Park World October 2003

"Changzou Surprise"

There's something of a paradox about using some of the highest technology lighting equipment money can buy in a theme park dedicated to the prehistoric subject of dinosaurs. Yet that's exactly what German laser specialist LOBO Laser Multimedia Systems has done and the results are impressive. The company's Art Director reports on an exciting new laser show in China.

The project in question is a new multimedia theatre at the Dinosaur Park in the tourist city of Changzou, roughly an hour and a half from Shaghai. The park opened in April 1991 and features as its landmark three brontosaurs necks that dominate the horizon, reaching more than 70 metres into the sky linked by a UFO-styled restaurant in the centre.

This combined science museum and theme park features extensive halls exhibiting fossils found all over China, intermingled with more traditional amusements. One of the latest offerings is the multimedia theatre, which has been in preparation for over a year and half and opened at the start of the year. Inside a futuristic looking building, which reminds one almost of a fish lying on the ground. LOBO has used the latest laser and multimedia technology to depict (in a family-friendly way) a battle between the park's dinosaur mascot and some diabolical antagonists - half monsters, half-humans.

Seemingly floating in the room, projections are displayed on a 20 metre-wide highdensity water screen by means of laser projectors as well as a high power video projector. Lots of moving lights, water fountains, pyrotechnics and live performers add to the three-dimensional effect and offer a large variety of effects during the course of the show.

The 20 minute show fuses fantasy with Chinese mythology. The show's antagonists appear one minute as holograms on the water screen and the next as real characters fighting on the stage in front of the audience. In between these sequences there are short bursts of three-dimensional laser light effects and water fountains.

"For outsiders it is practically impossible to understand the aesthetics and the stylistic sense of the Asian culture:" explains LOBO's general manager, Lothar Bopp. ''The language and the totally different way of thinking just add to the problematic nature of the project but to avoid any problems we completely outsourced the video and music production to China."

The rest of the show, however, was pre-produced in LOBO's Aalan premised in southern Germany, but the project has certainly taught the company a little about German-Chinese cooperation!



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