Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New 4D theater at Land's End Amusement Park relies on Harkness screen


CORNWALL, UK — When Simworx, market leader in 3D/4D effects theatres, was given the challenge of creating a turnkey, 100-seat, 4D high-tech cinema at the UK-based Land's End amusement park, it turned to Harkness Screens Spectral™ 240 for its 3D presentation surface.

The installation of the Harkness Spectral™ 240 screen and custom frame is part of the amusement park's million-dollar investment that also includes state-of-the-art projection equipment and digital surround sound. In addition, the multi-sensory 4D experience offers high-tech moving seats, air blasts, water sprays, aromas and even leg ticklers. Added in-theatre effects include special effects lighting, wind, bubbles and low smoke.

“Simworx has been using Harkness screens for almost six years,” says Terry Monkton, Simworx managing director. “Harkness' screen quality and frame materials, as well as the brightness and clarity of images on screen, are excellent.”

“The Curse of Skull Rock” is a 12-minute swashbuckling animated adventure that pits plucky cabin girl Jill Hopkins against the tyrannical Captain Scabb in pursuit of the legendary lost treasure of Skull Rock. The film has also won two international animation awards, including Best Children's Film.

The Harkness Spectral™ 240 3D screen is considered by cinema exhibitors and special venue operators worldwide to be the optimum 3D projection surface for systems using polarised light. The Spectral 240 features a high extinction ratio and provides spectacular 3D images. The surface also supports 2D images and can be used successfully in auditoriums where 2D and 3D are both shown. The intrinsically high gain (2.4) overcomes light losses in 3D systems.

The Land’s End site is one of the top tourist destinations in the South West of England, attracting over 400,000 visitors a year. Land's End is one of Britain's best loved landmarks, famous for its unique location, natural beauty and stunning scenery.

“The effectiveness of 3D imagery makes Harkness our screen of choice,” adds Monkton. “In fact, every 4D theatre installation that Simworx has done to date has a Harkness screen.”

Other UK-based projects that Simworx has used Harkness presentation surfaces on include, Drayton Manor Park, The Deep Aquarium, The National Aquarium, The Beatles Story, Le Pal Theme Park, Manchester Science Museum, Pleasure Beach, The Works at Ebbw Vale, Grand Pier Weston Super Mare, Bagatelle Theme Park, Amneville Theme Park, Flamingoland, Babbacombe Model Village, Familiepark Drievliet and London Science Museum.

Related stories from InPark Magazine and InPark News:

Marvel Superheroes 4D attraction now open at Madame Tussauds London
BRC Imagination Arts promotes Greg Lombardo
Harkness Screens at Kennedy Space Center's new Exploration Space attraction
2009 waterpark attendance figures
Universal Studios Japan's new interactive roller coaster

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

French Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 relies on projectiondesign® system


Fredrikstad, Norway – In one of the largest single implementations of its technology yet seen anywhere in the world, Norway’s projectiondesign® has supplied some 80 of its F32 series DLP® projectors for use in the French Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

The task of implementing the AV systems at the Pavilion fell to the Paris office of ETC, which has specialised in the design and automation of large-scale image projection since its formation in 1981. ETC’s joint project managers David Baillot and Nicolas Paineau worked on-site to ensure the smooth installation of the AV systems after the company was awarded the tender to supply and operate the multimedia equipment by the Pavilion’s state-backed organizing body COFRES. The project was designed by world-famous French architect, Jacques Ferrier.

“At this expo, the projectors are arranged in pairs or in fours, depending on the size of the screen being used,” Baillot explains. “The theme of the Pavilion is ‘The Sensual City’ and the idea is that visitors to the Pavilion experience some of the sights, sounds, touch and smells that give France its unique style, panache, and sense of glamour. Multimedia technology plays a key role here, as each screen shows content from a different region of France, giving visitors an insight into what makes that region special.”

The original film content was shot and delivered specifically for the Pavilion by Flair Productions, then specially formatted for the projection systems by the Paris-based company Cadmos. The projectors and content are programmed using ETC’s proprietary multimedia control platform Onlyview, while the AV installation as a whole is under the direction of Medialon Manager V5 control software.

