Lionsgate Entertainment World is a theme park centred around Lionsgate’s blockbuster movie franchises. Home to state of the art, media-driven simulations and virtual reality attractions, it’s set to give visitors cinematic ride experiences as they dive into the worlds of some of the entertainment brand’s most popular movie properties. To bring these to life, experience design and production agency Thinkwell tasked Framestore with writing, directing, producing and delivering media for five themed rides and in-park environmental media that will engage visitors throughout their trip.
Since conception, the park’s aim has been to engage visitors with rides that take advantage of some of the most advanced attractions technology available, including motion simulators, dark ride systems and VR experiences. Framestore has acted as the central point of creativity and development for all of the media used in these rides at Lionsgate Entertainment World.
Of the five rides that Framestore is set to deliver media for, two take place inside the fantasy world of The Twilight Saga - one a dark ride, the other a VR attraction. The other three take advantage of some of Lionsgate’s other hugely popular and visually-impressive IPs; The Hunger Games will be featured in a motion simulator, The Divergent Series in a walk-through VR fear experience and Gods of Egypt in a VR roller coaster.
Complementing these, Framestore has also been responsible for creating media for Lionsgate Entertainment World’s large-scale architectural installations that will inject life throughout the park. The centre-piece of this is a series of high-resolution screens suspended in an incredibly impressive chandelier arrangement that spans three storeys. This will sit at the heart of Lionsgate Entertainment World and displays media designed by Framestore to reflect the aesthetics of the different IPs represented throughout the park.
Framestore was the perfect partner for Thinkwell on this project because not only does its immersive team have a genuine passion for innovative attractions but has a wide variety of experienced teams and departments which lets it operate as a multi-faceted service provider. It’s taking on numerous roles, from the development and production of the media to partnering with on-site teams to make sure everything is delivered to the highest-standard.
Initial briefs from Thinkwell ranged from really open ideas that Framestore’s Creative Directors could interpret themselves to more specific requests about what Lionsgate wanted to provide. Framestore’s Creative Director duo and ride enthusiasts Gavin and Jason Fox wrote treatments, narratives and scripts for the ride and environmental media that would excite and engage visitors to the park.
‘We’ve really loved getting under the skin of the properties that are being used throughout this exciting new park and as such have created some experiences that we think are really unique,’ said Jason Fox. ‘And because of Framestore’s excellent track record in guiding some of entertainment’s most-popular properties through films, TV and other ride experiences, the agency knew that it could put its trust in us to create something really special using these IPs from Lionsgate.’
Framestore then engaged several other teams both inside and outside the creative studio to bring the park’s cinematic experiences to life. Its art department produced the rides’ visual concepts and the team worked with The Third Floor to do the pre-visualization of the media. It was also responsible for the performance motion-capture, direction of the SFX, management of third-party VFX service providers and even talent casting for the rides. On top of this Framestore is also managing the rides’ audio production, commissioning original orchestral scores from some of the industry’s best composers.
It was Framestore’s CG artists that brought the final media to life and its real-time engineers and artists created the immersive adventures for the two real-time virtual reality experiences at the park. The production of the media for these two rides used the Unreal Engine and required complex game engine software development to integrate the platforms and the rides’ physical engineering. The media for the other rides is pre-rendered in high-frame rates to deliver the highest-quality visuals with some also being delivered in stereo to create the most immersive experience possible.
‘With a project of this size and scope, there are so many moving parts, so it’s imperative that communication between every single stakeholder is as good as it can be,’ said Lauren Anderson, Framestore’s Senior Immersive Producer on the project. ‘We’ve loved working with everyone on this project from Thinkwell and Lionsgate to each of the ride’s different technical and engineering partners who are located all over the world to deliver experiences that are not just technically impressive and cohesive, but for the visitors, completely flawless.’
Once production was complete, Framestore is also managing the installation and delivery of the final media and software in person. Its team onsite in China is working with the park’s numerous engineering and AV hardware vendors and dealing with the challenging timelines of a large-scale construction project.
‘When delivering this sort of project, it’s important that we have people onsite to do final audio mixes and colour grades so everything looks perfect in its real-world environment,’ commented Lauren Anderson. ‘This end to end delivery is something that everyone at Framestore has been passionate about because we all take a lot of pride in our work while it would have been easy to produce the media and leave it to someone else to finalise on site.’
Talking about the project, Sir William Sargent, Chief Executive Officer at Framestore said: ‘Entertainment brands have more opportunities than ever to maximise their IPs and the attractions at Lionsgate Entertainment World are a great example. Because of our extensive experience in the motion picture industry, Framestore was the perfect partner on this project and for Lionsgate and Thinkwell, as we worked together to turn these hugely popular film properties into location-based experiences that will engage and enthral visitors.’
Framestore wrote, directed, produced and delivered media for five themed rides at Lionsgate Entertainment World as well as in-park environmental media that will engage visitors throughout their trip.
A unique VR experience, this attraction lets visitors mount their own motorbike and race through the forest with none other than Jacob Black.
This dark ride tells the story of Twilight's protagonist Bella Swan using the latest in projection and VFX technology.
An innovative VR experience, this fear-based attraction sees if you have what it takes to become Divergent.
A 3D motion simulator, Mockingjay Flight lets riders join the rebellion as they try to escape The Capitol.
This VR roller coaster takes visitors on a high-speed journey through the fantastical world of Gods of Egypt.
Displayed on screens throughout the park, this media shows the IPs represented in the park including on a central three-storey, eight-screen structure.