We have been experimenting with video mapping for a long time. In fact, we can date our earliest creations to back before even Disney was changing their castle into a gingerbread house during the holidays or before the Superbowl and Olympics were changing sets from a jungle scene to a sky of white fluffy clouds in an instant. We have all seen the video effect of a projected building crumbling down by now, yet we have not yet even scratched the surface of the amount of ways video mapping and subsequently – video projection can impact our theme park attractions, museum exhibits, and themed rides.
One of our favorite visual artists is a freelancer of ours named Dave Bates. Dave is a pioneer in this field. Check out this video of his home Halloween haunt, for which he won the Best Amateur Haunt award in the country several years ago. Long before Disney or anyone else for that matter was really using video mapping and projection together to create these spectacular effects. Dave is a humble guy and won’t tell you that he invented this style of theming but we sure think he did.
Either way, since coming into contact with Dave in the early 2000’s, we likewise have been exploring this concept as a means to enhance our themed environments. We have added faces to talking mannequins, themed windows to provide background action for our scenes, changed lighting including light bulbs, fireplaces, lamps, sunlight, in our scenes – all through the magic of video mapping and projection. And we have been fortunate to have Dave Bates, who is truly one of the pioneers of these effects, to be apart of our creative team.
So, what is yet to come? Well, we are working on ideas at the moment that still need a place to call home. Combining computer programming with video mapping and projection allows us to make these visual effects interactive and smarter than just a video projection. No longer do queue lines need to be boring. Imagine your audience interacting with stimulating video projections and room changing results that place them in peril, suspense, or stitches (by laughing, of course) while they await your next stage show. Imagine ride movement projections that make the scenery around you appear to be moving faster than you really are, or projections that transport you to new worlds in an instant, or gradually, as you wish.
The ideas are endless. Can we share with you some of our advances in this fairly new field? We would love to add some of our never-before-seen ideas to your next project so that you can have a one-of-a kind attraction.
Several years ago, we were asked to create all of the content for the video projections on a new roller coaster at “Movie Park-Germany” based on the “Van Helsing” movie with Hugh Jackman. This ride went on to win several European ride awards that year, including “Best New Themed Roller Coaster in Europe.” Our part of the process was casting, shooting, and editing all of the in-ride video which featured Van Helsing himself. These videos were projected throughout the queue line and at several pivotal moments throughout the guests’ journey. “Grab your weapons!” the vampire slayer shouted as a door flew open to reveal our projected Van Helsing instructing riders to grab their interactive weapons.
For this attraction, we also created website videos and other videos that were shown on monitors around the attraction setting the mood for this creepy, retro world. Although it was not our favorite style of theming (we’d prefer to work on “It’s a Small World” over “Haunted Mansion” any day), it was lot of fun designing costumes, massive props, and hunting for vintage items like old fashioned welding tools to make this themed world come to life.
Other projects involving video production, video mapping, and video projection have included: a 4D animated experience for an amusement park in Korea, a farm-funny show designed with an old cantankerous farmer for an agri-tourism farm, a video projection of famous fans congratulating Disneyland Paris on their 20th Anniversary, and a historic museum presentation with interactive characters.
AND IF THERE’S ANY QUESTION LEFT IN YOUR MIND ABOUT OUR VIDEO CAPABILITIES, HERE’S OUR CORPORATE VIDEO DEMO REEL FROM WAY BACK WHEN VIDEO WAS OUR MAIN THING: