TEA Premier Partner and Thea Awards Producer RWS Global Launches as One Powerhouse Team
Global entertainment leader, TEA Premier Partner and 2023 & 2024 Thea Awards producer RWS Entertainment Group announced today it is relaunching as RWS Global, comprised of its subsidiaries RWS, ted, JRA and ARC. Celebrating 120 years of combined experience, this unifying brand reflects the breadth of the company’s capacity to deliver best-of-the-best talent, visionary creative and decades of know-how as the go-to partner for making every live experience exceptional. The collective creativity and in-house expertise will drive elevated client and guest experiences around the world for parks and resorts, cruise lines, destinations and global brands.
“We are beyond excited to marry the superior talents and capabilities of RWS, ted, JRA and ARC under the umbrella of RWS Global,” said Ryan Stana, Founder & CEO of RWS Global. “This new creative synergy and talent pool will shatter expectations of what live experiences could and should be, reinvigorating in-person moments for both guests and brands. Four companies have become one team with endless possibilities that reach over 50 countries in six continents, creating millions of smiles each day.”
As the ‘one stop — and then some — shop,’ RWS Global delivers unmatched capabilities from ideation to operation, resulting in enhanced client experiences, improved visitor satisfaction and more unique surprise-and-delight moments for guests. The RWS Global team, consisting of the Creative, Administration, Talent Casting & Recruitment and Marketing & Business Development departments, will support all four subsidiaries, creating structural efficiencies and ensuring a consistent level of excellence across the brands.
RWS: Headquartered in New York City, RWS is the go-to partner for some of the largest parks, resorts, cruise lines, destinations and brands in the world. RWS offers everything needed to develop ideas, bring them to life and run them flawlessly. Services include concept and design, show production, seasonal experiences, talent recruitment, costume design and build, leased experiences and guest acts.
ted: London-based ted is the European leader in live moments, delivering 360-degree experience design and implementation for iconic parks and resorts, cruise lines, destinations and brands. ted’s capabilities include AV and technical, custom character development, music and media, fitness and wellbeing and retail and merchandising. With operations in 50 countries, decades of collective expertise and a top-tier team of creators, ted delivers exceptional experiences around the world.
JRA: As creators of extraordinary destinations, JRA, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, develops attractions that transport guests out of their daily lives. An immersive exhibit, a thrilling adventure, a storytelling world—anything one can dream up, JRA team members can design and build. Services include master planning, writing and content development, experience planning and design, executive media production, graphic design, art direction and project management and fabrication.
ARC: Connecting directors and producers to a deep, diverse talent pool for theatrical and commercial projects, ARC is casting for the 21st century. ARC goes beyond known names to discover fresh talent with a commitment to fostering an inclusive casting environment. ARC repeatedly delivers on the biggest ambitions with its unrelenting enthusiasm and exacting artistic standards. Services include casting for national, international, touring and Broadway theatrical productions, as well as television, film and commercials.
“Each company under the RWS Global umbrella will turn big and small moments into powerful memories by leveraging their individual expertise,” said Craig Laurie, Chief Creative Officer of RWS Global. “We are committed to raising the bar by elevating experiences from concept to completion as one powerhouse team.”
Building off its successful production of the 2023 Thea Awards Gala, RWS Global looks forward to leveraging the capabilities of its powerhouse team to create “endless possibilities” for the 2024 celebration at its new location at Loews Hollywood. “We were honored to produce the 2023 Gala, and it was a pleasure working with TEA Executive Director Lindsey Nelson, as well as the organization’s staff, board, volunteers and contractors, to raise the experience of the events’ distinguished award recipients and guests,” said Rebecca Holmes, Director of Technical Operations for RWS and the show’s Producer/Director. “We can’t wait to start planning TEA’s 30th Thea Awards Gala in its brand-new space and with the knowledge we gained from 2023.”
The 30th Thea Awards Gala will take place Saturday, March 16, 2024 at the Loews Hollywood. For more information, including how to submit a project, click here. For more information on RWS Global, visit rwsglobal.com.
JRA, part of RWS Global is exhibiting at IAAPA Expo Asia June 14-16 in Singapore (Booth L831). To make an appointment, please contact Shawn McCoy, SVP at JRA, at email@example.com
Written by Chad Kunimoto, Global Business Development Manager for Themed Entertainment & Immersive Experience at Panasonic Connect
Discover how location-based entertainment trends shape projector design as we explore the importance of customer-centricity and co-creative partnerships in developing user-refined products.
Most of us have experienced disappointment when a much-anticipated product fails to live up to the hype. Often, this happens when users are forced to adapt to devices that prioritize a single benefit over their real-world needs and preferences.
Consider the case of touchscreen controls in cars. Though drivers prefer physical buttons, many car-makers continue to equip their vehicles with touchscreens. A similar scenario unfolds in the battle between vinyl records and CDs—while digital audio is often hailed as superior, the resurgence of vinyl sales challenges that notion. Even the concept of the Metaverse, with its exciting possibilities, faces criticism from those who claim that in a business context, at least, it’s a solution in search of a problem.
In these cases, there is a gap between what the product designer thinks the users want from an experience and what they actually need. So, how can we avoid this situation?
A user-centric approach to product design
When it comes to designing projectors to support immersive media-based experiences, the key is for manufacturers to cultivate a co-creative and collaborative relationship with stakeholders in order to gain a better understanding of the problems they face. This allows them to design products that solve them and enhance the profitability of our customer’s business.
