How can successful immersive attractions be created?
Gary Goddard, Gary Goddard Entertainment: Quality and care
Like every other entertainment/art form, there is good immersive entertainment and bad. Sadly, a lot of bad immersive entertainment – cheap, rip-off kind of things – are springing up all over. “4D” is being slapped onto anything with a 3D film and water squirt system. So, expect “immersive 4D” experiences to quickly devalue just as happened with simulation technology, and then large screen technology. For me, what makes an experience immersive and memorable is when the care and quality goes into the concept and content. Terminator 2: 3D and the Spider-Man ride did not just “happen” – thoughtful care went into every element. Likewise, though on vastly reduced budgets, Hershey’s Really Big 3-D Show, and Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wondershow, carefully merged the 4D effects with the 3D elements to create truly unique and immersive shows. But the songs, the music, the character animation – everything was done with an eye to quality and to delivering a sequence of moments that would play well in 3D/4D environments.
Also, it’s important not to mistake “interactive” with “immersive” – interactive is a different kind of experience altogether (though sometimes the two can merge successfully as with Disney’s Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor). We are planning something in New York, “Broadway 4D” that I truly believe will be a game changer for the out-of-home entertainment market, in the way that T2/3D was for theme park attractions when it opened.