VR - Black Thursday

Black Thursday ride

Continuing on its collaboration with Timelooper, MyLiaison were pleased to provide creative materials for the experience Timelooper created for The Ride, bus tour based in New York. Described as “part Broadway show, part tour-bus”, The Ride is a truly unique interactive experience, boasting live presenters, street-based performances and the immersive recreation of historic moments through virtual reality.

The Ride tour buses are the largest vehicles allowed on the streets of New York and feature customised stadium style seats, floor to ceiling glass windows and LED screens that allow for the virtual reality aspects to be experienced at various stages on the route. For the NYC Experience, MyL created detailed footage of the New York Stock Exchange, set on Black Thursday, 1929. The day the stock exchange crashed, running thousands of investors and causing the start of the Great Depression.

MyL’s brief was to create a narrative in the style of a “mannequin challenge”, where the camera travel, in one take, through a frozen moment in time. The Ride audience would follow this journey through the devastation of Black Thursday, as close to the sensation of the day as possible.

It is not possible to visit NYSE now, so the only possibility was to recreate the entire environment in CG. The characters are real actors, who were scanned and added into the environment in 3D. The journey starts in a corridor of the stock exchange, and leads into the authentic 1920’s office interior of a trader. A woman holding a telephone receiver looks aghast as papers float around her and the viewer is lead to a sunlit window with a gaping hole. As the camera heads out of the window and down onto the street, the audience sees and passes below a well suited man who is jumping to his death. The entire environment has been created in CG after meticulous research into the interiors of the time, the exterior of the NYSE, the surrounding landmarks, the cars and other vehicles.

The camera then leads the journey back inside the main entrance of the stock exchange and up to the main trading area. Much of the interior remains the same today, but without access, the team had to source reference for all areas, from the high gloss of the entrance hall floor tiles, wrought iron balustrade, ceiling cornices, and rough wooden floor boards, through to the majestic main trading room with its rich wooden booths and high vaulted ceilings.

A striking feature of the piece is the many stages of lighting the camera goes through. To get this right the team had to meticulously craft the shading as the camera moves through the gloomy corridors, the small dark office with a wall of streaming sunshine, the many layers of light and shade the environment demanded through the main entrance and up the stairs and finally the huge windows in the main trade area and keep it all realistic to the naked eye. Ambience atmosphere and heat haze sets the scene off perfectly.


The single take finally comes to a stop of a trader, squatting on the floor of the trading area, head in hands, while is world almost literally spins around him.

Timelooper official page: www.timelooper.com