Monday, August 30, 2010

Wildfire will introduce 2 new lighting products & a new product line at LDI in Las Vegas Oct 22-24

Las Vegas – Wildfire Inc., market leader in UV (ultraviolet, aka “black light”) effects for theater, themed entertainment and special events, will reveal a new product line: the UltraRail Series, and two new fixtures: one in its popular Effects Master series and one in its core Long-Throw series, at LDI 2010, the annual trade show and conference for live entertainment industries, October 22-24, in Las Vegas, NV. Wildfire will display their new products at LDI 2010 in booth #2406.

“We are very excited to unveil these new energy efficient and lower cost models into our popular Long-Throw and Effects Master product lines at LDI. We anticipate the versatile UltraRail Series will be ideal in a wide variety of retail and architectural applications,” says John Berardi, president of Wildfire Inc.

The likable UltraRail Series offers a slim, low profile design and very low energy consumption with T5 BLB fluorescent lamps. This new series has built-in electronic ballasts and snap-in mounting brackets for quick, easy installation in lighting coves, soffits, merchandising displays, trade show exhibits and more.

Designed for bowling and family fun centers which require a larger number of black light fixtures on each circuit, The Effects Master Energy Series Model EM-42E, also less expensive than other models in the popular Effects Master line, features high efficiency universal voltage electronic ballasting. Polished Everbright reflectors give maximum output and greater energy efficiency while the universal voltage input allows for use in 120 to 277V installations.

Less expensive than the other models in their core Long-Throw series, the 150W Long-Throw Series II Model LT-150 features energy efficient electronic ballasting and an interchangeable reflector system enabling three beam configurations: a 20° or 50° spot and a 90° flood. The peened ultra bright finish provides maximum output and even light distribution.

The theme park industry will also see the new products when Wildfire exhibits them a month later at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) international trade show and conference, November 15-19, in Orlando, FL in booth #671. Wildfire has more than 20 years in the theme park sector providing UV lighting & effects for major parks in the US, China, France, Singapore, Japan and now the UAE at Ferrari World.

Photos: Wildfire, Inc.

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ETC Paradigm® system controls architectural and exhibit lighting at California Science Center

Los Angeles -- ETC lighting and control products are key to illuminating the diverse exhibits, offices and architecture in the California Science Center’s new 165,000-square-foot Ecosystems wing, open to the public as of March 25, 2010. Nearly ten years in the making, the new permanent exhibit allows visitors to experience a blend of live animals and hands-on science experiments in eleven distinct ecosystems, each illustrating an ecological principle. The wing nearly doubles the exhibit space at the California Science Center and is expected to raise visits above the average annual attendance of 1.4 million that the facility had previously welcomed.

ETC’s Unison® Paradigm control system, Sensor®+ dimming, SmartSwitch™ relays, and Source Four® fixtures were all part of the lighting and control package for Ecosystems. The Paradigm system provides simultaneous control of all the architectural lighting in the public areas, including the central atrium, and the 60,000 square feet of new administrative offices, in addition to dry and wet exhibits and special-event elements such as a simulated flash-flood experience in the 2,500-square-foot Desert ecosystem.

The ETC system was specified by Gallegos Lighting (now a studio of Thorburn Associates Inc.) working in close collaboration with the Science Center; joint project-architects EHDD and ZGF; biome consultant CLR Design; and designers of the Science Museum of Minnesota. Karl Haas, ETC’s Architectural Western Regional Manager, was Lead Project Designer on the installation while previously working for Gallegos Lighting Design. ETC’s Los Angeles office is providing ongoing support and coordination of continued work with the Science Center.

An earlier version of the Unison controller had been initially specified for Ecosystems, but during the project’s incubation period, the new ETC Unison Paradigm system became available. “We were able to switch to the new product in the heat of the project, with very few technical issues and no change of price,” noted Haas. “Paradigm is a perfect fit for this type of project.”

Paradigm was engineered to improve facility efficiencies across the board. As part of its green energy-management functionality, Paradigm performs building sweeps -- making certain that lights have not been inadvertently left on during unoccupied times. The intuitive color-coded LED button displays on the Unison controls allow multiple exhibit areas to be controlled via just a few strategically-placed stations. And Paradigm can also function as centralized control, accessing the lighting in any specific area of the exhibits as well as the upper office areas, with equal ease of programming and level setting.

Every controllable circuit in the expansion wing is operated by the Paradigm system, including ETC’s Source Four lighting fixtures, which provide patterned effects and adjustable focus for the changing events in the three-story-high central atrium.

Gallegos Lighting made full use of Paradigm’s versatility to accommodate the specific cycles and conditions of a project that blends technical sophistication with ecological sensitivity, while also meeting the needs of the Center’s operations staff. “It’s my company’s specialty to integrate both the exhibit and the architectural, and I like the Paradigm for that,” says Patrick Gallegos. “The system is extremely flexible and does a lot of things very well. Each exhibit here has its unique lighting needs. Paradigm allowed us to isolate and program each space individually, while at the same time set up the system to be easily maintained and adjusted by a small number of people at the facility.”

