A specially-designed app will help visitors enjoy the opening exhibition of The Word, the National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields.
The opening exhibition, Sir Ridley Scott: Past, Present and Future Visionary, celebrates the career and achievements of the Hollywood director, who was born in the town and went to art college in the region before starting his Oscar-winning career.
Artefacts from six of Sir Ridley’s most famous blockbusters, Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Robin Hood, Thelma and Louise, and The Martian, feature alongside costumes, film clips and interactive activities to celebrate his successful career.
South Tyneside Council commissioned Sheridan Design to produce the exhibition, and they in turn commissioned software development company Waymark IT to produce a visitor app that is prompted by a user’s proximity to a specific exhibit.
“The app is free and works with both Apple and Android phones. It senses how close you are to each exhibit and gives you further information about the exhibit you’re standing next to,” explained David Brophy, managing director of Gateshead-based Waymark.
“So the app could show you clips from a film, quotes from actors or Sir Ridley, or information about awards that the film won.
“Our software developer Martyn Ripley worked closely with Sheridan Design on the app and the technology for the beacon sensors for about three months.
“We’re delighted with the result and think the app will really enhance the visitors’ experience of what is a fantastic exhibition.
“We knew the people at Sheridan Design well as they designed our new website and sales literature for us, and we’ve enjoyed working with them on this project.”
Software developer Martyn, 28, added: “I’m a huge fan of Sir Ridley’s films so this was a brilliant project for me to work on.”
Martyn, from Newcastle and who has worked at Waymark for two and a half years, added: “The app is easy to use and jam-packed with extra information about Sir Ridley and his work.”
The exhibition, sponsored by Port of Tyne, includes an exploration of Sir Ridley’s successful advertising career, showcasing some of his most famous ads for the likes of Hovis, Apple, Nissan and Chanel. It also has a number of activities to keep children entertained, from designing an alien to creating a movie storyboard.
The exhibition will run until May 2 next year.
The Word is a three-storey building that celebrates the borough’s rich literary heritage and will be a home for the region’s writing talent. It is part of the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan being delivered by South Tyneside Council and its partner Muse Developments.
Waymark was set up five years ago, and began developing software for utility services. It has since expanded into the education, health, logistics and commercial sectors, working with more than 30 clients, rapidly expanding its workforce in doing so. It recently opened a new office in Sunderland.
Waymark managing director David Brophy, left, with software developer Martin Ridley and Jon Ternent, studio mManager at Sheridan Design.