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 LANNY SMOOT
The National Inventors Hall of Fame recently announced their Class of 2024 inductees, and among this group was Lanny Smoot. Lanny is the first Disney Imagineer to receive this national honor, and only the second person at The Walt Disney Company – Walt Disney himself posthumously received this honor in 2000 for the invention of the multi-plane camera.
At the announcement ceremony held at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Glendale campus, Lanny took the opportunity to show off one of his newest inventions – the HoloTile™. The HoloTile floor is the world’s first, and only multi-person, omni-directional, modular, expandable, treadmill floor, where any number of people can have a shared virtual reality experience, walk an unlimited distance in any direction, but never collide or walk off its surface. Besides the immediate VR and gaming applications and potential theme park uses, the HoloTile floor can be an insert in a theatrical stage, allowing performers to move and dance in new ways, or stage props and structures could move around or appear to set themselves up.
It’s going to be hard keeping up with TEA Master Lanny Smoot. To find out more, here’s a story on CNN.
KEEPING UP WITH TEA MASTER FRANK WEIGAND
KEEPING UP WITH TEA MASTER