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

HARKNESS SCREENS supplies immersive space adventure "Exploration Space" at Kennedy Space Center

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL — BRC Imagination Arts turned to Harkness Screens when it was looking for an out-of-this-world custom frame and screen supplier for Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted, NASA's latest attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted incorporates live theater, interactive experiences and large-scale multimedia presentations to display what the future of space travel may look like. With four custom-shaped trapezoidal Harkness Contrast Grey front projection screens flying above the stage and two large main stage rear projection screens, the viewer is completely engulfed in imagery.

The main stage 16:9 Harkness Translite Super Grey 14 X 7.8 feet rear projection screen was also custom designed to fit into a scenic LED bezel. The second standard shaped Harkness Translite Super Grey rear projection screen, which is located to the right of the stage, measures in at approximately 12.5 X 12.5 feet. A scenic bezel is used to make a 12 foot diameter circular viewing area. The Your Destination exhibit uses a 14 x 19 foot Translite Super Grey rear projection screen to create stunning images of potential future destinations for NASA.

This marks the second time Harkness has provided presentation surfaces and custom frames for projects on which BRC, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and NASA have collaborated. The first was for Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Launch Experience, which opened to rave reviews in 2007.

“We were confident in Harkness' ability to address our complicated needs and provide superior quality screens and frames for this project, as they did previously for the Shuttle Launch Experience,” says Josh Cottrell, Project Manager at BRC Imagination Arts. “We originally chose Harkness for the Shuttle Launch Experience because it was the only company that could deliver a 20 ft x 40 ft screen that could be hung overhead in a flat orientation. On this project, Harkness once again took the challenge head on and did a great job. We have been very happy with Harkness’ products and have used them again recently for the USA Pavilion for the World Expo in Shanghai.”

Photos: BRC Imagination Arts

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cinnabar fabricates exhibits for Jet Propulsion Laboratory visitor center upgrade

PASADENA, Calif., -– Cinnabar Inc., a company of creative thinkers, artisan builders and imaginative problem solvers, providing integrated services to the museum, entertainment and cultural industries, was the fabricator of the recent renovation of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) von Karman Visitor Center. The Visitor Center debuted in May 2010 at JPL's annual Open House , which was attended by over 36,000 people. The new exhibits provide visitors of all ages with a self-guided educational experience of the solar system, space exploration and the story of NASA/JPL.

Cinnabar collaborated with design firm C&G Partners and with JPL’s internal team. The project was administered by the JPL Education Office. Cinnabar supplied graphics, high security artifact displays, vitrines, model rigging, audiovisual integration and enclosures with support for monitors, sound sticks and a 103" touch screen. Cinnabar also fabricated sophisticated modular structures that allow for the easy updating of images, text, video and computer content providing for flexibility in the exhibit for many years to come.

JPL wrote and produced the media content in-house.

“We were very happy to be part of this project,” says Cinnabar CEO Jonathan Katz. “Helping to create the JPL displays enabled us to support an institution doing vital scientific work and to collaborate with a very distinguished design firm. C&G’s design package was beautiful as well as functional. It answered the client’s needs, creating an aesthetically pleasing space that can be expanded in future.”

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.

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. Another recent project was the Homelands traveling exhibit for the Autry Museum. The company’s other markets include themed entertainment, television, film, and public art.

“Teamwork is our strong suit,” says Cinnabar's Andrea Whittier. “Because of the company’s background in fast-paced entertainment projects, we are seasoned in delivering optimal results in the face of tight budgets, quick redesigns and time crunches, whatever the project size or scope.”

Photo: Moon rock and surveyor scoop exhibited at the new JPL visitor center. Photo: Jeff Ingalls.

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Green Acres: the New California Academy of Sciences

E&S Sells Over 200 Digistar Fulldome Digital Planetarium Systems

SALT LAKE CITY -- Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation (E&S)— announced Aug 24 that it has surpassed the 200 mark for Digistar fulldome digital planetarium systems sold to science centers, schools, universities and fulldome theaters worldwide. Including the original Digistar I and Digistar II digital planetarium systems over 300 Digistar systems have been sold. According to E&S these numbers make Digistar the most successful digital planetarium product in the world.

Digistar 4 is the latest generation of the original Digistar star projector. Introduced in 1983, Digistar leveraged the pioneering real time computer graphics technology E&S developed for the simulation industry. Now, Digistar 4 with its open architecture and intuitive, powerful user interface offers a multitude of exciting new features for Digistar users.

Scott Niskach, Director of International Sales for E&S said, “Our users have been thrilled with the new user interface and its intuitive drag-and-drop controls. This gives first-time users quick access to all the system features and allows presenters to interact with audiences instinctively without having to learn a complicated set of commands.”

The annual Digistar Users Group conference will be held Sept 22-25 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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PLASA Awards for Innovation 2010 - entry deadline Aug 27

Message received from PLASA (Professional Lighting & Sound Association), the lead professional body for those who supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment, communication and architectural industries, and organizers of the PLASA Show, 12-15 Sept in London:

August 27, 2010 is the closing date for entries to this year’s PLASA Awards for Innovation.

Up to eight Awards for Innovation are available each year, as well as a special Environmental Award. This year, for the first time, all nominees will have the opportunity to present their products live to a panel of expert judges during the show.

