I did this pitch for Steve Alcorn’s Imagineering class as a warm up. I enjoyed the class and the people in the forums are coming up with some neat stuff.
OK, this is my blue sky idea:
It’s a public open house at S.T.A.R. Labs (Scientific and Technological Advanced Research), the cream of the crop of future research in the DC Comics universe. You’re part of groups touring the facility.
Pre-show stuff while in line would be themed showing recent research at STAR Labs in advanced computing, theoretical physics, robotics and other sciencey tech stuff. It’d be nice to even put in some repeating video on *actual* cutting edge science to watch in line.
Doctor Ivo appears on the video screens in line at you approach the loading area, informing you he’ll be demonstrating some of his amazing robotics research in one of the main labs and you’ll be able to see it from the viewing areas in your state of the art touring vehicle (which will be a motion base vehicle a la Indy and Spider-Man).
In the background of the video, there’ll be some sort of commotion, and warning lights starting to turn on as something is happening. The video will cut off a little unexpectedly and oddly.
You’ll board in groups, don your “safety glasses” (3D glasses) and be off on a tour.
Things quickly go wrong as you’ll have to be rerouted “as a precaution” you’re told over the in-vehicle audio system, and you head into a darker, warning light filled area, as you hear strange metallic and electrical sounds. Computer and equipment panels fill the walls around the vehicle. As Ivo is about to tell you about cancelling your tour, and sending you back to the entrance, static interrupts him and a metallic voice comes over the speakers.
“THIS IS BRAINIAC. THIS BUILDING AND ITS TECHNOLOGY WILL BE ASSIMILATED.”
And the wall in front of the vehicle collapses (as a practical effect) as the roof is torn off from above (as a practical “hole” and stereo 3D beyond), exposing Brainiac’s spaceship and robot henchmen descending into the building. The vehicle could tilt up to help point the viewer the correct way by appearing to slighting drive *onto* the debris. The panels and displays on the walls start to change color and visually as Brainiac “takes over” parts of the building, which can add to the idea that they are being chased in some way as they move from place to place.
The car will have to swerve around a few robots breaking through the wall, and then will entire a large show room of Ivo’s robotics lab filled with robots under construction, but with the roof torn off. Theoretically, we’d be able to use this show room 2-3 times, each time only showing a ride vehicle going through their 1/3 of the part of the story, while still feeling like a big room.
The first trip in would see the robots trying to take over stuff, as a combination of animatronic robots, and stereoscopic 3D projected onto screens. Ivo mentions help is on the way, and we see Batman and Wonder Woman land in the building and attack, while Superman and Green Lantern fly above and take on the main spaceship.
Between each view of the main lab would be smaller bridge/tunnels for some closeup effects and action and to help separate the effects in each part of the story.
Bridge/tunnel one would have your vehicle taken over by Brainiac and driving crazy and off course, until Professor Ivo’s robotics programming fixes the vehicle by taking it back over before it does something from a randomly selected list (go off ledge, go into wall, drive into dangerous radiation area, etc.). If only you could get that programming to the Justice League! Lighting changes on interior or exterior car LEDs and audio will help sell this idea to the riders.
Set piece two would be the “it looks bad for the heroes” but the battle would still be raging on. You *must* get your vehicle over to the Justice League, even if it’s dangerous! The world might depend on it! The robots damage the viewing area you are driving through, and the vehicle dangerously leans towards the open area of the labs, threatening to fall in.
Bridge/tunnel two, would have a superhero arriving (again at random), who downloads Ivo’s programming to some thing he can use against Brainiac while fighting off robots. Wonder Woman lassoing and yanking a robot away from your vehicle, or the Flash arriving at super-speed after disassembling some robots, or having the whole tunnel go black, some muffled thuds and then Batman appearing to get the program could all be fun here.
Set piece three would have the heroes using the stuff you provided and defeating the villains. Hooray for our side! Large practice fire explosions as the robots self-destruct perhaps.
Your vehicle then leaves that show area, “heading for a safe place” according to the Professor, and you can see through windows to the outside. In the exterior, the Justice League is mopping up the rest of Brainiac and taking care of his spaceship. One hero, randomly selected, is close by and thanks everyone in the car for helping them defeat Brainiac. And perhaps tells them to stay a little farther away from trouble next time.
After your heroic deeds, you’ll head back for offloading. And probably to buy a picture of you in the car.
Obviously lots of room for details to be filled in and worked out, but it’s a blue sky project at this point, right?
Steve thought one main show building for the main lab set would be too hard to maintain sightlines with cars, get the timing all correct etc., so he suggested duplicate rooms. Things like that are why you want to bounce ideas off of other human beings sooner rather than later.