King Kong 360 3D Opens!

King Kong 360 3D Opens!

My latest project, King Kong 360 3D Premieres!

King Kong 260 3D

Completed astonishingly, in under two years, King Kong 360 3-D officially opens today. A unique collaboration between Peter Jackson and Universal Creative, the attraction transports you to Skull Island for a showdown between Kong and a V-Rex who’d like to make you dinner.

Stories and Reviews about the attraction:

I spent most of the last two years developing, tweaking, and perfecting the immersive 3-D projection system for the attraction, that includes 16 2K resolution projectors, unique lensing, and 2 custom compound curve screens that stand 40′ tall and 187′ long.

The first challenge was deploying a 3-D film to guests riding in a linear tram.  This meant that most guests will be watching the film from an off axis position, a big no-no for most stereoscopic systems.  Not only that, in order to have image 360 degrees around the guests meant having screens opposing each other, which opens up issues of light contamination from one screen to the other, or cross-talk as it’s commonly referred to.

To solve these issues, I first mocked the system up, in Howard Hughes Spruce Goose hangar in Playa Vista.  Working with 3-D consultant Peter Anderson, and Electrosonic Systems , we fine tuned screen shape, texture, and gain to come up with a system that played to the guests off-axis viewing position, while mitigating the cross-talk.   The system was also used by Peter Jackson, Weta, and the Universal Creative team to view dailies and 3-D tests which due to the size and complexity of the system,  couldn’t be viewed any other way.

Mockup System
King Kong Mock-up System

Once complete we rebuilt the screens from scratch and moved the system to the show for integration.  In the last few weeks as we approached the finish line, Peter Jackson, Matt Aitken and the team at Weta outdid themselves creating an amazingly beautiful stereoscopic  short film that makes the experience. The original sound designer, Brent Burge and mixers Mike Hedges, and Peter Lehman mixed the 22 channel final audio in the space, which really made it come alive.

Now with all the technical challenges behind us, the attraction is open to the public, and the response has been tremendous.  Standing in the back of the space as guests cheer, scream, and applaud really is the projects best reward.  Eliciting that visceral, emotional response from the audience is what it’s all about, whether I’m making a film or an attraction.

To learn more about the project, I have embedded some behind the scenes videos provided by Universal, or you can watch them at the official website.

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There are 6 comments on this post
  1. Jodi
    July 01, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Looks awesome!! Can’t wait to see Kong and you guys this weekend!!

  2. July 01, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Everyone over here at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City is really excited to have this attraction open up and so are the guests. Our sales team went last night to experience it and had nothing but great things to say! The word “AWESOME” was thrown around a lot… We even have KK footprint in our lobby!

    We are sending all our guests over and suggesting you purchase tickets ahead of time with your stay so that you can get the most out of your visit to North Hollywood.

    • July 01, 2010, 6:24 pm

      Zarina, great to hear that your sales team liked it. Those footprints are all over. They had them on the roof of the building as well. I hope you and your guests enjoy it for years to come, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Jamie & Cary
    July 02, 2010, 11:14 am

    Wow!! What an accomplishment. Although we can’t understand all of the technical lingo written about the project, we are marveling at your talent and hard work. It looks like an amazing success. Maybe you can take a breather now and revel in the finished piece. Congratulations to you….Dara, way to hang in through the long hours. You’re a sweetheart and a trooper:) Love Jamie & Cary and “Da BoyZ”:)

  4. Dara Cuoco
    November 05, 2010, 4:43 pm

    After seeing KONG seven times I still am surprised at the ‘creatures’ I missed and still get freaked out by the SPIDERS! XO

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