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.

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

2015 – MUSE Award – Gold – “Responsibility Theater” – Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

2015 – MUSE Award – Bronze – “All Access Pass” – College Football Hall of Fame

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 – Museum

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 for Outstanding Achievement – Science Storms (exhibit), 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

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

2009 – THEA Award – The Museum at Bethel Woods – Museum

2009 – MUSE Award – Gold – “Pylons” – Hall at Patriots Place – Interactive

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

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

2008 – MUSE Award – “The Woodstock Festival Experience” – Bethel Woods Museum Multimedia show

2007 – MUSE Award – Gold – “Little Boy and the Seven Grandfathers” – Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian – Animation

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 – Multiplayer Computer Interactive

2006 – MUSE Award – Silver – “Tidepool Olympics” Monterey Bay Aquarium – Multiplayer Computer Interactive

2006 – MUSE Award – Honorable Mention – “Real-Cost Cafe” Monterey Bay Aquarium – Multiplayer Computer Interactive

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

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

2005  – CINE Golden Eagle Award – “Little Boy and the Seven Grandfathers” – Animated Program for the American Indian Museum

2005 – MUSE Award – Silver – “Whales: Voices in the Sea” Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach – Large Format Computer Interactive

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 – Computer Interactive Exhibit

2002 – MUSE Award – Gold – “WAR Stories” Newseum – Director, Nine-Screen Videowall

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

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

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

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