The primary challenge was to time the arrival so that photos and videos would depict the entire ship as well as the elaborate lighting and fireworks. To insure that the starlight arrival would work seamlessly, the client agreed with the agency to do a “dress rehearsal” at considerable expense using a sister ship with the same Port of Miami routing and approximate date and time of day — only a year ahead of Ecstasy’s arrival.
Andy Newman, accompanied by a videographer, booked a helicopter to take aerial photos and video of Carnival’s Fantasy. The resulting photos and videos supported the projected results. In fact, the videotape of the pilot project was used by NBC as part of its coverage of that year’s Orange Bowl New Year’s Eve events.
A year later, with Andy aboard a helicopter, Stuart Newman at the port, another agency member on the fireworks launching barge and Ecstasy’s captain all linked via radio, the event went off without a hitch.
The resulting videotape was used by major networks and the stunning photos of the fireworks and laser-illuminated ship were distributed worldwide by the Associated Press and Reuters news wires.