InPark Magazine Issue #40 (April, 2012)

Page 1


2012 #40 volume 8, issue 1

Jonathan Katz & Cinnabar on the collaborative design process for museums


his edition of InPark marks the 40th issue! At IAAPA last year we began the celebration early by partnering with Wyld Blue and Pic2Go and allowed show attendees to be photographed in front of a giant wall of old InPark covers (39 different covers, to be exact). You can see some of those pictures on the last page of this issue.

2012 #40 • volume 8, issue 1

4 7

museums of fun meeting of the minds


on safari


electrosonic article


coming in for a landing


tweet this!


Starting with this issue we now offer yet another way to enjoy InPark. In addition to our website HTML and downloadable PDF versions, we now provide a virtual issue that allows you to flip through pages, zoom in and out and easily scan through articles. Of course, this does not replace our standard print edition in any way. We also have exciting news for the next issue of the magazine. We will have distribution bins at the IAAPA Asian Expo in Hong Kong and at the Noppen Theme Park Expansion Summit in Shanghai in June. This issue is targeted to an Asian audience and will feature projects from that region. We are also hard at work at a 3D venue and 3D technology issue for the summer, followed by our popular waterpark and IAAPA Orlando issues. From an editorial standpoint, the year is flying by! I’d like to thank you for your support for these first 40 issues of InPark, and look forward to a big celebration for the fiftieth next year.

iaapa by the numbers

-Martin Palicki

Cover: The entrance to the new Discovery Market exhibit at the Discovery Science Center bustles with activity while (inset) Cinnabar’s Jonathan Katz plans a future exhibit with Juan Corral, Cinnabar Production Manager/Technical Designer.

staff & contributors EDITOR martin palicki CO-EDITOR judith rubin CONTRIBUTING EDITORS mitch rily kim rily DESIGN mcp, llc

CONTRIBUTORS janine baker jim king joe kleiman dan martin jan shaw SALES martin palicki

InPark Magazine (ISSN 1553-1767) is published five times a year by Martin Chronicles Publishing, LLC. 2349 E Ohio Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207. Shipping address: 2349 E Ohio Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207. Phone: 262-412-7107. Fax: 414-377-0769. Printing by Crescent Printing in Onalaska, Wisconsin Contents © 2012 InPark Magazine. All rights reserved. Nothing in the magazine may be reproduced or used in any manner without the prior written permission of the magazine. InPark Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. Such material must be accompanied by a self-adressed and stamped envelope to be returned. Postmaster: Send address changes to InPark Magazine 2349 E Ohio Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207. Subscriptions are available annually for $30 per year ($40 international). Opinions expressed in editorial matter are not necessarily those of InPark Magazine or its publishers, Martin Chronicles Publishing, LLC.

museums of fun

can music & sports museums and halls of fame make the cut? by Dan Martin


hat if a museum has to present something you really can’t look at or touch but you can hear it, watch it, or play it? That’s the dilemma both music and sports museums face. Natural history, art, history, and other artifact museums typically offer their visitors exhibits of important or relevant objects. Science Centers offer artifacts but also exhibits and activities where, by engaging with the exhibits, visitors learn about scientific principles or ideas. Children’s museums are all about engaging with exhibits. Some museums in all of these categories use virtual reality and film experiences as well. Artifacts, hands-on or engaging exhibits, virtual reality experiences, and film are the modern museum’s storytelling tools. The tools a museum deploys and the mix used in specific projects are determined by availability of artifacts, the budget, the target market (kids, for example, are big on interaction) and the skill sets of storytellers (experience designers). All of these have an impact attendance and gate revenue. Telling the story well and using the right tools to reach a target market helps penetrate that market successfully. It follows that the larger the target market, the larger the potential attendance and revenue. That is why we’re always taking a swing at sports and music markets. Whatever your nationality, it’s likely your country is a voracious and enthusiastic consumer of both music and sports, so the fan base for music and sports – or target market for a music or sports museum – is huge. However, museums are not the venue that first comes to mind for either sports or music which are more typically experienced at home on TV, on a personal digital device, or at the stadium or arena live. Their natural medium for enjoyment is the actual play or performance or game – not a museum exhibit. Matt Solari of BRC Imagination Arts observes that sports and music museums “try to take a transcendent moment of shared emotion and turn that into a fixed display that can be catalogued and turned into an exhibit.” He continues:“Sports and music are about moments. Artifacts are not about moments. You need to create the moment to give meaning to the artifact.” That’s a tough charge, but Matt is right – the importance of sports or music memorabilia isn’t usually self-evident and the objects are usually ordinary ones. Building “wow” around such memorabilia isn’t simple. It’s different with art and natural history museums. A giant dinosaur or evocative piece of

art can draw emotion right out of us – whether it’s a wow or an ugh! The individual objects in their collections have that power and they usually don’t look like ordinary everyday objects. The wow remains when the dinosaur skeleton is taken out of context – not true for a sports object. Matt points out that “Babe Ruth’s home run ball is only fascinating to people who know who Babe Ruth was and what that home run meant.” The greatest collection of Gold Records, even by an artist with broad, even universal, appeal, has the same problem. For sports artifacts – and musical ones too – the case of the “missing moment” is a serious one. As a result, Jerry Eisterhold of Eisterhold Associates says that these museums are really “Not about music and sports. They are about the sacred and the tribal.” They target often target the already converted – the core fans. Eisterhold continues “By the fact of their existence, a Museum or Hall of Fame canonizes its’ content, and tells us all what was important.” That pleases the core audience however Solari points out that “the challenge most sports museums face is that they have a series of static artifacts that are only interesting if guests bring their own stories with them. With so many distractions today, those stories don’t tend to be celebrated the way they used to.” The (primarily) artifact approach can be a smart approach as you ultimately target people who can bring the excitement and understanding with them. But it does leave the larger potential audience uninterested. To much focus on artifacts can take a subject that is inherently dramatic and exciting and suck all the drama and life out of the topic. The result is that many music and sports museums that rely on artifacts may seem to do well enough, but they actually haven’t realized the attendance and revenue potential of their subjects. In a year, they typically draw a small fraction of the attendance their subjects draw in a typical season of or even just a couple of games or performances. If museums could get closer to offering the emotional high and the actual experience that music and sports themselves elicit in a single visitor experience, they could reach a much larger market. Shawn McCoy of Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) puts it another way: “The first thing to remember as you begin to plan and design a guest experience is that the project is being developed for an external audience. Therefore, you need to focus your experience about the subjects and stories that the broader audiences

