One can be inspired by research as well as immersed in it for inspiration. Rhonda Counts, Show Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering Florida
How you do research is dependent upon where you are in the process. Disney’s Imagineers value the story’s intent and the importance of being surrounded with or immersed in the story’s environment.
With a nod to today’s “Talk Like a Pirate Day” celebrated annually on September 19, here’s an example of creative immersion from one of my projects:
As you can see, there’s a definite pirate’s theme going on in part of my office. It’s both from previous work and work in process. I’ve used the theme of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” storyline – both the attraction and the movies – to develop training resources and presentations in the area of Guest Experiences.
Specifically, I created a tool – the Guest Experience Compass. And how better to demonstrate it, than using Jack Sparrow’s compass? I also created the Guest Experience Code – and based it on the storyline of the Pirates Code. Of course, both of these tools had to be introduced and used by a pirate – the Navigator – in a fully immersive learning environment. The result?
As a result of my pirate “adventure,” I created a series of Guest Experience learning activities lasting from a half day to two days.
And it doesn’t stop with pirates.
There’s the fact that my office is, in fact, a Disney museum (a title given by my granddaughter).
It’s continually changing as I acquire new books and other “resources” that help my inspiration.
It’s no secret that I am a Disney fanatic of the first degree! I had an early start in the 60s, both from watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” and benefiting from my father, who as a Gulf gasoline dealer received many promotional tie-ins from Disney movies.
Anchored by a Disney library of over 450 books (and growing!), I am literally immersed in all things Disney. As I research and work on various projects – especially Guest Experiences – I find great inspiration through the many resources at hand. My immersion is not limited to the visual and tactile – at any given time, the soundtrack of a Disney movie, or the background music from one of Disney’s theme parks is playing in the background.
Here’s how Disney Imagineers recommend immersion into an environment:
Select a project that you want to immerse yourself in. Make a list of all the elements of the project and find samples (the larger the better) that represent these elements. Find a place in your surroundings to display the samples so you can immerse yourself in them.
For example, if you wanted to fix up a vintage car, surround yourself with large detailed pictures of its original interior and exterior, very large color samples for its seat cushions, dashboard, etc., and exterior paint job, pictures of various locations you would drive to, and of course, spray the space with new car scent.
Research leads to inspiration.
part of a series of ideas to help shape and tone your creative muscles
Inspired and adapted from The Imagineering Workout
written by The Disney Imagineers