of popularity around the world. In simple terms, scrolling signs contain multiple panels of printed artwork that move through the sign’s viewing frame on demand. Over its seven-year history, Revolution research and development has taken this basic concept to new heights by developing a mechanical and electronic control system that provides module-by-module programmability of artwork transit speed and light-level to enable multi-sign choreography. Creative advertising campaigns that exploit the power of this display medium can generate significant public attention and expand ad revenue for media companies.

With a very short production timeline, Revolution worked closely with AMPAS stage designers, technology co-ordinators, artwork printers and set-builders to ensure seamless integration of the scrollers into the show. “There was no room for error. Everyone had to be on the same page, and every element had to work perfectly upon arrival at the Kodak Theatre. Considering the professionalism of the team members, I’m not surprised that it was a total success”, says Villa.

The scrollers were controlled from an operations truck stationed more than two thousand feet from the stage. Operators viewed live broadcast monitors inside the remote control centre and triggered art panel movements to coincide with pre-arranged cues and camera angles. Notably, the introduction of the nominees for the Foreign Language Film award were synchronized with corresponding transitions of Revolution signs positioned to either side of Will Smith. “It was one in a series of exciting moments for us. Feedback from people at every level of the production was unanimous in its praise for our product’s performance and appearance”, continues Villa.

The Revolution Display System is installed at Toys “R” Us in New York’s Times Square, where 165 scrolling signs comprise the entire façade of the toy retailer’s flagship location. In Toronto, 40 units are integrated into the 18-story Media Tower at the Toronto Eaton Centre. “Since these locations represent the highest-traffic advertising centres in their respective countries, we are buoyed by a rising tide of interest in our systems”, concludes Villa. “Being featured at the Academy Awards is a wonderful addition to our list of achievements.”

For more information, please contact:

Revolution Display Systems Inc.

415 Horner Avenue, Unit 10

Toronto, ON

M8W 4W3

Tel: 416-259-4690

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