When an immersive movie hits the mark, says Italian VR/5D movie production company, Red Raion, audiences are instantly gripped and that excitement stays with them even after they’ve left the theatre.
But, with more and more content on offer, how do venues make the right choice to deliver an engaging, impactful experience that will keep guests coming back?
The movie has just finished. The lights turn on again, people are leaving the theatre. Spectators are still thrilled. It’s completely normal, they’ve attended an incredible show. This is magic, but there are no tricks behind it – only a lot of study and hard work.
Technology makes progress in leaps and bounds in the attractions world. Multi-sensory videos and, most recently, virtual reality movies exalt this advancement. Audiences are more competent when compared to the past – as a consequence, being able to surprise them is definitely more complicated.
Nowadays, our houses have hyper-technology at its finest in their inside and they offer us entertainment in both quality and quantity – this is something inconceivable just a few years ago. People who decide to try the most advanced theatres and simulators are not interested in wasting their time and money for experiences that are not so different from the ones they can try at home.
Picking the perfect movie is not easy, by any means. There are too many details to consider. And only a specialized in-house movie production studio can recognise them.
Since its foundation in 2014, Red Raion has become a point of reference for theme parks, museums, brands and, more in general, for the companies that are searching for brand new ways to amaze their audience. During these years, we had the chance to prove our skills together with the best professionals in the attractions industry. We learned a lot from them and we’ve always found the most satisfactory solutions to their needs. Thanks to our hardware partners, we’ve produced movies that are now used within some of the most innovative attractions in Europe. We’re a specialised in-house movie production studio and these companies chose us as a partner in charge of video content creation because of that.
In this article, we want to share with you some of the secrets that will help you understand how to identify the perfect immersive movie for you.
VR/5D movie are not all the same
Two-seat simulators, 180-degree screens, virtual reality head mounted displays, 5D theaters that can host hundreds of visitors, virtual coasters: these are just some of the hardware platforms you can use immersive films with. As a matter of fact, video contents can be used in theme parks, aquariums, zoos, malls, family entertainment centers, museums, archeological parks, cultural areas.
There is no such thing as a single solution that everybody can use. On the contrary, you have to carefully analyze the context case by case to understand what kind of content you have to use.
Most of the times, you have two options. If you own a small theater or simulator, you should lease your movies. On the other hand, if you manage a theme park, a fun center or a museum, you should opt for a tailor-made solution.
Why does this difference exist? Video content should be considered as an extension of the whole visitor experience. That’s why purchasing a movie under license is the best option for the simulators and cinemas that are not characterized by an outer thematisation.
The typical visitor of a non-thematised facility doesn’t expect to live an experience related to the outer context. Leased movies are perfect for malls and small amusement parks that are looking for quality video content.
For theme parks, brands, museums and all the theaters and simulators that are part of a highly thematised context, leasing movies is not the right strategy. In these cases, guests expect to get a video experience complementary to their visit. A generic movie that can be watched in similar facilities doesn’t represent a plus neither for the company that screens it nor the audience.
Attraction films or ride films?
The answer to this question depends mainly from the context where the film gets screened.
For businesses that doesn’t rely on a heavy thematisation, ride films are definitely the best option. Thanks to our clients’ feedback, we have noticed that this audience category wants to experience an intense, fast and breathtaking experience.
Ride films own all of these features and, unlike what happens with attraction films, it’s easy for the spectator to immerse inside the story. Thanks to the first-person point of view, ride films quicken the identification process of the viewer. A state-of-the-art ride film is the digital version of a rollercoaster. This kind of content immediately engages the audience. Moreover, ride movies are shorter than attraction films (on average, 4-5 minutes vs 10-15 minutes): this feature allows theater owners to arrange more shifts and drive more ticket sales.
On the contrary, an attraction film cannot satisfy the needs of this audience category since it takes advantage of storytelling techniques that are typical of traditional cinema. From this point of view, a ready-made attraction film doesn’t serve as a digital alternative of a thrilling digital attraction. Quite the opposite, it’s a stripped down and less spectacular version of a traditional computer graphics animation movie. A movie like this doesn’t have the features to engage the visitors of non-thematised structures. According to the tastes of this audience, a leased attraction movie is less appealing than a feature film designed for traditional theaters. It’s completely understandable: a ready-made attraction film is definitely less refined – both story and graphics wise – than a masterpiece created by companies such as Pixar or Universal.
Quite surprisingly, if we analyse the needs of those who visit theme parks, museums and fun centers, the situation turns completely upside down. As said above, managers of these businesses should always use tailor-made content. Leasing a movie is counter-productive: spectators always expect a movie that completes their whole visiting experience.
In this case, the movie genre is not a distinctive factor. Attraction films, ride movies, edutainment and interactive content: the movie must always follow the communicative intents planned for the multimedia experience. For example, a museum will choose an edutainment movie; a theme park for kids will opt for an attraction film that will engage the younger ones; a car manufacturer visitor center will offer a VR ride film to their guest.
Possibilities are endless and, most importantly, when it comes to create a tailor-made film there is no such a thing as the best movie genre.
When should I update my video content?
Technology is constantly evolving. 3D artists now own the most powerful creative tools at their disposal. At the same time, the audience is getting used to new digital stories, graphically pleasing and utterly captivating. Screening the same movie in the same theater for several years is a huge mistake.
If you are among those who can take advantage of leased movies, the best thing to do is to update your movie library every year. If you wish your spectators to visit your theater more than once, you have to offer them new adventures to immerse into. Being able to win the customers nearby your location is very important – this is the only way to become a point of reference for those looking for entertainment in your area. Bear in mind, word-of-mouth is the most efficient form of advertisement. Offering new ride films will make your theater or simulator the most popular attraction in town.
If you manage a theme park, museum or fun center, you can plan the video content update process more easily. At any rate, the advice above still applies here: you cannot offer always the same movies for years and years. If you make this mistake, your business won’t be able to grow and it’ll lose its charm over time.
A new movie inside your park can become your secret weapon to increase the number of returning visitors in your facility.
With a custom-built solution, you can reach peaks you’d never imagined.
What to do when it’s time to change your movies
2016 is almost over and innovation in technology is more important than ever. This is why, in this industry, seniority on the job is not the only thing that matters. On the contrary, in the attractions world, freshness is a key tool to reach incredible results. A company that recently arrived in this industry can offer you innovative and surprising point of views you haven’t thought about before.
Until a couple of years ago, the only way to get a multi-sensory movie was to lease it from a distribution company. Now, instead, specialised in-house production studios make their immersive movies available directly to potential customers. This allows professionals in the attractions industry to avoid distribution companies – which operate like brokers – and get the same products faster and at a more convenient price.
When you take advantage of an in-house production studio for your video content you will avoid wasting time and resources when agreeing on a new deal and when you need support. As a matter of fact, distribution companies don’t always make the videos they sell, but they often use the works created by production studios. It’s not by chance that distributors heavily advertise the quantity of movies they can offer.
It can sound strange, but too much choice can confuse those who have to make decisions. Your audience has specific needs and you are the only one who knows them. In order to update the video content of your theater or simulator, you have to find an in-house production studio that shares your vision on entertainment and understand together with them which movie you should offer to your spectators.
The partnership between those who create movies and those who screen them can give birth to incredible stories that people actually want to watch.
This is no mystery: virtual reality and augmented reality are two revolutionary communication paradigms. Several reports, including the latest one published by the IAAPA, prove the wish of the audience to go beyond the interaction methods they were used to.
A lot of professionals in the industry talk about VR and AR. Intentions are good, but when it comes to facts, it’s a different thing altogether. There aren’t a lot of companies that can prove a great track record in the production of content for latest generation platforms. We had the chance to prove our skills with 180-degree screens, immersive tunnels, virtual coasters. What’s more, the knowledge gained working on this field allowed us to develop the first virtual reality movie package specifically made for the most advanced theatres and simulators.
In the meantime, the biggest distribution companies working in the amusement industry are still hesitating joining the VR club as they are not able to offer up-to-date video content. It’s understandable: the advancements of distribution companies depend on production studios. And not all production studios are able to work with VR yet.
If you want to be among the first to use the new immersive technologies that are revolutionising the entertainment industry, you have to get in touch with a specialised hardware manufacturer that works in partnership with an innovative and dynamic in-house production studio.
Multi-sensory and virtual reality video represent the most innovative factor in the amusement industry. Entertainment enthusiast around the world welcomed this advancement as a breath of fresh air: a revolution praised by the leading industry professionals, who can now offer original attractions.
What are the best ways to fully take advantage of this innovation? Which strategies should you follow to implement XD and VR contents? How can you perfectly match hardware and software?
These and other doubts are very common among managers who are willing to implement virtual reality and multi-sensory video content inside their theme parks, malls, museums, fun centres and much more.
In this article, we answered these questions from the perspective of a company that produces VR/5D movies and works tightly with the most innovative organisations in the amusement industry.
- Immersive movies, just like any other technological product, are in constant evolution. It’s not so unusual to find a rollercoaster or a dark ride that has been working for 10 or more years, but using the same approach to video content is very risky. Once there was 4D, then 5D came, now we have virtual reality and we don’t know what the future has in store for us. Being stuck in the past is counter-productive.
- You should always keep in mind the general context of your theater or simulator. Leased attraction films aren’t useful neither for those who own a non-thematised theatre nor for those who manage theme parks, museums or fun centres. A generic attraction film is a compromise that cannot satisfy neither the audience that want to feel strong emotions with a ride film, nor those who wish to dive into a highly thematised story with a tailor-made video.
- Over the years, video production companies are getting more and more specialised in the creation of movies made for specific niches. This contrasts with the methods established by distribution companies, which heavily rely on quantity. Focus on your audience, try to understand its needs and identify a production studio you will be happy to work with. This way you will be able to skip distribution companies, getting more quality and a direct support at a lower price.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality represent the forefront of entertainment. If you wish to be the first to offer the most advanced attractions on the market, the best thing to do is to get in touch with a manufacturer experienced in immersive attraction design that works in partnership with an in-house video production studio. In this industry, freshness and passion can lead to original stunning experiences, especially if compared to the solutions proposed by those who work following outdated procedures.
Would you like to implement cutting-edge video content within your theme park, museum or fun centre? Do you manage a technologically advanced theatre or simulator and are looking for movies that can really captivate your audience? Watch all of our films in full-length.