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Medici XD announces structure and key management at IAAPA Expo 2021

New company from Chuck Fawcett and Daren Ulmer revealed

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Medici XD Management
Medici Logo

Medici XD, an integrated software, ride manufacturing, and media production group, announced its lineup and mission at a press conference in Orlando this week, led by co-founders and themed entertainment veterans, Chuck Fawcett and Daren Ulmer.

During IAAPA Expo 2021, Medici XD was presented by Ulmer, the founder of Moustrappe, and Fawcett, the founder of Animax Designs, as the solution to creating seamless experiences.

The Medici Effect

The inspiration comes from the Medici family, who sparked the renaissance with art and culture through their work in bringing together leading thinkers in arts and science. This new venture aims to bring together the strongest multi-disciplinary team in the industry, which will have cross-collaboration at its core.

Guests’ digital footprint and their technology expectations are changing, and the industry needs to adapt in turn. The Medici XD team sees the need for a broader solution, combining previously disparate specialities to ensure that experiences are developed as one holistic thought from the beginning.

Working with master planners, designers, and venues themselves, the pair say this new concept will lead to an improved end product, and ultimately an enhanced guest experience, compared with when separate elements of a show or attraction are delivered independently or stitched together.

Five disciplines

In the press conference, Fawcett and Ulmer revealed how they will make their vision a reality, explaining the five divisions or “disciplines” within Medici XD:

  • Media: Content design and production, visual and audio
  • Machines: Motion-based ride systems and electro-sensory devices
  • Interactives: Realtime (“game engine”) rendering, software and interactivity
  • Theatrical: Live performance and human interactions
  • Labs: Research & Development group focused on innovation across all disciplines

Each division will provide design and production services directly, but together they will also provide a packaged vertically integrated solution.

Key hire announced

Nathan Jones, a leader in the industry with more than two decades of experience with top ride manufacturers, will helm the company as CEO, and will also lead the Machines product line.

Nathan Jones, Chuck Fawcett, Daren Ulmer
Nathan Jones, Chuck Fawcett and Daren Ulmer

“I’ve been privileged to work alongside Nathan on the TEA International Board for a number of years and have seen how he brings people together, develops natural and confident relationships and is a positive force for change,” says Fawcett.

“These attributes make him a perfect choice to be our CEO. The passion for creating better guest experiences that drove him to start his own experience consultancy eXP Maven finds a bigger home within Medici XD. We share that belief in a holistic visitor experience and now have the resources to help put the guest at the very center of a truly unique multisensory experience, as we believe they deserve to be.”

Medici XD is being formed through a combination of acquisitions and organic development, explains Jones, whose ride manufacturing history means he will be well-placed to develop some new concepts in house:

“It would be unfair to call these simply developments of flying theaters and trackless rides,” says Jones of the Machines portfolio, “because what we aim to build will give the guest more agency than current attractions that exist on the market today. These new machines are designed to move you in ways that the human body have never sensed or experienced before, and I can’t wait to reveal what we have on the drawing boards.”

Medici XD acquires Moustrappe

The new company has also announced its acquisition of Moustrappe, with existing Mousetrappe president Eric Hungerford continuing at the helm, now as president of Medici Media. This will ensure continuity for existing clients.

“This gives Mousetrappe room for further growth, access to new technologies and the ability to influence more of the guest experience, expanding our vision for truly immersive media,” says Ulmer.

“I’m delighted to say that the full team will migrate into Medici Media and existing clients will continue to enjoy the same superior quality and responsive team as they always have.

“Eric brings serious credentials as both a client and provider of media services with both types of Medici clients (entertainment brands and designers), from Universal, Thinkwell and The Hettema Group, to ensure we continue with the reputation for excellence and delivery Mousetrappe has already established.”

More to come

More announcements on acquisitions in the area of Interactives and a key new hire for the Theatrical division will follow.

“We are putting the guest experience at the heart of every part we assemble, and we are being very selective about having the right team on board that share our vision,” says Fawcett. “First in class and top of their game is the level of talent that we will continue to seek as we build our Medici dynasty.”

MDX Nashville Offices

The company will operate studios in Nashville, Tennessee, where it is constructing a $6M facility to house corporate offices, design & manufacturing for Machines and Labs. Meanwhile, the Media, Interactives and Theatrical disciplines will operator from the studios in Los Angeles.

Last week, blooloop took a closer look at the new venture and the two themed entertainment leaders behind it.

Top image: left to right, Eric Hungerford, Daren Ulmer, Chuck Fawcett and Nathan Jones

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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