“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” Thomas Edison
Media at its best has the ability to immerse us, interpret complex processes and make deep personal connections. The experiential media shown here present a range of ways innovative thinking has enabled our exhibitions to surprise, inspire, delight and move visitors of all ages.
Road to Revolution
Minute Man National Historical Park
The Minute Man Visitor Center is a key National Park Service (NPS) site interpreting the watershed battle of April 19, 1775 between Colonists and British Regulars. Working closely with NPS historians, we came to understand the critical roles played by geography and time over the course of the extended battle. To get at the nuances of this iconic event, we proposed a an “object-theater” multimedia show that would reveal the time and place of battle events as they unfolded. Above, Amos Doolittle, the show’s lead character, is seen projected in the doorway of the Hartwell Tavern. The movement of Colonists and British Regulars is shown with animated lighting built into the map overhead. The projection screen on the right depicts battle events. In this composite photo, all visual elements are “on,” but in the show, each element is carefully choreographed with the script.
The battle map with 300 tiny, embedded, individually-programmed LED’s, animates unfolding events in bright, pulsing dots of light. The map is often cited by visitors as the element that most added to their understanding of what transpired on this historic day.
The theater is designed to reflect the geography of the battle, with Boston depicted on the right, and the countryside where the battle began on the left. Special effects, surround sound and keyed lighting are programmed to move viewers’ attention around the theater throughout the show. The theater seats approximately 60 people, and the show runs for 25 minutes.
The stage set is comprised of the Hartwell Tavern (left) where Doolittle converses with unseen characters seated at the table. The set on the right side of the theater, into which the battle scenes are projected, features a stone wall lined with British rifles, ammunition and a drum.
In addition to developing “The Road to Revolution,” we designed an exhibition for the visitor center that tells the story of April 19, 1775 in abbreviated form. Like the multimedia show, the design approach features authentic, historic personalities as opposed to generic Minute Men or British Regulars.