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RE: University Resources

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  • Ed Lantz
    ... If you can pull this off, Ryan, it would be a great model for future university/college/municipal facilities. We all know that it can be difficult to
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1, 2001
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      Ryan Wyatt writes:

      > ...We plan to integrate much of our production with existing resources
      > in the university system, at least as an experiment. With the
      > University of New Mexico's Center for High-Performance Computing and
      > active animation programs, a lot of talent currently hard at work in
      > our fair city has expressed an interest in working with us -- which means
      > an additional burden on staff here to mediate inclusion of this material
      > and to manage its creation, but we hope with exciting and valuable results.
      > Plus, it helps fulfill our obligations as part of the university,
      > insofar as we should provide learning experiences to the university's
      > student body...

      If you can pull this off, Ryan, it would be a great model for future
      university/college/municipal facilities. We all know that it can be
      difficult to justify an expensive theater dedicated only to astronomy. When
      it becomes a greater resource to the community this task is easier.

      A few years ago we worked with Carnegie Mellon's SIMLAB on a project. We
      found that universities do not have much respect for schedules, nor do they
      have the motivation to finish projects to the degree of completion required
      of a public venue theater. When the school term is over your key talent
      will dissolve. Academia is a different world entirely.

      > We will then complement the outside talent with an in-house animator,
      > but since we recently lost our producer/animator, this position
      > is currently in flux (i.e.,. not filled).

      IMHO, without in-house animation expertise to assign the University tasks,
      manage them, fix their mistakes, etc., you will be in big trouble. You will
      most likely get some excellent work out of the university, but the chance of
      them delivering to you a completed show -- on schedule, fully polished and
      ready for the public -- is slim.

      I wish you the best of luck,

      Ed

      *******************************************************

      Ed Lantz
      Product Development Manager
      Spitz, Inc.
      U.S. Route #1
      Chadds Ford, PA 19317
      tel: (610) 459-5200 x27
      fax: (610) 459-3830
      email: elantz@...
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    • kerry
      The Earth Theater at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a 5 screen panoramic SkyVison theater. I am the sole full time employee with just a little help
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2001
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        The Earth Theater at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a 5 screen
        panoramic SkyVison theater. I am the sole full time employee with just a little
        help in show presentation. I need to avoid purely astronomical topics and don't
        have a star projector. My first show picked out a few natural history
        milestones (dinosaurs, ice ages etc) and my second was produced partly by
        SybilMedia and is about natural disasters. I can not draw on the collection of
        shows planetariums have produced, and HAVE to find outside/community help with
        production.

        I have had excellent luck with students earning their Geographic Information
        Systems (GIS) certificates in the Geology department at the University of
        Pittsburgh. The students have created flyovers of parts of the world I choose
        that slip into my children's geography program (think live 4th grade star show
        but about geography instead of astronomy). Two "projects" are in use now and I
        expect a third in two weeks and another by May. The students know going into
        it, that I need to be able to include it in my public shows for them to earn
        their expected grade. The professors support me completely on this. This
        requires that the projects fit in the program around them, be of excellent
        quality and be on time. The first is about 3 minutes, the second is 2 minutes
        and the next will be closer to 4. Of a 20 minute program that's not peanuts.

        Its a two way street. I get real production that I can use. The students learn
        another software package as well as gain experience in public communication as
        well as the data set manipulation required for their degree. Last spring's
        student had two companies in a bidding war to hire him, and in both interviews
        they were especially interested in the work he did for the theater.

        Come to MAPS in Pittsburgh this spring and see the results of my collaboration
        with Carnegie Mellon.

        -kerry

        Kerry Handron
        Earth Theater Director
        Carnegie Museum of Natural History
        (412)578-2580
        HandronK@...
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