are actually interested in, not just what the CEO, marketing department, or team archivist wants to talk about.” Expectations have been reduced by years of low but steady attendance at venerable sports museums in Cooperstown (NY), Springfield (MA), and Canton (OH). Meanwhile, the design industry has added astonishing tools to their design kits (though some can be pricey), and our own cultural expectations of entertainment have grown increasingly sophisticated. The small communities where many music and sports attractions are located can be dominated by these institutions. As the source of community pride, expectations for excellence of experiences or entertainment can be low. Still, the testament to their power to attract is that this category of museums appears to draw well for specialty -- or even major museums. The leading music museums manage to outdraw other major museums in their markets. Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum easily outdraws the adjacent science center and the natural history museum in that city. Seattle’s Experience Music Project only finishes in the top ten for that town but nevertheless tops half a million in attendance. Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum tops everything else in town except the zoo; even for major museums, zoos are tough to beat in attendance. (Zoos are the top educational/cultural attraction in most places.) Perhaps because Nashville is a place so intertwined with our cultural image of country music, a stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must while in town. It is also a strong enough link or magnet to entice visitors to come to Nashville just because the museum is there.

It’s too early to tell how well the relatively new Grammy Museum will do in attraction-rich Los Angeles. For some reason, the leading sports museums are mostly in small cities like Cooperstown, NY; Canton, Ohio; and Springfield, MA where they dominate other museum choices in attendance. The Hockey museum is the exception. It’s in Toronto and does respectfully. Many such museums benefit from yearly induction ceremonies that remind locals as well as the fan base that the museum is there and relevant. The downside is that inductees are the stars of 10 to 25 years ago because it takes the passage of time to prove who are champions worthy of inclusion in a Hall of Fame. The implied downside is that today’s young fans may have no idea who the old-timers are and believe that the museum is really for their parents and not them. Someday a sanctioning body will figure out a way for nominations to come sooner; say for 2012, they would come in 2014. Then, nominations could be greeted with fanfare, certified much later when the athletes have demonstrated meeting the test of time. All museums need to be refreshed regularly, especially, as pointed out by JRA’s Shawn McCoy,” to keep guests, especially local ones, interested in visiting and re-visiting your facility.” Done well, the annual induction exhibits can fulfill this function. It is a demonstration of the power of the music and sports museum concept and its magnetism that they have the power to draw people to remote small cities year after year. Find Cooperstown on a map. It’s a lovely community, but, although it is in the center of the incredibly populous northeastern US, it is “centrally isolated” Cooperstown, realistically, is on the way to or from nothing major. If you never make it

to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum because you never travel to Cleveland, it’s even less likely that you would get to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. That community could be termed a distant southern suburb of Cleveland (but is actually closer to Akron with which it shares a small airport). The small market location of most of these museums may argue against their redevelopment (Cooperstown will always be centrally isolated). An analysis would answer that, but it likely would also suggest that a new music or sports museum that can successfully capture the spirit of the subject should be located in a larger market. Whether located in a large or small market, such a museum should try to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. This is really critical in small local markets where you have to go after every fish in the pond – no limits to get to the best levels of attendance. Residents love to take their visitors to places that appeal to them too. The value of a large market is that with a large mass of population you can target a segment which is equivalent to an entire small city, and you can target precisely and charge a premium for the experience. Or, if the attraction has broad appeal, you can target the whole market. JRA’s Shawn McCoy points out that “with an audience-centric approach, you want to make sure that the guest experience appeals to a wide variety of demographics, interests, and learning styles. There are those who are more interested in the past than the present, while others may have no interest in history.” He points out that you have to use every tool you have – graphics, displays, media, immersive environments, interactive exhibits, one-of-kind events and ongoing programming – to touch everyone with the spirit of the sport or music you’re presenting.

Music museums have a key advantage over sports museums as they try to capture the spirit and seek to be emotionally evocative. The only way to represent Carlton Fisk’s game-winning home run is to show video of the hit or display the bat he used. While this might do for baseball fans who know the lore of that hit, it may not grab or convey the significance of the play to casual or non-baseball fans. Recreating the “best game ever” is a challenge, but music can be performed live. A music museum has the ability not only to tell the history of a musical piece, but actually offer a performance of the piece live for visitors. Even if the composer has been dead for hundreds of years, visitors can hear and see what that person created. Not surprisingly, almost all of the music museums have performance venues. Yet, surprisingly, performance is seldom a regular part of the museum experience. Sports museums often rely on film to put visitors in the moment plus an array of modest interactive exhibits. We’ll close with a comment by Matt Solari: “A modern sports museum – one that has a chance to be successful – should celebrate the emotion of glory. Rather than just displaying artifacts, it should put guests back in the moment – let them experience the moment of glory. Great sports moments help us transcend our everyday lives, and unless you let people experience that moment, it’s just a bunch of stuff.” When this is finally pulled off, we’ll have a music or sports museum worthy of the mass audience. • • • Dan is a Managing Principal at Market & Feasibility Advisors. His rich portfolio includes retail and hospitality feasibility, museums, zoos, theme parks, water parks, resorts, aquariums, and more in 30 states and provinces across North America and in Asia and the Middle East.

Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music at The Country Music Hall of Fame. Photo by Joshua Black Wilkins

Visit us at AAM Booth #1610

meeting of the minds better museum exhibits through collaboration by Judith Rubin


innabar CEO Jonathan Katz has never balked at change. He is always prepared to seek and implement ways to update and improve his “company of designers, artisan builders and producers creating unique experiences for the museum, entertainment and cultural industries.” In his quest for better ways to do business in step with evolving conditions, he freely borrows models, best practices and tricks of the trade wherever he finds them – embracing the principles of supply chain management from the manufacturing sector, for instance (more on this below). Katz is always ready to challenge the standard phrase, “that’s the way we do it here.” That readiness has helped Cinnabar to develop a substantial market niche in the museum and nonprofit community over the past 15 years. The company’s clientele includes the California Academy of Sciences, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Discovery Science Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Autry Museum of the American West.

Cinnabar has developed a substantial market niche in the museum and nonprofit community over the past 15 years. For two new visitor centers in San Francisco, Lands End Lookout and the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, both run by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Cinnabar fabricated the exhibit/retail elements of the public experiences, for the design firm Macchiatto. The experiential nature of the displays and the collaborative production process both departed from traditional models, as Jeremy Regenbogen of Macchiato describes. “While most visitor centers make a clear distinction between interpretive and retail spaces, we took a new approach. The client (Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy) creates unique products with true interpretive

Race to Recycle, an educational game produced by Cinnabar, educates guests on the importance and ease of sorting waste and recyclables at the Discovery Science Center. Photo courtesy of Cinnabar and Discovery Science Center value, not the knickknacks commonly found in visitor centers. Early in the planning process, we decided to fully integrate interpretive and retail moments for both projects. The synergy between an interpretive product and an accompanying exhibit panel can be quite strong, especially when the visitor brings a product home and the interpretation carries on for them eternally. “Marrying these two features presented some unusual design and fabrication challenges. Cinnabar’s broad reaching, in-house expertise in media integration, graphic production techniques, metal fabrication and traditional cabinetry really helped keep the fabrication process efficient and without surprises. Cinnabar matched the design intent exactly, with an incredibly unified look. Whenever we had a

thought about how a complex element might be constructed, we discussed it in great detail with one of their experts relevant to the fabrication method we were discussing. We were able to really push the limits of constructability and utilize some nontraditional building materials, making for a truly unique finished product.”

Less-flexible, bureaucratic structures are giving way to semi-permanent networks of small, autonomous, project-oriented teams. As boundaries increasingly blur between market sectors such as gaming, entertainment, sports, retail, and museums, less-flexible, bureaucratic structures are giving way to semi-permanent networks of small, autonomous, project-

The exterior view inside at the California Academy of Sciences showcases the light and open exhibit space Cinnabar created along with architect Renzo Piano. Photo courtesy of Cinnabar and California Academy of Sciences

Cinnabar’s work at the California Academy of Sciences included exhibits on climate change, natural history and others. Photo courtesy of Cinnabar and California Academy of Sciences

Highlights from Cinnabar’s museum portfolio by Joe Kleiman AMERICAN WEST & OPEN SPACES In 2010, Cinnabar worked with the design from Muniz/McNeil and the Autry National Center of the American West on the traveling exhibit “Home Lands: How Women Made the West”. The exhibit, based on the book by Virginia Scharff and Carolyn Brucken, examined three different areas of the American West – Rio Arriba, Colorado Front Rage, and Puget Sound, and women’s stories from each area. Cinnabar created an exhibit that can easily be assembled and disassembled while maintaining extensive audiovisual components, collections of artifacts, and tactile exhibit surfaces for a four-city tour. During the same year, not too far from The Autry, at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory von Karman Visitor Center, Cinnabar joined forces with design firm C&G Partners and JPL to reimagine the center’s exhibits. New graphics, high security artifact displays, vitrines, model rigging, a/v integration, and a 103” touch screen were all supplied by Cinnabar. In what has become a common practice for the company,

FLOATING ANIMALS For the Natural History Museum (NHM) of Los Angeles, on a team headed by Simon Adlam, NHM Director of Exhibits & Creative Director, Cinnabar worked with graphic design firm KBDA and NHM staff to create a new “Age of Mammals” exhibit, where panels can easily be switched out (if information needs updating).

ENTER THE GRID The floor proved to be part of an exhibit for another museum, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Damaged by earthquakes, the entire building, save for one historic wall, was slated for demolishment and reconstruction. While the new building – a celebrated design by Renzo Piano – was being built on the site of the original in Golden Gate Park, a temporary location opened in a historic factory in the city’s downtown district, near the museums and entertainment venues of Yerba Buena Park.

But moving things around was not as easy with the specimens themselves. According to Jeannie Lomma, Senior Project Manager at Cinnabar, “There are some serious seismic factors that affect NHM. We were also dealing with large and delicate exhibits and an old 1913 floor. The artifacts in that exhibit have some flexibility, but for the most part, they’re situated permanently in place for a 15-year duration.”

This temporary exhibition space, which featured a three-story coral reef, was a collaborative effort between Cinnabar and Thinc Design. However, when it came to the huge project of the permanent museum, the two groups took on individual challenges. Thinc designed the exhibits for the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium, while Cinnabar produced the exhibits for its Kimball Natural History Museum.

To resolve the issues with the floor, the exhibit structures are supported from steel studs welded to the main beams, floating the structures about one inch above the floor.

Cinnabar’s work entailed five different areas: “Islands of Evolution,” “Early Explorers Cove,”

they also fabricated modular structures that allow for easy change out of images, text, and audiovisual content as NASA’s expedition of the universe consistently evolves.


oriented teams. The members of these teams, be they writers, designers, producers, technical specialists, etc. are selected by how their talents fit the project, as opposed to being identified with a particular sector.

