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Promotional feature
nWave - The big picture

With more than two decades of experience creating high quality original content, nWave looks ahead as it continues to produce its own industry-leading creations

Wave Pictures boasts one of the biggest collections of independent 3D/4D films for rides, large format theatres and attractions and since 2008 has produced its own feature-length 3D/4D films.

Established in 1994 by film producer and Golden Globe nominee Ben Stassen among others, nWave has steadily grown over the years to become not only an animation studio but a trusted partner to thousands of special venues all over the world.

Attractions Management met with two of the company’s leading women, CEO and producer Caroline Van Iseghem and sales director Goedele Gillis, to find out more about the nWave story.


Caroline Van Iseghem, CEO and producer, nWave Pictures

What’s your role at nWave?
I’m the producer and I handle everything related to the studio, such as our feature films and attractions. I’m also responsible for the studio’s day-to-day tasks, such as hiring staff, running the team, managing the budget, overseeing departmental workflow and purchasing the equipment.

How long have you been in the industry?
I started in 1989 with the Belgian CGI company Little Big One, which was the first Belgian company to own a CGI department. We had one computer that took up half the room, with two processors I think. From this first adventure with Little Big One sprung two CGI companies, including Movida which I developed over the years and we started off with the production of a ride simulation film called Volcano Mine Ride under the direction of Ben Stassen. After a while, we merged our companies in order to meet the growing demand from special venues, which is how nWave was born.

What made the new company different?
We started by doing adverts, TV, corporate jobs and things like that. You can survive with that and you always have plenty of work, but it’s mainly small productions.

But we quickly created our own business model. We decided to build a library of multimedia content. At that time, it was very expensive for theatres to have their own film product. A four-minute ride simulation film could cost €750,000 or more, so we decided to create and distribute our own content. We started to create our own library and charged the theatres for the product based on the number of seats, the size of the theatre and the length of the contract. We also charged a premium to keep the content exclusive within a certain area, so that a competitor could not offer something similar.

We moved on to making feature films in 2008, our first being Fly Me To The Moon, which was the first stereographic 3D feature animation. Every year we make a new feature film and create complementary attraction films to keep the library fresh.

How has the business grown since 2008?
When we make a feature animation film, we always do one or two attractions films based on that feature film. We now have about 110 people working here.

There’s a constant workflow. We don’t want to force people to look for work in between productions. On the contrary, we want them to have the opportunity of making a career among us – if they want to of course – rather than recruiting them as freelancers like other studios do.

I’m happy to have kept the same team because good technicians can be very difficult to find. I’ll never forget when we started Fly Me To The Moon, I was stressed.

You need a range of different talents and it was so hard to recruit people, especially when you’re not well-known, like other well-known studios.

And how did you manage?
It was impossible to find qualified, experienced people, but we had to find a solution, so I decided to hire final-year students from the ESMA school and we worked on Fly Me To The Moon with only a handful of experienced people and the rest fresh out of school.

Do you have a company culture that makes people want to stay longer-term?
Yes, my desire is to keep our animators for more than one production. We offer them full-time employment from one film to the next, even if we have a gap.

As a result, we have people who have been with us for eight, even ten years, which is unusual in this field. Of course that has a cost, and that’s why we go from one production to another. It’s my job to ensure our different departments have a steady, constant workflow.

Our people work hard but I don’t want them to spend the night at work. I think it’s important to make sure everyone can combine their work with their personal lives and have enough time to dedicate to their family and hobbies.

We also try to accommodate our working space and make it as welcoming as possible. For example, we bought this building in the late 1990s, and we’ve been able to accommodate a small gym space for our most athletic members.

After the script is chosen, what’s the production process?
We start with the concept of characters and sets. In parallel, we start working on a storyboard, and afterwards we start working on the layout, animation, modelling and shading.

Unlike some of the bigger studios, where they have a vertical hierarchy, here it’s only one line – me for the production and Ben for the direction. This means we can make decisions on the spot.

Would you say there’s a style that defines an nWave film?
I think we do have a style. People say that we have a realistic look. I mean, it’s CG, but it’s realistic in a sense. It’s about how you’re going to create the images. To be more specific, it’s a question of shading, texture and lighting. We also adopt a different angle in our stories, if you look at Fly Me to The Moon or The Son Of Bigfoot, there’s our own nWave twist.

