Global award for Motat and Waxeye

The Museum of Transport and Technology’s immersive project produced by creative technology studio Waxeye, has won the “Best Use of Digital – International” category at the Museums + Heritage Awards.

Museum of Transport and Technology’s Head of Exhibitions, Simon Gould, said, “Thank you to Museums + Heritage, we are so honoured to be recognised with this internationally prestigious award.

“I walk by this beautiful, immersive work every day and see enthralled school kids and adults, and, in that sense, we had already won. But gaining this extra professional recognition validates the enormous efforts by the whole team who delivered Te Kōtiu.”

Te Kōtiu, which means “swoop” in Māori, begins with the epic 12000 km migration of the Kuaka, before showcasing New Zealand’s rich aviation heritage.

From daring balloonists to pioneer George Bolt, and aviation legends like Jean Batten, the experience celebrates the growing diversity of New Zealand’s aviation industry.

Rachel Bush, Motat’s Senior Exhibitions Content Developer, said, “Partnering with digital studio Waxeye was a key step to ensure the success of Te Kōtiu as an engaging immersive projection experience. Paul, Craig and Neil, the core team worked tirelessly in a way that was supportive, responsive and hugely creative.

Waxeye’s ability to create true beauty in their visual storytelling shone through in so many scenes like with the Kuaka Godwits that act as transitions, but they also retained a playful humour in the animations.”

The experience is housed in Motat’s aviation hall, where visitors are immersed in the story through the use of multiple large projectors that display video, animation, archival images, visual effects and audio onto aircraft, the floor and a suspended translucent cloth.

Taking a little over seven months to complete, Waxeye carefully curated 45 minutes of content into a 12-minute-long experience.

Paul James, Waxeye’s Creative Director, shares his reflections on the project, “Our team was truly inspired by the creative challenge of bringing our aviation heritage to life. 

“And we were honoured to be selected as the agency entrusted with delivering this unique experience.  We consider immersive storytelling our forte, and this project was a perfect match for our expertise.”

Neil Patton, Waxeye’s Director of Innovation, cites the high degree of trust between all those involved as the key ingredient to bringing this ambitious idea to life.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the true spirit of collaboration that permeated all the project partners. From our wonderful client Motat to the motion team at Waxeye, to the production team at DM Acoustic; we placed trust in each other to make the right decisions when necessary, to have each other’s backs, and to believe that our intentions were always aligned for the greater good. The result is a truly special experience.”

The Te Kōtiu immersive projection experience is included as part of a visit to Motat’s Aviation Hall and can be viewed daily, on the hour, from 10.30am.

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