The presentations and subsequent Q&A opportunities will be filmed and the winning presentations repeated on the PLASA Show’s central LED screen during the show, as well as on the websites of PLASA after the event.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) welcomes industry giant and former Disney creative Rick Rothschild as president-elect

On 19 August, the International Board of the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) selected as TEA’s next president 40-year attractions industry veteran Rick Rothschild, founder and chief creative officer of FAR OUT! Creative Direction, and creative director at Global Immersion. Rothschild, best known for his three decades as creative executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, will formally commence his term in November.

Burbank, Calif., USA – “I welcome the opportunity that the International Board of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has extended in selecting me as President for the upcoming year,” says Rick Rothschild, founder and chief creative officer of FAR OUT! Creative Direction. “For TEA, serving the global community of those who create compelling guest experiences and places, this next year is significant as it leads up to the 20th anniversary of TEA’s founding. I look forward to leading the TEA International Board in its efforts, to building on the legacy of the past two decades, and to helping plan the next 20 years - as we look towards continued growth and improvement of benefits for the members of this important and unique association.”

Creative plus technical expertise; museum plus theme park experience
A former creative executive with and current consultant to Walt Disney Imagineering, Rothschild’s projects include directing the creation of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and bringing back the Captain EO attraction. Blending a unique set of entertainment skills developed over 40 years of experience in the world of theater, Disney theme parks, media and museums, Rick Rothschild brings a deep technical knowledge together with a strong creative perspective to provide both vision and direction to any project.

Rothschild is also part of Global Immersion’s creative technology team supporting the development of unique planetarium and immersive theater experiences worldwide. Along with the responsibility of creatively directing and producing over 25 separate Disney attractions during a 30-year tenure as a creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, Rick led and participated in a variety of concept development teams that explored new attractions, complete theme parks and other resort, recreation and immersive experience related business lines. His work at Disney also included consulting with a number of prestigious museums and institutions around the United States.

“Rick Rothschild’s background with entertainment and education projects alike, and his understanding of both creative design and tech design enable him to effectively address the needs of museums along with theme parks and to speak to all TEA membership and market sectors,” says sitting TEA president Steven J. Thorburn PE, of Thorburn Associates Inc.. “Rick Rothschild has all the ‘right stuff’ to take the Themed Entertainment Association and the business communities it serves into the new, post-recession global commerce environment: creative dynamism, innovative spirit, leadership quality plus rich experience and a long line of successes at the epicenter of our industry. I look forward to passing Rick the gavel in established TEA tradition this November, when TEA convenes at the IAAPA Attractions Expo.”

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The making of Jungala

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

CENTAMAN launch their next generation IP Enabled turnstiles

Remote Turnstile Management: Centurion turnstiles go online for remote configuration, diagnostics & support.

CENTAMAN’s next generation Centurion turnstiles now feature IP connectivity. CENTAMAN Remote Turnstile Management software is designed to access the IP enabled turnstiles via the internet allowing settings and timers to be remotely adjusted, turnstile operation history to be accessed and in the event of any problems, undertake remote diagnostics to identify what the problem is thereby reducing the time required on site or eliminating the need for a site visit completely.

Remote Turnstile Management coupled with a 24/7 Sydney based support centre ensures CENTAMAN is in the best position to keep your turnstiles operating as efficiently as possible no matter where they are located.

Remote Turnstile Management is designed to reduce the hidden cost of ownership and ensure the maximum up time of a turnstile system. It is now feasible to have turnstile settings remotely adjusted. In the event of any problems the cause of the problem can often be identified without sending someone to site and often that problem can be simply rectified either remotely or clear instructions can be given as to what is required thereby eliminating the cost and time delay of a technician to be sent to site. In the unlikely event that a technician is required to attend site they will know ahead of time what is required making the site visit quicker and more efficient.

‘With Australia being such a large country getting people to site can be an expensive and time consuming business which can increase the total cost of ownership of a turnstile system, this cost of ownership isn’t often considered when people are evaluating which system to buy. Now with our Remote Turnstile Management solution we can greatly reduce the ongoing costs and risk for our customers’. Says Michael Bystram, Manager CENTAMAN Entrance Control.
Remote Turnstile Management is compatible with most of CENTAMAN Centurion range of 1⁄2 height tripods, full height turnstiles and speedgates.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Europa Parks opens Historama

On the occasion of its 35th anniversary, the Europa Park presented a new multimedia attraction. Laser show and multimedia specialist LOBO was in charge of the technical layout and implementation.

Check out a video of the attraction!

The Europa Park is an unparalleled success story which just turns 35 these days. Although in 1975, the press suspected that the vultures are hovering over Rust, the Europa Park is nowadays the world’s largest seasonal amusement park. The Europa Park is owned by the Mack family, who not only runs the park with passion and an incredible love for details, but who can also hark back to 230 years as a manufacturer of carts and rollercoasters.

Right for the start of the anniversary week, the so-called „Historama“ opened its gates within a glamorous opening ceremony with approx. 300 press representants, Prime Minister Stefan Mappus, Sabine Christiansen and Henry Maske. It is a monumental building with a nostalgic flair, dedicated to the history of the park and its owners. Apart from the „Generations’ Restaurant“ with a VIP lounge and a monorail station, it also comprises an innovative multimedia ride, for which LOBO developed and implemented the whole technical concept. For the new attraction, the former glass pyramid was entirely cleared out and the interior and exterior was completely redesigned.

