Friday, July 16, 2010

Making Seussian Dreams Come True

The easy part of making dreams come true is the dreaming. The hard part is understanding the truth and working with it. Among the many truths to building a theme park is the need for brick and mortar, nuts and bolts, to actually be fashioned into something unique and different. And it takes people to do that job.

Islands of Adventure, Seuss Landing had an overall construction contractor that hired a façade sub-contractor, which hired a sculpting sub-contractor, to make the dreams come true. Fortunately, I had a good working relationship with everyone. The façade sub knew that this project would be high-profile enough that it would get them more business, so long as it was successful. They knew that if they made me, the art director, happy it would be successful.

The construction day began at 7:00am. I would arrive in the field at about 9:00am. By that time things were really moving and questions had already come up. Some days, as soon as I arrived, a line would begin to form with workers and questions. I would do a quick triage to rank importance. Sometimes I could just stop by a particular building a little later. Sometimes I could give a quick answer to a known situation. Other times I had to go to a location immediately because work had stopped pending my input.

In any given day I answered hundreds of questions to keep the work moving. Most of my time was spent with the sculptors (or carvers) that shaped huge blocks of foam into wild Seussian creations.

Construction ended at 3:30pm and I would head back to the office to catch-up on paperwork and, when necessary, draw up solutions to the problems faced in the field. My day never ended before 7:00pm. When a drawing was required it was usually completed and delivered the next day.

Here is an example of just one such drawing and its final solution.

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