In the realm of location-based entertainment attraction design, it can be difficult to discern which trends are worth investing in and which will be short-lived novelties, so it is important to understand the customer’s ultimate ambition with regard to the kind of entertainment experience they want to provide.
By joining forces with our clients at their site or our XR Lab, we create a diverse knowledge pool that enriches each project phase, leading to better-designed products. An illustration of this approach is our REQ12 Series 1-Chip DLP projector. Let’s look at how this model was developed and how it aligns with the evolving trends in LBE.
Meeting demand for immersive experiences
The demand for immersive experiences continues to surge, with guests expecting ever-higher levels of visual realism in media-based attractions. Particularly in immersive 360° spaces where images completely envelop the viewers, maintaining the illusion poses significant challenges for engineers. To address this, our engineers work alongside customers to identify challenges and develop solutions that enhance image realism and create a captivating experience.
When guests venture close to the screen to scrutinize fine details like brushstrokes, it’s not only high image resolution that is important. It’s also crucial to ensure focus uniformity. When introducing new lenses for the REQ12 Series, we incorporated powered periphery focus adjustment. This means achieving uniform focus from the image center to the edges is easily accomplished via remote control, resulting in a realistic viewing experience even up close.
Furthermore, we’ve made strides in enhancing contrast. Our customers wanted to avoid the issue of dimming during high-contrast scenes, prompting us to develop new scene analysis circuitry that enables better detection of the nuances between dark and light shades in each video frame and ensures optimal contrast throughout.
Increasing fidelity with the source content
A projector’s ability to accurately reproduce red is paramount, particularly for artwork. Until recently, accurate red has been the domain of 3-Chip DLP products. To replicate their high performance in a smaller platform, we developed Rich Color Enhancer. This technology expands the red-channel output to deliver more accurate red tones.
Additionally, we noticed that customers struggled to fix color banding issues, which often surface only when content is projected. Gradation Smoother, introduced for the first time on a 1-Chip DLP projector, addresses this issue. It smooths away color banding in gradients at the touch of a button, ensuring a seamless visual experience.
Edge blends are another important aspect, especially when projecting at 4K on curved screens. Imperfections in blending become more noticeable in such scenarios. To counter this, we evolved our black-level adjustment technology to include point-based adjustment. This allows the black borders to match screen curvature and black levels to be set inside the blends with a high degree of precision. The result? Flawless and imperceptible edge blends that merge images seamlessly.
Responding to the latest trends
The growing trend of gamification also influenced the REQ12 Series design. We recognize the strong demand for interactive and personalized experiences that enable guests to connect with the story and each other.
To achieve this, it’s important that projectors integrate with peripheral equipment to enhance the quality of AR/XR applications, making them repeatable and shareable. With the ability to display 2K/240 Hz video without motion blur or image artifacts, the REQ12 Series can smoothly reproduce the fast-paced action of XR gameplay or eSport tournament events. Moreover, its 2K/240 Hz capability syncs with our Real-Time Tracking Projection-Mapping SDK, allowing for the limitless fusion of digital and analog elements within XR attractions. This system enables the creation of immersive and social gameplay experiences without the need for VR headgear.
Inspiring confidence in the long term
Reliability is a paramount consideration. Business operators shouldn’t have to worry about potential failures impacting the guest experience or the headaches associated with filter changes, lamp replacements, and regular image calibration. To ensure a sustainable experience, REQ12 Series includes an optical compliant with IP5X Dust Protected standard, ensuring optimal performance even in dusty environments.
Additionally, it features an Intel SDM slot that adapts to system infrastructure with various connections and AVoIP standards available through optional function boards, thereby allowing the attraction to run on a common protocol. This integration enhances system reliability and efficiency, streamlining automation processes.
Look beyond the product’s design
Projectors play a vital role in creating compelling media-based attractions. However, a collaboration between the technology partner and the customer will ultimately bring your vision to life. When evaluating different projector brands, we encourage you to look beyond the device’s design and consider the comprehensive range of services and expertise that support it.
Chad Kunimoto is the Global Business Development Manager for Themed Entertainment and Immersive Experiences at Panasonic Connect. If you’re interested in learning more about the services and technologies that underpin a partnership with Panasonic Connect, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KEEPING UP WITH THE MASTERS!
The TEA Masters of Their Craft program recognizes the achievements of individuals — the artists, writers, producers, engineers and craftspeople with distinguished careers who’ve made significant and enduring contributions to the industry through their expertise, innovation, leadership, and mentorship.
The TEA Masters program recognizes a small number of individuals each year, whose skills epitomize the highest standards within their disciplines and who have used those skills to advance their field and the themed entertainment industry. Each TEA Master has built a body of work over decades that demonstrates consistent quality and execution. Often unknown except among their peers and collaborators, TEA Masters help create visceral stories, rides, attractions, events, and places that thrill, delight, and educate guests worldwide.
Although the TEA Masters, by definition, are well along in their careers and some have even retired, many Masters are actively creating new marvels around the world. Others are pursuing personal creative and education projects. And all of the Masters remain passionate about sharing their well-honed skills and career lessons with those interested in entering the industry or wanting to learn more about its various aspects.
We want to tell those stories.
This column contains news of the ongoing activities, achievements and adventures of the TEA Masters around the world. These are the stories of real people who, like all of us, have personal stories to tell: an honor outside of their specialty, an art gallery or technology showcase, enjoying new places and experiences with family and friends or taking a well-deserved retirement trip.
This is Keeping up with the Masters!
KEEPING UP WITH TEA MASTER