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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is one of the largest museums of its kind, spanning over 300,000 square feet near the heart of the filming capital of the world, Hollywood. Here, the fusion of architecture, storytelling and technology has come together to showcase the movie industry in a spectacular way.
More than 75 separate installations on 4 exhibition floors relate the magic of the movies through a series of permanent and temporary galleries. Together, they push the boundaries of audio, video, interactivity and immersion to shine a light on the legends of cinema. Electrosonic played a significant role in developing the galleries for this immense space, which took almost 10 years to bring to perfection.
Electrosonic worked in partnership with the Academy Museum leadership team and exhibition designers WHY Architecture to develop the technical design for audiovisual and control systems for the gallery, then provided project management, system engineering, integration, programming and support for 4 floors of exhibitions.
The museum’s core exhibition ‘Stories of Cinema’ begins in the Spielberg Family Gallery on the lobby floor with an immersive, multi-channel media installation on the history of film. Displays, speakers and media players are integrated into a scenic enclosure to create a slim, floating appearance.
In the spectacular 2nd floor introductory corridor, a 54-foot-long floor-to-ceiling projected wall presents a blended montage of ever-changing film clips. Another gallery, ‘Inventing Worlds & Characters: Encounters’ features a circular gallery where images projected onto a 320⁰ screen immerse the audience in an extraterrestrial experience. Speakers above the screen allow audio and sound effects to move around the space. A flexible perforated screen surface, with acoustic material behind, ensures that there are no acoustic reflections in this circular space.
The ‘Academy Awards History’ gallery recalls many emotive moments. To bring the audience up close to the heart of the Oscars, 14 projectors with ultra-short-throw lenses blend images on two large wraparound screens. In the ‘Oscars Experience” gallery, a unique activation allows visitors to create their own ‘Oscars Experience’ with a truly immersive simulation that takes them to the stage on Oscar night where they hear their name called and accept their award in front of a projected ‘audience’. Electrosonic provided projection and audio system design and installation with stunning realistic sound in Dolby Atmos for this activation.
Hollywood’s tradition of great film scores, songs and sound effects puts audio quality at a premium. Audio systems are networked for central control, while individual audio installations are carefully designed to minimize sound migration. Digital signage on all seven floors provides essential exhibition information and wayfinding for visitors through LG 86-inch UltraStretch displays.
The visit ends, like any good movie, with a spectacular climax. Guests exit through the 35-feet ‘Future of Cinema’ corridor immersed in moving text images on 10-feet high LED screens.
The immense size of the space and number of galleries presented challenges of scale, complexity, control and time as the project came to perfection over a period of 10 years. With more than 75 individual installations and hundreds of audiovisual components to design, engineer, integrate and control, precise planning, coordination, project management and flexibility was essential. Among the technical challenges were image quality on large scale surfaces or areas with ambient light, audio migration from multiple exhibits and control of large numbers of galleries.
Electrosonic’s 55+ years’ experience in some of the worlds’ largest and most complex museum projects was important. We recognize the importance of early involvement and collaboration with owners and creative teams to realize their vision through technology. Our expert audiovisual specialists and designers consulted with the creative team to bring concepts to life in imaginative ways that push the boundaries of technology.
To achieve the quality of experience, we collaborated with Panasonic as a projection partner and used 7thSense media servers for the most challenging projection applications. To control the vast estate, we worked with Smart Monkeys using their patented ISAAC show control system to schedule, monitor and manage all audiovisual systems. Electrosonic also provided an Affinity on-site managed service solution to support the entire museum space.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is an epic tribute to the achievements of the global movie industry. To tell its long story, Electrosonic uses the whole powerful spectrum of audiovisual technology to create immersive, interactive experiences that recreate the magic of the movies.
Sixty-four media servers, 60 projectors, 21 display systems, 14 touch displays, 95 speakers and sub-woofers and two LED walls support 75 separate installations. The solution fuses architecture, storytelling and technology in a way that reflects the technology of the industry itself and takes guests into amazing new worlds.