Dragons mean different things to different people. While talking with ECA2’s Jean- Christophe Canizares for an article in this issue on “Fountain of Dreams” he mentioned how his company had to redesign a dragon character in
The Western world, and Europe in particular with its rich fairy tale heritage, views dragons as fiery, evil creatures. But when the creative team presented early ideas for the show to their client, they learned that Chinese dragons are benevolent, auspicious creatures, more associated with water than fire.
Stories don’t exist in vacuums; they live in a place somewhere between the author and the audience. Authors have an intended meaning, but the meaning interpreted by the audience may be completely different, because that audience frames the message in their own context.
Context is derived from a lot of sources, most of which an author can’t control. But one major reliable contextual component is culture. Some say culture informs context, but I believe culture IS context. To understand an audience, one must understand the culture that surrounds them.
Successful storytellers learn about cultural differences during the process and adapt to satisfy those cultural demands. It takes time, and it takes a lot of listening and observing. As operators around the world turn to our
industry to help craft moving and meaningful entertainment experiences, we have to remember to pay attention to the cultural context; and to never take anything we think weknow for granted.
You might already know InPark Magazine. We’ve been publishing for 10 years. Or you might be reading your first issue of InPark right now at the Asian Attractions Expo in Hong Kong.
InPark goes where the industry goes and covers what’s important. We look at theme parks, water parks, museums, zoos and aquariums, destination resorts, casinos, spectaculars, world expos, technology, specialty cinema and much more.
My colleague Martin Palicki, publisher and editor-in-chief of InPark, has a special fondness for the parks, the rides and slides, technologies and operations, and a penchant for traveling. My focus is in theatrical technology, specialty cinema, world expos, fabrication and architecture. We enjoy bringing you a fresh and meaningful examination of the workings of this unique storytelling industry.
This issue of InPark (#57) is our most comprehensive exploration of projects and industry growth in Asia. East and West are finding meaningful and creative ways to collaborate and build the industry’s great new entertainment
and cultural experiences. As that collaboration takes place, the culture and leadership of the industry are shifting in exciting and historic ways.
We hope that you will rely on InPark Magazine as an important resource – to help you gather information, develop a fuller industry perspective and position your own business.