If you think Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is your typical static museum experience, think again.
The over 16-year-old museum boasts incredibly life-like wax figures ranging from celebrities like Robin Williams to historic figures such as John F. Kennedy, but guests aren’t restricted to just looking at wax figures—they might even get ectoplasm spewed on them from a possessed ghost, if they upset it enough.
Thanks to Madame Tussaud’s highly technical, incredibly immersive interactive Ghostbusters Experience in its New York City location, guests not only get the chance to walk through a Ghostbusters film-inspired haunted exhibit, but can also try out being a Ghostbuster themselves in the exhibit’s Ghostbuster Dimension virtual reality experience.
Recently opening on July 1, about two weeks before the Ghostbusters movie premiere, Madame Tussaud’s Ghostbusters Experience is directly inspired by the film and is the first Ghostbusters exhibit of its kind.
From the start of the project, the museum aimed to implement an authentic, interactive and incredibly immersive exhibit.
“Ghostbusters was a great opportunity because it’s an industry production that has 30 years of equity associated with it. It was a pop culture sensation the moment the first movie launched and it was an incredible opportunity for us to partner with Sony to bring the Ghostbusters property to life here at Madame Tussaud’s New York,” says Eric Fluet, head of marketing and sales at Madame Tussaud’s New York.
The museum didn’t fall short on delivering a truly life-like experience to visitors of its Ghostbusters exhibit. Working closely with OpenEye Global, a customer experience design agency focused on creating memorable customer experiences through digital engagement, and Sony, Madame Tussaud’s aimed to create an authentic-to-the-movie, first-of-its-kind interactive exhibit.
Watch the video below to take a virtual tour of Madame Tussaud’s Ghosbusters Experience and hear from Eric Fluet about the technology that made it all possible.
“The first and foremost thing we wanted to do was create an authentic experience, so we worked directly with the filmmakers at Sony and with Ghost Corps, and then we brought in other companies to help us truly bring [the exhibit] to life, like OpenEye Global,” says Fluet.
OpenEye was employed to spec the visual equipment and provide the creative and animations for the exhibit, a challenging task when each part of the exhibit needed to look as much like the movie as possible.
To achieve the most authentic effects possible, OpenEye worked with Sony to film additional characters for the exhibit. Actors dressed in actual costumes from the movie and were filmed in front of green screens to recreate characters. These videos were then integrated into video applications in the exhibit, such as the moving pictures on the walls of the corridor and Gertrude’s motion-sensored portrait.
Perhaps the most impressive visual aspect of the exhibit is Slimer, a holographic 3D ghost who flies around and even interacts with guests.
“OpenEye provided Slimer and brought him to life working with Sony and partnered with another company, Interesting Audio Visual out of the UK, to do this Pepper’s Ghost technology,” says Fluet.
Pepper’s Ghost is a special effects technique for creating transparent ghostly images. It works by reflecting the image of a ghost off of a sheet of plexiglass. Using this effect and a Digital Projection E-Vision Laser 8500 projector and a Delta Nano Media Server, Slimer is brought to life right before guests’ eyes.