“The high-quality, wide-angle lenses supplied with the F32, together with the model’s extensive vertical and horizontal offset capabilities, were key reasons to choose projectiondesign for the Pavilion,” says Paineau, who adds significantly: “Beyond the hardware’s technical capabilities, it is also vital on such a large-scale project to have the right backup, and projectiondesign’s ability to react quickly and offer support during the three-and-a-half months of installation was top-notch and absolutely vital to the job’s success.”

Thierry Ollivier, Regional Manager, France, Russia, CEE & CIS of projectiondesign concludes: “As a Frenchman myself I am very proud of what my countrymen have achieved with the Pavilion in Shanghai, but as a projectiondesign employee I’m even more proud to see so many of our projectors offering such clarity and consistency of imaging, day after day, in very demanding conditions. Like all events of this kind, the Shanghai World Expo has been a high-pressure project, and I’m glad to say that both ourselves and ETC have risen to the occasion to provide a perfect visual solution to the Pavilion’s needs.”

About projectiondesign
projectiondesign is a Norwegian company that designs, manufactures and markets a range of high performance projectors for professional, business and consumer applications. Amongst its core markets are high resolution scientific visualization, visual training and simulation, medical imaging, broadcast and post production, public media and entertainment. projectiondesign is based in Fredrikstad, Norway, and has offices in Singapore, India, UAE, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and United Kingdom, as well as the United States.

Photo: projectiondesign

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Meyer Sound, Kraftwerk, Threshold, Merlin and Marvel Superheroes 4D at Madame Tussauds



In the 284-seat domed theatre of Madame Tussauds London, Marvel superheroes come alive in 4D thanks to the collective efforts of a cinematic dream-team, Meyer Sound, Kraftwerk Living Technologies International, Threshold Animation Studios, and Merlin Studios.

"We scored the film and created the sound design like we were making a blockbuster feature film. Once something sounded great, we turned it up even more," says Joshua Wexler, president of Threshold Animation. "The audio experience significantly enhances all of our 3-D visuals and drives the audience to scream, laugh, jump and duck at all the right moments."

A discrete 7.1 Meyer Sound Cinema Experience system was installed to facilitate an immersive audio experience for this dynamic application. Kraftwerk's CEO, Christian Hofer explains: "When Meyer Sound introduced the new Cinema Experience product line, it was immediately clear to us that by installing this precision technology into Madame Tussauds's domed theatre, we would be able to accomplish unprecedented effects while setting a new standard for immersive audio experiences."

Taking this from concept to reality involved closely coordinated efforts on the part of Kraftwerk's team. The results are a configuration, compatible with Dolby Format 91 layout, that comprises seven Acheron screen channel loudspeakers, two 700-HP subwoofers, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 408 processors. Sensations of wind, water, quakes and more are made real for the audience as a team of the iconic super heroes spill off the screen in a nine-minute adventure set in London.

"I have been impressed and overwhelmed by the passion, dedication and attention to detail that makes this project a smashing success," says Paul Williams, creative director of Merlin Studios, the creative hub for Merlin Entertainments Group, which oversees brands including Madame Tussauds. "The audio is absolutely mind-blowing, and the beautifully crafted film is truly jaw-dropping and hugely entertaining. All in all, this is an amazing product which is being incredibly well received by our guests."

General manager of Madame Tussauds London, Edward Fuller concurs: "Our guests' reactions to the immersive experience are just outstanding. The clarity of the audio, coupled with the 3D film and 4D effects allows audiences to feel as if they are really there with the super heroes."

Meyer Sound's senior cinema and live sound design project manager Brian Long, and John Pellowe, project director for Constellation and former sound engineer for the late Luciano Pavarotti, mixed the audio content, which combined over 200 tracks of material and was mixed down into a 7.1 channel master for playback utilizing two Avid Pro Tools HD systems and ICON mixing surfaces provided by Stronghire in the UK.

"Mixing in the actual exhibition space enabled us to create maximum impact," says Pellowe. "With stunning sound effects flying around the room to match the action in the film, we were able to deliver a rich tapestry of immersive sound from the beautifully crafted orchestral score."

