Southern California entrpreneur Jeffrey Goddard is exporting water, in a manner of speaking. His Studio City based TVA, the Video Agency, is marketing multimedia water shows to theme park operators around the world, particularly Asia.He calls it a dive-in, a high-tech show projected onto water screens. Viewers can watch from the edge of the pool or even enjoy the theatrics as they float on inner tubes.
TVA, whose annual revenue exceeds $1 million, is one of a handful of companies involved in this new form of entertainment. The water screens are created by projecting 3-D computer-generated images onto a fan-shaped curtain of water, as large as 120 feet by 60 feet.
So far, Goddard’s firm has produced five water-screen shows, including the world’s largest water-screen production, for a theme park in Shanghai. In Dubai, the operators of Wonderland Family Fun Park are attracting close to 20,000 people a night to their 70-millimeter water-screen attration, which depicts a journey from outer space to the Caribbean.
“This is an incredible way to keep the crowds coming,” said Goddard, who lived in Japan as a Mormon missionary before starting his career in advertising in 1983 in Tokyo.
Indeed, the appetite for American fun and fantasy is growing. Tim O’Brien, an editor at Nashville-based Amusement Business, said the hottest markets for theme parks, particularly water parks, are Asia and Latin America.
The economy growth in many Asian countries has created a large and increasingly sophisticated middle-class population willing to pay big for designer names and glitzy entertainment.
O’Brien said Walt Disney Co. pioneered the concept of water screen, whcih have become the flavor of the month at theme parks around the country.
People love spectaculars”, he said.
This is not cheap entertainment. The price tag for a production ranges from $450,000 to $800,000. The computer-generatd graphics, which can cost as much as $5,000 a second to produce, are projected onto a mist created by giant pumps.
TVA is producing a water-screen show for a Thai shopping mall operator that involves a battle between a live performer and a gigantic dragon that rises out of the water and shoots laser bolts from its eyes.
Virtually any compny or group that has access to water can have an instant Imax-style theatre at a fraction of the cost”, Goddard said.
Theme park operators are happy with the water-screen shows because they keep visitors around longer. The projections must be done in the dark.
The longer they stay, the more money they [park operator] make”, Goddard said. “When people are tired, they buy tons of food and souvenirs.”
Meeting the demand for bigger and better fantasies is one of TVA’s biggest challenges.
As people become more visually sophisticated, they have increasing levels of impact and uniqueness,” he said. They need higher visual fixes.”
TVA take industry forefront in H20 Cinema with its latest Waterscreen spectacular
TVA recently completed its newest 70mm Waterscreen attraction for Wonderland Family Fun Park in Dubai, U.A.E. The Waterscreen show entitled “CARIBBEUS” is comprised of high-end 3D computer-generated images depicting a magical journey from out space to the Caribbean (both above and underwater). The film is projected into a giant hydro-curtain/wall of water approximately FIVE STORIES TALL. Due to the unique properties of the water mist, the images appear to float in mid-air – in a 3D, holographic effect. Over 120 people were involved in the creation of CARIBBEUS including a custom music score by Sean Murray. The attraction used Surround Digital Audio, live performers, and (at a future date)– laser, pyrotechnic effects, Wildfire luminescence, etc.
Wonderland Main Street unfolds before a technically designed lake, where the water mist show opens center stage in a nightly extravaganza of media-tropicale. A holiday film array of island sunsets, fishes, tropical beaches, bikini girls, and exotic birds ignite an evening celebration of lights and sound.
TVA worked in conjunction with Wonderland theme developer, Leisure and Recreation Concepts, Inc. (LARC), a full-service production firm with international expertise in conceptualization, building, and management of over 875 projects in more than 23 countries.
TVA has also recently completed two 70mm and 35mm water screen shows for Frobel Land, a new theme park in Shanghai, China. The two films run approximately 7 minutes each and are projected against a water screen 120 feet by 60 feet in size (estimated to be the world’s largest). The shows use advanced laser effects, live character performers, #D animation, and live action footage similar to “Fantasmic” at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Announcer: Audiences around the world are being captivated by an amazing new technology that creates giant movie images that seem to float in space. The creative minds behind these spectacular shows have found a way to make movie screens out of water. Here’s how they are doing it. From the Ocean Dome Theme Park in Miazuki, Japan to Frobeland in Shanghai, China and all the way to Darling Harbor in Sidney, Australia, a brand new phenomenon is sprouting up all over the world. Towering images 60 feet high are coming to life in thin air and are magically disappearing.
How do they do it? It’s illusion created by water and it is the latest in big screen entertainment.
Jeffery Goddard: People are constantly looking for higher fixes, more stimulation, more realism; and these water screen shows are quiet amazing.
Dan Richardi: When you are in the proper setting we have a very dark background, and you have the night images on that screen, it looks like they’re just hanging there in mid-air. And then when all the lights come on, and the screen is gone, and you look out there, you can’t quiet figure out how they got the image out there.
Announcer: How do they do it? By projecting their shows on the water.
J.G. The idea is to make the screen disappear and only see the images themselves. We found that the ideal screen, instead of your typical rectangular screen, is much better to go in a semi-circle. Like a peacock’s tail!
Announcer: How did they get a rounded screen? It took Fountain Supply Company 18 months to create the hardware: one of the first of it kind in the world.
D.R.: What we have here is the water screen jet. The main component is this plate you see in the front. It’s also machined with a slot across the top. This is where the water comes out. The shape of the water is the shape of a peacocks tail.
Announcer: A uniquely crafted edge inside the jet flattens the water to generate the viewing surface. It takes a thousand gallons a minute, shooting a 108 miles an hour to create the ideal water screen. Projectors are used to send out images to the screens. You can even try it at home. How?
D.R.: If your desire was to create a water screen of your own, you can do it with a garden hose, your house pressure, a projector, and create a water screen.
Announcer: The shows projected on the water screen are far from average productions: Brilliant lasers, computer animation, pyrotechnics and film are all choreographed to perfection. How?
J.G.: All the elements are separate but are controlled by a show controller that synchronizes the action to the time. All based on a time coded element that, as the film runs, it triggers the other elements to take place. To the audience it is all a beautiful, seamless orchestra of these different elements.