|Airboat Theater photo by Maris Ensing|
Maris Ensing and Tricia Rodriguez of Mad Systems told us about a recently opened ride theater project at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery & Science. The 5-minute, 4D experience, for which Mad Systems provided technical and AV design and integration, simulates an airboat ride with the help of a 6-axis Moog motion base, handpainted dioramas by local artist Rob Evans and wraparound projection using Panasonic digital projectors. Although the 20-seat theater space is somewhat open to the rest of the museum, sound is kept confined with a system of Bose line array speakers. Noted giant-screen cinematographer James Neihouse produced the media content; Cambridge Seven Associates designed the theater space and 1220 provided fabrication of scenic elements. Maris photographed the install and build and created time-lapse videos of the process:
4D cinema seats
Media Mation was exhibiting its X4D motion EFX seats and this year in addition to the attraction seats, is offering cinema seats for mainstream operators ready to provide a new level of enhancement to their 3D exhibitions. The seats have 2 degrees of freedom (forward/back and side tilt) plus a roster of effects such as transducers, pokers and ticklers. The adventurous theater owner can also delve into wind, rain, snow, bubbles, strobes and more.
Franklin Park Zoo renovation
Michael Mercadante of Main Street Design was shopping for products to incorporate play experiences with animal exhibits for the children’s zoo within the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. Main Street Design is providing concept design for the children’s zoo renovation. This is the first phase of realizing the zoo’s new master plan and is taking place in conjunction with the creation of a new entry plaza. Mercadante reports that 80% of his company’s work at present is in zoos.
Rob Wyatt of Artisan Design provided details of the Capitol Theater restoration in Edmonton, Canada (opened August 1). It was rebuilt on the original site of the original 1920s structure torn down in the 1970s. The exterior was authentically recreated while the interior boasts a fully modern, versatile 250-seat theater that runs a 15-minute, 4D show on regional history, and also is completely equipped for cinematic presentations and live theater. Architect FSY Architects took on the role of theater consultant. Artisan produced the 4D experience under contract to Fort Edmonton Park. Artisan’s team: Matilda Entertainment (media producer), Yessian Music Inc. (sound design and on-site mixing plus original music composed by Dan Zank), DJ Willrich Ltd. (AV system design and integration), Visual Terrain (lighting designer), Bandit Lites (lighting equipment supplier), Goodman Experiences (design consulting), Technifex (special effects) and LA ProPoint (custom rigging). Show effects include snow, smoke and seat transducers. The wraparound projection is on a large front scrim and rear screen with two side screens. HD projectors include 3 from Panasonic and 5 from Digital Projection. The sound system is from Bose. Lighting fixtures: ETC. The local architect of record was HIP Architects.
Interactive show control
Medialon’s Eric Cantrell introduced us to two new products from the leading show control provider: Version 6 of its Manager software, and CueMaster. The most intriguing aspect of the Version 6 revision is that it allows the user to publish the GUI or control system information as Web pages that are viewable from any web-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. This eliminates the need for a custom control console or touchpad to run it and by doing so opens up the field for remote support, so that even smaller companies and independent providers may get into the act. Additionally, as Cantrell pointed out, this Manager upgrade can also be a portal to guest interactivity, in that guests can be given controlled access to the web pages and thereby some power to affect the experience themselves. The CueMaster product is an iPad app designed for small-scale presentations for venues such as worship spaces or classrooms, and the rental market. It facilitates, real-time, manual operation of AV systems. The product will roll out in the spring.