Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) created Wonderland, a world premiere exhibition celebrating on-screen representations of Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale, Alice in Wonderland. The spectacular experience took visitors on a journey of Alice’s adventures in the story with the aid of ground-breaking special effects and animation, thanks to the latest technology from Panasonic and creative expertise from several partners.
Made in Melbourne by the team at ACMI, the entirely original experiential exhibition charts the cultural, technological and societal shifts that have compelled artists, filmmakers and fans to return to these tales again and again since the birth of cinema.
Katrina Sedgwick, CEO and Director of ACMI, said:
“We wanted to bring to life the way that CGI is built layer upon layer, and decided the best way to do this would be to create a blank canvas of a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ and projection map an entire room – slowly building up images to create a unique experience.”
ACMI works with leading creative technology companies to design unique and innovative exhibitions, which combine the physical, audio-visual and sound experience. It is essential they work with partners who can deliver industry-leading technology – on scope, on time and on budget.
Panasonic is synonymous with reliability and innovation, which is why the company was engaged by ACMI to create tailored technology solutions which would complement Wonderland’s multi-channel video synchronised immersive experience. The exhibition illustrates ACMI’s ongoing fascination with new visual technologies and the role of the moving image to make the impossible seem possible.
The ‘Tea Party’ room was always going to be the standout for ACMI and its visitors, and Panasonic was tasked with providing solutions to enable the room to be fully projected and provide visitors with unexpected content and an unforgettable experience. Many visitors already knew the story of Alice in Wonderland, so it was crucial for ACMI to provide a visual phenomenon to create a ‘digital twist’ on this old classic.
Glen Willey, Senior Exhibition Technician, ACMI said:
“We used Panasonic because their equipment is so reliable and we know exactly what we’re getting when we get it out of the box. Even in the early design stages, they provided us with testing equipment that we hadn’t used before and it meant the whole process was seamless.”
The technology used within the Wonderland exhibition was critical for ACMI’s curator, Jess Bram, by allowing her to bring the classic story of Alice in Wonderland into the modern day and realising her vision with digital innovation and tailored solutions.
Jess Bram, Curator, ACMI said:
“From very early on, this exhibition was so ambitious in what we wanted to achieve down ‘the rabbit hole’. In many ways, the immersive and experiential part of the exhibition exceeded our expectations of what we thought we could do in a gallery experience. The visitor response has been exceptional and to be able to watch them being taken through the story, as we intended, has been really fulfilling.”
ACMI is the leading global museum of the moving image, and Wonderland is a wholly original exhibition which brings the museum’s extensive creative and curatorial expertise together with a leading team of Australian collaborators.
Having always positioned itself as the leading global museum of the moving image – while fostering participation among creative industries – Wonderland is now the benchmark for innovative and creative exhibitions at ACMI, and collaborations with sophisticated and talented partners is key to the organisation’s growth and evolution.
Tangible benefits and outcomes of working with Panasonic included:
• More than 170,000 visitors to the exhibition during its six-month stay
• A rise in social media mentions, shares and visitor content during Wonderland
• Queues running through ACMI on the last day of the exhibition
“You can take a piece of technology and place it in a different context, to give it an utterly new experience or tell a story in a new way. That’s what the filmmakers of Alice in Wonderland do and that’s certainly what we did with Panasonic and Grumpy Sailor.
People have been blown away by Wonderland. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It has been shared everywhere across social media and on the last day there was a queue running almost halfway through the exhibition. This has been a significant shift for us; it’s an evolution from what we have been doing before and it signals the new direction for this organisation.” – Katrina Sedgwick, CEO and Director, ACMI
“Working with Panasonic has been incredible and they have really helped us bring our ideas to life. They have offered every visitor the unique opportunity to sit at the ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Table’, and our fully-projected room has defied expectations for a museum.”
– Jess Bram, Curator, ACMI
Panasonic equipment used in ACMI’s Wonderland exhibition:
• TH-32EF1W (x6) – LCD flat panel display
• PT-VX610 (x1) – Portable projector
• TH-55LFE8W (x18) – HD LCD display
• TH-43SF2W (x2) – 24/7 professional signage display
• PT-RZ660BE (x8) – Laser projector
• ET-DLE030 (x8) – Ultra short throw lens attached to the above
• PT-RZ575E (x3) – Laser projector