National Geographic Encounter 'OCEAN ODYSSEY' to Open This Fall in Times Square
National Geographic Encounter utilizes groundbreaking digital technology to create a completely new kind of entertainment experience that enables visitors to explore the depths of the Pacific Ocean and get close to its greatest wonders and mightiest creatures. In the 60,000 square-foot venue, the use of innovative technologies such as video mapping, 8K photo real animation, mega projection screens, immersive sound and interactive "real-time" audience tracking will allow guests to virtually interact with sea lions, play with rays and dolphins, come face-to-face with humpback whales, Humboldt squids and great white sharks, all culminating in a 40-foot dome finale.
"With SPE Partners Co-Founders Alexander Svezia and William Pennell, both veterans of the entertainment industry, we developed a new way of combining immersive cinema with science and entertainment, using interactivity and photo-real animation," says Lisa Truitt, Chief Creative Officer and Partner of SPE. "It is exciting to be able to merge new innovations in technology with National Geographic's storytelling, using brand new custom-created content and an incredibly fun guest experience."
National Geographic Encounter is produced, developed, and managed by the creative minds of SPE Partners, under license from National Geographic. SPE Partners has engaged a world-class creative team that includes:
· Falcon's Creative Group, an award-winning attraction design firm responsible for creating immersive experiences worldwide, including IMG Worlds of Adventure, Heroes and Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Visitor Complex, and Dragon's Treasure at City of Dreams, Macau;
· Pixomondo, an Academy Award and Emmy-winning international visual effects company, who created the effects for Martin Scorsese's Hugo and the dragons in HBO's "Game of Thrones;"
· Mirada Studios, an award-winning multiplatform storytelling company whose credits include the IBM "Watson Center Experience" Installation, Google "Cardboard" Virtual Reality App and Experience, and the Nike "VJ" In-Store Installation;
· GRAMMY award-winning producer and composer David Kahne, who has produced records for Sir Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Sublime, and Kelly Clarkson and has scored films and ballets for notable directors including Alex Gibney and Twyla Tharp.
"National Geographic Encounter applies cutting-edge technology to our legacy of transformative storytelling," said Rosa Zeegers, EVP, Consumer Products & Experiences, National Geographic Partners. "Fueled by the excellence of our photographers and explorers, and the extraordinary array of talent assembled behind the creation of this experience, we know we will inspire and entertain our guests surrounded by the wonder of our Oceans. This experience exemplifies our commitment to entertainment with a purpose."
Blending entertainment with science, National Geographic Encounter is also working with marine biologist, professor and National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Gruber, Chief Science Advisor to the experience and who specializes in bioluminescent and biofluorescent marine animals. Based in Brooklyn, Gruber has conducted research at City University of New York and the American Museum of Natural History and has traveled to the western province of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific and beyond, discovering new biofluorescent creatures along the way.
"National Geographic Encounter brings the ocean and its wondrous inhabitants to Times Square for the first time and in unprecedented ways," said Gruber. "The experience harvests the current human understanding of our oceans and its multitude of sea life - and packs the information together into an extraordinary virtual experience. Not many of us get to visit the fragile underwater world that flourishes in remote parts of our planet, such as the Solomon Islands. National Geographic Encounter not only takes you there but allows you to see the most spectacular marine life on earth, brought to life in all its glory and scientific accuracy."
After guests go on their journey through the Pacific, which culminates in a spectacular underwater finale, they "resurface" from under the ocean and enter the second portion of the experience where they can further engage, share, and have fun as they learn more about what they just encountered. This area features a broad array of interactive technology, including holograms, touch-screens, photo moments and more, and also highlights important themes around ocean conservation and scientific research.
National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is a timed ticketed walk-through experience that lasts approximately 90 minutes, with an innovative tech forward retail experience.
In addition, a separate state-of-the-art private event space will feature multiple rooms and the ability to accommodate events of all sizes-from upscale galas to intimate parties. The entire venue can also be rented accommodating up to 1,000 people. All events will be managed by The Shubert Organization.
Tickets will go on sale on July 11 for reserved timed-entrance slots. Ticket prices are $39.50 plus tax for adults, $36.50 plus tax for seniors 65+ and $32.50 plus tax for kids ages 6 to 12. Groups of 10 or more will receive 15% off. Special educator rates will be available for local area school groups during select times.
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers ... and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
SPE Partners, LLC, is a New York City-based entertainment developer, founded by entertainment executives Alexander Svezia and William Pennell, with the vision of transforming the cinematic experience. The company is run by managing partners Svezia, Pennell, Christine Kurtz, a 25-year executive in New York commercial real-estate, and Chief Creative Officer Lisa Truitt, a 29-year veteran of National Geographic film, television, and specialty cinema. SPE aims to expand and revolutionize entertainment and storytelling, while delivering world-class guest experiences. SPE Partners is launching its portfolio of entertainment properties with National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey.