On Saturday, Cecil the Lion lit up the Empire State Building’s south side as part of a one-day event called “Projecting Change.”
Cecil the Lion shared the evening with various species, including the snow leopard, manta ray, and tigers, bears and birds. The event is part of a promotion for the upcoming documentary, Racing Extinction, directed by Louie Psihoyos, the filmmaker behind the Academy Award-winning film The Cove. The beasts lit up a span of 33 stories between 9pm and 12am in what Psihoyos referred to as a “Noah’s ark” of animals. According to The New York Times, the images were created by using 40 stacked, 20,000-lumen projectors positioned on the roof of a building on West 31st Street.
“Projecting Change” is the result of four years of planning between Psihoyos’ Oceanic Preservation Society and San Francisco-based company Obscura Digital. From the beginning, the light show was designed to be “the most dramatic thing we could do to get the world to know about what we’re losing,” Psihoyos told NYT.
Racing Extinction warns of a rapidly-approaching mass extinction perpetrated by human beings. Unlike the five previous planetary extinction events, this sixth extinction will not be caused by global catastrophe or falling asteroids but by overfishing, overhunting, habitat encroachment and anthropogenic (man-made) climate change.
The documentary is set to air on the Discovery Channel in December. Planet Experts will publish an exclusive interview with Louie Psihoyos in November.