MDM Create | within a new full-service company for MDM Props
MDM Create is a new sister company formed by MDM Props, a leader in large and small scale art making, scenic constriction, model making and prop making. Drawing on the company’s three decades of experience in the world of themed entertainment, MDM Create will offer a new turnkey solution for industry.
To learn more about the benefits this new division will bring to the wider attractions industry, blooloop spoke with Russell SchofieldDirector of MDM Props, Eddie Saulcreative director at MDM Create and Cate Kapplercommercial director at MDM Create.
Overview of MDM Accessories
MDM began in 1993. Schofield, who began his career in the steel industry in Sheffield before attending art school and then working at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, explains the company’s origins:
“We started 30 years ago, during the West End musical boom period. The first thing we got involved with was the Phantom of the Opera, and from there the company just kept growing.
From its beginnings building sets for hit musicals, MDM Props has quickly expanded into several different industries, including theme parks and movies. As its capabilities continued to grow, the team was also increasingly called upon to become involved in project design.
“We would be given concepts, and then we had to flesh things out and make them real. Eventually, the logical step became clear: we should create a new division that can help with the whole process, under one roof. »
The company’s years of experience mean it can offer a unique perspective, says Schofield:
“A lot of start-ups don’t have the experience to do things. As experienced makers, we already understand that there are reasons why certain things can and cannot be done. That’s why we decided to create another part of the company, MDM Create.
In addition to this, the company also operates Sugar Studios, a studio available for rental within its London Headquarter. Originally created as a space to film MDM creations, it includes an overflow studio with green screen and blackout facilities.
A personal business
Eddie Saul is the creative director of the new division. Due to his illustrious career which spans all aspects of the industry, from facade and operations to design, manufacturing, concert and stage design, project management and everything in between, he is the choice ideal for moving MDM Create forward as a new division.
Saul started working for MDM Props 15 years ago. He then worked with the City of London on creative projects for Tower Bridge, followed by seven years at Merlin Entertainmentbefore joining the company this year to lead MDM Create.
“What struck me right away was how personal MDM is,” he says, thinking back to his early years with the company. “It’s more than words and pictures. They have the practical skills, knowledge and decades of experience to deliver things.
“When I started with the business it was based in a small factory in Brixton. Now it is in the Greenwich design district, taking up around 50,000 square feet, plus studio space. It is become this juggernaut that can take on many different tasks of all kinds, but can also focus on the little things and the finer things that customers need.”
MDM Create are experts in their field
While working for Merlin Entertainments, Saul turned to MDM Props to work on projects like the Bear Grylls Experience.
“I was using MDM because I knew they understood projects from a practical perspective. They know exactly what is possible and how to get there. In a way, MDM Create as a company has always been there. People come with a simple sketch and the team knows how to bring it to life.
“Now, by making it a formal division, we will have more resources. We will hire more people to bring these ideas to life and bring this extra capacity that we have out of the shadows and to the forefront of this trio of companies.
The company motto is “Anything is possible”. Let’s create.’
Explaining this, Saul adds: “We want it to be inclusive. The idea of ”Let’s Create” is to work with customers. We take them on this journey with us and make sure we can bring their big idea to life.
Discover the wide range of MDM Create services
MDM Create will have many different capabilities under one roof, from master planning, concept development, design details, prototyping and large-scale construction, as well as huge studio spaces for photography and film shoots. But what really makes the company unique is its personal, handcrafted approach to projects, says Saul.
“MDM Create will have the ability to see everything. I think people want to be able to come to a place where everything is done under one roof. They want to know they’re in safe hands from start to finish.
“If they come to MDM Create, then we’ll be the way to work with MDM Props. We’ll liaise with them, which streamlines things and takes the stress out of the client. And we’ll work with Sugar Studios to do the filming and all the audiovisual material as well.
“In all of this, we take care of the build, design, production and budget, while making sure it also stays in line with their story. This approach ensures that things don’t get lost in translation. The more a story or concept passes through the hands, the more it loses its context.
“This team has decades of knowledge, and that’s why people will want to come to us. But also, we are at the center of London. We have this incredible pool of very talented people who come from all the top colleges in the city, which then brings a freshness and a new approach.
do extraordinary things
That personal touch is reflected in the team’s responses when discussing favorite projects over the years. Kappler, who studied fine art at Central Saint Martins and has been with the company since 2010, says:
“One of my favorite parts of my job is the crucial conversations you have with a diverse set of stakeholders. So, for example, one day it might be talking to a customer about his tugboat, as we are discussing welding an artist island onto his barge, which is going to be pulled around the southern coast of the Kingdom -United. Or he could be sitting in the box talking to the lead production designer about whether we can make a prop’s wings flap a little faster.
“It’s that kind of interaction and that kind of personal feeling that we try to bring to MDM Create. In the end, everyone’s ideas are valid, and they’re all spectacular in their own way.
“At the heart of it, we get to do amazing things. I’ve never fallen in love or been bored with the business and am thrilled to do the things we create.
“I’ve worked with people who are really amazing people here, to whom we have been able to give opportunities, and who come from all over the world. It has been a tremendous privilege to nurture these people over the past thirty years and see them flourish. That’s what excites me about this job. »
A solid track record
MDM Props have worked on a huge range of different projects over the years, many of which also demonstrate the company’s creative abilities, showing the strong track record that MDM Create will build on, whether sculpting statues of famous icons or create breathtaking themed shows and immersive themed entertainment venues.
“Thousands of jobs have been created by this place,” Saul said. “For example, working on the Bear Grylls adventure for Merlin Entertainments.”
Saul was part of the Merlin team that designed and delivered the attraction. He says MDM Props helped him develop his design ideas and bring them to life. MDM created several of the big highlights of this project, such as the large Chinook, which became an iconic photo opportunity, as well as the restoration space.
“This work shows how MDM Create can help plan a tourist attraction,” says Saul. “We know how to put everything in place. And we do it so creatively that it really tells a story for the guests.
MDM Create projects
The new division is already underway, with projects under its belt for London’s latest immersive attraction – Tomb Raider: The Live Experience. On this immersive journey around the world, visitors help Lara Croft search for a valuable artifact, while facing puzzles, exploring an ancient tomb, and escaping a sinking ship. MDM Create worked alongside Little Lion Entertainment, the production company behind the experience.
“Little Lion Entertainment brought us a fantastic IP-based design concept,” says Saul. “We helped take it to the next phase by working on the detailed design, ensuring it was financially viable, and making it a functional experience. We provided animated rollovers as well as textured, rendered, and illuminated to represent the final product”.
MDM Create has also done more recent projects for Merlin Entertainments, he adds:
“We have redesigned the Madame Tussauds musical experience, which opened recently. This features projection mapping and many new figures. full-fledged festival environment.
“We also have many exciting projects in the works, which we look forward to talking about in the near future.”
Although MDM Create is proudly based in central London, it is a global company working on projects all over the world, from the Middle East and Europe to America.
“We are currently reviewing the master plan for a aquarium design in the United States, for example,” says Saul. “We already provide design services around the world, and that will only continue to grow.”
“If you can think it, we can do it,” he adds. “We can bring your big idea to life. We want to be that company that people can come to and pitch an idea, and say, “These are the people who can take my project from concept to completion.
“It’s this collaborative and personalized approach that makes us who we are.”
To find out more, visit the MDM Create website, here.