Applying principles of supply chain management

Supply Chain Management (SCM), a term used in large-scale corporate manufacturing, refers to the management of complex chains of supply, goods or services. In the SCM literature, the lowest level of transaction is “low bid, get the order” and the optimum level is one in which the business relationship becomes an alliance – a highly collaborative partnership. This level of cooperation and feedback results in higher sustainable productivity and increased longterm profitability, which are key measures of success in the business sector. Most importantly, these benefits apply to all actors in the chain.

“Instead of a top-down, oneway bid system, we can spin a network of activity in which the primary creative personnel participate earlier and more comprehensively.” Katz sees equivalent benefits for the museum world. “Openly sharing information, not just about a specific project but about goals in general, allows for much more productive solutions. Instead of a top-down, one-way bid system, with scant information sharing, there is dialog about the best use of each participant’s resources and assets. We can spin a network of activity in which the primary creatives participate earlier and more comprehensively. We are now seeing such projects in museums: where, for instance, the institution engages the architect and the exhibition producers on the same timeline, sparking synergy between the building envelope, and the experiences created in and around that envelope.” Simon Adlam, Director of Exhibits & Creative Director at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) has headed successful project teams of all kinds. “On a number of the projects we’ve worked on with Cinnabar, we started out with a very formalized RFP process, like we did for the award winning “Age of Mammals” Exhibit. On the current project that we are doing now, we brought them really early on as a full partner in the creative and production process with the larger team.” Adlam speaks favorably of a “partnership” model: “Cinnabar’s emphasis on working with one another as a team and finding solutions as a team is very similar to the way the NHM builds exhibit teams, so it becomes a very easy marriage of, say, a contracted team and an NHM team. It

becomes very, very easy to communicate the transmission of ideas and find solutions. I think the word ‘partner’ is a really good way to explain how both the museum and Cinnabar and other contractors put it together. A partnership means that all parties have some kind of stake involved – they are all invested in one way or another.”

“It becomes very, very easy to communicate the transmission of ideas and find solutions. I think the word ‘partner’ is a really good way to explain how both the museum and Cinnabar and other contractors put it together.” – Simon Adlam, Natural History Museum of LA County Commenting on the project process for the aforementioned San Francisco visitor centers, Macchiato’s Jeremy Regenbogen validates the team approach and early involvement of creative personnel. “We had two projects with the exact same finish date, yet dramatically different start dates. Cinnabar was brought in to provide preliminary pricing and guidance on the first project (Lands End Lookout) in the middle of the design process. They helped us tailor our project and keep it within budget. Since we had them on board for that project, they were extremely helpful in guiding our second project (Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion) from the very beginning of design. Often value engineering comes at the end of the project, where difficult sacrifices must be made. Cinnabar’s early involvement meant that we could constantly bounce ideas off them and keep the intent of the design intact.”

“Often value engineering comes at the end of the project, where difficult sacrifices must be made. Cinnabar’s early involvement meant that we could constantly bounce ideas off them and keep the intent of the design intact.” – Jeremy Regenbogen, Macchiato


In Katz’s vision the producer is a fulcrum balancing creative and educational goals, and practical requirements. “You have certain, very clear, content-driven objectives, you have a range of individuals making the contributions – whether designers, educators or curators – and you have the realities of the space, the budget and the timeline.” He pointed out that adapting this type of model, similar to those used in film production, where one assembles a creative and technical team to fit the work, is not a new idea. He cited Tom Peters, author of the 1988 management classic “In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies,” who predicted that this model will take over in modern business. Further, in a 2001 article

The Cinnabar culture • Schedule Compression and Fast-Track Methodology. Building scenery and special effects for broadcast and film taught the company how to produce complex projects within tight deadlines, without compromising quality. • Constant Business Innovation. Collaborative models of supply chain management furnished lessons for a transparent, efficient design/build process that engages all participants in the supply chain: subcontractors, freelancers, shop production systems, and all facets of the client institution including curatorial, education, development, operations and marketing. • From Analog to Digital. The digital revolution drives integration of media into the built environment, and connects exhibits to a larger virtual, socially linked world. Technology powers uniquely engaging interactive exhibits. • Sustainability. Greenbuilding principles influence the choice of materials and equipment, yet more significantly they address multiple agendas: immediate program requirements and long-term performance. • Change is the new normal. A decentralized, modular approach to fabrication and control anticipates and simplifies the process of refreshing an exhibit’s content and supports optimizing reuse through flexibility. • Know Your Strengths. Selectivity about projects and hands-on involvement at all levels fosters longterm relationships and transparency.

in “Curator: the Museum Journal,” influential museum consultant Janet A Kamien looked at exhibit development models and suggested that the “Theatrical Model” may be the most effective. The Theatrical Model has stood NHM in good stead. Simon Adlam says, “Here in Los Angeles, one of the most creative cities in the world, we have the entertainment business all around us. Our exhibit development model reflects more of an integrated approach – something closer to an entertainment model, whereby we assemble all the right people and the right teams to do the right job at the right time – and get amazing results. When you do things differently and innovatively, you have to partner with people who understand where you’re going, what you’re doing and who can add to the process. And I’ve found that our model fits in very easily with Cinnabar, a company that has a natural understanding of what we’re doing. A number of our projects are winning many national awards, so I think that our process – being integrated and working with great partners like Cinnabar – is starting to be proven.”

“When you do things differently and innovatively, you have to partner with people who understand where you’re going, what you’re doing and who can add to the process.” – Simon Adlam

Top: The Autry Museum of the American West Bottom: The Scion traveling exhibit Right: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Photos provided by Cinnabar


Invested in content

Katz describes himself as “on fire about the content” of his museum projects. His group is, too. “Everybody here gets into the topics,” says Katz. “When we were working on Eco Challenge [for Discovery Science Center] which is all about raising people’s recycling consciousness, exhibit fabricators on our shop floor got into huge discussions about how to recycle the single serve cream containers sitting by our coffee pot. I knew I would love working on museum projects and be engrossed by the content, but I didn’t, at first, know it would be widespread throughout my company.”