You enter the attraction through an opulently designed museum, where the waiting crowds can gain unusual insights into the development and milestones of the park thanks to numerous exhibits and interactive displays.

The actual attraction consists of three pompously designed guest cabins, which can revolve around 6 stages and which perfectly match the design of the museum. Up to 700 visitors per hour can participate in the 15-minute ride through history.

At their seats, the visitors are welcomed by a clumsy park attendant who accidentally sets off the alarm whereupon the museum comes to life and takes the spectators to a journey through time. Each of the five upcoming scenes offers completely new experiences and is dedicated to another aspect of the park. So, in one scene, the spectators rush through the history of the park, while another scene is dedicated to the family business „Mack“ as the innovation motor behind the curtains. Another scene presents an on-ride experience of the park’s rollercoasters by means of a 180° panorama and finally also the sensational shows with all the stars and glamour are celebrated with a true multimedia spectacular.

Thanks to a well-attuned team, the entire implementation of this project hardly took more than 6 months. Under the responisbilty of Patrick Simon, the park’s visioneer Jan Keller implemented the redesign of the building, whereas the contents were developed in coproduction of Calren and LOBO under the direction of Achim Schnitzer. Whilst LOBO was in charge of the technical overall concept, the technical implementation and the laser and effect production, Calren was responsible for the music and video production.

A challenge, which LOBO mastered confidently thanks to the application of the proprietary real-time controlling unit LACON-5. LACON-5 bases on a UNIX workstation, allowing almost unlimited internal and external expansion for even large numbers of most different control interfaces. It provides an open driver concept and controls all devices and effects of the attraction via an ultra-fast optical data bus without needing any additional media control units. A brief view onto the technical setup of the attraction incorporating the latest media and effect equipment, shows impressively what this means in practice in the case of the Historama:

A total of twenty-seven digital video projections with an overall light power of more than 160.000 Lumens create images and 180° panoramas, which take the spectator right in the heart of the action. 12 video projections move together with the spectators through the scenes. No less than 9 laser projectors generate atmospheric 3D beam effects and sophisticated 3D projections. One laser projector is even mounted onto the arm of an industrial robot; two others are fully moveable. Special highlights include 3D projections with laser and video which are floating like hologram in mid-air, an innovative HoloFlow fog projection surface as well as a writing water screen. Elaborately designed sceneries and numerous special effects, such as wind, fog, water dispensers and light effects as well as three stage lifts, water fountains and a Water Screen top off the spectacle. A surround system, especially designed for the room geometry of the guest cabins, provides rich 3D sound.

Thanks to the sophisticated hardware and software architecture of LACON-5, the daily operation is entirely automated: every morning, the LACON-5 automatically initializes all components such as moving heads, laser and video projectors, launches a test sequence and then automatically starts the show program which is running in three spectator cabins simultaneously. If a lamp of a video projector needs to be changed, the operating staff is automatically informed by e-mail. In the evening the system will automatically shuts down the whole attraction considering the individual cool down times of lasers, video and lighting equipment.

Moreover, LACON-5 also monitors safety aspects of the rotary drive, e.g. the clearance by the operators or the accurate alignment of the spectator cabins to the scenes and offers in addition various possibilities of manual override in cases of emergency and or for exceptional circumstances by means of an intuitively to handle control panel.

Thanks to the unified control concept, the maintenance staff has direct access to every single fixture, every video preojecor and even every laser effect via a laptop when programming and maintaining the system.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nickelodeon, Herschend execs to speak on branding, themed environments & architecture at TEA’s SATE conference, Sept 30-Oct 1 in Orlando

Orlando – Nickelodeon Recreation VP and Creative Director John Paul Geurts will moderate a discussion on branding and themed environments at the annual SATE conference hosted by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Universal Orlando Resort.

With the theme “Telling the Inherited Story,” the 2-day SATE conference examines the making of compelling places and guest experiences at theme parks and museums. SATE denotes Story, Architecture, Technology, Experience. Early bird registration for SATE is still in force through Aug. 30.

Geurts’s branding panel will include Tina Skees, Corporate Director, Guest Experiences of Herschend Family Entertainment and Donald J. Weber AIA, of design/build firm The Weber Group Inc. It is one of two architecture-related panels at SATE organized by Penny Peavler, Director of Brand Development and Marketing for The Weber Group.

“Where in the world is the future of hospitality design?” is the topic to be explored in the second panel, moderated by Peavler and including Fran Boettcher, AIA LEED AP of PBS&J, Jonathan F. Douglas AIA, Managing Principal with VOA Associates Inc. and Dave Eagleson, Vice President at Forrec Ltd.

“Commitment to sustainability is important for the future, not only in terms of materials and systems but also in terms of process, life cycle and integration of technology,” notes Douglas. “This could be everything from trip-planning, check-in and how the room works, to changing elements based on individual moods and expectations.”

