BRC Imagination Arts
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BRC Imagination Arts (BRC) is an internationally based experience design firm, which produces immersive design attractions. The firm, established in 1981, has between 51 and 200 employees, depending on project workloads. BRC Imagination Arts draws its 'experience design' philosophies from the creative practices established by the Disney park and attraction design organization, Walt Disney Imagineering following Disney's design philosophies. BRC was one of the first independent design firms to successfully employ the concept and design process of combining storytelling and film production techniques in the design of physical structures and spatial experiences of entertainment and educational attractions.
The firm, founded in Los Angeles, California, also has offices in China and The Netherlands, with ongoing projects in the United States, Asia, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East. BRC Imagination Arts is the recipient of over 300 international awards for creative excellence including 18 THEA Awards for Outstanding Achievement in themed entertainment, and two Academy Award nominations.
- 1 Founder and CEO
- 2 History
- 3 World's Fairs
- 4 Museums and Educational
- 5 Corporate Brand Experiences
- 6 Theme Parks
- 7 Technical achievements
- 8 Awards and Recognition
- 9 Filmography
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
Founder and CEO
The Founder of BRC Imagination Arts, Bob Rogers (designer), quoted by Newsweek magazine as the theme park industries resident futurist, began his involvement in themed entertainment with the Walt Disney Company, first in 1969 as a magician in the Disneyland Magic Shop, eventually working his way to the position of producer for Disney's themed design branch, Walt Disney Imagineering (Imagineering). Before establishing his own design firm, Rogers' last project for Imagineering was the Impressions de France film attraction in the Walt Disney World theme park, Epcot; an attraction which has operated as one of Epcot's original attractions continuously, for over thirty years.
Following his work on the Impressions de France film attraction for the Epcot theme park, Bob Rogers transitioned from Walt Disney Imaginnering to independent contractor to produce shows and attractions for the Epcot park. At that time, Rogers' established BRC Imagination Arts, and with a small staff, contracted with General Motors to design and produce several attractions for the post show portion of the World of Motion pavilion known as TransCenter. While working on these attraction for the Epcot park, Rogers and BRC also produced the film Ballet Robotique, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the Live Action Short Film Category
Following the work for the Disney theme park, BRC began to produce attractions and exhibits for World's Fairs, international events, museums and educational institutions, corporate brand environments and other theme park works.
By 1986, BRC Imagination Arts completed the first of an ongoing series of projects for World's Fairs and international expositions, a design specialty that the firm continues to involve itself with.
Expo 86 - Vancouver
For the 1986 World's Fair in Vancouver, Canada, (Expo 86), BRC produced the live show, Spirit Lodge, for corporate sponsor General Motors. The performance incorporated a live actor and holographic imagery to tell the story of the "magic canoe" as a means of binding the experiences of family life. In addition to the Spirit Lodge attraction for General Motors, BRC also produced the short film, Rainbow War for the Canadian Pacific Railway pavilion. Rainbow War was later nominated for an Academy Award in the Live Action Short film category.
Seville Expo '92 - Spain
BRC also worked with the Academy Award winning specialty film format producer, Iwerks Entertainment (known today as SimEx-Iwerks), to produce a 360 degree film for the Basque National Pavilion. The film presentation was unique in that it was a seamless circular film presentation that was made using a single strip of film, projected with a specialty projector that wrapped the film image around a 360 degree screen which surrounded the audience.
Taejon Expo '93 - Korea
The following year, for Taejon Expo '93, BRC worked again with Iwerks Entertainment, to produce a 9-screen circle film presentation entitled Postcards, for corporate sponsor Korean Air. The 360 degree film followed the daily lives of a Korean girl and several of her 'pen pals,' each residing in diverse areas of the globe.
Expo 2005 - Aichi, Japan
For the Expo 2005 World's Fair in Aichi, Japan, BRC produced a 9-screen 3-D-like show, The Franklin Spirit. The show combined both front and rear screen projections to create a 3-D illusion, which did not require the audience to wear special glasses.
Expo 2010 - Shanghai, China
For joint sponsors, China Mobile and China Telecom, BRC designed and produced all of the show and visitor experiences for the corporate Information and Communication Pavilion. Here, every visitor was provided a unique interactive device, synchronized with the pavilions various shows and attractions, so as to allow each pavilion visitor with an individualized and personal interactive experience. For the USA pavilion at Expo 2010, BRC Imagination Arts designed and produced all visitor experiences. The pavilion's main show was a short film featuring the enduring spirit of a young girl, entitled The Garden, which was projected on five screens of various shapes and surrounded by LED special lighting and in-theater special effects such as rain and wind.
Museums and Educational
Space Center Houston, which opened in 1992, at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, was the first of several projects for the National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA), designed and produced by BRC Imagination Arts. Space Center Houston, which was originally conceived as a collaboration BRC Imagination Arts and Walt Disney Imagineering, was later handed to BRC Imagination Arts to complete design and production of the space-themed visitor complex. Following the completion of the Space Center Houston project, BRC was again commissioned by NASA to design and produce the Apollo/Saturn V Center, opening in 1996 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Other work by BRC at Kennedy Space Center included Shuttle Launch Experience, which opened in 2007. The Shuttle Launch attraction is a high-fidelity space shuttle ascent simulation ride, designed in collaboration with dozens of shuttle astronauts. Most recently, BRC designed and produced the exhibit Exploration Space which opened in 2009 as an immersive and interactive series of attraction and experiences which allow visitors to explore NASA's ongoing space exploration endeavors.
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Aside from the projects at the NASA visitor center complex in Texas and Florida, other space-related educational attractions designed and produced by BRC Imagination Arts have included exhibits such as the Shoot for the Moon gallery and the Lunar Dangers Lab theater at the Western Hemisphere's first and oldest planetarium, the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois. These attractions, which opened in 2007, were produced by BRC Imagination Arts, with the collaboration of retired NASA Apollo program astronaut, Jim Lovell.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
BRC Imagination Arts was commissioned to design and produce the museum portions of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, located in Springfield, Illinois, The museum design applies immersive storytelling design techniques to present the life of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, from childhood through his assassination. Presenting the human aspects of the U.S. President's life and accomplishments, including his triumphs and tragedies through the use of story telling techniques, was used as a means to educate, while also emotionally engaging visitors. The museum is divided into two primary sections. One section highlights the life of Abraham Lincoln from childhood through to the start of his presidency. The other section provides a series of exhibits highlighting his presidential years through the civil war, the abolition of slavery, and his untimely assassination. An animated short film, The Civil War in Four Minutes, highlights the changing battle lines and death toll of the civil war. The attraction, Ghost of the Library, provides a live presentation that incorporates holographic ghost imagery to describe the importance of the presidential library archival collection. Another feature of the museum is the special effects theater presentation, Lincoln's Eyes, which incorporates film, dimensional sets, and special in-theater atmospheric effects to convey the stories of Abraham Lincoln's life.
Louisiana's Old State Capitol
For the Old Louisiana State Capitol, BRC renovated the visitor experiences of the historic structure, including galleries and artifact displays associated with the history of the state of Louisiana. The following year, BRC designed and produced a special-effects theater performance, housed in an upper chamber of the old state capitol, which explores the history of the prominent Louisiana structure, through the guidance of the Ghost of Sara Morgan, which local legend states is to have haunted the structure following her death.
Corporate Brand Experiences
Volkswagen Transparent Factory
BRC Imagination Arts was commissioned to design and produce interactive exhibits and attractions for the German automotive manufacturing company, Volkswagen. The tour of Volkswagen's assembly and vehicle delivery center, named Gläserne Manufaktur (Transparent Factory), opened to visitors in 2002 in Dresden, Germany.
Ford Rouge Factory Tour
In 2004, Ford Motor Company reopened its historic Ford River Rouge Complex,in Dearborn, Michigan. In cooperation with The Henry Ford Museum, and as a part of a larger renovation of the industrial plant with a goal of modernization through sustainable architecture and manufacturing processes, BRC Imagination Arts designed and produced visitor galleries, theater shows, and interactive tours throughout the property and within the manufacturing plant.
As a part of the restoration of the Heineken's historic brewery in Amsterdam, BRC Imagination Arts was commissioned to refresh the brand's visitor tour. The new tour, the Heineken Experience, reopened to the public in 2008, providing visitors with a complete overhaul of visitor spaces, interactive experiences, and product interaction experiences.
Disney MGM Studios Theme Park
When Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park (originally known as the Disney MGM Studios Theme Park) first opened at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida in 1989, BRC Imagination Arts was commissioned to design and produce the Feature Animation pavilion of The Magic of Disney Animation. Originally, this attraction included four inter-connected experiences which explored the legacy of Disney animation. The tour began with the short film, Back to Neverland, hosted by comedian Robin Williams and Veteran newscaster, Walter Cronkite, who explore the animation process through Williams, after turning the comedian into an animated character. Additional experiences included a walking tour of Disney's actual animation studio, followed by a film in which Disney Animators describe the joy of their involvement with creating animation, and then a final film, entitled Classic Disney presenting key moments from the classic animated films of Disney.
Mystery Lodge - Knott's Berry Farm
BRC Imagination Arts was commissioned to produce an attraction for the Buena Park, California theme park, Knott's Berry Farm, similar to the attraction, Spirit Lodge, which BRC produced for General Motors for the Expo 86 World's Fair in Vancouver, British Columbia. The attraction for Knott's Berry Farm, Mystery Lodge, which opened in 1994, uses holography  illusions and special effects to tell the story of family values and traditions.
Universal Studios Japan
When it opened in 2001, Universal Studios Japan featured two projects designed and produced by BRC Imagination Arts. One, Motion Picture Magic presented by Oscar winning producer, Steven Spielberg, presented to park visitors a history and sampling of the legacy of Universal Studios motion pictures in a theater designed to transform from a single screen to three screens. The other attraction designed and produced by BRC, which remains a popular attraction in the park, is the live stage performance Animation Celebration, featuring a holographic version of the animated character, Woody Woodpecker.
BRC Imagination Arts holds two patents in theater entertainment technologies, which have been incorporated into a half a dozen special effects theater productions produced by the company. This technology, for the patent referred to as the “Holavision” Theater, is a special effect technique, which pairs live performances with “floating” aerial image illusions. BRC Imagination Art’s Holavision shows include Spirit Lodge at Expo 86, Mystery Lodge at Knott's Berry Farm, Animation Celebration at Universal Studios Japan, and Ghosts of the Library for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and the Lunar Dangers (A.L.E.X.) theater for the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois.
Awards and Recognition
BRC Imagination Arts has been the recipient of over 300 International awards for creative excellence. These have included 18 THEA awards (Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement), for such projects as Mystery Lodge at Knott's Berry Farm, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Shuttle Launch Experience, Heineken Experience, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. In 2007, BRC founder, Bob Rogers, was the recipient of the THEA Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2010 was inducted into the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Hall of Fame. Previous recipients of this honor included both Walt and Roy Disney. BRC has also received two Academy Award nominations for the short films, Ballet Robotique and Rainbow War
BRC Imagination Arts [us] BRC Imagination Arts [us ] at the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/company/co0130383/?ref_=fn_al_co_1
- Human Destiny (2012)
- The Ghost of the Castle (2010)
- Dream Big (2010)
- Overture (2010/II)
- Spirit of America (2010)
- The Garden (2010/I)
- NASA: Exploration Space - Explorers Wanted (2010)
- Heineken Experience: Born in Amsterdam (2008)
- Heineken Experience: Brew You (2008)
- Lincoln's Eyes (2005)
- Mystery Lodge (1994)
- Postcards (1993)
- World Song (1992)
- On Human Destiny (1992)
- To Be an Astronaut (1992)
- Flower Planet (1990)
- Back to Neverland (1989)
- Spirit Lodge (1986)
- Rainbow War (1985)
- The Car of Your Dreams (1984)
- Ballet Robotique (1982)
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