“I knew I would love working on museum projects and be engrossed by the content, but I didn’t, at first, know it would be widespread throughout my company.” Katz shows his commitment through personal involvement in the projects. Staying hands-on is something that running a lean company enables him to do. “We cut overhead and layers of management and found that it enabled us to be very competitive on a value equation. When we go after a project, it is a good fit for the client and us. The client appreciates it when the principal shows up,” he notes. “They also appreciate how our service mantra, ‘how can I help you,’ plays out in the professional behavior of our crew.”

Jonathan Katz works with Cinnabar artist Lori Corral on natural detailing for an upcoming exhibit. Photo courtesy of Cinnabar In other words, the collaborative, transparent model advocated by Cinnabar in the field reflects a model consciously facilitated within the company. “Effective collaboration demands that you respect the skill of other participants,” says Katz. “I encourage the project managers to work at being open, to listening. You can initiate a conversation with anyone. We believe in the critique – its not about the person, but about the work. We foster transparency, which you can see and hear in our open plan office. We make

an effort to become familiar with one another’s work. My favorite saying – promoting the idea of management by walking around – is ‘the best fertilizer is the farmer’s shadow.’ I’m not going to tell you what to do, but I want you to listen when I have something to say. Once you establish that ethos you have laid the groundwork. Our origins as a fabricator provide a positive benefit at all levels of the company: we are artisans who build and make things.” • • •


demographic could extend to younger groups. This resulted in one immediate change: the “Discovery Market,” a life-size recreation of a grocery store, complete with computerenhanced shopping carts, ended up with carts of two differing heights, so that younger and shorter visitors could also participate fully.

“Altered State,” “Tusher African Center,” and the Wilson Naturalist Center. “Unlike NHM,” says Lomma, “the Academy was designed for maximum flexibility. Working with Renzo Piano and the Academy design team, we designed a radiant floor with a grid system for anchoring.” Also integrated into the grid were conduits and outlets for power and audiovisual needs. CHILD’S PLAY The “Early Explorers Cove” at the Academy is a children’s play area for the five-and-under crowd. Its key features are a garden shed, backyard, farmer’s market, tide pool, coral reef, and the research vessel Academy. (Those who remember the original Sony Metreon in San Francisco may be interested to know that Cinnabar also built “Where the Wild Things Are.”) Lomma states, “Early childhood is ALL about themeing. All the goals and objectives are designed as play, but they’re really designed to bring younger children in for educational purposes.” At California’s Discovery Science Center (DSC) in Santa Ana, Cinnabar produced “Eco Challenge,” a participatory attraction/exhibit that caters to a wide range of age groups. The exhibit had been first envisioned as targeting middle schoolers, but Cinnabar’s research showed that the visitor

Another aspect of Eco Challenge, which is all about making eco-friendly choices, is “Race to Recycle.” This is a fully interactive experience: kids compete to pull actual items off a conveyor belt and sort them into the proper recycling bins. “The visitor is actually participating in the exhibit,” explains Lomma. This analytical act is not only popular with children, “but many adults get very involved with it as well,” she adds. A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS “When we started this company, we were trying to decide what to call it,” remembers Jonathan Katz, Cinnabar’s CEO. “We wanted to have a name that was easy to remember, like Kodak. One of my partners was a painter and he came in one day and mentioned the red color based on the mineral cinnabar. The rock itself is mined for both pigment and mercury. Additionally, it was also used in ancient China to carve cartouches and other decoratives. It had mystical and transformative properties. We like the idea of transformation.” • • •


on safari

nWave’s 3D artist ,Ben Stassen, on location in Africa by Janine Baker


herd of elephants in search of food, rare black rhinos splashing in the water, a tower of giraffes running through the river as a hot air balloon (called a “Cinebulle”) glides through the air capturing these 3D moments above the beautiful African landscape in Ben Stassen’s new nWave Pictures 3D feature film “African Safari 3D”. Traveling by sea, by land and by air, Ben’s goal is to give his audience the ultimate 3D immersive African Safari experience that can only be better achieved by “flying to Africa and experiencing the journey” in person. Filming in some of the best wildlife preserve locations, Ben and team started in Namibia traveling up through several alluring yet dangerous locations such as Victoria Falls until reaching the final destination of Tanzania at the base of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. During a brief break, in Ben’s very busy production schedule, I took the opportunity to ask what it was like to film his first 3D live action feature in Africa with his new 3D digital equipment. JB: You just finished shooting “African Safari” which is intended to release as a 3D feature documentary – what inspired you to go back to Africa to shoot a 3D feature? Stassen: The last swats of “Wild Africa” where wild animals roam free are disappearing at an alarming rate. Within a few short decades what is left of the African wilderness will be confined to fenced in game reserves. The African population is set to double over the next 30 years. The African wilderness will shrink to numerous but

relatively small outdoor zoos. With African Safari 3D, we want to take audiences on an adventure of a lifetime from the Namibian Dunes to Mount Kilimanjaro through some of the most stunning wildlife habitats on the planet, before it is too late. JB: This is the first time using 3D digital equipment and cameras – did you find the use of shooting in digital better or more challenging than shooting in film? Stassen: Real immersive 3D filmmaking using digital production technologies is still very much a science project. The cameras and the rigs are getting better all the time. But it is challenging to do 3D in difficult and distant locations using sensitive electronic equipment. In many ways it was easier to shoot our Imax content on film. Having said that, we had as many as eight digital rigs filming at the same time. Something we could never have done with film cameras. Yes we had technical issues almost daily, but I also had the best and most experienced 3D crew in the world, led by my trusted director of photography, Sean Phillips. So the digital technology had a major impact on the film. JB: Which cameras did you find the best use from? Stassen: We had 7 different pairs of cameras from the large Arri Alexas to the small Indie Cams and GoPros. We had slow motion cameras and infrared cameras. Our master cameras were the Arri, but we got some amazing footage from some of the smaller cameras.

