Fulldome Business Models

Report
Fulldome Business Models
How To Ensure Quality Content
Mike Murray, Programs Manager
Clark Planetarium
Salt Lake City, Utah
Production Methodology
The tools and procedures are different but it still comes down to
the creativity, expertise and talent of who’s using those tools.
What is “Production”?
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Doesn’t have to be pre-rendered video playback
Live or pre-recorded? Combination?
System-based?
Real-Time?
Scripted sequences?
Video clips?
CGI? Video capture? Still photography? Compositing? Mix?
Who is your team? (FT, PT, Contract? Interns, Students,
Volunteers). A good source: Look for talented digital artists in
college and technical schools (screen them).
Making the best of what you have.
Mid-Level Operation
What Constitutes a “Medium Operation”?
Can have quite a range, but one example:
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Director
Assistant Director/Producer
Technical Producer/Systems Administrator
Show Presenters
Purchased Shows
Fulldome Clips (Sequences)
Contracted Services
Original Production
Producer Workstations
Production and Editing Software
Modest Render Farm
Professional Development and Conferencing
Possible Outcomes for a Medium Operation
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Some in-house production capability (mostly real-time)
Live shows
1-2 purchased playback shows per year
One internal production per year, probably a combination of
real-time (live or recorded) and video clips.
Most staff present shows but also have well trained part-timers
Can host special events, guest lecturers, etc.
Can develop a network of support and collaboration
Director
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Would be a working manager
Show development and production
Budgeting
Strategic planning
Fundraising support
Community relations
Help with show presentation
Programming support
System renewal plan
Assistant Director/Producer
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Present shows and train presenters
Produce fulldome content and /or adapt sequences from other sources
Program the system for live real-time presentations
Participate in show research, writing and design
Assist with fulldome system maintenance
Technical Producer/Systems Administrator
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Maintain the technical systems in the theater
Build, upgrade and maintain production workstations
Develop and manage a modest render farm
Take care of storage servers
Manage the technical aspects of production
Show Presenters
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Well trained at performance but also knowledgeable
Can be teachers, students, astronomy enthusiasts, entertainers,
volunteers, etc
Regular, ongoing training by appropriate staff
Size of the group might range from 2-8 people
Show Leasing/Purchasing
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A method for bringing in quality shows from outside sources.
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Surveys show the average for this kind of operation is
1-2/year.
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Need a funding mechanism that allows you to pay for
valued content, not just settle for whatever is “affordable.”
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Know your audiences and meet their expectations.
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Make sure there is an adequate marketing and
advertising effort.
Fulldome “Clips” (Sequences)
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For use either as stand alone sequences for live
performances or incorporated into playback shows.
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Depending on budget, part or all of the show can be made
with clips. Production of a show from clips can be 10-20%
the cost of creating everything from scratch!
Contracted Services
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With limited in-house production capability, some outsourcing
and collaboration may be necessary (especially for video
playback shows).
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Might Include:
- Story development
- Scriptwriting
- Models/Assets
- Animation work
- Sound effects and surround sound mix
Scheduled Upgrade Plan
• Electronics have a limited shelf life!
• High end production workstations rotated every 3 years.
• Storage servers.
• Render nodes.
• Sound system.
• The Big One = Your Projection System! 4-7 years.
Production and Editing Software
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Just like equipment, software gets out-of-date and should be
updated on a planned schedule.
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Every 2-3 years is best.
Marketing, Advertising, Promotions and Public
Relations Budgets:
Almost Always Underestimated…
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“The Show” should be worthy of a major marketing initiative.
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Don’t underestimate the cost (or value!) of the ‘live’ component
in your Big Production. Include significant training and P.D.
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Marketing – Two main focus points: Local Audiences, Sister
Planetariums.
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Often overlooked (or an afterthought) – Donor Recognition,
Sponsorship Benefits. COSTS.
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Taking your show on the road is not cheap!
Professional Development and Conferencing
These are crucial for keeping your staff up-to-date on:
- The latest production and presentation techniques
- Trends in the industry
- Previewing new shows
- Collaborations
“Mid-Level” Cost?
Staff costs are pretty much fixed, but remember the
widely varied production approaches!
• Low End = $238k
• High End = $530k
“Small Level” Cost?
• Low End = $176k
• High End = $327k
“Large Level” Cost?
• Low End = $810k
• High End = $1,608k
What Constitutes a “Large Operation”?
Can have quite a range, but one example:
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Director
Assistant Director/Producer
Two to Five Modeler/Animator/Programmers
Technical Director/Systems Administrator
Audio Engineer
Show Presenters
Purchased Shows
Fulldome Clips (Sequences)
Contracted Services
Production Workstations and Software
Major Render Farm
Professional Development and Conferencing
What Constitutes a “Small Operation”?
One Example:
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Director/Coordinator (might be part-time)
Planetarium Assistants (shows, maintenance, everything)
Volunteers
Live-based programming
Some playback shows (maybe)
Fulldome Clips
Content sharing with other facilities
Professional Development and Conferencing
How do you pay for all this?
Through a variety of fund raising activities, including:
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Gate receipts
Sponsorship of programs or services
Local government support
Grants
Endowments
Special Events (Special Screenings, Guest Speakers,
Wine and Dinner, Fundraising Ball, Auctions…)
Membership and “Friends” programs
Show or Clip sales (if there is in-house production
capability)
Program Challenges
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Creating a distinctive experience – positioning yourself as unique.
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Who is your target audience? – Market Research (focus groups, test
audiences, polls and surveys) to determine how to best engage them.
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The importance of live interaction (the human element).
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Creating programming that resonates with your local audience.
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The need to “evolve” (renewal plan).
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Making the most of your available resources.
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Funding formulas for both producing and purchasing.
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Equal emphasis on the three major show components:
- Engaging story and script that doesn’t try to say too much
- Professional and emotive soundtrack
- Convincing visualizations
IPS 2018
“Open Spaces, Open Minds”
June 25-29, 2018
Clark Planetarium
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thank You!

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