The new Cinema Experience from Meyer Sound is a complete, integrated line of cinema sound products and digital solutions that provide engineers with precise audio reproduction for sound design and dubbing through to exhibition. Neither a traditional cinema nor typical content creation space, Madame Tussauds London's dome theatre, is a unique model for next-generation immersive media spaces. Other facilities using Meyer Sound Cinema Experience include Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope, ImageMovers Digital, Skywalker Sound, University of Southern Calif.'s School of Cinematic Arts, The Digital Cinema Auditorium at UC San Diego, and a multiplex cinema at the Solaris Cultural and Leisure Centre in Tallinn, Estonia, to name a few.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Cinnabar lends artisanship to creation of Home Lands traveling museum exhibition for Autry Center


Los Angeles -- Cinnabar Inc., a company of creative thinkers, artisan builders and imaginative problem solvers, providing integrated services to the museum, entertainment and cultural industries, provided fabrication services and design development consulting to the Autry National Center of the American West for the traveling exhibition Home Lands: How Women Made the West. The exhibition is based on the book by Virginia Scharff and Carolyn Brucken, and curated by Carolyn Brucken of the Autry.

Cinnabar helped fulfill design firm Muniz / McNeil’s aesthetic vision for Home Lands - a series of themed environments that complement the women’s stories and the artifacts they present - while also meeting the practical requirements of buildability, budget and the unique needs of a traveling museum exhibit. Cinnabar’s fabrication design scheme realizes Muniz / McNeil’s exhibition design in the form of functional displays whose components can be assembled and disassembled for transport to and display in a variety of museum spaces.

“Cinnabar’s artisan skills made our company a particularly good fit to satisfy the design brief of Home Lands,” notes Cinnabar CEO Jonathan Katz, “because the displays themselves called for a hand-wrought feeling, to evoke the culture of manual skills and handcrafts – along with practicality. Those are all internalized attributes of Cinnabar’s contemporary-West artisan culture, too, so our team was well-suited to help manifest the design intent.”

Home Lands
examines three long-inhabited places in the West, Rio Arriba, Colorado Front Range and Puget Sound, reflecting the region’s cultural diversity. The interpretive approach showcases objects, artifacts and artworks that tell women’s stories, and exploits their material culture in unusual and unexpected ways. Focused exhibits called “micro-environments” express a vernacular look and feel, and use video and audio to highlight individual women and their voices. Gallery and exhibit surfaces are clad with materials that allude to exhibit stories, objects, and ideas.

Home Lands Exhibition Tour

Home Lands: How Women Made the West had its debut exhibition at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles (April-Sept 2010). Its next scheduled stops are the Missouri History Museum in Saint Louis (Oct 2010-Jan 2011), the Gilcrease Museum of the Americas in Tulsa (Feb-May 2011) and the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe (June-Sept 2011). Home Lands is generously supported by Cam and Peter Starret, Ernst & Young, Eastman Kodak Company, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Unified Grocers, Wells Fargo, KCET and the Friends of the Autry.

Cinnabar’s museum portfolio
Cinnabar’s portfolio of museum projects continues to grow. Recent accomplishments include the lauded California Academy of Sciences, for which Cinnabar produced 35,000 square feet of exhibits for the Kimball Museum of Natural History in close collaboration with architect Renzo Piano and which was recently honored with a SEGD Design Award and three IES Exhibit Lighting Design Awards. Jonathan Katz was executive producer of the Kimball exhibits, including the critically acclaimed “Altered State” exhibits on climate change.

Another recent project was the fabrication of exhibits for the upgrade of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory visitor center. The company’s other markets include themed entertainment, television, film, and public art.

For the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM), Cinnabar provided fabrication and production of the new Age of Mammals permanent exhibition and the Haaga Family Rotunda exhibit “What on Earth?”, working closely with NHM director of exhibit production Simon Adlam and using a design/build methodology to fast-track the project.

Photos: Jeff Ingalls

Sunday, September 26, 2010

IAAPA's new Asia-Pacific office will be headed by Andrew Lee


The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced Andrew Lee has been named Executive Director for the trade association’s new office in the Asia-Pacific region. As the leader of IAAPA Asia Pacific, Lee is responsible for expanding and enhancing the association’s programs and services in the region and will oversee government relations, communications, membership development, education, and Asian Attractions Expo.