In terms of technology, how much have things changed?
Well, 20 years ago you didn’t have the creative people. To work on 3D, you almost had to be an engineer or at least have some technical skills. If you didn’t have that, you couldn’t create anything on the computer because it was so difficult and not as user-friendly at all as it is today. Today we have an array of softwares to choose from. Therefore, people can now focus on the creative aspect first, rather than the technical aspect. Naturally, we always need TD profiles to support our artists.

Expectations from people are also higher and our animators constantly strive to get better results. They want to achieve more freedom and fluidity in the animation.

Each department strives to improve with the tools they have.

How do you maintain nWave’s standards?
Thanks to our experience. Being a smaller company also means having more creative flexibility. You can choose to change position or department and evolve easily. Consequently, you can quickly become a supervisor if you want to. You can build your career, achieving this goal much faster than you could with other big companies.

Our software also improves with each project. Every year something new gets released but we now have the skills to develop our own tools to improve our programs according to our needs. As a result, we’re able to create our very own technical environment to help our animators focus on the creative aspect of their job.

What are you working on in the studio at the moment?
We’re currently putting the finishing touches to our new feature film, The Queen’s Corgi. The movie follows Rex, the British monarch’s favourite dog, who loses track of his mistress and stumbles across a fight club with dogs of all kinds confronting each other.

In his attempt to return to Buckingham Palace, Rex not only finds love, but also his true self, which is a theme we were happy to also explore with Bigfoot. The schedule is tight but the movie will be released in early 2019, depending on the territory.



Goedele Gillis Sales Director EMEA nWave Pictures

 

Goedele Gillis
 

Why do you think the clients in the attractions industry come to nWave?
It’s nWave’s level of quality. There is other 3D content on the market, but only nWave 3D is the real deal. It pops into your face, and that’s what attracts people.
There’s also our reputation. We’ve been there for many years and we come up with new titles every year, so our clients know that if they sign a three-year contract, they will have a new movie next year and for the season after that. We also take good care of our customers and get back to them asap, if possible on the same day.

In our minds “the client is king” and we’ll do what we can to accommodate them.

A good client service and follow-up is one of the reasons they come to nWave.

Why is a 3D/4D offer so important to most attractions?
In theme parks and attractions, people are looking for kicks. People want to be amazed and they want to be blown away by the dinosaur coming out of the screen or Big Foot trying to grab them. When the extra effects are added, that just makes the picture complete. And that’s something you will never find in a regular cinema.

It’s a strong part of the offer of theme parks because it’s also an effective way to get people in. That’s why they need a new title every year, to encourage return visits.

It used to be so expensive that parks had to keep the same title for four or five years. That’s why we wanted to create an independent library.

How do you work with your clients?
It’s a big advantage of being a small company that we can be very flexible. Scandinavia is one territory, for example, but India is completely different. We don’t have to work from a price sheet. We find out what the client is looking for, we get to know them, we research their needs, their park and market, and we tailor the partnership.

We have clients that have been with nWave for 20 years or more. We have the odd client who wants to try something else but we will always maintain good communications with them, because they always come back.

Can you talk a bit about what our readers could expect if they visit you at EAS or IAAPA this year?
Well, we’ll have a new attraction, Jolly Roger. It’s all about pirates and excitement and fantastic 3D as always. That will be our biggest release for EAS and Orlando. There might be some surprises in Orlando, but that’s confidential – otherwise it’s not a surprise anymore! But I like to introduce the new attraction film at EAS because not all Europeans make the trip to Orlando.

What makes nWave so successful?
One of the reasons for nWave’s success is that we’ve always kept true to our core business. Our core business is and will always be 3D movies, no matter the shape or length or medium, that’s what we’re known for. I think that that’s our strongpoint and that makes us recognisable.


“One of the reasons for nWave’s success is that we’ve always kept true to our core business”

 



All of nWave’s productions are created in its in-house studio
Some of nWave’s major feature films to date

2008
Fly Me to the Moon

2010
A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures

2012
A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise

2013
The House of Magic

2016
The Wild Life

2017
The Son of Bigfoot

2019
The Queen’s Corgi

 


nWave creations include upcoming releases including Jolly Roger
nWave creations include upcoming releases The Queen’s Corgi
Fly Me to the Moon was released by nWave in 2008
nWave was established in 1994 and has offices based in Brussels, Belgium and Los Angeles, California
nWave is working on a new film – The Queen’s Corgi
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Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
Promotional feature
nWave - The big picture

With more than two decades of experience creating high quality original content, nWave looks ahead as it continues to produce its own industry-leading creations

Wave Pictures boasts one of the biggest collections of independent 3D/4D films for rides, large format theatres and attractions and since 2008 has produced its own feature-length 3D/4D films.

