Your Guide to The Walt Disney Studios StudioLAB
I’ve been in countless stage shows and musicals during my high school/college theatrical career. Once auditions were finished and the casting completed, the rehearsal processes would pick up quickly and intensely, and it wouldn’t be unusual to find yourself at the theatre until 11:00pm 6 days a week until the show opened. Of course the majority of the rehearsal process takes place at a designated rehearsal space with the cast, but non-theatre folks often don’t realize how much work goes into a show on the performers’ own time. My friends and I would do hours of research and brainstorming and even rehearse on our own just so we could bring something, anything new to the rehearsal room the following day, and work on it from there.
And that is where the magic happened. In the rehearsal room with the cast. Sure, the solo research helps immensely, but a show is a true collaboration, and without that time to develop ideas with my collaborators (the cast), I know my work on my characters would have paled. Productions and creative projects of any kind require collaboration, and the best and most fruitful of creative endeavors come with a space for the working minds to meet and brainstorm. Just this week, The Walt Disney Studios has announced a brand-new space where filmmakers will be able to meet up, and as of today, The Walt Disney Studios StudioLAB is officially in operation!
The Space and its Amenities
I know you’ve seen photos of the iconic former Walt Disney Animation Studios building in the world-famous Disney Studios lot in California, and a building with this much history couldn’t be a more fitting one for the next generation of Disney filmmakers! The StudioLAB space takes up a whopping 3,500 sq ft. area, and the sprawling-yet-intimate looking industrial themeing is the perfect storm of classic meets modern. The StudioLAB’s main purpose is to provide a space for filmmakers from Disney Animation, Live Action, Lucasfilm, and Marvel to meet and explore together the latest in technology, content, movie-making tools, and the newest devices available to help them stay ahead of the ever-expanding film industry curve.
Have you heard of Coco VR? In a nutshell, it is the first ever Pixar-themed VR experience to debut, and it is the first product out of the StudioLAB! Jamie Voris, Chief Technology Officer at Walt Disney Studios said “our vision for StudioLAB was to create a place where our amazing filmmakers and creative executives can engage in hands-on experimentation and exploration of next-generation technologies to push the art of storytelling forward in fresh, exciting ways”. Well, that statement couldn’t be any closer to the truth, as it was just announced that the space will feature cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality experiences for use by the filmmakers during their creative processes…how cool does that sound?
The Walt Disney Company is certainly responsible for some pretty incredible inventions and progressions since its conception, but as that one song goes “I get by with a little help from my friends”, and one thing Disney has never been known for is to deny a potentially fruitful partnership. Take their acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm properties as an example and you’ll understand what I mean; and that’s why there has been huge excitement surrounding the announcement of StudioLAB’s exclusive partnership announcements! Three brands (Accenture Interactive, Cisco, and HPE) have entered an exclusive partnership with Disney, and they have agreed to bring their newest technologies and tools to StudioLAB to benefit the filmmakers’ work.
In true partnership fashion, the brands will use the StudioLAB space to not only introduce their newest technologies, but to have top industry professionals use, troubleshoot, and ultimately help them improve upon them. Disney has all their bases covered by partnering with the spearhead brands of servers, networking, and design innovation and will undoubtedly use the tried and true methods their partners used to rise to the top while helping them continue their reigns through development and innovation. We can’t wait to see what ideas and technologies come from this super-sleek new space, do you have any predictions? Let us know in the comments!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer thrilled to be a part of your Disney vacation planning! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!