SATE topics and speakers will also include:
• The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™: Members of the team that brought this new attraction to life at Universal Orlando® Resort discuss the process of keeping the integrity of the story intact while developing it into an immersive guest experience.

• Beyond All Boundaries: Presenters from The Hettema Group, a design and masterplanning company, talk about the creation of the award-winning new 4-D theatrical multimedia experience at the World War II Museum in New Orleans.

• Fort Worth Museum of Science and History: Van Romans, president of FWMSH and former Disney executive and Chick Russell of Chick Russell Communications present the 21st Century transformation of the Museum.

• Walt Disney Imagineers share philosophies and approaches in “Keeping the Magic Fresh: Evolving the Legacy.”

Registration for SATE 2010 is now open.

About SATE (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology, Experience)

SATE is a professional design conference presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) annually since 2007. The mission of SATE is 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 Committee Chair is Kile Ozier.

A European counterpart, the first SATE Europe, is currently in planning stages by the TEA Europe & Middle East Division. It will take place in addition to the US conference.

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.

About TEA
The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit alliance founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. TEA represents some 7,000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in more than 650 firms in 30 US states and 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE conference (Story, Architecture, Technology, Experience). TEA also produces a variety of print and electronic publications, including the TEA/AECOM Theme Index, TEA Project Development Guidelines, and TEA Annual & Directory.

PGAV Destinations provided design services for Georgia Aquarium exhibit expansion

St. Louis, USA – PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations, is pleased to announce their successful project at the Georgia Aquarium. The newly-renovated Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest Gallery features redesigned exhibits for an exciting immersion into the habitats of two of the Aquarium’s marquee animals: African penguins and Southern sea otters.

Guests enjoy twice the number of birds in the brand-new African penguin exhibit, with its innovative and engaging habitat. The birds’ new accommodations feature more than 25 nesting areas integrated into a naturalistic rockwork environment that encourages breeding behavior. A state-of-the-art lighting system mimics the natural light cycle, utilizing the technology of 44 independently controlled, high-output florescent and LED lights to follow the actual sunrise and sunset times for the northern hemisphere. This cycle provides animal enrichment while fostering health and husbandry.

Children come face-to-face with their feathered favorites, with over 75 feet of new views into two pools through acrylic tunnels and pop-up windows. Children are invited to experience the crawl-through tunnels to see not only underwater activity but also the porpoising behavior of the animals, when they pick up speed swimming and actually jump out of the water right above the heads of viewers.

“From a design perspective, this exhibit retrofit allows for a larger habitat with flexibility to house more animals or even a new and different species in the future,” states Emily Howard, PGAV Destinations Project Manager. “It also ties with an adjacent expansion, so the two designs work together to maximize the enhanced spaces.”

The Georgia Aquarium
in Atlanta, Georgia, is said to be the world’s largest with more than eight million gallons of water and more aquatic life than any other aquarium. The mission of the Georgia Aquarium is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific institution featuring exhibits and programs of the highest standards, offering engaging and exciting guest experiences and promoting the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world.

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. 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.

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Harrison “Buzz” Price, the research economist who recommended Anaheim to Walt Disney as the location for Disneyland, passed away Sunday, August 15, at the age of 89. He had been in declining health during the last year, his family said, due to a chronic anemic condition.

“Despite his failing health, he continued to demonstrate his trademark humor, cutting edge wit and enduring love for family and friends,” his son David Price said on behalf of his mother, Anne Shaw Price, and the Price family. “His legacy of laughter, wit, love, passion and commitment leaves its mark on each of us – family, friends and colleagues in the leisure and recreation industry he loved.”

Funeral arrangements will be conducted privately by the family.

“Buzz” Price was recognized as the pioneer in the field of theme parks, resort and leisure-recreation project feasibility almost from the day in 1953 that Walt and Roy O. Disney chose him “to determine the economic feasibility of the best location for a new project – Disneyland.” Price, an engineering graduate of California Institute of Technology, had joined Stanford Research Institute after receiving his Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University.

“I asked Walt if he had a bias about the location for his Magic Kingdom,” Price recalled years later. “’Absolutely not!’ he said. ‘You tell me where the best location is.’” Price analyzed the potential sites in the Southern California area, ultimately focusing on Orange County after considering population trends, accessibility and climate factors.

They selected 160 acres of orange groves in Anaheim, just off the Santa Ana Freeway at Harbor Boulevard. “We hit it right on the nose,” Price later recalled, “dead center. That was the perfect place for it.”

Encouraged by Walt Disney, Price formed Economics Research Associates (ERA) in 1958. Ultimately, he conducted 150 studies for the Walt Disney Company (including site and feasibility analysis for Walt Disney World in Florida and Tokyo Disneyland) and “over 3,000 projects” for other clients.

“Buzz was the father of our industry of economic consulting,” notes Ray Braun, Entertainment Practice Leader for AECOM Economics (formerly ERA). “He invented the science. He was mentor to me and many of us in this practice. He set the course and paved the way for us.”

View the entire obituary PDF here.

Read facts and quotes from "Buzz" Price here.

Photos: Walt Disney, CV Wood, and Harrison Price; Harrison "Buzz" Price; Roy O. Disney and Buzz Price; Roy E. Disney and Buzz Price; "By the Numbers" book jacket

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Call for participation: IMERSA Fulldome Summit 2010 (Denver, 26-28 Oct.)

