Nashville International Airport – Grand Lobby

ProjectNashville International Airport - Grand LobbyLocationNashville, TN, USAArchitectFentress Architects, USALighting DesignerGentilhomme, CanadaInstallerInternational Display Systems, Inc., USASubmitted byGentilhomme

Our mandate is part of the BNA Vision, which is a comprehensive plan designed to accommodate the region’s booming population growth and meet the needs of the airport’s record-breaking passenger increases through the development of their landside and airside facilities.

We believe this project should win because we fulfilled the client’s mandate, taking an approach that pays homage to local history to bring a sense of identity and placemaking, transforming the airport into the destination itself.

Produced almost entirely in-house by our small team of creative and technological directors, we integrated live-action filmmaking and advanced CGI to pay homage to the Music City’s legacy of nature, sports, culture, and nightlife in never-before-seen ways.

Under the “mantra good times await your return,” we brought a sense of identity to the airport by offering travellers a visceral memento of Nashville and its surrounding landmarks to impart a lasting impression of the iconic city. The work will be the cornerstone of the airport’s vision to maintain BNA as a world-class facility and accommodate a record-breaking 23 million expected annual passengers.

Producing this content involved location scouting and shooting in over 20 areas and institutions within Nashville and surrounding Tennessee areas, such as Broadway Street, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the renowned Delgado Guitars.

Hyperrealistic 3D animation showcases the city’s ingenuity for whiskey distillation with a scene depicting pipes, gears, and machinery pieces to illustrate the process.

City of Lights, our most technically complex segment of the collection, was made using an advanced compositing technique that blends live-action with CGI. To produce it, Gentilhomme closed the iconic nightlife strip for two days, converting it into a live-action film set with actors and a band. The street was then recreated in post-production, blending and layering these elements harmoniously to create a life-sized animated postcard of the Music City.

For Nashville International Airport, we were mandated as the main entity Content Production Company to celebrate Nashville’s legacy with next-generation multimedia entertainment content production for their Project 3 renovation. We conceptualised, designed, produced, and integrated live-action filmmaking, mixed media, FIDs design, interactive clocks, and advanced CGI.

The multimedia showpiece is located at the new International Terminal Facility. Passengers travelling through the security area entrance are welcomed by two massive displays reflecting the culture and history of the Music City.

Passengers travelling through Nashville will be greeted by over a dozen vignettes experienced as massive digital postcards. Spanning two panoramic screens each 70ft wide at 24K combined resolution, hours of fantastical video capsules pay homage to Nashville’s legacy that enchants travellers and engages them with their surroundings. Highlights include City of Lights, a vibrant scene from the city’s cultural epicentre, Broadway Street and Nashville by Night, an aerial journey through the city’s downtown skyline. Here, the journey begins– even before stepping into the aeroplane.

One of our main challenges came from the capsule City of Lights, a mixed media capsule representing a 1:6 scale representation of Nashville’s iconic Broadway Street. This hero capsule involved a complex post-production process.

To fully capture the dynamic elements of the city’s bustling culture such as neon signs, moving lights, and flags, we filmed the building facades in vertical 8K resolution. We came up with a total of 38 shots to be stitched together to create a huge cinematography-based linear panorama.

To add movement in the upper part of the image we created CGI crowds partying in the upper levels of five different bars. Complete 3D environments were created using actual elements from the location. All these elements were generated using Blender.

The most notable CGI achievement is the 3D crowd we generated to represent Broadway Street’s constant flow of pedestrians.

We created three distinct crowds to represent Tennessee sports fans at both the hockey arena and football stadium at each end of the street. Using real merchandise supplied by the teams, we scanned these elements and applied them to our 3D characters, creating a realistic crowd taking over Broadway Street.

To make these characters look photorealistic, we created matching 3D lighting using the clean plate of the street to light our scene.

With that real lighting, the characters cast real-looking shadows and reflections.

Under thorough pre-production, we assembled this panorama by dividing it into segments and pre-rendering various sections and the final 24K render using our Deadline render farm.