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AV Awards recently announced the winners at its annual awards ceremony, and Electrosonic took home the top honors for the Themed Entertainment and Attractions Project of the Year.
Much like the Oscars, Grammy or Emmy Awards for their respective industries, the AV Awards exist to spotlight the most phenomenal audiovisual (AV) deployments around the world, while also recognizing the talents of the key organizations involved.
The AV Awards are all about identifying instances of innovation and creativity utilized as organizations leverage the latest AV technologies to create truly immersive experiences.
The winning project is Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi, the world’s first-ever Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park, which transports guests to the lands of their favorite Super Heroes and Animated characters via interactive family-friendly rides, authentically themed lands and immersive experiences.
Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the 1.65-million sq. ft. (153,290 sq. m) park is owned and was developed by Miral Asset Management and Warner Bros. Consumer Projects. Electrosonic worked with Thinkwell Group, the Los Angeles based global design and production agency that led the park’s design and attraction production, to provide complete parkwide audio and video and show control solutions.
It is a true honor to receive the recognition of the prestigious AV Award. However, these awards have more meaning than drawing attention the specific accomplishments within an individual project. Instead, it spotlights the talent and capability of the AV partner like Electrosonic.
Deployments as large as World Abu Dabhi start with an understanding of how the various technologies can work together to create the type of environment desired, without the technology ever being front and center.
Global specialty. Not all regions have the same expectations. Understanding these regional differences is crucial when designing and integrating innovative deployments. In recent years, Electrosonic has delivered solutions in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait. This year our two award winning projects were located in the Middle East – The best Themed Entertainment and top Museum Projects.
Industry experience. In much the same way that global regions have different expectations and demands, different markets require unique approaches in order to properly deliver. The leisure and themed entertainment markets are no exception. Electrosonic has honed an expertise in delivering the type of experiences that bring themed environments to life as with the World Abu Dahbi. Taking the time to understand the goal and then creatively utilizing technologies to tell the story is crucial here.
Technology knowledge. As customer expectation of themed or leisure destinations intensify, the need for more creative and innovative use of technology intensifies. Successfully accomplishing this goal takes more than simply deploying the latest technology. It requires an understanding of how the various technologies can work as a seamless unit.
Electrosonic has created a trademarked Technology Master PlanningTM process that helps ensure that all the AV technology not only meets the needs of the project at hand, but also works seamlessly with existing deployments. This is crucial as organizations or entertainment locales continue to grow and leverage new technology along the way.
The sheer volume of audiovisual (AV) technology utilized in creating the Abu Dhabi park demonstrates how central AV has become in today’s theme parks. With over 20 rides that include many types of projection, 3D 360-degree cinema, a 3D dark ride, a 3D interactive ride, and huge dome projections the audiovisual technology is a pivotal component of the thriving theme park. Select rides also feature large-scale architectural projection mapping as well as performance stages and BGM all around the park seamlessly integrated into the show set.
Sporting 37 projectors covering the facades and ceiling of the plaza as well as over 160 speakers integrated in the scenery to support the show, Warner Bros. Cinema Spectacular, which screens in the Warner Bros. Plaza, is believed to be “the biggest permanent projection-mapped show in the world with the ceiling and building facades mapped with scenes from celebrated Warner Bros. movies,” says Paul Kent, Senior Consultant from Electrosonic UK.
To give an idea of the massive amounts of equipment required for the project Electrosonic built and tested 92 47U racks in the UK before shipping them on site. There are an estimated 75 7th Sense and 50 Brightsign media servers throughout the park, more than 140 Christie and Barco projectors with custom lenses and a large complement of Meyer Sound, JBL, QSC and Renkus-Heinz speakers.
Typically, projectors and speakers were concealed in the attractions so guests can enjoy seamless, immersive experiences. Medialon Manager show control systems, the brain of every attraction, reside on Smart Monkey’s ISAAC hardware scheduling platform and control audio, video, lighting, props, effects and fountains.
“For every attraction, show control programmers spent many hours on site working with the creative team to sort out timing, the functioning of every device and the triggering of every cue,” points out Jim Maddux, Senior Commissioning Engineer from Electrosonic Burbank.
Batman: Knight Flight uses a moving robotic arm for the dark ride vehicle within a series of dome structures. Armed with positional information from the ride manufacturer, Electrosonic’s on-site software engineering ensures that the video content and fog and lighting effects trigger at precisely the right moments so no one misses any part of the experience.
Electrosonic devised creative solutions for many of the park’s attractions, including Justice League: Warworld Attacks. In this dark ride, trackless vehicles travel two different ride paths within the same fleet of vehicles. Electrosonic devised a system based on the vehicle position information received by the ride system, which triggers the correct media files for on-board and off-board to maintain extremely accurate synchronization.
For Ani-Mayhem, in which guests hop in vehicles and score points by “scanning parcels” in various scenes from classic Looney Tunes, Electrosonic provided the projection studies and engineering as well as interfacing with an integrated gaming engine and show control system.
The Flintstones Bedrock River Adventure is a flume ride with eight passenger boats surrounded by a variety of show elements, including projection of a 220 degree screen, audio, lighting and animated figures and props triggered by beam-break sensors pointed across the flume. The show control system takes the triggers and, based on where boats are in each scene, starts the video projection, animated figures and audio.
Electrosonic supported many additional attractions, including Scooby-Doo: The Museum of Mysteries, Acme Factory, the 3D ride Superman 360: Battle for Metropolis, and the live interactive show Meet Bugs! (And Daffy).
Interested in creating an award-winning project? Electrosonic can help. With over 5 decades of experience finding creative ways to deploy technology, Electrosonic has the ability to help guide you through the process of selecting the right mix of technologies to deliver the experience you desire. Click here to learn more.
Maurizio Capuzzo, Electrosonic’s Chief Marketing Officer, fuses the science of data with the art of visual and verbal communication to explain how technology adds value and helps foster innovation. Maurizio writes from a wealth of experience, holding leadership roles in global technology companies as well as possessing a deep understanding of how technology contributes to business growth.