Joseph M. Neumeyer, Founder

When Mr. Neumeyer was a boy, growing up in Los Angeles, he had the opportunity to visit Disneyland every Summer with his family. Greatly anticipating, and finally enjoying, the new attractions which would open every year or so, Joseph always admired those who's job it was to create and improve "The Happiest Place on Earth."

Known by his grade school classmates as "The Artist" Joseph tried to capture his impressions of the world in various forms of artwork, even creating rides of his own in the backyard of his parents' home. Eventually, when the Movie "2001 A Space Odyssey" premiered at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, Joseph was so taken by the film's visual impact, he did everything he could to recreate it in his paintings and backyard miniature dioramas.

Most impressive of this art was a set of two paintings he did reproducing the film's most popular movie posters. Many years later, Joseph was able to show these two paintings to Mr. Robert McCall, the famous commercial illustrator who had actually painted the original 2001 posters. Mr. McCall was so impressed with the attention to detail and the fine reproduction of his technique, he asked Joseph to assist him on a large mural he had been commissioned to produce.

In 1977 Joseph was working as a industrial design model maker, at a firm in Beverly Hills, when the first installment of the movie "Star Wars" was released. After seeing the film, he and a fellow model making colleague came to the conclusion they both had the training, the tools, and the skills to at least attempt motion picture, miniature special effects.

Soon Joseph was building miniatures for films such as "BattleStar Galactica," "Raise The Titanic." and "Buck Rogers in the 21st Century" and then full scale sets and props for Universal Studios and Walt Disney Productions. It was while building show components for Disney's EPCOT Center and Disney Tokyo, Joseph was first exposed to the process of how major theme attractions were not only fabricated but also how they were originally conceived and presented to potential corporate sponsors.

It was also at this time, during the Summer of 1979, Joseph had first read about Walt Disney's good friend, and Academy Award winning Animation Director, Mr. Ward Kimball. It was Mr. Kimball who created the Jiminy Cricket character for the classic animated film Pinocchio in 1940, and about whom, after returning from an exhilarating steam locomotive exhibition in Chicago, Walt Disney said: "he had the most fun with in his life."

Due to Walt Disney's untimely death in 1966, in many ways, Ward Kimball was the closest representation of Walt Disney's creative spirit Joseph could ever hope to meet in person.

Sharing a love for live steam model trains, Joseph was able to arrange a visit with Mr. Kimball at his home, where he presented a small portfolio of his train dioramas and cartoon art. After an unforgettable tour of Mr. Kimball's "backyard" complete with full-scale railroad tracks, steam engines, and the station house from the movie "Chatanuga Choo Choo," donated by Walt Disney himself, Mr. Kimball persuaded Joseph there was a great need for "concept people" at Disney, and strongly suggested he consider becoming a "show designer" for the theme park division of the entertainment company.

This recommendation was from the man about whom Walt Disney was quoted in saying: "Ward is the one man who works for me that I'm willing to call a genius."

Afterwards, Joseph said: "It was like being dubbed a knight by a king! As if a creative piton had been passed from a great master of an older generation to a potential of the next."

Needless to say, Joseph immediately started developing ideas and hiring commercial illustrators to begin envisioning what he thought could be great new attractions for Disneyland. To create as wide a range of concepts for his new ride presentation portfolio, he decided to develop story board art for three totally different attractions, from three totally different periods of time, employing artists with totally different styles and techniques.

Joseph later explained: "The look of the ride's presentation art should feature the unique theatrical story-telling qualities of the particular attraction being presented. Therefore, the finished look of the art for each ride presentation, would necessarily be as unique as the ride itself. This is why Joseph did not aspire to do the artwork himself. Developing concepts and ride storylines which would ultimately determine the various styles of artwork selected, was deemed a far more productive use of his time and talents.

The term "Imagineering" was coined at Walt E. Disney Enterprises, and as the word suggests, it represents a combination of the imagination and engineering. As interesting as this may be, the theme park industry had a greater need of a service, less well known, called "Solutioneering." This was an ability to not only imagineer, but to do so in a way that would ultimately present entertainment solutions to specific, theme park marketing goals.

Of the three portfolio ride presentations Joseph produced on his own, "The Pyramid Beyond" Space Adventure attraction best exemplified many of the design elements within his interpretation of the meaning of "Solutioneering."

"The Pyramid Beyond" ride was conceived as an interactive adventure where guest would actually participate in a group computer game, ultimately determining the entertainment outcome of their specific space adventure. The ride was designed to have a number of endings, the selection of which would be based on the final group score of the rides starship theater.

In other words, the better the group score, the better, or more exciting, beautiful, or combination of both, the ending of the ride would be. This innovation in ride design was also a response to the entertainment market's very profitable computer game industry's home and arcade systems. People could actually get better at the ride by playing their home version of the ride's space adventure computer game. This audience participatory, innovation was also intended as a solution to one of the most persistent issues facing the entire theme park industry, which is how to attract repeat customers.

Most theme parks have addressed this issue by investing many millions into new attractions every two or three years. "The Pyramid Beyond" ride, was conceived to accomplish the same thing at the relatively inexpensive cost of upgrading or replacing the rides entertainment software. This would ultimately save the theme park tens of millions by avoiding the unnecessary construction of new ride facilities. This and many other related revenue generating forms of "Solutioneering" was the topic of a thesis Joseph wrote as part of a Studio Art Honors degree program he completed at Arizona State University, entitled: "Mass Flow Interactive Attractions as a Solution to the Dilemma of Theme Park Repeat Visitation."