JB: The GoPro has gotten very popular among the action consumer enthusiasts here in the states – did you find it advantageous for your shoot? Stassen: The smaller camera packages like the Skinny Minis (custom built for us by Silicon Imaging) and the tiny GoPros made it possible to capture some amazingly immersive footage. African Safari 3D is the tale of an expedition taking us across the entire African continent. We travelled by 4x4, by boat and by a very unusual motorized hot air balloon, called the “Cinebulle”. The smaller 3D cameras enable us to actually put the audience right next to our expedition leaders. While difficult to handle at time, the digital technology has enabled us to increase the production values of our film 10 times compared to what we did in Imax at a relatively reasonable production cost. JB: Sometimes shooting in the wild with animals can be dangerous – what challenges did you run into while shooting that had you break out in a sweat? Stassen: When filming in the wild, you always have to be aware of your environment. But accidents are quite rare if you follow some basic rules. By-and-large wild animals fear man. The challenge when filming an immersive 3D experience is to get close to the animals without disturbing them. However, we did have two potentially dangerous incidents that took place at the exact same time in two different boats on the Chobe River between Namibia and Botswana. One of our pontoon boats with a $500,000 rig and crane plus 7 crew members onboard almost sank in the crocodile infested river. Half a mile away, myself, Sean, the two expedition leaders and a local pilot were charged by an elephant


as we were stuck against the river bank in our small boat. For the first time in Africa, I got quite scared. Then on the very last day of the production, an hour after the very last shot of the film, we got caught in a major storm on the slopes of the Kilimanjaro. What was supposed to be a pleasant trip back to the town of Arusha turned into the most stressful few hours of the entire production... JB: What is the biggest challenge from live action 3D shoots as opposed to animation film? Which do you prefer and why? Stassen: In animation, you have full control over everything. In live action 3D, you hardly control anything: sensitive technology, weather, wildlife... As an example, for the last scene of the film we had to wait 6 days for the right condition to do 1 hour of filming: The hot air balloon and a micro light flying towards mount Kilimanjaro. This scene required 3 conditions: sunshine, no wind (for the micro light and the balloon) and the top of mount Kilimanjaro out of the clouds. We got the right condition on day 5, but a last minute technical glitch preventing us from filming. The next day the conditions were perfect but for the first time ever, our helicopter would not start. The pilot had to shut down the computer system 3 times before we could take off. It caused only a 2 or 3 minute delay. But to me if felt like an eternity.

Stassen: These projects are really hard, even nightmarish at times. Let’s see how African Safari does... JB: There have been a lot of changes in the marketplace in the last few years – growth in 3D cinema, 3D TV, etc – what changes would you make in 3D film to help grow that market? Stassen: Two or three years ago everybody was talking about the 3D revolution. But it has not happened. The vast majority of Hollywood films don’t deserve the 3D label. 2.5D is even an overstatement. Most 3D features are produced exactly like 2D films, but they happen to be shot with 2 cameras. This type of 3D is useless and worldwide audiences know it: a little perspective behind the screen, an occasional in-your-face effect, so what? That’s not what a revolution is about. There is a growing resistance to pay extra to wear glasses to see a 3D feature film that could be as enjoyable in 2D. The future of 3D will depend on the filmmakers willingness and ability to embrace true 3D as a new language of cinema. The 3rd dimension should completely transform the viewing experience. If a film can be as enjoyable in 2D as in 3D, then it is a waste of time. I once heard David Putnam, the famous British producer, stated “…a revolution is never carried out by the established order”. Maybe we have to wait for the next generation of filmmakers to truly revolutionize cinema with the 3rd dimension. Not every film should be in 3D, but when the decision is made to go 3D then we should go all the way and create a truly immersive 3D experience that can only be fully appreciated in 3D. JB: What 3D feature films will we expect to see in the market from Ben Stassen in the next few years?

JB: What are your best memories on the shoot? What are some of your favorite captured scenes? Stassen: They were a lot of difficult days during the production so each time got the scene we wanted, we felt really good. We have 4 great scenes with lions, one with cheetahs, and a really immersive scene with elephants. We filmed 19 black rhinos in just two nights with infrared cameras. One of the best moments was the hot air balloon scene at Victoria Falls. This was the most dangerous and technically difficult scene of the film. I had scheduled 5 days to get it. By 9 a.m. on the very first day we got all the footage I needed. That felt really good. JB: Will you do more Live Action 3D feature filming in the future and if so, where are some of your dream locations?

Stassen: “Sammy 2” is coming out this summer. “African Safari 3D” in the fall and we are starting the production of our 5th 3D feature “The Enchaunted House”. After that... time will tell. JB: Are you as passionate and in love with filmmaking as you were twenty years ago when it was just a dream for the future? Stassen: It is actually much easier now than it was 20 years ago. We have built our own independent mini-studio with a substantial library of specialty films and a growing number of feature films. Production financing is in place. Things are not too bad. • • • Janine Baker, Senior Vice President for nWave Pictures Distribution has worked in the special venue market for ten years in film distribution. Contact Janine for any 3D nWave film licensing at


sensitive documents museum of tolerance introduces interactive exhibit for hitler letter


hen the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles acquired an early letter written by Adolf Hitler, it turned to Electrosonic to create an interactive exhibit for one of the most important archival documents in the history of the Second World War. The letter was written in September 1919 and is the only document personally signed by Hitler, linking him to the elimination of the Jewish people. In the letter, Hitler calls for “an antiSemitism based on reason…[whose]…final aim, however must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether.” The letter was found by an American GI in Nuremberg in 1945. The four-page typewritten letter was purchased last spring by Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who called the letter “the most significant ever acquired” by the Center. The letter was written six years before Mein Kampf was published. The letter’s acquisition was widely covered by the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the media around the world. Electrosonic has been responsible for many exhibits and permanent installations since the Museum of Tolerance opened in 1993 as an educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Electrosonic sales consultant Les Hill and VP of Entertainment Chris Conte collaborated with Sue Burden, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of the museum,

to determine the best way to showcase the letter. In order to allow the guests to explore the letter in depth, Electrosonic recommended that a multi-touch surface be installed along with digital content generated from the letter itself. To insure that the best digital content was created, Electrosonic turned to long-time creative content partner Cortina Productions to develop the content and interactive software.

glass enlarges portions of the letter for easier inspection.

