Inside HILife: ‘Giant Insect Safari’
Jamm Aquino / email@example.com
By Nancy Arcayna
GIANT INSECT SAFARI
When: Tomorrow through Aug. 2 (during normal mall hours)
Where: Pearlridge Center
Admission: Free; nominal fee to ride the train
Pearlridge Center will be transformed into a swamp this weekend — complete with oversized bugs — as “Giant Insect Safari,” the mall’s summer exhibit, gets under way. It includes six gigantic, robotic insects supplied by Kokoro, a division of Sanrio.
Creative Solutions, a local company, is responsible for creating the homes and landscaping for the creepy creatures.
“We will be provided the insects, and we need to create the rest of the environment,” explained Debbie Hedrick, co-owner of the company. “The moment they walk into that area, we want them to feel like they are in a different land — like Jurassic Park, minus all of the fear.”
Creative Solutions has been responsible for Christmas displays at the mall for seven years; it also designed such exhibits as TLC’s “Junkyard Wars: On the Road” and the “Brick Art” Lego exhibit.
“Insect Safari,” however, is more challenging. While Christmas displays reuse materials annually with minor additions, and other special exhibits come with all the materials needed for set-up, “this is much more extensive because we are building more props.”
Hedrick collected ideas during a recent visit to the “Bug’s Life” production at Disneyland. “It was as if we were engulfed in an ant hill,” she said. “I wanted to create that same effect.”
Aqua vinyl was the material of choice to create the swamp, since “it created an appearance of moving water.” Still, additional tweaks were needed.
“It needed to be painted and muddied up a bit,” said Hedrick.
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