Of the three ride portfolio presentations Joseph originally produced, which included "The Pyramid Beyond", a 1920's Chicago thrill ride entitled:"The Gangster Coaster" and a medieval Viking Long Ship adventure called: "To Go A Viking", it was the "Gangster Coaster" which most addressed the ever growing popular desire for high-speed, thrill oriented roller-coasters. As a "Solutioneer" Joseph intended the ride to satisfy the typical visitor's "need-for-speed" while applying extensive story-immersing, pre-show queue entertainment and interactive "shooting galleries on wheels" to create game-score-determined endings to the ride.

Unfortunately, at the time, Disney ride and show executives were unable to review Joseph's ride presentation portfolio so he subsequently presented it to other companies who were also active in the theme park industry. Fortunately, it was not long before Joseph was being asked to assist on proposed theme parks and attractions around the world.

One such assignment was an attraction called "Lusolandia." Proposed for the city of Lisbon, Portugal, the entertainment facility was conceived to feature and present the 15th and 16th century "Golden Era" of Portuguese exploration.

Joseph was asked to produce the finish renderings presenting the entire facility including illustrations of attractions which had not yet been conceived. The client wanted only one illustration to depict the overall scheme of each ride or country Portugal had explored. His job was to create or develop ride concepts for these countries, select the commercial illustrators to produce the renderings, and then art-direct the entire process.

The "Conquistadores" ride was representative of the culmination of Joseph's theme park design career. It was one of four rides he was hired to conceive and develop for a major theme park entitled "Magical Journeys." As a member of a larger design team in the early 1990's, Joseph's responsibilities included the creation, orchestration, and presentation of a series of his own original ride concepts to the developers of a proposed $2 billion theme park intended for the city of Kobe, Japan.

For over a decade, Joseph worked, in a creative design and coordination capacity with a number of theme park design firms for projects around the world. It was during this time he was fortunate enough to interact, and network with, some of the most talented artists, architects, designers, writers, and engineers in their particular fields of expertise. It was a creative team spirit, fostered over many years of collaborative theme park work, which enabled Joseph to coordinate and produce the quality of commercial art ultimately achieved under the extremely limited time parameters of this particular assignment.

Over the past two decades, the leading companies in the theme park industry have slowly shifted their emphasis from theme attractions to thrill rides. During this period, opportunities to design the classic "Pirates of the Caribbean" type theme park attraction were few and far between. In response to this shift in entertainment priorities, Joseph decided to make a shift in his priorities as well, and founded Joseph Neumeyer's Dynamic Dioramas.

The construction of a ride miniature, known as a mock-up, is produced to pull together and finalize, in three-dimensions, the "story in pictures" developed earlier in the ride design effort. This mock-up represents the culmination of the entire creative process in as far as the attraction's architectural exterior and its interior show components are concerned. The vast majority of this creative process is understood to be complete at this final point.of the attraction's design After the model is built, what remains to be done is primarily a matter of scaling-up the show and ride components to full size.

A well designed miniature diorama is very similar to a theme park ride mock-up in many ways. There are characters and vignettes, compositional and lighting considerations, etc., in both types of model making which are combined to create a visual, storytelling tableau. As a result, an accomplished theme park show designer who masters the art of miniature dioramas is far more capable of presenting his or her creative abilities in either field of expertise. It is this mastery of two complementary fields of artistic endeavor which Joseph had in mind when he started his Diorama design and fabrication company.

Founded in 1998, Joseph Neumeyer's Dynamic Dioramas was created in response to an expressed desire, from private collectors, museums, and theme parks for his unique miniature recreations. Joseph attributed much of this demand to an essential factor common to all his work: a dramatic compositional and storytelling skill integrating vignettes and various focuses of attention central to all of his work. Proficient in both industrial design model making and motion picture special effects miniatures, Joseph augmented his professional experience, with night courses at the, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and in 1995, with a Magna Cum Laude BA in Studio Art, from the University Honors College of Arizona State University. Late in his last year of college, Joseph took a job in the culinary department of a nearby four star hotel where he produced high quality decorative sculpture called " garde manger" as centerpieces for banquets held at the hotel. These unique sculptures were required to be made primarily from materials, such as tallow, salt-dough, and baking-clay, typically used in commercial kitchens. When Joseph returned to his home town of Los Angeles, he showed photos of this work to those in charge of hiring model makers for the movie "Titanic" which was in early production at the time. When they learned what the sculptures and models were made of, they immediately hired him saying: "If he can build those out of tallow and salt-dough, he can build anything!"

After completion of the visual effects miniatures Joseph built for the movie " Titanic" he went on to apply his model making skills to the entertainment industry on movies such as "Starship Troopers", "Godzilla", and theme attractions such as "Star Trek, The Experience" in Las Vegas. Both of the movies "Titanic" and "Starship Troopers" went on to be nominated for the Best Visual Effects, Academy Award in 1997. Titanic won the Oscar.

After returning to Los Angeles, Joseph also participated in a number of highly regarded model-making competitions, where he has earned national and international recognition. Among other honors, Joseph was awarded the Popular Best Of Show trophy at the 1998 I.P.M.S. National Convention. This special award is voted on by fellow competitors and visitors to the convention from across the country. At Tamiya/Con '98, Joseph won the prestigious Master Modeler's Division, Best Creative Entry trophy, an honor awarded him by Mr. Tamiya, Sr., founder of the well known Japanese precision model kit manufacturer. More recently, Joseph won a gold medal for his entry at the prestigious SCAHMS, (Southern California Area Historic Modelers Society) competition and a international medal for his "To Go A Viking" diorama at the World Expo 2005 which took place in Boston. Since its inception, Joseph Neumeyer's Dynamic Dioramas has been dedicated to the creation of works that give the viewer the realistic effect of "being there." With this firm commitment to storytelling and realism in mind, Joseph is in an excellent position to continue meeting the extremely high standards and discriminating tastes of those who desire only the very best of creative thematic design.