Lee is a veteran of the travel and hospitality industry. He most recently served as director, business ventures for a joint alliance between AsiaWorld-Expo, Global Sources, and Pico Global Services.

“Asia has the fastest-growing attractions industry in the world so it is only natural for IAAPA to open an office in the region,” said IAAPA Chairman Chip Cleary. “IAAPA Asia Pacific extends the trade association’s global presence and becomes the association’s third regional office, joining those already established in Europe and Latin America.”

“We are excited to have Andrew join our team,” said IAAPA President and CEO Charles Bray. “His knowledge of the region and extensive experience in the travel, hospitality industry, and trade shows make him the ideal person to lead our Asia-Pacific operations. His presence on the ground will allow IAAPA to better serve its members and expand its presence in the region.”

More details here.

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SATE 2010 Conference in Orlando Sept 30-Oct 1 - program details
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mummies of the World is a blockbuster exhibition at California Science Center

Los Angeles -- According to American Exhibitions Inc., Mummies of the World, said to be the largest exhibition of mummies ever assembled, has become one of the most successful paid exhibit openings in the California Science Center's 13-year history. The exhibition welcomed its milestone 100,000th visitor on Aug. 19 - just seven weeks after its July 1 world premiere in Los Angeles.

"Crowds have been lining up to see Mummies of the World since it opened," says Jeff Rudolph, president of the California Science Center. "It has been gratifying to see that so many people appreciate the opportunity this exhibit offers to learn more about the scientific research involved in the study of mummies."

In its first 50 days, the exhibition has welcomed 100,000 visitors through the door; ticket sales including future dates put the total number at 106,687. The total number for the first Body Worlds exhibition - another world premiere - which the Science Center hosted from July 2, 2004 to Jan. 23, 2005, had ticket sales at 102,525 during the same time frame. The total number for the Titanic exhibition, which the Science Center hosted from Feb. 9 to Sept. 1, 2003, was 66,412 during its first 50 days.


At the end of July, the California Science Center and American Exhibitions, Inc. announced extended weekend hours to accommodate popular demand for the exhibition.

"As a leading marketing partner for Mummies of the World, LA INC. the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau is pleased to mark this attendance milestone in such a remarkably short time," says Michael McDowell, LA INC.'s Senior Director for Cultural Tourism. "The early and continued success of Mummies of the World is just the latest indicator of Los Angeles' reputation for presenting world-class cultural and educational exhibitions that capture and stir the imagination of residents and visitors alike."

Mummies of the World presents a never-before-seen collection of naturally and intentionally preserved mummies. This compelling collection, presented with reverence and dignity, includes ancient mummies and important artifacts from Asia, Oceania, South America, Europe, and ancient Egypt, dating as far back as 6,500 years.

Featuring a collection of 150 objects, including real human and animal mummies and related artifacts, the exhibition demonstrates that mummification - both through natural and intentional processes - has taken place all over the globe, from the hot desert sands of South America to remote European moors and bogs.

Mummies of the World is presented by American Exhibitions, Inc. in association with the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums, Mannheim, Germany. The exhibition runs at the California Science Center through Nov 28, 2010. Mummies makes its Midwest debut at the Milwaukee Public Museum on Dec 17, 2010.

American Exhibitions, Inc. is a producer of world class touring exhibitions for science centers and museums. The company is a long-standing member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the American Association of Museums (AAM).

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Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) honors Karen Sausman with Marlin Perkins Award


Silver Spring, Maryland – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has awarded its highest award for professional excellence, the R. Marlin Perkins Award, to Karen Sausman, President Emeritus of The Living Desert for her outstanding contributions to the zoo and aquarium profession.

“AZA is proud to honor Karen’s lifetime achievements with the R. Marlin Perkins Award,” said AZA President and CEO, Jim Maddy. “Her passion and commitment to conservation and education as well as to the American and international zoo community make her a remarkable role model.”