The artifact itself is housed in a wall-mounted glass display case along with a 65-inch Mitsubishi LED touchscreen. The touchscreen is powered by CyberTouch. Museum visitors stand in front of the touchscreen to view content crafted by Cortina Productions, which allows them to virtually interact with the letter, reading it in the original German language or translated into English. A graphic image of a magnifying

Visitors can also access major milestones in the history of the Third Reich, as well as, news articles, maps and still photos, plus video clips about the acquisition of the letter in 2011.

“The GUI can be operated by two users at the same time,” says Electrosonic project manager Guy Fronte. “In addition to the user mode for one or two visitors, there’s also a docent mode for museum docents making presentations to groups.”

Electrosonic provided a Dell Vostro 460 Mini Tower with an ATI Radion HD 5570 graphics card as the interactive video source for the touchscreen display. A ceiling-mounted Dakota speaker array supplies audio for the film clips and sound design elements for the interactivity. “The Hitler letter exhibit has been a very successful attraction with visitors,” says Sue Burden. “Electrosonic was very professional to work with, as always; it’s a pleasure to do projects with them, and we keep asking them to do more and more things for us.” At Electrosonic, Win Roach was the exhibit’s lead installer and Julie Adgurson the engineer. All of the vendors worked with the architect, Hansol Park, a Senior Associate with Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design. • • • Left: A guest views the letter through the large touch screen. Above: The Hitler letter exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance. Photos courtesy of Electrosonic


coming in for a landing america’s remaining space shuttles head to new, permanent homes by Joe Kleiman


pril marks a big month for America’s space shuttles. After thirty years operating as the workhorses of the American manned space program, the three remaining shuttles have been decommissioned and are preparing to head to new museum homes, where they’ll be able to be seen up close by a new generation of explorers. In addition to the shuttles, other artifacts from the program such as rocket engines and full sized trainers have been given to a number of museums nationwide, including Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Over the winter, visitors to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex had a unique opportunity to view two of the shuttles, Discovery and Atlantis, up close inside the historic Vehicle Assembly Building, Atlantis is scheduled to move next door at Kennedy Space Center in 2013 into a new exhibit hall designed by PGAV Destinations. Discovery, which had more flights than any other shuttle, will be mounted on top of a specially modified 747 and flown on April 17 to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, where it’ll be towed into location inside the Smithsonian Institutation’s National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center. Discovery will be replacing Enterprise, which although never flown in space, was used for successful suborbital reentry tests leading the way to the program. Enterprise, which has been on exhibit at Udvar-Hazy since 2004, will be lifted onto the 747 and flown to New York, landing at John F Kennedy International Airport

on April 23. From there, she will be shipped by barge to Manhattan in June, passing the Statue of Liberty along the way, and will be hoisted to a temporary exhibition tent on the deck of the Intrepid aircraft carrier. A permanent exhibition hall is under construction next to the historic naval ship. Endeavor will be flown cross country later this year for exhibition at the California Science Center, next to Los Angeles’ historic Olympic Coliseum. As of this time, official dates for both Endeavor’s “retirement” at Kennedy Space Center and flight to Los Angeles remain to be announced. “This is an incredible day for our nation’s space program. Today marks the start of a new era in which this magnificent ship, Atlantis, which has traveled to space and back an astounding 33 times, will remain docked in her home port, displayed in all her glory with a new mission to uphold — to inspire a new generation of space explorers who will take us to even greater heights.” - Bill Moore, COO, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, at groundbreaking of the new Atlantis exhibit. “When NASA transfers Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum, the American people will gain a major icon of space history and an educational treasure to be valued now and for years to come.” - General J R “Jack” Dailey, Director, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on Discovery’s move to the Udvar-Hazy Center

“This is a terrific decision by NASA and a fitting recognition of the thousands of Californians who have dedicated their life’s work to developing, operating and maintaining the Shuttles for nearly 40 years. By choosing the respected Science Center in South Central Los Angeles, visitors and students throughout Southern California will have the opportunity to see a Space Shuttle in person and be inspired to pursue careers in science and math.” - Senator Dianne Feinstein, on California Science Center being awarded Endeavor “We are immensely excited about Enterprise’s landing at JFK, and are readying the Intrepid for her arrival. Introducing Enterprise to New York is a landmark occasion and marks the beginning of Enterprise’s next mission, which is to inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and researchers and serve as a reminder that anything is possible.” - Susan Marenoof-Zausner, President of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, on Enterprise joining the museum’s collection. •••

Joe Kleiman ( is a journalist, PR and marketing professional with a background in museums and special venue cinema. He has opened a number of award winning venues, including the Ridefilm simulators at Galveston, TX’s Moody Gardens, the Esquire IMAX Theatre in downtown Sacramento, CA, and the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, GA and has been a consultant to a number of special venue film producers and distributors, including K2 Communications and Big&Digital. A former zookeeper, he started his attractions career 25 years ago at SeaWorld San Diego’s Aviculture department, taking care of birds ranging from flamingos to penguins.

The shuttle Endeavor is towed into the the Orbiter Processing Facility for decomissioning before traveling to the California Science Center for permanent display. Photo courtesy of NASA. Photo credit Kim Shiflett.


