The chatter is loud on the school bus; students are excited to be out with their classmates and on a city adventure. As they file off the bus and into the Chicago History Museum, students are greeted with an expansive five screen video wall totaling 4’ high by 36’ long in the new Crown Welcoming Center. As the students start to settle down, a driving drum beat sets the pace for an exciting, yet informative video spanning the semi-circle screens. This video not only sets the tone for the incredible Chicago history they are about to be immersed into, but also helps lay the rules on how to enjoy the museum with guidance. 

Editor Ed Pickart of Motionpost was brought in on this immense project because of his experience with massive widescreen editing. Producer and CEO of Trillium Productions, Gaylon Emerzian, well known in the museum and educational digital productions world, headed the ten month long project. Ed worked hand in hand with Trillium production staff to animate thousands of archival footage and photos provided by Chicago History Museum staff to create the program.

Ed used After Effects to produce six minutes of captivating ultra widescreen entertainment. This visual production is a perfect way to set the tone of learning and having a good time while doing so. Though it was completed in March 2020, students didn’t get to experience it because of the shutdown of all public museums at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, with more school-aged populations able to attend the museum, the screens are bright and the drumbeat is driving. It’s time to take in some Chicago history!