The director behind Disney's Soarin' Over California is back with a new production - this one flying beyond the borders of the Golden State.
"The Real Wild West" debuts today at the new FlyOver in Las Vegas, located next to the Hard Rock Cafe on Las Vegas Boulevard, across from Park MGM. The production features aerial views not just from California but also Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.
"The attractions that we develop are focused principally on live action. We're not synthetically trying to create locations," said Creative Director Rick Rothschild, who wrote and directed the original Soarin' film that debuted at Disney California Adventure in 2001. "It's then really what are the gifts that Mother Nature has provided?"
To capture Mother Nature's gifts across the wild west of the United States, FlyOver crew used an 8K Red Monstro camera with a spherical lens, capturing 60 frames per second. Of course, the highest definition camera can capture only what's in front of it.
"I can't say enough about the finding the right pilots," Rothschild said. "This show had multiple pilots because of the broad areas and different times of year we were shooting, and finding the talent that can be precision, and not precision in a mechanical way, but truly understand how to have the artistry as well as the technical talent to fly their helicopter like a bird - all of the pilots that [we] got should be commended for helping us get the shots that are in the movie."
"The premise that we started with - and that I started all the way back with Soarin' - is the true belief that I wasn't the only one in the world who loved to fly," Rothschild said. "Peter Pan was my favorite childhood story; I guess there's a reason why. That idea of being free to see the world in unique ways drives this concept, and has driven this concept, from the beginning."
But it's not just about flying over well-known landmarks. Rothschild and director Dave Mossop aimed to tell a story about the diversity of American west.
"The diversity of cultures, the diversity of personalities, the diversity of spirit that lives here in the west is really what we found interesting, and chose to focus on, because we felt that the spirit of the land obviously influences and becomes a part of the cultures that live here," Rothschild said. "The spirit of the people as it evolves living here with all of the conditions and environments Mother Nature has created, creates a rather diverse story."
To amplify that story, Rothschild turned to composer Tom Holkenborg, who scored Deadpool, Zack Snyder's Justice League, and - relevant for a Vegas production - remixed the Elvis hit "A Little Less Conversation."
"The visual experience and the aural experience in combination are an emotional poem that requires no words," Rothschild said. "The whole aural composition - the aural environment that you're in - is immersing you in the emotion that the visuals are conveying."
A multimedia preshow from Moment Factory leads visitors into one of two show theaters, outfitted with 52.5-foot spherical screens from Kraftwerk, multiple laser projectors, and a ride system from Brogent Technologies. Here is the trailer for "The Real Wild West," courtesy FlyOver developer Pursuit.
Tickets for FlyOver in Las Vegas start at $34 for adults. A double feature that also includes FlyOver's Iceland film is $54, and a "Double Ride and Drink" package costs $59. Tickets are available via the FlyOver website.
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