Call for participation in the IMERSA Fulldome Summit 2010
Submissions deadline: Sept 1, 2010
Summit dates: 26-28 Oct, at the Gates Planetarium, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

IMERSA is calling for participation in the upcoming IMERSA Fulldome Summit 2010. The association is requesting proposals to present Papers, Workshops and Fulldome Films. Deadline for submissions: Sept 1, 2010

The IMERSA Fulldome Summit is to be held concurrently with the Symposium for Media and Museum Professionals Oct 26-28, hosted by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (at the Gates Planetarium) and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival (Symposium). The Symposium will bring content creators together with media executives from museums, theme parks, aquariums, zoos and other public organizations. More than 300 delegates are expected to participate in this 3-day conference. Session strands will be focused on the newest in 3D, Fulldome, Content To Go and creative fundraising options.

Submit all inquiries, nominations and proposals before Sept 1. IMERSA will respond to proposals by September 15. Materials will be due Oct 1. Click here for more information about submitting material to the Summit.

IMERSA is an international professional association advancing the art, science, profile, integrity and common interests of large-format digital immersive media and group interactive entertainment and cultural experiences including (but not limited to) immersive digital theaters and digital dome (fulldome) planetariums. Board of Directors: Dan Neafus, Ed Lantz, Ryan Wyatt, Paul Fraser. Communications: Judith Rubin.

Tivoli Hotel Opens Sept 2 in Copenhagen

After a period of soft opening, the new, 12-story Tivoli Hotel has been deemed completely ready for an official opening, set for 2 September. The hotel is a cooperative venture between the largest Copenhagen hotel company, the Arp-Hansen Hotel Group, and Denmark's biggest tourist attraction, Tivoli, designed to offer guests an integrated experience fusing together accommodation and entertainment.

The design is intended to evoke the Tivoli spirit and design history. Features include a merry-go-round in the lobby, a fitness and pool area, 382 rooms decorated in the Tivoli design and a Tivoli Brasserie restaurant. In addition, guests can enjoy a meal at the top of the hotel in the Sticks’n’Sushi Skybar overlooking the whole city. There are plans to later add a new themed garden and playground – the Columbine Garden - which will be open to the public connecting the hotel, the congress centre and Tivoli.

In addition to Tivoli tickets, guests will have access to shuttle buses running between the hotel and the Gardens, and during the season, Tivoli characters such as Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine will perform in the hotel lobby for families.

"It is gratifying to finally have a theme hotel in Copenhagen connecting Tivoli – Denmark's biggest tourist attraction – with a hotel based on the Tivoli concept with the Tivoli design and colors and characters," says Lise Lyck, head of Center for Tourism and Cultural Management at Copenhagen Business School.

"The new combination of Tivoli, a well-run hotel concept and, later this year, a congress centre promotes synergy and creates an entirely new product. This will strengthen Copenhagen as a tourist destination as well as a congress destination," says Lars Bernhard Jørgensen, CEO of Wonderful Copenhagen.

Related stories from InPark Magazine:
Jungala and its Making
Great Wolf Lodge at Kings Island

Partying down at the Brazil Pavilion, Expo 2010 Shanghai

August 12, 2010, SHANGHAI – At the Brazil Pavilion’s first staff party to celebrate the first 100 days of expo, Afro-Brazilian drums joined together with New Zealand traditional kapa haka for a single and unforgettable performance, bringing New Zealand to the heart of Brazil in China.

Brazilian Tambolelê takes elements from congadas to create a unique fusion of ancestral rhythms with hints of contemporary sounds, such as blues, rock' n roll, funk and African music. The Whangara-mai-tawhiti group performing from the New Zealand Pavilion represents the Ngäti Konohi iwi from Gisborne and boasts a number of seasoned performers. The party ended around 3:00am.

Electrosonic Offers Preview of 21st Century Technologies at the Information & Communications Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai China

Visitors flocking to the Information & Communications Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai China get a taste of cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICT) to come when they tour the attraction presented by China Mobile and China Telecom. Contracted by long-time client, BRC Imagination Arts, Electrosonic designed and installed the audio, video and control systems featuring multiple, large-scale projection systems; High Definition displays, customized show control and multi-channel audio playback systems. Renowned for its award-winning approach to emotional design and production BRC was the creator and producer for the world’s first Multi-Dimensional Interactive Network pavilion. Allowing visitors to move through a high capacity attraction and personally engage one-on-one with the shows and exhibits, bringing mass customization to visitor’s experience.

As soon as visitors enter the pavilion they pick up their ICT Mobile Device, a futuristic, handheld, personal communications device that accompanies them on their interactive journey through the attraction. Electrosonic provided the 802.11 wireless network for the ICT Mobile Device which enables visitors to interact with the pavilion’s show/exhibition elements, displaying video and a host of other interactive capabilities. The ICT Mobile Devices were designed by BRC Imagination Arts and provided by Linkon; a Chinese technology company.