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the myth, the mystery and the money behind social media marketing by Jim King and Jan Shaw


ocial Media… is on everyone’s mind these days. But what is Social Media Marketing? And how does it affect your Museum, Attraction or Business? “Social Media is the future of Marketing!” is the phrase that changed the game for Marketing, worldwide. Make no mistake, Social Media isn’t the future; it is now the most important development in connecting with your consumer base. To understand the effects of Social Media, it’s important to understand the Scope of Social Media. The expenditure of Interactive Online Media 2012 is estimated to be $76.6 Billion USD, twice the expenditure of 2011. If you’re not investing in Social Media, you are behind the curve. Social Media can be the best tool in promoting and exposing your Brand. But as with most things, it’s only effective if used properly.

with new forms of marketing requires new types of creative thinking. The old “shotgun” marketing approach of generating exposure to as many eyeballs as possible is passé. As a Social Media Marketer, it is more advantageous to be less focused on quantity, and more focused on connectivity. Social Media gives you the opportunity to directly touch people in a more focused and targeted manner, turn them from Visitors into interactive Fans and share their positive opinions with their Friends Network.

and pictures of amazing restaurant meals; and Pic2Go (, a Social Media PhotoMarketing System that uses PicTags to identify Visitors and automatically creates Branded Photo Albums on their personal Facebook page of their experiences at leisure destinations, attractions or events.

The Money

The Myth

How does Social Media translate into dollars? First, it’s important to have a global perspective with realistic expectations on monetizing your Social Network. Putting up a Facebook page, or being on Twitter expecting that they will magically translate into hard revenue, is not likely. For your Social Media efforts to generate actual cash, it is important to build a dedicated following, create circular momentum across multiple platforms, combined with traditional media. Creating money-making opportunities tied to Social Media takes time.

Social Media is defined as Web-based, mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. How does one foster online dialogue? First, you create a common thread to talk about. Just like traditional media, it comes down to compelling content and presentation.

“Likes” are the connective pipeline that reinforces return visitation, merch sales and promotion of special events. When consumers “Like” your Facebook page it creates the most important aspect of Social Media - usergenerated endorsements. A prized marketing benefit that is critically important to multigenerational facilities, like museums, zoos and theme parks, is “Memory Marketing”. Social Media transformed passive Memory Marketing into proactive endorsements. Amazon recently stated that each positive endorsement equaled $2 of additional revenue. People are four times more likely to purchase a product or visit a place that their friends “Like”. Creating positive Guest Experiences is more important than ever.

Beware of the Myth that Social Media is a “build it and they will come” solution. Having a Facebook page and Twitter account is not an end-all-beall solution. Social Media is about engaging your consumer, and connecting them with your message. When done correctly, in concert with traditional media as part of a coordinated Media Plan, it creates connective opportunities between your Brand, event, facility and your core demographic.

As Leisure and Social Media content developers, we begin with a good Story. Just like exhibits, films and attractions, when your content is compelling, Social Media will engage Visitors and draw them in. Traditional “word of mouth” to 14 people over the course of weeks/months has been replaced with “digital word of mouth” that reaches hundreds of people - instantly. Finding a common thread, and creating compelling content to engage your consumers in dialogue, are paramount components to Social Media success.

The Mystery

Social Media is not mysterious; it just new. There are common misconceptions about Social Media. For most, the disconnect that comes

Today’s challenge lies in how you engage the Digital Generation. In our view, Social Media Marketing is similar to publicity and eventive marketing, as opposed to traditional marketing. Compelling Content is an important component, but the form in which you present Content is also critical. The Digital Generation is hungry for new and “cool” digital content. The only thing better than cool content is “cool content in a new, cool wrapper”. Just like with Eventive Marketing, inventing new ways to engage the attention of your core audience makes all the difference. “Social Media has become meshed into our marketing plan as a natural channel to connect with our fans,” states Allison McGrath, Director of Online & Graphic Media Services, National Museum of Play at The Strong, Rochester, NY. “Our Facebook page is very active with over 11,000 fans. We run contests all year through Facebook that increases visitor attendance,” Allyson continues. “By using traditional PR that feeds Social Media, and vice versa, it’s very gratifying for our institution when Social Media generates instant feedback.” There are many apps that provide exciting ways to engage your fans. We look for “funky” new technologies and connection vehicles, such as: Gowalla (, a travel story, photo and favorite location app; FoodSpotting (, a user food review app where consumers can post reviews, locations


These are just a few examples of novel approaches to translating Social Media to financial benefits. As a new, creative technology medium, Social Media is an exciting new frontier with all of the possibilities of traditional media, combined with ground-breaking development as explosive as the opportunities it offers… and that is something that we “Like.” • • • Jim King and Jan Shaw are Industry Veterans specialized in Creative Direction, Master Planning, Social Media for Entertainment & Leisure as Consultants and Content Developers.,,, +1 818 445 8902

iaapa by the numbers the annual trade show in orlando may be a distant memory, but the business it generated is only getting started

25,800 1,106

attendance at 2011 IAAPA Expo in Orlando

vendors exhibiting at IAAPA 2011


47.7 million estimated economic impact on the Orlando area due to the IAAPA Expo


nations represented at IAAPA Expo 2011

+3% increase in attendance from 2010


days at time of press until IAAPA 2012 opens in Orlando

visitors to the ipm booth at IAAPA 2011 had the opportunity to be photographed in front of our “issue wall” featuring covers from the first 39 issues of InPark Magazine

The Producers Group’s Edward Marks and Bob Chambers

Super 78’s Dina Benadon and Brent Young

Thorburn Associates’ Lisa and Steve Thorburn

Whitewater West’s Julie Zakus and Andy Tymiak point out company projects

Rhythm & Hues and IPM covergirl Charlotte Huggins

Yessian Music’s Brian Yessian and IPM’s Judith Rubin tackle interpretive dance

Electrosonic’s Toni Losier and Iain MacGillivray

Gary Goddard Entertainment’s Gary Goddard

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Brian Morrow




New Projects for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Opening May, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion Golden Gate National Recreation Area San Francisco

Lands End Look Out Golden Gate National Recreation Area San Francisco

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