About Us

Cortina Productions designs and produces award-winning multimedia experiences for museums. From multi-user interactives to 4D theaters, we stay on the forefront of technology to develop innovative avenues for expression.

Art is our lens, story drives our approach, and technology is our tool. Through the fusion of artistry, content, and technology, we render the word to the story, the story to the medium, and the medium to the space.

Media Design

Media Design is our collaborative process of working with museums, exhibit designers, and architects from the start of the design process to help craft the media experiences in harmony with the physical space. This holistic design approach ensures the media experiences are an integral part of how the story unfolds in the space. The key aspects of our work is to gain a clear understanding of the exhibition content and educational goals so we can design activities that best utilize media and technology, create inspirational “wow” moments that engage and inform visitors, and offer a variety of experiences that appeal to a wide range of ages and knowledge levels.

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Interactive wall at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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Interactive exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry.

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Ceiling projections at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

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The College Football Hall of Fame is a high-tech home for all things football.

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Interactive table at the Carter Presidential Library.

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The Greatest film at the Muhammad Ali Center.

Interactive

Our interactive experiences range from mobile apps to large-scale multiuser interactive tables and theaters as well as gesture-based interactive walls. Each designed to fit the specific needs of the exhibition; we have worked with presidential libraries, natural history museums, aquariums, and professional sports teams. Some of the interactive technologies we are currently developing include:

Live data feeds and data visualizations

iBeacon and advanced wayfinding technology

Augmented reality and transparent screens

RFID systems and object recognition

Physical interfaces that control digital experiences

Microsoft Kinect / Full body interface control

Projection mapping

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Interactive theater at George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

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The Common Threads interactive table at the Earl Scruggs Center.

Films

Our films range from classic theater presentations to immersive multiscreen environments with 4D effects. Distilling key historic events into short film presentations requires many skills, including a comprehensive knowledge of the topic at hand, the research skills to unearth smaller stories that offer unique angles, the ability to design motion graphics that enhance the story, and the understanding of new technologies that can be used to offer a dynamic museum experience that evoke the emotions within the story. We employ an expert staff of producers with the necessary experience to create accurate historical recreations and CGI, we know how to take complex historical events and capture the emotions they evoke, and we are skilled at treating archival footage and interviews in unique ways to create productions that are highly artistic and appealing to a contemporary audience.

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From the Muhammad Ali Center's introductory film, If You Can Dream.

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The Music of Woodstock at the Museum at Bethel Woods.

Michael Jackson, Cortina Productions

From the film “The Introduction” for the traveling exhibition celebrating Michael Jackson’s incomparable career as a performer, artist, and philanthropist.

Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame, The Dugout Theater, Cortina Productions

The Dugout Theater at the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame.

World of Little League, Play Ball, Cortina Productions View Project

From the signature film “Play Ball!” at the World of Little League

Bullock Texas State History Museum, Shipwrecked: A True Texas Tale, Cortina Productions View Project

“Shipwrecked: A True Texas Tale” 4D theater at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment, Cortina Productions View Project

The signature film "Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment."

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Ten Days, Cortina Productions View Project

“Ten Days” at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Canada Sports Hall of Fame, Cortina Productions View Project

Signature film for the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.

Mobile Apps

One of our mobile apps can enhance a visitor’s experience and make all types of educational content possible; such as audio and video tours, multiple language tours, ADA accessible tours, and children’s tours. However, the most powerful feature is the content management system controlling the app behind the scenes. The system enables you to quickly and easily update your app content on the fly, allowing you to keep it fresh and up-to-date every day.

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Ronald Reagan Library Mobile App.

National Bonsai Museum Mobile App.

Smithsonian's National Zoo Mobile App.

CGI

Our CGI capabilities make recreating history possible. Our tools and techniques allow us to create photo-realistic depictions of places and events that cannot be originally shot. Using a combination of original shooting and CGI techniques such as large-format green screen shooting (both on-location and in the studio) and computer-generated imagery, we can transport an audience to any time and place. From the Newseum’s I-Witness 4D, to the WWII Museum’s USS Tang submarine experience, to the wreck of La Salle’s ship La Belle in the film Shipwrecked for the Bullock Texas State History Museum Theater, to the Battle of the Capes for the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, we take audiences through time and space.

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17th Century tall ship CG model.

Content Management Systems

Our software platform includes a custom content management system (CMS) created and programmed in ASP.NET by our programming department. The ease and beauty of the system is that it provides you with tremendous control to change and update content and experiences in a simple, nontechnical browser-based control panel. The CMS allows our clients the ability to add new content; edit existing data, including adding or deleting media files, editing content, and editing chapter lists for the associated media files; remove files from being active; delete files permanently; encode media files with one click that allows them to be encoded and published; and sort files and content. The CMS can be utilized for an individual exhibit or can be a comprehensive system that includes multiple exhibits. The CMS also incorporates an analytics system, which allows the client to gather metrics to evaluate the visitor usage of each exhibit.

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Content management screen from our Chicago Bears interactive wall exhibit.

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Interactive wall at the Chicago Bears headquarters at Halas Hall.

