Home › Forums › Imagination Forum – Theme Park Attraction Design & Imagineering › Who to contact?
i dont really know much about this kind of stuff (im only 16, and starting to learn more about the buisness side of all of this kind of stuff) but i think maybe you could try and pitch to universal first, and see if they like it
All right, that I what I will do then, and was what we were thinking but I wanted to get an opinion first. I have my hands full this weekend working on new merchandise strategies that will get rid of the long lines in merchandise locations. Not an easy task by all means, but so worth it. If anyone else has any advice on the contact or whom I should speak to directly we would greatly appreciate the feedback. Thanks again.
I am really not sure. I know that Disney does not usually accept outside pitches because of legality. I would imagine that Universal is probably much the same. They might accept “inside pitches” (from people working for the company), but then the creative becomes theirs because you work for the company. From what I understand, if you want to both retain creative ownership of your concept and be able to pitch it, it may take quite a bit of time and effort to get through. What has happened in the past is that people have told someone at Disney or another company about their idea… and then later, if the company produced anything similar to the idea then the company got sued. It’s not crazy that two people would come up with the same idea… so to reduce the risk of getting sued, companies often try to avoid hearing pitches if there is any chance that they would produce something even remotely related. A video company might be more accepting — especially if they actually own the video game titles that you based your concept upon — but you would have to ask around to find out if they accept outside pitches…
Also, if you are basing your park on existing video games, you are dealing with copyrights. You would need permission (contracts) with the companies that own those video games in order for another company to even consider the project. For example, Universal Studios developed a deal with Marvel Comics before they ever fully designed and built the Marvel area of Islands of Adventure…
From experience in the pinball/arcade game hobby, some of those video game companies are also very protective of their IP. For a variety of reasons. From the sounds of it, you’re looking to create an entirely new park at a location that you’ve found, based on video game titles?
I’d say you would want to pitch it to the video game companies first, as you couldn’t do anything with their IP unless you have their permission anyway. And if you don’t have their permission, you’ve got nothing to pitch to anybody else. Not to mention, they are likely to be major investors in the project if you pitch it to them properly. You want them to be paying YOU, not the other way around. The more income sources you find, the better.
A big question I have is if you’re looking for investors to fund a new park under your management and vision? Or are you looking for somebody to buy the project out from you, and have them run with it from that point on? There’s a lot of directions things could go.
Though I’m not sure if Universal would be interested in it, as it’s not their type of thing to base their theming on outside concepts. They are mostly focused on their own internal movie properties, same with Disney as well.
Another question I have is if these are all titles from a same company, such as Nintendo? Or are they game titles from four different companies. This could be a much tougher sell, as I don’t know if you’d ever be able to get competing game companies to fund the same project and allow cooperative use of their properties.
A little response to all the responses (thank for them BTW). The software company is one that for years has been doing things outside the box and very different from the rest of the industry. I think my best bet is to pitch to where both the software company and Universal each retain half ownership of the park. This will allow the combination of Universal Creative and the software designers the ability to create something new. The two companies working together can honestly create an amazing experience. What we would like out of it is to see it through, to continue our design and make it happen. The rides we have are upgrades from what you see out there now, the queue line issues have been addressed and fixed to the best of our ability, even merchandise has a new system that virtually eliminates lines and large bags to carry through the park. The amount of technology used is amazing and allows for rides to be changed using an average of 45-70% less funding used today to re-theme a ride. My partner is designing the web space where we will house all the designs and documents so we are near ready to pitch. I believe we will hit up the software company first before going to Universal.
Thanks again for the responses. I really appreciate it. I will clear up what company once I get a little further on the documentation and post here more details when we get it all together. That is the one thing about documentation, its so easy to get fragmented that I now have to take the time to put it all together.
It sounds like you have a good plan. I think it might be good as you say to talk with the software company first, because they you can get their “blessing” to use the copyright work and see how they would like to approach partnering with another company. At least, that is my small thought. I don’t do a lot of business-end stuff! I wish you the best. As they say, “If you can dream it, you can do it”. It often takes a lot of work and perseverence, but most things that are worthwhile do 🙂
I think a better approach is to use your current idea as a portfolio peice to show how you work, and gain work or experiance. Less pitching, more demonstrating what you can do and that you’re worth investing in because you can do it again, and again… and again.
You’re better off coming up with original ideas anyway. A good idea shouldn’t rely on a franchise.
I can agree with that. The designs I am working on are very cookie cutter so they can apply to any theme. The interactive queue line is the big one but there are other design elements that are unique that I have worked on. I am still doing my portfolio site so that should be up soon.
So I presented the project to my school, but I created a interactive queue line for Journey into Imagination, which got a lot of great feedback. I think my partner and I are going to get everything together in a blinded portfolio and go to TEA’s Sate conference in Orlando to show our stuff off, but I am trying to get some connections until then. The site had to be put on hold for a few while I got my personnel site up and finals done. We decided that the video game company has shown little interest at this point and we are just going to move on with trying to contact Universal. We came up with a great theme for Halloween Horror Nights and will present that as well as our original designs to them hopefully soon. Any advice and help is as always appreciated. Thanks all 🙂
So I decided to strip the theme of the project, only showing it for use of examples. I am instead concentrating on the technology and design of the rides and shows. I feel this will allow for a more diverse portfolio. I am also thinking of joining with a friend to enter the Imaginations contest. I am a little over two months before graduation so I am trying to push to get this all done and ready to go.
That contest has always seemed like a great thing to do. Good luck to you in it, and in finishing up school.
So we did not get accepted into the contest. But I did get accepted as a CP at WDW. So I am going to spend my time improving my portfolio and try to work my way up.
I am still doing my portfolio site so that should be up soon.
thanks for sharing the info