Established in 1994 by film producer and Golden Globe nominee Ben Stassen among others, nWave has steadily grown over the years to become not only an animation studio but a trusted partner to thousands of special venues all over the world.

Attractions Management met with two of the company’s leading women, CEO and producer Caroline Van Iseghem and sales director Goedele Gillis, to find out more about the nWave story.


Caroline Van Iseghem, CEO and producer, nWave Pictures

What’s your role at nWave?
I’m the producer and I handle everything related to the studio, such as our feature films and attractions. I’m also responsible for the studio’s day-to-day tasks, such as hiring staff, running the team, managing the budget, overseeing departmental workflow and purchasing the equipment.

How long have you been in the industry?
I started in 1989 with the Belgian CGI company Little Big One, which was the first Belgian company to own a CGI department. We had one computer that took up half the room, with two processors I think. From this first adventure with Little Big One sprung two CGI companies, including Movida which I developed over the years and we started off with the production of a ride simulation film called Volcano Mine Ride under the direction of Ben Stassen. After a while, we merged our companies in order to meet the growing demand from special venues, which is how nWave was born.

What made the new company different?
We started by doing adverts, TV, corporate jobs and things like that. You can survive with that and you always have plenty of work, but it’s mainly small productions.

But we quickly created our own business model. We decided to build a library of multimedia content. At that time, it was very expensive for theatres to have their own film product. A four-minute ride simulation film could cost €750,000 or more, so we decided to create and distribute our own content. We started to create our own library and charged the theatres for the product based on the number of seats, the size of the theatre and the length of the contract. We also charged a premium to keep the content exclusive within a certain area, so that a competitor could not offer something similar.

We moved on to making feature films in 2008, our first being Fly Me To The Moon, which was the first stereographic 3D feature animation. Every year we make a new feature film and create complementary attraction films to keep the library fresh.

How has the business grown since 2008?
When we make a feature animation film, we always do one or two attractions films based on that feature film. We now have about 110 people working here.

There’s a constant workflow. We don’t want to force people to look for work in between productions. On the contrary, we want them to have the opportunity of making a career among us – if they want to of course – rather than recruiting them as freelancers like other studios do.

I’m happy to have kept the same team because good technicians can be very difficult to find. I’ll never forget when we started Fly Me To The Moon, I was stressed.

You need a range of different talents and it was so hard to recruit people, especially when you’re not well-known, like other well-known studios.

And how did you manage?
It was impossible to find qualified, experienced people, but we had to find a solution, so I decided to hire final-year students from the ESMA school and we worked on Fly Me To The Moon with only a handful of experienced people and the rest fresh out of school.

Do you have a company culture that makes people want to stay longer-term?
Yes, my desire is to keep our animators for more than one production. We offer them full-time employment from one film to the next, even if we have a gap.

As a result, we have people who have been with us for eight, even ten years, which is unusual in this field. Of course that has a cost, and that’s why we go from one production to another. It’s my job to ensure our different departments have a steady, constant workflow.

Our people work hard but I don’t want them to spend the night at work. I think it’s important to make sure everyone can combine their work with their personal lives and have enough time to dedicate to their family and hobbies.

We also try to accommodate our working space and make it as welcoming as possible. For example, we bought this building in the late 1990s, and we’ve been able to accommodate a small gym space for our most athletic members.

After the script is chosen, what’s the production process?
We start with the concept of characters and sets. In parallel, we start working on a storyboard, and afterwards we start working on the layout, animation, modelling and shading.

Unlike some of the bigger studios, where they have a vertical hierarchy, here it’s only one line – me for the production and Ben for the direction. This means we can make decisions on the spot.

Would you say there’s a style that defines an nWave film?
I think we do have a style. People say that we have a realistic look. I mean, it’s CG, but it’s realistic in a sense. It’s about how you’re going to create the images. To be more specific, it’s a question of shading, texture and lighting. We also adopt a different angle in our stories, if you look at Fly Me to The Moon or The Son Of Bigfoot, there’s our own nWave twist.