The award, named for its inaugural recipient, R. Marlin Perkins, was first granted in 1978. It recognizes those who have a distinguished record of honorable service to the association throughout their careers, are strongly committed to education, conservation, science, recreation, and the welfare of animals, and further these causes within the zoo and aquarium profession.

“Karen Sausman is part of a group of pioneers who transformed a rough-and-tumble community of fiercely independent zoos and aquariums into a professional organization of science- and conservation-based institutions,” said Stacey Johnson, President and CEO of The Living Desert. “And she was building a first-class institution, The Living Desert, simultaneously.”

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation.

Photo: Sage Garden, The Living Desert

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Friday, September 17, 2010

PLASA announces 2010 Innovation Award recipients


Earls Court, London, UK -- The winners of the 2010 Awards for Innovation and the 2010 Gottelier Award were announced Monday Sept 13 at a special presentation a PLASA 2010 (Professional Lighting & Sound Association) following a hotly contested nomination process that saw 62 products entered and six contenders for the Gottelier Award.

Seven Awards for Innovation and one Gold Award were presented by PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths. This year’s prestigious Gottelier Award went to Electronic Theatre Controls founder Fred Foster in recognition of his work on many legendary products including the company's control desks, dimmers, and the Source Four family of spotlights.

2010 PLASA Awards for Innovation
Martin Audio Multicellular Line Array (MLA) - Gold Award
Each and every driver in each and every line array element is controlled individually by its own channel of amplifier and its own channel of DSP processing. The judges commented, "Coupled with the calculation software and the built-in networking, these features allow Martin Audio to take array tuning and deployment to new levels previously unobtainable using the human ear.”

d&b audiotechnik B4 Subwoofer
The judges were exceptionally impressed that, rather than using traditional DSP active technology, the B4 uses PSP "plywood signal processing.”

Outline Audio Mini Compass i-Mode
This loudspeaker's combination of generic IT and innovative line array technology, the judges found, represents a step forward for the industry in systems integration.

Clay Paky Sharpy

In the words of the Judges, "we never thought we'd see a 170W light that we could use in Wembley Arena."

Robert Juliat Aledin
The Judges felt that Robert Juliat's usual high standards have not been compromised in the search for a usable LED profile spot. The design allows the LED module to be retrofitted to the manufacturer's existing tungsten fixtures.

Coemar Spa Reflection FullSpectrum

By locating rear facing LEDs at the front of the fixture, the unit’s reflector creates a homogenized beam that the judges felt successfully eliminates many of the problems associated with existing LED wash lights, especially the issue of multiple shadowing.

LumenRadio CRMX Nova Flex
This device was noted for its recent use of RDM in an architectural application, giving feedback from external sensors -- thereby providing an energy efficient outdoor lighting solution.

CAST BlackTrax - First Phase
This product uses WYSIWYG as a host platform to provide real-time three-dimensional object tracking data to feed into a variety of position-dependent lighting, sound and rigging control systems.

The judges also made three special commendations:

Shure PSM 900 in-ear wireless monitoring system, commended for a combination of flexible technologies.

Clay Paky Alpha Profile 700,commended for the high level of engineering embodied.

RevEAL CW color-mixing LED washlight by Prism Projection, found to have "notable color rendering, particularly in the natural and pastel colors, which makes it viable for use in theatre.”

The presentation followed a busy day on the show floor, with over 350 companies launching more than 500 new products. A total of £12,000 of the awards nominations fees was, as in line with PLASA Show tradition, donated to charitable causes. Matthew Griffiths commented: "The recipients of these awards showed once again how the most innovative thinkers in our industry continue to push the boundaries of what can be achieved by combining technological insight with exciting creativity." PLASA 2011 will be held September 11-14, 2011 at Earls Court, London.

Photos: Fred Foster, ETC; Matthew Griffiths, PLASA. Courtesy PLASA.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BRC Imagination Arts names Greg Lombardo Creative Director, Brand Experiences
















Burbank, Calif. USA – BRC Imagination Arts, a global leader in the design, creation and production of immersive educational, entertainment, and brand experiences, has named Greg Lombardo as Creative Director, Brand Experiences.

