Themed Attraction.com Forum Index Themed Attraction.com
Welcome to the official message boards for themedattraction.com.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

 

Google
 
Career Decisions

 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Themed Attraction.com Forum Index -> Imagination Forum - Theme Park Attraction Design & Imagineering
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kork



Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:41 am    Post subject: Career Decisions Reply with quote

Sometimes we don't know what we want until one day we wake up and it's as clear as night and day... I've recently woken up!

And I want to be involved in the creation, design and development of rides and attractions much like the ones that I saw at Universal Studios Orlando. That's my dream job... And it just so happens that I "think?" the last 10 years of my career have been leading me up to this point.

I've been in the Video and Interactive Industry for the last 10 years. I've designed and developed websites, Interactive CD's, Kiosks, and was the lead programmer for the Canadian Marine Discovery Center (The first virtual museum in Canada) featuring Plasma displays, Alcorn McBride video servers, Lighting controllers, etc. I absolutely loved it! The center has been running now for 4 years and has been running very well.

I have formal education at Sheridan College (when I was in school, Disney was practically funding the animation program with $12 million per year) in Media Arts, Multimedia as well as marketing (over 5 years total post secondary). Most recently I took an electronics systems and integration 13 week program which dealt with wiring, running cables, wire management, HD Displays, etc...

I've also designed and developed a full HD, 7.1 Home theatre in my home. It's a dedicated room, multiple amps, cabling, etc.

What I'm basically saying is that everything I do revolved around designing, building and integrating with all forms of technology and I absolutely love it!

I visited Universal Studios Orlando last week and fell in love. I loved the use of all the technology combined together that I've been piecing together for the last 10 years. This is my passion...

So my questions are this?

Does Universal Orlando design and build their own rides/attractions or is it another company? To go down this road as a career, where should I begin? I have oodles of education and what I feel is very relevant experience but I don't know where to begin?

I don't know what the different types of careers are?

Also, anyone who works in the industry or has experience, please talk to me. I'm so genuinely looking to move in this direction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
icandrawem2



Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there. There are a couple other people on these boards that have more experience than me but I will be the first to respond. You sound like you have quite a bit of experience with the audio visual side of things and it seems that is getting utilized more and more in all the new attractions that are being developed. So at least you have some real-world experience dealing with industry related technologies. A lot of the theme park creative divisions, such as Universal Creative, do still do alot of the actual concept development and design in-house. Typically, however, you wont see Universal physically build a roller coaster or such, that is normally contracted out to various vendors. Since Universal and Disney typically work with their own property, the designs are pretty much up to them...but you have on occasion attractions such as the new Simpsons ride (which of course The Simpsons is the property of Fox). While Universal may have the creative reign, they still have basic "rules" to follow when working with something like this. (any of you feel free to correct me if im mistaken!) I personally work for a scenic and themed environment design and fabrication company. For example, Universal is building a new ride or whatever and the plans call for a certain prop, special effect, or what have you....they would call on a place like that to fabricate and install it. As far as design goes, we mostly do design assist which means basically taking the client's idea, sketch, or vision and turning that into a working drawing to be able to build it. Disney on the other hand might do quite a bit of this in-house, it all depends on the project and what the schedule and budget will allow. There are plenty of these theming subcontractors out there that do the sort of thing you are experienced in as well, like the A/V, lighting, show action equipment etc etc. the list goes on. I highly recommend attending the IAAPA expo this november in Orlando as you can meet many of the companies and people that are involved in this industry. www.iaapaexpo.com I hope this helps out a little, and welcome to the boards and we look forward to talking with you more!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kork



Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response,

You are correct with the Audio/Visual side of things. It's definitely a passion. I was one of those guys who a few years ago would fabricate custom fiberglass sub enclosures in my car, custom panels, etc. But for me it was about the AV integration.

In my current career (Director of Interactive Media) I currently work spending 33% of my time Designing, 33% of my time programming and 33% of my time planning and managing. While I can't get into specifics, I'm currently developing a cross county car dealership data distributions system. Basically, 40" HD LCD's hooked up in dealership showrooms pulling data from a central server.