In terms of technology, how much have things changed?
Well, 20 years ago you didn’t have the creative people. To work on 3D, you almost had to be an engineer or at least have some technical skills. If you didn’t have that, you couldn’t create anything on the computer because it was so difficult and not as user-friendly at all as it is today. Today we have an array of softwares to choose from. Therefore, people can now focus on the creative aspect first, rather than the technical aspect. Naturally, we always need TD profiles to support our artists.

Expectations from people are also higher and our animators constantly strive to get better results. They want to achieve more freedom and fluidity in the animation.

Each department strives to improve with the tools they have.

How do you maintain nWave’s standards?
Thanks to our experience. Being a smaller company also means having more creative flexibility. You can choose to change position or department and evolve easily. Consequently, you can quickly become a supervisor if you want to. You can build your career, achieving this goal much faster than you could with other big companies.

Our software also improves with each project. Every year something new gets released but we now have the skills to develop our own tools to improve our programs according to our needs. As a result, we’re able to create our very own technical environment to help our animators focus on the creative aspect of their job.

What are you working on in the studio at the moment?
We’re currently putting the finishing touches to our new feature film, The Queen’s Corgi. The movie follows Rex, the British monarch’s favourite dog, who loses track of his mistress and stumbles across a fight club with dogs of all kinds confronting each other.

In his attempt to return to Buckingham Palace, Rex not only finds love, but also his true self, which is a theme we were happy to also explore with Bigfoot. The schedule is tight but the movie will be released in early 2019, depending on the territory.



Goedele Gillis Sales Director EMEA nWave Pictures

 

Goedele Gillis
 

Why do you think the clients in the attractions industry come to nWave?
It’s nWave’s level of quality. There is other 3D content on the market, but only nWave 3D is the real deal. It pops into your face, and that’s what attracts people.
There’s also our reputation. We’ve been there for many years and we come up with new titles every year, so our clients know that if they sign a three-year contract, they will have a new movie next year and for the season after that. We also take good care of our customers and get back to them asap, if possible on the same day.

In our minds “the client is king” and we’ll do what we can to accommodate them.

A good client service and follow-up is one of the reasons they come to nWave.

Why is a 3D/4D offer so important to most attractions?
In theme parks and attractions, people are looking for kicks. People want to be amazed and they want to be blown away by the dinosaur coming out of the screen or Big Foot trying to grab them. When the extra effects are added, that just makes the picture complete. And that’s something you will never find in a regular cinema.

It’s a strong part of the offer of theme parks because it’s also an effective way to get people in. That’s why they need a new title every year, to encourage return visits.

It used to be so expensive that parks had to keep the same title for four or five years. That’s why we wanted to create an independent library.

How do you work with your clients?
It’s a big advantage of being a small company that we can be very flexible. Scandinavia is one territory, for example, but India is completely different. We don’t have to work from a price sheet. We find out what the client is looking for, we get to know them, we research their needs, their park and market, and we tailor the partnership.

We have clients that have been with nWave for 20 years or more. We have the odd client who wants to try something else but we will always maintain good communications with them, because they always come back.

Can you talk a bit about what our readers could expect if they visit you at EAS or IAAPA this year?
Well, we’ll have a new attraction, Jolly Roger. It’s all about pirates and excitement and fantastic 3D as always. That will be our biggest release for EAS and Orlando. There might be some surprises in Orlando, but that’s confidential – otherwise it’s not a surprise anymore! But I like to introduce the new attraction film at EAS because not all Europeans make the trip to Orlando.

What makes nWave so successful?
One of the reasons for nWave’s success is that we’ve always kept true to our core business. Our core business is and will always be 3D movies, no matter the shape or length or medium, that’s what we’re known for. I think that that’s our strongpoint and that makes us recognisable.


“One of the reasons for nWave’s success is that we’ve always kept true to our core business”

 



All of nWave’s productions are created in its in-house studio
Some of nWave’s major feature films to date

2008
Fly Me to the Moon

2010
A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures

2012
A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise

2013
The House of Magic

2016
The Wild Life

2017
The Son of Bigfoot

2019
The Queen’s Corgi

 


nWave creations include upcoming releases including Jolly Roger
nWave creations include upcoming releases The Queen’s Corgi
Fly Me to the Moon was released by nWave in 2008
nWave was established in 1994 and has offices based in Brussels, Belgium and Los Angeles, California
nWave is working on a new film – The Queen’s Corgi
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2018

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
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ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
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