Lombardo, an integral member of the BRC team since 2008, has spent the last two years heading up the company’s development of the USA Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010. One of the most popular pavilions at the Expo, the USA Pavilion has welcomed more than five million visitors since opening its doors in May.

A 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry, Lombardo has spent his professional life telling great stories as a writer, director and producer for feature films, theater and commercials. During his tenure with BRC, Greg has worked for many prestigious brands including GM, EMI, Abbey Road, China Mobile, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, Guinness, and SyFy Channel.

As Creative Director, Brand Experiences, Lombardo oversees creative development for companies looking to create corporate brand centers; cities, states and regional governments that are investing in area attractions for economic development; and governments and corporations seeking an amazing presence at a World Expo.

“Greg possesses a rare combination of business and creative experience, making him a unique asset to BRC, his colleagues and every client project he touches,” said Tisa Poe, Vice President Entertainment Experiences & Brand Experiences. “His innate ability to understand how to best turn an organization’s brand into its story – one that can be experienced with emotion and leave an unforgettable impact – is witnessed by everyone who works with him.”

Prior to joining BRC, Greg served as Artistic Director for the National Shakespeare Company, where he directed and produced successful productions of Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also helped sell the Shakespeare brand itself, in his role as head fundraiser for America’s oldest touring theater company. Greg has also worked with Andersen Consulting to create and direct a first-of-its-kind live training program for major pharmaceutical firms. The program was so successful; it became a standard in the industry and is still widely used today.

Additionally, Greg has written, directed, and produced award winning feature films including Macbeth in Manhattan, Knots, and Bob Funk. His films have won the Audience Award, Long Island Film Festival, and Best Picture Award, Miami Film Festival. He has managed and produced multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and served as a production executive at Pictures In A Row, where he produced over 40 spots. Greg also wrote and directed commercials and industrial films that featured Orange County Choppers, National Hot Rod Association, Suzuki Motorcycle Race Team, and Gale Banks Racing. His work in commercials has earned him a Summit Award for Innovation and a Mobius Award.

ABOUT BRC IMAGINATION ARTS
Now in its 29th year, BRC Imagination Arts is an international leader in the design, creation, and production of innovative and immersive branded attractions, visitor centers, world-class museums, and world expo pavilions for a wide range of corporate, not-for-profit, city, regional development and government clients around the world. BRC clients include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, China Mobile, China Telecom, Heineken, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, NASA, and Universal Studios, among many others. With offices in California, The Netherlands, China, and the United Kingdom, BRC has been honored with over 275 international awards for creative excellence including two Academy Award nominations, and 16 THEA Awards for Outstanding Achievement in themed entertainment. The company is currently engaged in projects in the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

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PGAV Destinations Hosts Educational Institute


PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations, recently hosted a special PGAV Destination Institute in the McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center. Entitled “Rich and Meaningful: How Learning Experiences Inspire,” the Institute drew more than 100 attendees from attractions in the region and representatives from NASA.

“We want to understand how people learn in environments outside of the classroom,” explains Mike Konzen, Principal PGAV Destinations. “We know that a visit to a zoo, science center or aquarium can have a powerful impact on a child’s inquisitiveness and inspiration.”

One of the featured speakers, John Fraser, PhD, AIA, Director Institute for Learning Innovation (www.ilinet.org) in New York, presented the latest research about the value of museums in our culture. When families visit these destinations, bonding occurs that sets the stage for absorbing information and changing behaviors. It is speculated that ten years from now, with continuing budget cuts in traditional educational systems, museums will play a larger role in educating people through free-choice learning environments.

Jon A. McBride, Captain USN/NASA Astronaut (retired), Vice President of Strategic Development Delaware North Companies (www.experiencednc.com), spoke about his personal experience. McBride became an astronaut in 1979. His many NASA assignments have included serving as pilot of Shuttle mission STS-41-G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on October 5, 1984, aboard the Orbiter Challenger. This was the first crew of seven and completed an eight day mission. McBride values science for personal growth as well as the path for America to be successful. “Science museums and other educational destinations can tap into a new spirit of hope,” states McBride. “These are the places to explore new ideas and begin to believe ‘I can do that!’”

