Full Dome Methodology

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 all 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 with what you have.
Basic (Medium 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
Show Leasing
Fulldome Clips (Sequences)
Contracted Services
System Renewal Plan
Production and Editing Software
Professional Development and Conferencing
Possible Outcomes for “Medium Operation”
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Some in-house production capability (mostly real-time)
Live interactive shows
1-3 purchased playback shows per year
One internal production per year, provided it’s a combination
of real-time (live or recorded) and clips.
Technical Producer/Systems Administrator
All staff present shows but also have well trained part-timers
Can put on special events, guest lecturers
Can develop a network of support and collaboration
Director
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Would be a working manager
Budgeting
Show development and production
Strategic planning
Fundraising support
Community relations
Help with show presentation
Programming support
Assistant Director/Producer
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Present shows and train show presenters
Produce fulldome content and /or adapt sequences from other sources
Programming 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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Maintains all the technical systems in the theater
Can construct and/or maintain production workstations
Maintain a modest render farm
Takes care of storage servers
Assist in the technical aspects of production
Show Presenters
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Well trained at performance but also knowledgeable
Can be students, astronomy enthusiasts, entertainers, volunteers, etc
Regular, ongoing training by Director and Producer
Size of the group can range from 2-8 people
Show Leasing
• A method for bringing in quality shows from outside sources
• Surveys show the average for this kind of operation is 1-2/year
• Need a funding mechanism that allows you to pay for valued
content, not settle for what’s “affordable”
• Know your audiences and meet their expectations
• Make sure there is an adequate marketing and advertising effort
Fulldome“Clips” (Sequences)
• For use either as stand alone sequences for live performances or
incorporated into playback shows.
• Depending on the budget, part or all of the show can be made
with clips.
• Writing and sound can be done in-house or contracted.
Contracted Services
• Even with limited in-house production capability, some
outsourcing and collaboration may be necessary (especially for
video playback shows).
• Elements might include:
- Story development
- Scriptwriting
- Models/Assets
- Animation work
- Sound effects and surround sound mix
System 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! 4-6 years.
Production and Editing Software
• Just like equipment, software gets out-of-date and should be
updated on a planned schedule.
• Every 2-3 years.
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
“Medium Level” Cost?
• Staff costs are pretty much fixed, but…
• Remember the widely varied production approaches!
• Low End = $238k
• High End = $530k
“Small Level” Cost?
• Staff costs are pretty much fixed, but…
• Remember the widely varied production approaches!
• Low End = $176k
• High End = $327k
“Large Level” Cost?
• Staff costs are pretty much fixed, but…
• Remember the widely varied production approaches!
• 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 Producer/Systems Administrator
Audio Engineer
Show Presenters
Show Leasing
Fulldome Clips (Sequences)
Contracted Services
System Renewal Plan
Production and Editing Software
Professional Development and Conferencing
What Constitutes a “Small Operation”?
Can have quite a range, but one example:
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Director/Coordinator
Assistant Coordinator (might be part-time)
Planetarium Assistants (shows, maintenance, everything)
Show Leasing
Fulldome Clips (Sequences)
Collaborative Efforts with other similar facilities
System Renewal Plan
Production and Editing Software
Professional Development and Conferencing
How do you pay for all this?
Through a variety of fund raising activities, including:
• Gate receipts
• Sponsorship of programs, exhibits, or services
• Local government support
• Grants
• Endowments
• Special Events (Special Screenings, Guest Speakers, Wine and
Dinner, Fundraising Ball, Auctions…)
• Membership and “Friends” programs
• Show sales (if there is an in-house production capability)
Program Challenges
• Creating a distinctive experience – positioning yourself as unique
• Who is your target audience? – Market Research (focus groups, test audiences,
polls and surveys) to determine how to best engage them.
• The importance of live interaction (the human element).
• Creating programming that resonates with your local audience.
• The need to occasionally “reinvent yourself” (renewal plan).
• Making the most of your available resources.
• Funding formulas for both producing and purchasing.
• 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
Thank You!
… and now a few
thoughts from
Ian McLennan
Marketing, Advertising,
Promotions and
Public Relations
Budgets - almost always
Underestimated…
Important to first ensure
that the product
“THE SHOW”
is worthy of a
major marketing
initiative
In particular…
Don’t underestimate the
cost (or value!) of the
‘live’ component in your
Big Production.
Include significant
training, and P.D.
Marketing - TWO main
focus points:
• Local audience(s)
• Sister planetariums
Often overlooked
(or an afterthought):
• Donor recognition
• Sponsorship benefits
COSTS!
Taking your
show on the
road…
is not cheap!
Did you see Dan’s list of
Fulldome festivals? Plus,
of course, all those
planetarium and science
centre meetings and
conferences?
Not for the faint of heart!
But neither is the act of
leaping into show
production in the first
place.
Good luck!
Break a leg.

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