“We’re always doing new custom applications that are very challenging,” says Electrosonic senior project manager Thursby Pierce. “Our Medialon show-control master controller sends cues via the wireless network to allow the ICT-equipped visitors to follow in sync with all the shows. Show control knows where each visitor and their ICT Mobile Device are at any given time and, based on the show in that part of the pavilion, plays synchronous content that relates to that particular experience.”

Earlier, visitors waiting outside in the Dream Garden were treated to a preview of the pavilion displayed on 13 Sunbrite weather-resistant 42-inch LCD monitors with audio support from a complement of JBL speakers.

Once they enter the Information & Communications Pavilion’s Welcome Lobby they are issued their ICT Mobile Device, log onto the network, create their own personal Dream Profile via the touch-screen on their device and watch welcome videos on four 42-inch clustered Panasonic LCD monitors facing out in all directions.

Then they proceed to the “Progress Begins as a Dream” pre-show interactive experience where five Christie DSP+6K-M projectors display edge-blended animated content documenting the history of communications in China on a 68-foot curved screen while changing colored lights coordinate with the animation in the interactive space. Electrosonic also provided the full multitrack surround system.

Visitors settle into the “Dream Big” Multi-Dimensional Interactive Network Theater for the main show on an IMAX-style Stewart Film Screen, measuring 71x38 feet with a slight curve, and on 32 panels that form an immersive media canopy arcing over the audience. Four Christie HD10K-M projectors deliver the edge-blended imagery in horizontal and vertical quadrants to the big screen. Four additional projectors display supporting images in multiple window-type frames on the canopy; they also warp and morph some content onto the big screen.

Electrosonic supplied the multitrack surround system for the “Dream Big” Theater experience and furnished tactile transducers that enable audience members to feel the low-frequency sounds through their seats.

After the main show visitors can play the “Dream Lantern Collection Game” using their ICT Mobile Device to interact with the post show exhibitions using RFID technologies. Visitors can collect dreams, win prizes and learn more about future information and communication technologies (ICT). They can also watch a series of post-show videos highlighting the future of ICT on a pair of 65-inch Panasonic plasma screens and on four 42-inch Panasonic plasmas screens located around the “One Connected World” exhibition hall.

Visitors return their ICT Mobile Device as they exit the pavilion. When they’re back home visitors can retrieve their collected dreams, virtual prizes and connect with other dreamers by logging onto the Information and Communications Pavilions social network website customized by the choices the visitors made during their experience at the pavilion.

Multiple control rooms, featuring Extron JMP9600 and MMP9500 video playback servers, are located throughout the facility; the majority of show systems are concentrated in the primary Show Equipment Room. Electrosonic also equipped a pair of carts with high-resolution document cameras which are rolled out for future information and communication technology product demonstrations. Electrosonic associate project manager Matt Sweeney and audio engineer and tech lead Phil Shaw remain onsite to supervise the Chinese crew; Electrosonic is contracted to perform the strike for the pavilion at the conclusion of the Expo.

Electrosonic Design Consulting provided guidance to the exhibit designers on AV equipment selections, projection geometry, facility impact, and budgeting. The team starts by responding to the creative drawings provided by the designers and identifying equipment that meets the creative intent. A number of projection studies were produced for the venue that demonstrated proof of concept and allowed them to verify the equipment selections. Electrosonic Design Consulting also create facility impact drawings, which provide cable, electrical power and heating/cooling requirements to the project's engineers so they can design the infrastructure that allows all of the AV equipment to operate properly. The decisions from these initial consultations set the groundwork for how the overall systems would operate. Each project was turned over to the Electrosonic Engineering Department for further refinement, fabrication and installation.

From the celebrated Expo67 in Montreal to the last major Expo in 2005 in Aichi, Japan, Electrosonic has an extensive credit roster of international expos stretching from Brisbane and Osaka to New Orleans and Lisbon. Electrosonic’s participation in Expo 2010 Shanghai now pushes the number of projects the company has completed for these fairs to over 50.

Electrosonic’s Steve Calver and Thursby Pierce served as project mangers for the pavilion with Dan Laspa onsite project manager, Dennis Rambo site supervisor and Nir Elnekave projectionist. Nancy Liu was regional sales director and Benjamin Lein account executive.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BRC taps digital media pioneer Mindi Lipschultz for world expo pavilion

Related story: Electrosonic designed AV and control systems for Information & Communications pavilion

View InPark Magazine's special issue on Shanghai Expo 2010.

Raising the bar for mobile media production

Emmy winning digital media pioneer Mindi Lipschultz was engaged by BRC Imagination Arts to direct and produce some 80 animated and interactive media segments for the Information & Communications Pavilion presented by China Mobile and China Telecom at Expo 2010 Shanghai.

BRC was creator, designer and executive producer of the pavilion. The Shanghai Expo, which opened May 1 and will run through October 31, is the largest world's fair ever raised, with a projected total attendance of 70 million visitors. The theme of the expo is "Better City, Better Life."

A multi-dimensional guest experience
and vision of future communications technology

Engaging visitors on multiple levels as they pass through the five experiences of the 6,000 square meter pavilion, the client's vision of future communications technology unfolds simultaneously on large theatrical and high-definition video screens and via custom server- and RFID-triggered interactive handheld devices. Sequences and images on the special mobile devices correspond with the action on the big screens and prompt visitors to make selections, building their own custom web pages via which they may continue the experience offsite.

