The World’s First 360 Degree Water Screen at Ocean Park, Hong Kong
Posted by Staff on Thursday, December 15th, 2011
No matter where you sit while watching Symbio, a nightly light and water show at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park, you are guaranteed a good view of the action. Unlike many other shows, you can see this one from any angle because the tale of two dragons is played out on a 360 degree screen: but not the type of screen we are used to watching movies on. Symbio is projected onto the world’s first 360 degree water screen, developed by LCI. Serving as a fountain show during the day, this unique system of water jets is transformed into an ethereal stage every night when a regular audience of 5000 people gathers to watch Symbio.
The show was created by Utopia Entertainment, a full service design and production company based in Southern California. Symbio tells the story of two dragons, Yin and Yang, engaged in battle until they decide to unite and combine their powers to create the world. The two dragons, one a fiery red and the other a cool ocean blue, tumble around the water screen while their actions are accented by fireworks and pyrotechnics along the perimeter of the lagoon, as well as a very dramatic soundtrack.
The misty screen itself is just as dynamic as the drama taking place on it. The precision water jets dance throughout the show, sometimes racing around the circumference of the screen and at other times jumping up to fantastic heights. In fact, the water screen itself is for the most part more impressive than the CG animation, which was also developed by LCI. High-power LEDs installed with the jets allow the water to change color quickly and seamlessly, and to take on a life of its own. This animated screen, which gives the projections an otherworldly appearance, is the perfect backdrop for a creation story.
Symbio opened in January of 2011, but development and testing of the screen by LCI was already underway a couple of years earlier. Rather than developing the content and the screen separately, substantial testing was done to understand how the projections would interact with the water screen, and from there the story was drawn up in collaboration with Utopia. The phantom-like imagery is created using five projectors situated within the circle of water jets. When projected on the inside of the water screen, the creatures look less like projections and more like spirits moving within the water itself. Just as the dragons learn to live in harmony, so Utopia has produced a show with a unique symbiosis between the story and the medium.