Have You Heard About The Monsters?


How To Make A Monster Sample Storyboard

How To Make A Monster is open at the Science Museum of Virginia!  It is a fascinating look into the visual effects of movies.    This exhibit explores the connection between science, engineering, technology and art as they work together to create some of your favorite beasts and bio-mechanical creatures from blockbuster films and TV shows.

How To Make A Monster features the work of visual effects artist and Academy Award winner John Cox. The exhibition displays a vast array of creatures created during Cox’s long-standing career in animatronics and visual effects.  What will you see?

  • IMG_2646A 12 meter long crocodile from the movie Peter Pan in 2003.  It’s head is 3 meter’s long and moved with a hydraulic powering system.  Kids can use levers to make his tale move and the video at the end of the exhibit will show you what he was designed to do (although it ended up on the cutting room floor).  
  • Costumes showing the layers worn by the performers to become apes in George and the Jungle 2.  The wall video shows the performers getting dressed and learning to act in character.IMG_2657
  • Inspector Gadget silliness.
  • Step by Step ‘How To’ Storyboard for kids to study.
  • Several animatronics that allow kids to control the animation of a creature with levers or buttons.  Some displays require kids to work together to make the movement realistic.  This is definitely a kid favorite!
  • Don’t miss the 30 minute video at the end that puts all the pieces together.  Parents of younger kids beware – there are a few startling scenes — be ready to cover their eyes as they pass quickly.

IMG_2661What is the Extra Fun?

Bring the family to the Science Museum of Virginia for a monster summer celebration on June 21st.   Summer Science Family Fun is 9:30 am-5 pm.  What else will be on hand?

  • Iconic Bigfoot® #1 — the original Monster Truck — 9:30 am-5 pm
  • Monster trebuchet sending items soaring — scheduled times (TREB-you-shay – it’s a type of catapult used as a siege machine in the medieval period)
  • Live monster Reptile Encounter —noon-12:30 pm and 1:30-2 pm
  • How To Make a Monster is a behind the scenes experience that explores the science, engineering, technology and art that make animatronic movie and TV monsters come to life.
  • Monster Mash Up workshops where you can create your own clay monsters — 1-2 pm and 3-4 pm
  • Monster storms and great white sharks on monster-sized screen in The Dome. (Wildest Weather in the Solar System and Great White Shark are on the schedule.  To see a show in The Dome in addition to exhibits, tickets are $16 or ages 13-59 with $1 discounts for ages 4-12 and 60+)
  • Virginia Blood Services is here with its monster bloodmobile to take blood donations — 10 am-2 pm
  • Monster robots activated by the VirginiaFIRST Robot teams that created them – 10 am-1 pm
  • Virginia 529’s Tuition Monster — 1:30-4 pm
  • Create art at a monster light box (like a giant Lite Brite®)
  • Make paper monsters at Art on Wheels at scheduled times.
  • Science on a Sphere presentations featuring Monster Motherland and Monster Storms at scheduled times.
  • Monster Photo Op — have a picture taken with a giant insect that’s projected on a green screen.  The photo will be emailed directly to guests. — 11 am-1:30 pm and 2-4:30 pm
  • Live Science demonstrations include heart, brain and cow eye dissections at scheduled times.
  • Compare your monster feet to some really huge monsters.
  • Monster face painting
  • And best yet!  Afternoon Monster Mashup workshops offer a chance to make your own clay monster!

Summer Science Family Fun and How to Make a Monster are included with exhibit admission – tickets are $11 with $1 discounts for ages 4-12 and 60+. For more information please visit www.smv.org or call 804.964.1400.