"It was a great pleasure to help fulfill BRC's brilliant design concept for the pavilion," says Lipschultz, "and it was incredible to collaborate with the legendary Bob Rogers and Christian Lachel, BRC's VP and Creative Director on the project."

"Mindi was the perfect fit to lead the interactive media team," says Christian Lachel. Full story here. More images here. Mindi's blog here.

Photos: 1. Mindi Lipschultz, independent media producer.
2. © BRC Imagination Arts, Inc.
Visitors to the Information & Communications Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 use custom handheld ICT devices to make selections for creating personal media and interact with the content on the big screens in the theaters.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lisa Thorburn Presents White Paper on Doing Business in China at SMPS Conference.

San Francisco, CA – Thorburn Associates Principal Lisa Thorburn presented her White Paper entitled China 2020: How China´s Growth and Future Will Impact Business Development in the A/E/C Industry at the 2010 SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) Build Business™ conference in Boston.

The paper, which focuses on strategies for companies in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (A/E/C) fields, also explores the general business practices and customs of China and provides valuable insight for anyone looking to expand their business in that direction. Thorburn researched a host of A/E/C companies currently working in China as well as drew upon Thorburn Associates’ own global business experience.

“Most people understand that marketing a business in China requires a great deal more preparation and groundwork than in most Western countries,” explains Thorburn, “but few realize how dynamic of an environment it is in China right now.” Many of the skills necessary to succeed in this rapidly growing market are directly transferable to other markets – building trust and developing relationships is one example.

Thorburn put the finishing touches on the White Paper during a recent visit to China for the World’s Fair in Shanghai. “The Olympics in 2008 and Expo 2010 are showing the world that China’s paradigm for doing business with Westerners is changing,” says Thorburn. “I wanted to be able to share the insights we have gained at Thorburn Associates with others.”

Thorburn presented the paper at the SMPS Build Business™ conference in Boston in mid-July. The SMPS Foundation, a non-profit educational collaboration, sponsored the White Paper as part of its annual series of educational sessions and White Papers. The White Paper is available for viewing online at

Monday, August 9, 2010

InPark Now Available on iPad

MILWAUKEE, WI – InPark Magazine is now available on Apple’s iPad device. iPad users can now download the free MagCloud application from the iTunes store and view all current issues of InPark Magazine. The magazine’s back issues are also being added over the next few months.

“Providing InPark on the iPad allows easier access to industry news and the great reporting InPark has provided over the last five years,” says publisher Martin Palicki. “We are one of the first in the industry to create an iPad version of the magazine, providing ideal portability and readability while using the latest technology.”

The iPad allows users to scroll between pages and zoom in on content they want to see, all with simple finger movements. A print copy can also easily be ordered directly off of the iPad and delivered in about a week. The MagCloud application also allows users to download and view a variety of specialty magazines at no cost.

Accessing InPark Magazine for the iPad is simple:

1) Log into the iTunes apps store.
2) Search for and download the FREE “MagCloud” app.
3) Open the MagCloud app and search for InPark Magazine.
4) Select issues to download to your iPad.

InPark Magazine publishes five times a year and focuses on the themed entertainment markets, especially theme parks and waterparks. Print subscriptions are available for a nominal fee. Digital subscriptions are available for free. For more information, visit

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cruise Ships: FUNA Int'l & BSS Audio add advanced networking and control to Oasis of the Seas

Highlighting the largest and arguably most difficult cruise ship assembly in the world, global design, engineering and consulting firm FUNA International has outfitted Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship with a multitude of BSS Audio Soundweb™ London processing devices. With more than three decades of experience in designing and integrating audio systems on the world’s largest watercrafts, FUNA has deployed Soundweb London devices extensively in various projects throughout the past eight years, including the last four new cruise ships built out of its Turku, Finland manufacturing facility.

“As BSS Audio signal processors have continued to become more advanced in their ability to provide comprehensive system networking and control, we have been able to use them in more complex and larger applications,” stated Derek Warner, Senior Project Manager, FUNA International. “The Soundweb London platform provided us with a quality product, which was very user-friendly for our programmers. Collectively, we were able to pre-program and test our system prior to installation; a big help as our time for onsite programming can be very limited.”

The cruise liner contains four major theaters, each requiring a vast and greatly detailed sound installation.

Electrosonic Provides AV support to USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010

For the USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, Electrosonic provided show designer/producer BRC Imagination Arts with system technical design, engineering, fabrication, installation, encoding and show technical programming for the AV and control systems in the pavilion lobby, preshow and main show theater.

Electrosonic Design Consulting provided guidance to the exhibit designers on AV equipment selections, projection geometry, facility impact, and budgeting. A number of projection studies were produced for the venue that demonstrated proof of concept and allowed them to verify the equipment selections.

From Montreal 1967 to Aichi 2005 and now Shanghai 2010, Electrosonic has completed more than 50 world expo projects. Electrosonic's project manager for the USA Pavilion at Shanghai 2010 was Steve Calver, with Clay Fullen as site supervisor and Gary Belshaw handling show control programming. Electrosonic and BRC have worked together on numerous Expos in the past.