Tuesday, December 19, 2006

North Pole Workshop (a themed environment)

For a little while now I have been designing an idea for a small, indoor themed environment/experience of Santa’s Workshop. It’s basically like a very small theme park with attractions and other themed activities. Imagine taking an area of Disneyland (Frontier Land, Toontown, Fantasyland, etc.) and making it a small, separate theme park. I have a few sketches of the main entrance to the Workshop and I hope to draw more soon.

The entrance area will be outside as opposed to the rest of the Workshop which is indoors. Towering in front is a landmark formation of the North Pole. I wanted this pole to appear at first to be man (or elf) made but when you get close you get the impression that is a natural creation that appears to be growing up from the earth and bursting through the ice.

Just past the Pole is this small building that contains a “secret” entrance into Santa’s Workshop which is suggested to be hidden underground. I thought it would be fun to somehow make this building appear magically from the snow when the visitors approach it. This one room building is what I call a “Crowd Divider.” It breaks up the visitors into smaller groups for a more controlled and smoother entrance into the attraction. A good example of a Crowd Divider is the stretching elevator room in Disney’s Haunted Mansion. These kinds of rooms also help to set the tone in order to prepare the visitors for what they are about to experience, rather like an Overture for a theatrical production. This room contains every image possible of Christmas in our culture. For example the building itself is deigned to resemble a Christmas Tree.

In the center of this round room is this globe showing the complicated flight path of Santa. It is designed to look like it was carved out of wood.

Above this globe is this dome ceiling that wraps around the base of the tower’s vault. In this dome are suggested silhouettes of iconic structures from around the world.

A long pole that hangs from the center of the tower reaches down to a spot just above the globe. Attached at the base of the pole is the “North Pole” sign that points at the top of the globe. Also attached by a rod to the pole at the spot just below the dome is a small model of Santa’s sleigh. The sleigh rotates around in a circle (this is due to the pole that is slowly spinning) suggesting Santa’s flight around the world. I’m still in the midst of drawing the rest of the elements of this richly detailed room. Whatever I don’t finished designing this Christmas I will continue developing during every Christmas to come, as is my tradition.
There are much more exciting things to come!
Preview: This room will become completely animated and a whole sequence of events will occur around the audience leading to the secret entrance.

1 comment:

James said...

Have you checked out J.R.R. Tolkien's detailed illustrations of "Father Christmas" and his world in "The Father Christmas Letters"? He's about as systematic with them as he is with Middle Earth!