Meet Nicholas Cooper, Chief Creative Officer of Victory Hill Exhibitions. An award winning producer, director, writer with over 15 years experience in the entertainment industry, Nicholas specialises in creating fantastic entertainment productions across multiple platforms. Here we get an exclusive with him on the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition opening at Science Centre Singapore!
Sanjali: So one of the first things that I heard about you is that you are the mastermind behind Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition.
Nicholas: Yeah. [chuckles] It sounds diabolical doesn’t it? It was definitely my baby. I was a big Marvel fan. When I had an idea to create an exhibition it wasmore than just an exhibition, it was a chance to live in the MCU [Marvel Comics Universe] for an hour. I was never a big science fan but I was a big science fiction fan. I knew that education is a good way to market a product. But if you look at all these characters, the beauty about them and why I think they are different from DC characters, is that they are all grounded in some amount of scientific origins, even those that have had small stretch.
Where did the inspiration to use fictional science in this exhibition come from?
When we started the company, we knew that our core target would be museums. As we met with Marvel, they wanted to bring some education in and we wanted to bring education in. So I went back and came up with this idea that why don’t we create a training facility that would offer people more than just learning about the characters, but how they were created and everything that goes into them. It started as a goal, but then as we got introduced with NASA, JPL, Stamford and Neuroverse, it just grew more than we expected it to. When we started writing the content, it just grew out of this world.
What was the thing you most looked forward to showing to the public? What did you most look forward to work on in this exhibition?
That’s a good question. We’ve continuously expanding the exhibition as the cinematic universe grows. So here we have the most characters that we’ve ever included. You know, I think it’s really about the complete nature of the show. You really get to come in and be a part of this universe. When you read and learn and interact, you get to be very close to and connected to these characters. You learn a lot about them personally. You get to test yourself against the characters. You know, if you’re a MARVEL superfan, or you watched a couple of the Marvel movies and thought they were cool or you are just interested, then here, this is probably the closest you can come and live in this universe.
You told us this is started as a small idea and ended becoming such a big project. Give us an idea of the work that went into this exhibition.
This project was certainly a really huge undertaking. It was probably best that I didn’t know how big. I was very fortunate, we had great collaborations with great institutions, great studios. We brought in a crack team of designers and fabricators. We worked with a lot of the same companies the studio worked with. We are very well versed in the intricacies of everything. With the science advisors, we worked very closely to create a lot of this content that could ground all of these characters and meet our objectives.
So the first time we did the whole exhibition, it took us 5.5 months. There were very few nights of sleep. It was a big gig, but it was fun. You know, whenever you do something that you love or enjoy, you’re not really working.
How will the opening of this exhibition in Singapore differ from all the previous countries that it has been showcased in?
This is the biggest show that we have done. This is the collaboration of all the different shows. The previous three, four sit-downs that we’ve done – we’ve brought everything into this one. And it is in its natural environment, it’s in a Science Centre. Science Centres are so progressive and have a great outreach to people. It’s with a great partner and collaborator. We’re really looking forward to working with Science Centre because you guys [Science Centre Singapore] and your audiences will get it, this about an awesome experience. I’m very very excited.
And you get to see the reactions of visitors!
Yeah! We you see people get giddy and excited, they marvel for one of the better terms. It’s awesome. And they walk away knowing something and that’s the objective. If we can inspire a kid or an adult to have more interest in science or go on to be the next big specialist in their field, be it astrophysics or biological engineering, that it would be amazing.
In France, this exhibition was so anticipated, it was the 3rd most tweeted topic on the night of its opening in the country. Can we expect a similar impact in Singapore?
I hope so! I hope we can expect something like this in Singapore. You know Singapore and Asia Pacific always embrace live entertainment and new products coming in. We are very hopeful that everyone will come check it out and embrace it and love it as much as we do.
I’ve heard the Harley Davidson showcased in the exhibition is the actual real working one used on the movie set. Has anyone else taken a ride on it, secretly?
That’s right, We worked with Harley for Captain America’s motorbike. So this one was actually destroyed in the movie on set. So we essentially replicated it by the same studio that makes it. So you get to sit on top of Cap’s bike at the exhibition. We’ve also got shields on display so you could even do the testing of the shield.
There you have it folks, from the mouth of the creator. Come down to Science Centre Singapore and immerse yourself and learn all the fictional science behind the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition from 29 October 2016 until 5 March 2017.
Click here for more information on the exhibition.