PGAV’s key clients include industry leaders such as Delaware North, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the Biltmore Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Ameristar Casinos, Universal Studios, The Gettysburg Foundation, Niagara Parks Commission, The National Aviary, and many others. Recent assignments include planning and design at many of the world’s “must see” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Kennedy Space Center, Hearst Castle, the Georgia Aquarium, the Hoover Dam, and SeaWorld Adventure Parks.

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Georgia Aquarium expansion: PGAV supplies design services
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dan Gerstenhaber Joins Available Light


Steven Rosen, President of Available Light, says, “Dan Gerstenhaber and I have been friends and colleagues for over a decade and I am impressed with his creativity, design skills, project management capabilities, and client relations savvy."

Along with Principal Bill Kadra, Gerstenhaber will be responsible for operating the Special Event and Trade Show division of Available Light. His past experience includes four years as Production Coordinator and Lighting Designer for ELS.

“When clients demanded a rock and roll stage for CSI Las Vegas, lighting & AV gear for E3 (the world’s largest video game conference), or the transformation of a ballroom into a primordial Land of the Lost forest, they called on me,” stated Gerstenhaber. “I am honored and excited to join Available Light, New England’s premier lighting design firm.”

Available Light, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, is a lighting design firm working worldwide in the fields of museum exhibition, architecture & corporate communications.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

SATE 2010 Conference, Orlando Sept 30-Oct 1 Full Details released by Themed Entertainment Association


The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has released full details of its coming SATE 2010 Conference to be held in Orlando Sept 30-Oct 1. Visit the TEA website for the program, sessions list, speakers and bios, and registration links.

SATE (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology, Experience) is a professional design conference created by TEA to stimulate dialog among the makers of compelling places and guest experiences, reaching across a broad range of creative disciplines and market sectors within the attractions industry. SATE provides an environment to share diverse ideas and concepts, to challenge and inspire, and to discover collaborative opportunities.

SATE is organized by a volunteer committee of TEA leaders in conjunction with TEA staff. SATE 2010 committee chair is Kile Ozier, working with Larry Tuch of Narrative Concepts, Dan Christman of X-nth, Steve Birket of Birket Engineering, Penny Peavler of Weber Group and George A. Head. SATE 2010 sponsors include Birket Engineering, Electrosonic, PBS&J, Thorburn Associates, Universal Studios and VOA Associates Inc.

A European counterpart, the first SATE Europe, is currently in planning stages by the TEA Europe & Middle East Division.

See the latest online issue of InPark Magazine (summer 2010, international focus). Includes articles on roller coaster construction, racecar simulation, Shanghai Expo 2010, Ferrari World theme park Abu Dhabi, and Universal Studios Japan.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Loch Ness Productions to distribute Antares digital dome video shows to planetariums and other markets in the US


Loch Ness Productions (LNP - Nederland, Colorado, USA) and Antares Fulldome Productions (Barcelona, Spain) announced a collaboration to bring updated versions of Antares shows to planetariums and other fulldome (digital dome video) markets in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries.

Their first co-production is the Sept. 1, 2010 re-release of Astronomy:3000 Years of Stargazing. It features videography and animation produced by Sergio López Borgoñoz, General Manager of Antares, and his creative team. The soundtrack is based on the original script, edited and updated by Carolyn Collins Petersen, vice-president of LNP. The newly revised script is narrated by Carolyn, and features Mark C. Petersen (LNP president) as the voice of Einstein. Mark also created a new soundtrack, drawing from the vast resources of LNP's original planetarium space music library.

“We were intrigued by the Antares shows when we first saw them at the Jena Fulldome Festival in May, 2010," says Mark Petersen.

"Mark and Carolyn Collins Petersen have added their know-how and experience in soundtracks and scripting to prepare our shows for expanded markets in the US and around the world," says Sergio López Borgoñoz.

The agreement also brings the two companies together in co-producing updated soundtracks for two other Antares titles: The Birth of the Solar System and Chronicle of a Journey to Earth. Both will be available later in 2010.

Astronomy: 3000 Years of Stargazing will be presented at the Imiloa Fulldome Film Festival, Oct 6-8, 2010

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