6K, 360, 3D, & 4D

We own and operate two RED Dragon 6K digital cinema cameras. Our signature films consist primarily of large format presentations, 4k to 15k resolutions with multiple projector and screen surfaces. These amazing cameras enable us to shoot original films at the final display resolution or greater. This unparalleled picture quality and resolution ensures a cinematic experience equal to any modern day theatrical release. These technologies help us create a viewing experience that holds up to the critical eye of the modern audience, and ensures a visually stunning product that remains relevant in the face of constantly changing media technologies.

In addition, we own and operate a 3-D dual camera rig for our REDs, as well as two 360 cameras. Our 15k / 360 camera was custom designed and built in collaboration with Chris Meyhew of Vision III Imaging. Consisting of 10 HD cameras, it captures seamless 360-degree live-action images at a final resolution of over 15,000 x 1080 pixels. We have utilized our 360 cameras for interactive exhibits for the College Football Hall of Fame and First Landing State Park, as well as a 360-theater presentation for the National Museum of the U.S. Army.

One of our two RED cameras fully rigged.

Our custom-made 360 camera system.

Our Process

Our creative process has been honed to deliver innovative technological avenues for expression. We work closely with you to allow the stories to inspire media design. The media design then develops the experience, and the experience determines the technology we use. While directing the process through design and development we help establish and refine interpretive goals and primary messages. We then work to ensure the media is seamlessly integrated into the architectural and exhibit design. By working with AV systems designers we ensure proper presentation systems are specified for each experience. We user test, install our media on site, adjust color and audio levels, and perform final quality checks in the space to ensure the highest quality of our delivered work.

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Principals Stephen Platenberg and Amy L. Maddox preparing for original filming.

Accessibility

Accessibility is a core business philosophy at Cortina Productions and we strive to make certain all of our media is physically accessible. We achieve this in two ways: through the placement of our content on the screen, as well as the placement of the physical interface within the exhibit space. High contrast colors and large font sizes are additional tools we can use to make sure those with limited sight are able to enjoy our media exhibits.

We open caption every film and interactive we produce. They are a critical part of our filmmaking process, and we approach each open caption with the same aesthetic design standards and attention to detail that we give to every other aspect of the creative process.

We also use mobile apps to deliver ADA accessible content to both hearing impaired and low vision individuals.

For example, our mobile app tour for the George W. Bush Presidential Library includes a visual descriptive audio tour. Each gallery was described in detail to help the visitor get oriented and provide a sense of the area’s ambience. These descriptions were blended with the same content and intimate quotes from President and Mrs. Bush that we used in the general audio tour to provide a full experience. The interface was designed in high contrast with white text on a black background to meet low vision accessibility standards. The buttons were located in the same position as an ADA voting poll to minimize confusion.

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The visually accessible audio descriptive tour interface at the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Awards

2017 – SEMC Technology Competition – Gold: “Personal Stories of the Revolution” – American Revolution Museum at Yorktown / Gallery Installations

2017 – SEMC Technology Competition – Silver: “Cultural Commons 360° Film” – Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Media Production

2017 – SEMC Technology Competition – Bronze: “Turret Theater” – North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island / Media Production

2017 – SEGD Global Design Award – Merit: “The Segregated Lunch Counter and Panorama of the Civil Rights Movement” – Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Interactive Experience

2017 – MUSE Award – Gold: “Liberty Fever” – American Revolution Museum at Yorktown / Video, Film, & Computer Animation

2017 – MUSE Award – Gold: “Follow the Green Book” – Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Interactive Kiosk

2017 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “Pacific Visions Promo” – Aquarium of the Pacific / Public Outreach

2017 – MUSE Award – Honorable Mention: “Nixon” – Richard Nixon Presidential Library / Video, Film, & Computer Animation

2017 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – Finalist: “Turret Theater” – North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

2016 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – Finalist: “49ers Forever” – San Francisco 49ers Museum

2015 – MUSE Award – Gold: “Responsibility Theater” – Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum / Interactive Kiosks

2015 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “All Access Pass” – College Football Hall of Fame / Interpretive Interactive Installations

2014 – MUSE Award – Silver: “A Queer History of Fashion” – Museum at FIT / Digital Communities

2012 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Driving America Signature Film” – Henry Ford Museum

2012  – THEA Award – Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

2011 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “GuideCamTM” – Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum / Audio Tours and Podcasts

2011 – MUSE Award – Gold: “Fire Combustion” – Museum of Science and Industry / Interpretive Interactive Installation

2011 – CINE Special Jury Award – “Fantastic Journey” – Museum of Science and Industry

2010 – THEA Award – Science Storms – Museum of Science and Industry

2010 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Tornado” – Museum of Science and Industry

2010  – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Signature Film” – Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame

2010  – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Fantastic Journey” – Museum of Science and Industry

2010 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Introductory Film” – Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

2010  – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Dugout Theater Film” – Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame

2010 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, and Building Hope” Interactive Table – Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum / Interpretive Interactive Installations

2009 – THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement – America I Am: The African American Imprint – Traveling Exhibition

