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Matthew 25: Ministries Relies on Alcorn McBride

A full suite of Alcorn McBride equipment – a LightCue/E, 8TraXX/E, DVM-8400HDs and a V4 Pro controller – is helping visitors who take the Global Village tour gain an interactive understanding of poverty and the need for help around the world. The Global Village is located at Matthew 25: Ministries’ Center for Humanitarian Relief in Blue Ash, Ohio. It is a life-size, three-dimensional re-creation of disaster scenes and poverty in the U.S. and developing countries.

Matthew 25: Ministries was founded by Rev. Wendell Mettey, who developed a system to recover excess products no longer useful to U.S. corporations and redistribute them to people in extreme poverty. Since 1991 the organization has grown into an international relief organization distributing 10 million pounds of products each year. In December 2012 Matthew 25: Ministries exceeded one billion dollars in total humanitarian aid shipped.

Since the organization relies heavily on volunteers in the field and at the distribution center, there’s a continuing need to explain what they do and why they need help. That inspired the Global Village, which brings an understanding of disaster relief and ongoing poverty field work to visitors to the Center for Humanitarian Relief.

The Global Village presents visitors with a series of environments where help is needed. An area showing the damage incurred by the earthquake in Haiti depicts a multi-story building collapse; another demonstrates how people living in extreme poverty make their homes in a landfill sorting through garbage for food and materials they can sell, trade or use for shelter.

Alcorn McBride equipment delivers content throughout the Global Village and makes the experience more immersive. A LightCue/E raises and lowers lights in the exhibit areas as a personal guide takes visitors through the tour. An 8TraXX/E supplies background audio and sound effects to enhance the atmosphere of the areas. Five DVM-8400s source educational video content on flat-panel displays and projectors throughout the village. The entire system is automated via a V4 Pro and Alcorn McBride’s ShowTouch for iOS app. A tour guide simply triggers the pre-programmed tour from an Apple iPad or iPod Touch.

“Matthew 25: Ministries wanted a dynamic system that could be updated,” notes Joe Leonard, exhibit designer, lighting designer and technician with Leonard Design. “The tour guide, who carries an iPad interface controller, has complete control of the experience and can affect the timing of the show to adapt to the visitor. The first scene takes place in a newsroom, then there are a series of simulated disasters – the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina – and a scene showing poverty in North America.”

Leonard knows the theme park world having done projects for Paramount’s attractions, Disney parade floats and high-profile stage design, so he was familiar with Alcorn McBride products. “I knew Alcorn equipment would give us the flexibility for full or semi-automation,” he says. “And it’s been great!”

Alcorn McBride provided two days of hands-on training with the equipment for the Global Village. Day one was devoted to educating Leonard and his staff about the various equipment and how to prepare the audio, video and lighting media. Leonard encoded the video content and recorded individual lighting cues for LightCue/E. Audio files were obtained, converted and organized on the 8TraXX/E. By the end of the first day all of the individual elements were working.

Day two was dedicated to control. The tour guides explained how the show needed to proceed as Alcorn McBride and Leonard created a list of cues while walking through the exhibit area. Leonard was also trained on how to build a simple iPad Touch interface for the guides to use and how to create a ShowTouch interface to handle basic maintenance functions. At the end of the day the Global Village had a fully functional show control system, and Leonard was savvy about how to maintain and modify the system as needed moving forward.

“The training sessions were a big help, but the Alcorn McBride equipment is very user friendly to begin with,” Leonard points out. “Matthew 25: Ministries is very pleased with how things are working. They’re very impressed with the end result.”

Alcorn McBride offers flexible training options. Advanced Control training sessions are held during the year on both the East and West Coast and are complimentary to customers. Introductory Control training classes are offered online and at InfoComm also free of charge. A complete schedule can be found on the company’s website. Customers, like Matthew 25: Ministries, may opt for one-on-one customized training solutions. Contact Alcorn McBride for more information on pricing and availability.

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

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