Floor 2—Impact of the Bible: Washington Revelations
The second floor of the museum, which addresses the Impact of the Bible, demonstrates the enormous influence the Bible has on nearly every aspect of life. There are four major exhibit areas:
- Bible in the World, an unprecedented look at the Bible's impact on culture worldwide
- Bible in America, which shows guests how the Bible became a powerful influence in America, from the arrivals of the first Christian and Jewish settlers to today
- Bible Now, in which guests experience the Bible in real-time media feeds, showing its up-to-the-minute impact
- Washington Revelations, which takes guests on an amazing flight through Washington, D.C., on a Flyboard Flying Theatre, reveals the Bible's presence in inscriptions, place names and monuments in our nation's capital
Flying Theatre History
The genesis of the flying theatres goes back to the early 1990s when a new form of motion technology allowed guests to stand while in a theatre. In the semiprone position, the human sensorimotor feedback system was stimulated, providing a feeling of complete involvement in the experience. At that time payload was limited to eight guests, restricting commercial potential. Further, computing power in the 1990s was very limited by today’s standards; real-time data updates were not possible.
In 2007 DyMoProjects (DMMP) in Vienna, Austria, developed two special-effects theatres. One of these theatres became the first flyboard flying theatre for more than 30 persons. Museum of the Bible’s flyboard flying theatre is the first third-generation motion system.
Elements of a Flying Theatre
The key elements of a flying theatre that seamlessly blends creativity with technology include:
- Storyline and storyboard
- Movie development and production
- Motion system technology
- Guest platform module
- Audio and visual systems
- Special effects (including wind, water, scent, lightning and vibrations)
- Show programming
In 2014, DMMP was approached by Museum of the Bible about developing an exhilarating flight over Washington connected to the Bible. The theatre space had a limited height of 17 feet (5.2 meters). At the time, the minimum height for a Flyboard Theatre was 23 feet (7.0 meters).
During the development process, DMMP was also challenged to go beyond complying with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) to maximize design inclusiveness.
Storyboard and Storyline
During research, DMMP found many buildings in Washington with biblical texts. This allowed them to weave an incredible story in which guests would fly over Washington, meeting Museum of the Bible’s challenge.
An international team of leading biblical scholars vetted storyline authenticity: Robert Cooley, Ph.D.; Gordon Campbell, Ph.D.; and Byron Johnson, Ph.D. During development DMMP had access to, or photographic images from, the Library of Congress, Supreme Court, Capitol Building, National Park Service (the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument), U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery. In May 2016 more than 30,000 photographs of Washington were taken, some of which were used to create faithful 3-D images of statues using stereophotogrammetry.
The process from storyline to completed movie takes about 12 months. Finessing the flight path is crucial to providing a seamless, dreamlike adventure in first-person perspective unlike any other movie-making process.
Guest Platform Module
Washington Revelations has a capacity of 36 persons. Guests fly in a semiprone position, which changes the experience from "passive" to "involved" through the stimulation of the human sensorimotor feedback system. Guests feel as if they are really flying, allowing them to forget they are on a motion simulator.
Guests lean into Flyboard Theatre support devices designed for a minimum height of 42 inches
(107 centimeters). A step of 8 inches (20 centimeters) is provided for younger guests. Stadium configuration provides clear sightlines.
The theatre's inclusive design features include:
- Two seats in the back row for a disabled guest and companion; one seat can be lowered and raised to facilitate a wheelchair transfer; seats can also be used by guests with balance difficulties
- Headphones for blind/limited-sight guests with a special audio track explaining what is happening during the experience
- A loop for those who are hard of hearing
- A tablet-based media presentation for those not wishing to participate in the experience
Audio and Visual Systems
DMMP's design and production team includes top professionals in their respective fields. Munro Acoustics of London has developed sound stages and recording studios for Harry Potter films, James Bond films, BBC TV and Radio, and U2 Recording Studios.
Special effects include wind fans, water spritz, scent, LED lightning (originally developed for Hollywood film and TV.
Motion and special effects are designed to enhance the guest experience, not be the guest experience. Motion, media and special effects are programmed in the millisecond range and thus occur at precisely the right time, stimulating the human sensorimotor feedback system. When this occurs, guests feel as if they are really flying over Washington.
About Museum of the Bible
Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the Bible. A fly-through of the museum is viewable here.
Website | museumoftheBible.org Twitter | @museumofBible