The arrival of The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime Video marks a momentous moment for this epic fantasy book series.
When Tool was asked to activate the Amazon Book Store to celebrate it’s small screen debut, we knew we had to give the fans (and tourists) something magical.
When Tool was asked to activate the Amazon Book Store to celebrate it’s small screen debut, we knew we had to give the fans (and tourists) something magical. For 2 weeks in November at the 34th street location in New York City, we invited shoppers to wield the One Power in an immersive, interactive experience.
We transformed 750 sqft of retail space into a lush, mysterious forest; an oversized illuminated book taking center stage, amongst various interactive scenic elements introducing the characters and key storylines. In the store front window, a realistic recreation of the iconic Waygate structure paired with a 3D printed Ouroboro, pulled people off the street and into the store, to experience the WOFT world IRL for the first time
Recreating The World
Set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women can access it, the first season follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the incredibly powerful all-female circle called the Aes Sedai, as she embarks on a dangerous journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or destroy humanity.
Before the Prime Video premiere, the WOFT world had only been seen in reader’s imaginations. Whatever we created, needed to be in lockstep with all the other elements in a massive global campaign. Within a few short weeks, Tool concepted and fabricated an immersive recreation of the forest outside the abandoned city of Shadar Logoth. Custom built 20 foot tree trunks, dynamically reactive lit clouds overhead, hand painted stone structures and a glowing moon made from the cast of a yoga ball, transported guests as they stepped into the space.
Tool also constructed the iconic and fan-favorite set piece from the show, The Waygate. This symbolic piece became the front-facing window display that engaged pedestrians and invited them to visit the experience. This floor to ceiling structure also housed the dimensional Ouroboro and Wheel of Time Logo, sitting in between the two pillars. In addition, the Waygate became more than a display piece as it also served as a bookshelf that displayed Robert Jordan’s Book One from the best-selling series, “The Eye of The World”.
Wielding The One Power
Once inside the forest, guests approached one of five stone plinths, to embody a character of their choosing. Embedded sensors, reacted to your presence, lighting up the top of the plinth with their character’s key attributes and instructions on how to wield the One Power. This is the source that powers the great Wheel of Time to turn, and is made up of 5 threads (water, air, earth, fire, spirit). These magical threads are represented in the space by 100s of fiber optic strands, suspended around the environment and connected to each character’s station.
Guests held out their hand above their plinth, summoning their magical powers forth, dynamically changing the color of their respective threads of the One Power and illuminating their character’s portrait on the giant book in front of them.
Storytelling Through Sound Design
An inspiring saga like WOFT no doubt comes with an impressive soundtrack, and we wanted to bring this cinematic quality to the experience. Tool created dynamic sound design, mixing the show’s score, Moraine’s distinguished VO and a slew of dynamic fantasy SFX to tell the compelling story of the coming of the Dragon Reborn.
Guests were greeted by ethereal chants and wind whistling through the trees, with the infamous line that opens every story in the series, ringing out as they channeled the One Power. When all five guests worked together, they triggered a special message from Moraine, – is it you that holds the One Power inside?
Livestream with Rosamund on Opening Day
To kick off the opening day of the activation, WOFT leading star, Rosamund Pike (Moraine) stopped by for an interview on Amazon Live. The activation became the backdrop for an intimate chat about the making of the series with this Golden Globe & Emmy winner. She left with one of each of our custom engraved wooden bookmarks. Guests were also treated to a bookmark or 3, as a reminder of the power of the written word to inspire worlds we could never visit in real life – until now.