It's all interesting but the challenge is that it's very business driven. It's all about selling vehicle accessories or tune-ups... and the experience is limited to the screen itself. I once tried convincing decision makers to integrate a "mister" into a television screen with a motion sensor. When someone walks by it would "mist them" from above and get their attention to make them look at the screen. It never worked because "corporate" didn't approve... <sigh>

I want to be part of things that are fun! Marine education centers, exhibits, places that rely on interactive displays and kiosks... perhaps even the "pre-ride" area at amusement parks. When I was in the "pre-loading" area for the Shrek in 4D ride, I was thinking that part would be pretty exciting! Computers hooked up to video servers, controlling robotics through RS-232 Ports! Good fun! Rather than the rides themselves, I think I enjoy the "pre-ride" experience more if that makes any sense?

Once again, any other comments would be appreciated. I also apologize for my excitement, It may come across that I'm a bit nuts, but I'm very excited to have come across this resource. It's been a long time coming... I'm feeling very energized!

Also, I'll be booking my registration, flight and hotel in the next little while. Smile thanks for the suggestion icandrawem2.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Holly
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Aug 2007
Posts: 229
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your experience with the misters is typical of what happens anywhere. I could pretty much guarentee that anything you see out in the parks has had compromises made. You just have to not get too defensive and decide what the core experience is and what is absolutely essential to that core experience (some things hurt a lot to cut, but cutting them won't kill the experience). It's possible that corporate may have decided, "Not everyone likes to get spritzed, and the moisture might mess up electrical systems, building upkeep, etc., etc." Which is a valid perspective... But what was the core of that idea? To get people's attention... so then you can go another route to find something less obtrusive, lower cost, etc., etc. that would do the same thing and draw attention.

I would second icandrawem and advocate that you go to IAPAA if you possibly can. A lot of design firms go to IAPAA and send friendly representatives who love to talk about their processes and what they do, and so you can talk to a broad span of companies at once, maybe find areas of fabrication/creation that you never thought of, find out what they look for in an employee, etc. The firms that you immediately think of when you think of designing themed attractions may not necessarily be the best places to get the "hands on" work that you seem to enjoy... and I also know that, for example, Disney has groups of people who do hands-on work of designing and installing systems who aren't part of Imagineering... but they pick up all sorts of interesting projects. All it takes is making the right contact with the right person who says, "yes, I do that work..." or "I know a guy at the other company who works on that..." Themed design seems to be a small world. I got the chance to hobnob at the last IAPAA and get introduced around, and it really surprised me what a tight web the industry is... If you can get into conversations and find kindred spirits, then you have a foot in the door already...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kork



Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the insight Holly and I totally agree about the compromises. Client said they wanted people to see the screen and the challenge is that it was at an outdoors event where everyone was competing for attention. Of course, everyone else makes it louder and louder to compete with the neighboring booth. My suggestion, if someone walks by, let's mist them... Afterall, it is a "Water Sport" exhibit at a boat show! I thought it was quite fitting!

But much like you said, people can get offended, etc. It reminds me of the Jaws Ride at Universal. At the end, there was a 10-11yo kid who said "I didn't want to get wet..." Of course, the fellow who was the tour guide looked at him and said... "You went on the jaws boat ride, on the water, and didn't want to get wet?" to which the rest of the boat laughed. I'm sure they get it all the time and need to poke fun at it.

I'll definitely be at the IAPAA conference. I just wish it wasn't 4 months away! Oh well, it will allow me research all the vendors before I arrive.

Thanks again!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
kork



Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HA! I just found this!
http://www.alcorn.com/cases/canadamarinediscovery/

That's me on the left Smile and it just so happens that Alcorn McBride is in Orlando too. Maybe I'll get some insight from them and pay a visit while I'm down!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Holly
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Aug 2007
Posts: 229
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea Smile If you know some people at Alcorn it would probably pay off do to the ol': Who else do you know at the show that might be interested in talking about audio/visual production? Or phrased differently Wink but it's a good way to meet new people...

And of course, if there is anyone from the boards that you want to meet, give a shout closer to IAAPA time, and people can let you know if they are coming or not.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kork



Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone from Alcorn. The equipment was already selected and purchased before I started working with it (In fact, being on the alcorn website was a surprise for me!) I was actually looking up something different in Google and it took me there!

Cheers!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Themed Attraction.com Forum Index -> Imagination Forum - Theme Park Attraction Design & Imagineering All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group