George Walker reports on Dynamic Attractions’ latest
by George Walker (SVP Creative Services, Dynamic Attractions)
ABOVE: With the spires of St. Basil’s cathedral in Red Square in the near distance, the Dynamic Flying Theater gives guests a soaring tour of Russia and Moscow.
Dynamic Attractions is expanding again, as our artists and designers busily draw, sculpt, and calculate amidst the hammering and sawing from the build-out of the facilities for our new department, the Dynamic Attractions Creative Studio, at our Orlando location. The Creative Studio is set up to independently offer specific services that our company has been providing for some time: story development, media production, design services, previsualization – and now, significantly more scenic fabrication space for physical mock-ups.
Clients, design firms, and project teams can engage the Creative Studio specifically for design services alone. They can draw the “ride box” on their master plan, and then bring us on to help them fill it – even if it isn’t our ride system. Through Dynamic Attractions, they can also, of course, choose one of our own world-class ride systems or comprehensive Unlimited Attraction™ Packages, such as our award-winning Dynamic Motion Theater™ that include everything from design to integration, and from special effects to show sets.
Expanded media production
The Creative Studio expands our media production capabilities. We can work hand-in-hand with a media partner, but we can also offer clients the option of having all their media for an attraction produced in-house.
Media production is as much a design tool as it is a final product in an attraction, and the gap between previsualization and installation-ready content is narrowing, as my colleague, Steve Warner, Director of Creative Services likes to point out. Drawing on his background in design, gaming, and visual effects, Steve has put together a topnotch team able to produce state-of-the-art animatics and attraction media.
With our Flying Theaters, for example, we are helping clients with fully rendered animatics to better understand what the film experience will be like. This in turn helps the show programmers fine-tune the ride equipment’s motion profile long before installation has even started. This can lead to cost and time savings, while improving the final product. We have also developed a proprietary VR system that allows you to view the media virtually, from every seat, and with all the curvature and lenses modeled to replicate real-life conditions.
Creative + Tech
Having a creative design team right next to our engineers, in addition to expanded mock-up facilities, gives Dynamic Attractions enhanced ability to bridge the creative with the technical, to support sophisticated, highly integrated products. Addressing ride and show simultaneously optimizes design; challenges are addressed in a technically creative way. “It’s this combination of technology and creativity that makes my job such a joy,” says my colleague Mike Haimson, VP of Technical Development (aka “wizard behind the curtain”). “We are also working directly with some of the industry’s great design houses to help bring their creative intent into a superior level of detail and technical reality.”
I am particularly proud that Dynamic has been able to combine the talents of the Creative Studio department with the company’s team of technical minds. It’s a magical and absolutely mandatory partnership in order to imagine and create truly fresh, engaging, and buildable show elements to incorporate into our attraction packages.
Join our team
I often call myself a “storybuilder” because I know that eventually ideas have to become reality. Dynamic is looking for more people with this mindset. If you are the type who is comfortable on both the architectural and the artistic side – who loves to get their hands dirty, build models and draw as much as to work in CAD and break elements into spreadsheets – then please reach out to us through dynamicattractions.com.
Moscow Flying Theater
“Zaryadye Flight,” is a Flying Theater opening in Moscow as a featured attraction of the new Zarayadye Park project, just steps from Red Square. This flying theater is an international collaboration utilizing our combined services to develop the preshow, story, and ride system.
It was a windy, Russian winter afternoon as we took in the epic beauty of Moscow on our initial site visit several months ago. With the towers of the Kremlin just ahead, we were thrilled to be bringing a theme park attraction to this remarkable city and international tourist destination. The silhouette of cranes and construction equipment on the project site contrasted sharply with the majestic architecture of this historic city, the colorful spires of the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square stretching above the newly planted trees of the park.
What is taking shape is no ordinary city park. Described as “Wild Urbanism,” Zarayadye Park is going to be a cutting-edge landscape and cultural experience and developers forecast visitation of about 10 million a year. The park is organized into four distinctly Russian temperate zones – tundra, steppe, forest, and marsh – and the structures blend harmoniously with the plant life.
Nestled under a berm of grass like a modern Hobbit house, you will find a very reverent-yet-exhilarating, Dynamic Flying Theater called “Zaryadye Flight” that will take guests soaring over some of the most spectacular and iconic locations in Russia, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Siberia and Far East regions.
“Zaryadye Park is going to be a world-class destination and a symbol for all of Russia,” says Pavel Trekhleb, Project Executive. “For this wonderful urban-park project, we wanted nothing but the best. Our Flying Theater attraction is the perfect addition to the grand vision of Zaryadye Park. The Dynamic Attractions team understood the cultural significance and helped us to realize that vision.”
Moscow’s Chief Architect, Sergei Kuznetsov, spoke of the Flying Theater attraction as one of the most important park features that will complement the opera theater and congregational spaces.
As my colleague Cindy Emerick, VP Business Development, says, “We are just proud to bring our piece to this incredible project. It has been amazing working with this wonderful client, and learning about the fascinating history and architecture of the area. It has been a gratifying, cross-cultural collaboration, and Zaryadye Park is going to be a fantastic place for everyone who visits Moscow.”
With so much happening everywhere we turn, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. But tomorrow always demands something new and better than ever. And Dynamic Attractions has a few surprises we’re getting ready to reveal in November, at the 2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando. As my boss, CEO Guy Nelson says, “Many in our industry are working on ways to create compelling virtual reality (VR) experiences.
We’re cooking up our own secret formula for VR-based attractions as well. We took a pioneering step in 2016 with VR-Bot, our product that integrates VR with a robotic arm. But this year we will launch a different VR experience, and we believe it will redefine what a great VR ride is.”
But that’s just a small sneak peek at what Dynamic Attractions will be unveiling in Orlando later this year. I like to say that when the herd is veering left, we go to the right. It has been just over two years since we first asked ourselves at Dynamic Attractions what the new future of themed attractions would look like. What would be something truly unique in a world awash in a sea of pixels? All I can say is that this November, Dynamic Attractions will introduce something the theme park audience has long awaited, and of which it has long dreamed. We can hardly wait to share it with you and I wish I could say more. But for now, the text on the movie screen would have to read: “CONFIDENTIAL.”
Please be sure to stop by our booth 21-301 at EAS in Berlin! Please contact [email protected] dynamicattractions.com for appointments. •
“Storybuilder” George Walker is SVP, Creative Services, Dynamic Attractions. He simultaneously serves as Creative Director for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi where his projects include Flying Aces (WWI themed coaster), Benno’s Great Race (interactive dark ride) and MISSION: Ferrari (coming soon).