2009 – THEA Award – The Museum at Bethel Woods

2009 – MUSE Award – Gold: “Pylons” – Hall at Patriots Place / Multimedia Installations

2009 – Webby Award Nominee – “State of Deception” – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

2008 – THEA Award – Newseum

2008 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “What’s News?” – Newseum

2008 – MUSE Award – Silver: “Carmel Church Bone Bed” – Virginia Museum of Natural History / Interactive Kiosks

2008 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “The Woodstock Festival Experience” – Bethel Woods Museum / Multimedia Installations

2007 – MUSE Award – Gold: “Little Boy and the Seven Grandfathers” – Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian / Video

2007 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “The Greatest” – Muhammad Ali Center / Video

2007 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “Blue Planet Theater” – Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center / Multimedia Installation

2007 – THEA Award – “Real-Cost Café” – Monterey Bay Aquarium

2006 – MUSE Award – Silver: “Tidepool Olympics” – Monterey Bay Aquarium / Science

2006 – MUSE Award – Honorable Mention: “Real-Cost Cafe” Monterey Bay Aquarium / Science

2006 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “If You Can Dream” – Muhammad Ali Center

2006 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “The Greatest” – Muhammad Ali Center

2005  – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Little Boy and the Seven Grandfathers” – Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

2005 – MUSE Award – Silver: “Whales: Voices in the Sea” – Aquarium of the Pacific / Science

2003 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “First Life” – Museum 3-D Animation

2003 – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Ultimate Guide: Pregnancy” – Television Special

2003 – MUSE Award – Bronze: “Make the Call” – Indiana State Museum / Science

2002 – MUSE Award – Gold: “WAR Stories” Videowall – Newseum / Science

2001 – New York Festival Gold Winner – “WAR Stories” Best Multi-image Presentation

2000  – CINE Golden Eagle – “Holocaust: The Untold Story”

2000 – International Monitor Award – “Holocaust: The Untold Story” – Best Documentary

1999 – Monitor Award – “1968: The Year That Changed America” Special Effects

1998 – Best of Show – “What’s News” Columbus Film Festival

1998 – Monitor Award – “What’s News” – Outstanding Achievement

1996 – EMMY Award – “The Centennial Olympics Games” – Live Special

1993 – Educational Press Award – “Learning for a Lifetime”

1992 – EMMY Award – Games of the XXV Olympiad – Graphic Design

1992 – EMMY Award – Games of the XXV Olympiad – Edited Special

1992 – Silver Medal – Broadcast Designers’ Association for Olympic Graphics

1991 – EMMY Award – Tokyo World Championship of Track and Field – Graphic Design

1991 – EMMY Award – Tokyo World Championship of Track and Field – Opens

Gwinnett County Environmental & Heritage Center, Blue Planet Theater, Cortina Productions View Project

MUSE Award winner "Blue Planet Theater" for the Gwinnett Environmental Heritage Center.

New England Patriots Hall at Patriot Place, Hall of Pylons, Cortina Productions View Project

MUSE Award winner "Hall of Fame Pylons" at the New England Patriots Hall at Patriot Place.

National Museum of the American Indian, Little Boy and the Seven Grandfathers, Cortina Productions

MUSE Award winner "Little Boy and the 7 Grandfathers" for the National Museum of the American Indian.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Follow the Green Book, Cortina Productions View Project

MUSE Award winner “Follow the Green Book” at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Aquarium of the Pacific, Pacific Visions Promo, Cortina Productions

MUSE Award winner “Pacific Visions Promo” at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The San Francisco 49ers Museum, View Project

CINE Golden Eagle Award finalist 49ers Forever at the San Francisco 49ers Museum.

The Museum at FIT, A Queer History of Fashion, Cortina Productions

MUSE Award winner “A Queer History of Fashion” at The Museum at FIT.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Science Storms, Cortina Productions View Project

THEA Award winner “Science Storms” at the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame, Dugout Theater Film, Cortina Productions

CINE Golden Eagle Award winner “Dugout Theater Film” at the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, and Building Hope Interactive Table, Cortina Productions View Project

MUSE Award winner "Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, and Building Hope” Interactive Table at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.

Newseum, Cortina Productions View Project

THEA Award winner the Newseum.

Newseum, What's News?, Cortina Productions View Project

CINE Golden Eagle Award winner “What’s News?” at the Newseum. “What’s News?” also received Best of Show from the Columbus Film Festival and the Monitor Award in Outstanding Achievement.

Virginia Museum of Natural History, Carmel Church Bone Bed, Cortina Productions View Project

MUSE Award winner “Carmel Church Bone Bed” at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

The Museum at Bethel Woods, The Woodstock Festival Experience, Cortina Productions View Project

MUSE Award winner “The Woodstock Festival Experience” at The Museum at Bethel Woods.

Muhammad Ali Center, The Greatest, Cortina Productions View Project

MUSE and CINE Golden Eagle Award winner "The Greatest" at the Muhammad Ali Center.

Museum of Science and Industry, Ultimate Guide: Pregnancy, Cortina Productions

CINE Golden Eagle Award winner “Ultimate Guide: Pregnancy" at the Museum of Science and Industry.