ORLANDO, Fla., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- John Landis, director of some of the most popular modern American films of all time, is serving as creative consultant for an ambitious movie-themed nighttime entertainment show at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando.
The show is called Universal 360 - A Cinesphere Spectacular and premieres July 1. Its creators set out to blend high-tech special effects with some of the most memorable moments in film history.
Universal 360 is a first-ever combination of more than 100 great movies, 360-degree spherical projection, lasers, pyro effects, digital mapping technology -- and four enormous spheres spread across acres of waterfront at Universal Studios Florida. The spheres, which are 30-feet tall and 36-feet wide, float in the park's central lagoon and serve as giant outdoor projection screens. Digital mapping technology allows Universal to project supplemental images and effects on buildings surrounding the lagoon -- transforming entire buildings into walls of flame. The show also features a specially developed soundtrack broadcast through more than 300 outdoor speakers.
"We set out to create a new form of entertainment, an entirely new way to view and appreciate film," said Jim Timon, senior vice president of entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort. "We are creating a nightly mega- event that will sweep tens of thousands of people at a time into the emotion and drama behind some of America's most popular movie moments."
At the center of the new show are more than 100 films -- from black-and- white classics to newer releases. Editors have selected comedies, dramas, thrillers, horror films and more. And they have combined them into the 15-minute collage that will serve as the centerpiece of the show.
Helping to guide the editing process is Landis, who has directed such popular films as "National Lampoon's Animal House," "The Blues Brothers," "Trading Places," "Coming to America" and "American Werewolf in London."
"We're attempting to take the magic of movies and use new technology to create a spectacular experience that goes beyond just seeing a movie," said Landis. "We want to create something that interacts with you and that happens around you."
Landis said the challenge has been to combine scenes from films across the entire range of the art form in such a way as to tell a story and to evoke emotion in the thousands of people who will be watching the new show at any given time.
"I like spectacles -- especially mass spectacles," Landis said. "When they are done well -- whether it's a circus or a political rally or a theme park show -- they can be an amazing communal experience. It's not so easy to create something that touches people emotionally. But we're using the power of many movies and we're editing them together and combining them with great special effects to create what we believe will be a series of very powerful moments."
The Universal Orlando Resort destination ( http://www.universalorlando.com/ ) includes two dramatically distinct and adjacent theme parks, the Universal Studios motion picture and television theme park and Islands of Adventure, Orlando's most thrilling and exhilarating theme park. Universal Orlando also includes CityWalk, a 30-acre dining, shopping, club and live-entertainment venue as well as premier on-site Loews hotels and world-class film and television production facilities.
NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No.1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.
Source: Universal Orlando