The Dead Pixels Society podcast

Providing magical theme park experiences with Lee Palmer, Kodak Moments

August 04, 2022 Gary Pageau Season 3 Episode 81
The Dead Pixels Society podcast
Providing magical theme park experiences with Lee Palmer, Kodak Moments
Show Notes Transcript

Gary Pageau of the Dead Pixels Society talks with Lee Palmer, EMEA-APAC Region Business Manager, Kodak Moments, about the company's new exclusive official On-site Imaging Provider for Disneyland Paris. Palmer discusses how Kodak Moments is working with this high-profile client to deliver an innovative photographic experience for guests.

Kodak Moments is a leading global provider of photo products and services to retailers, consumers, and entertainment properties.  Powered by over 100,000 consumer touchpoints across 30 countries globally, its mission is to be the brand consumers choose to celebrate and preserve life’s memories, from the big events to the everyday moments that matter.

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Erin Manning  0:00  
The Dead Pixels Society podcast is brought to you by Mediaclip, Advertek Printing and Independent Photo Imagers. Welcome to the dead pixel society podcast, the photo imaging industry's leading us source. Here's your host, Gary Pageau.

Gary Pageau  0:18  
Hello again, and welcome to the dead pixel society podcast. I'm your host, Gary Pageau. And today we're joined by Lee Palmer, a regional business manager for Kodak moments. And he's here to talk to us about the recent agreement between Kodak moments and Disneyland Paris to offer on site imaging services. Hi, Lee, how are you today?

Lee Palmer  0:38  
Yeah, I'm very good. Thanks, Gary. And it's a pleasure to be talking to you say thanks for the invite.

Gary Pageau  0:43  
Tell me a little bit about the Kodak Moment offerings in the amusement park space, because you've been in this segment for quite a long time.

Lee Palmer  0:55  
Yeah, so as you say, so under the Kodak Moments business, we have the kind of retail printing solutions. So they're kind of like the photo kiosks. But then we also work in the travel and leisure sector as well. So yeah, that's like tourist attractions and theme parks like Disneyland Paris. Also in in Europe, we deal with some of the cruise liners as well like, like MSC and one of the things you kind of touched upon, we were we were excited to announce earlier this year was that we became the official on site imaging partner for Disneyland Paris. Which means we we effectively now provide the whole kind of end to end imaging solution for them on site.

Gary Pageau  1:38  
So what does that mean by on site? Is that like a kiosk environment? Is that a, the apex equipment and mini lab setup? What does that look like?

Lee Palmer  1:50  
Yes, I guess it's a combination of things, it's probably a little bit different to what people generally understand from our retail printing. So, so yeah, when we're talking about on site, we're obviously talking about you know, within the resort, you know, of Disneyland Paris. So, you know, the kind of like, I would say, three main areas of how our kind of partnership and the service that we provide to Disneyland Paris. So the first one is we provide all the photographic equipment, and all the technical support for all the official photographers. So these are the photographers on site that are kind of roaming around taking photos of you with the characters that are in the park, taking photographs of you, you know, in front of the unique backdrops like the castle, so we support those, we also provide all the ride capture systems. So these are the kinds of high speed cameras that take photos of you while you're on the road roller coasters and, and other attractions. We do also support that with with kind of like kiosks and printing solutions. So you can as well as having a digital file, you can also have a hardcopy file as well, if you want. And then the kind of final area is we provide and manage all the servers and also now the website for Disneyland Paris. So that basically means that the customers can have all of their images, you know, quickly and safely transferred from from all of these kinds of like capture locations, and then they can quickly kind of view their collections online.

Gary Pageau  3:16  
Is this a similar system to the Disney PhotoPass system that people in North America might be familiar with? Is this the same sort of environment where people can use the professionally captured images and also integrate their own personal images and kind of create kind of a holistic environment isn't the same sort of idea? I'm sure it's not the same system. But

Lee Palmer  3:36  
yeah, it's very similar. You're right, in terms of consumer experience and stuff, there's a lot of similarity there, obviously, some differences as well between the various sites around the world. But effectively, yeah, within, within Disneyland, Paris, you can buy one of these, they call it the PhotoPass plus. So this is something that you would pay a one time fee, before your vacation starts. And then that basically gives you all of your, all of the images that are captured by those, either those professional photographers, or the ride capture systems, so that the end of the end of your vacation, you've got, you know, this huge collection of these images that are taken that kind of like, you know, have captured and you can use to relive your your vacation, I think, I think one of the things that's often overlooked, especially with professional photographers, apart from the fact that, you know, the photos always really well framed and well composed, is that everybody's in the photo. Right? It's, you know, one of the things you know, I've been fortunate enough to, to, obviously do a couple of Disney holidays over the years. And, you know, obviously when the photos you're doing yourself, you get loads of great shots, but obviously either mom or dad or someone's not in the photo, you know, because they're taking that, you know, one of the one of the great things about the PhotoPass plus is is that you know you everybody's in those shots, which is which is obviously Nice.

Gary Pageau  4:55  
Yeah. And then I mean, it's quite the operation. I think there's like more than one Good photographers, and there's how many ride capture systems are involved?

Lee Palmer  5:05  
Yes, at the moment, we've got about half a dozen ride capture systems. So yeah, these are on things like Hyperspace Mountain and Thunder Mountain and Buzz Lightyear you know, these kinds of attractions and, and obviously is Disneyland Paris are continuing to expand and grow, you know so so we haven't growing with them and adding to the number of ride capture systems that we're providing. So it's about half a dozen of those today, but it will continue to grow. Over the coming years, we've just Disney have just launched the Marvel campus in Paris recently. And so we've already got some new new imaging solutions as part of the attractions that they've got on that site. And that is you say they've got more than 100 photographers, it's quite a big operation. And they're continuing to look to grow that because I think that's one of the things I think we're both parties are really interested in is you know, you can provide really good value to the, to the guests, you know, by the more images you can take, right? The bigger the capacity of images that you have on on your photo pass collection at the end of your holiday, the better you feel about that purchase, because you know, then you've got a fantastic collection of all these kinds of unique shots and fantastic memories to decide what you want to do with later.

Gary Pageau  6:19  
Now, obviously, KODAK Picture spot was the great, probably landmark within Disney properties. Is that something that's continued in the Disneyland Paris?

Lee Palmer  6:29  
So it's a good question, Gary, it is. It's something you're right. So I mean, I've been involved with Kodak and Kodak moments for for north of 20 years now. So I do remember the original kind of Kodak photo spots. And as part of the new agreement that we we announced earlier this year, we have now brought those back in Paris. So yeah, that was nice to do, I think for for all of us that work within the company, it was nice to bring those back. And so we've got a couple of these Kodak moment photo spots. So one of those is probably not surprised to learn is in front of the Magic Castle. Because that still is, you know, one of the most fantastic locations to take an image image from when you're on your holiday and, and we've got another one in front of Walt Disney statue. And, you know, we're looking at one of the things, aside from the fact that they're just great locations to take photos from we are also working with Disneyland Paris and looking at how we can also make those photo spots even more engaging. So we're at the early stages of this, but we're looking at adding a little bit of AR into into those spots. So that as well as a great photo, you know, we can create a little bit of theater and a little bit of an engagement with the image to make it an extra little bit special.

Gary Pageau  7:44  
How would you do the AR? I mean, are you involved with the photo pass app? So you could integrate it within that? Or I'm just curious. And I know you're not the super technical lead? So I but I'm just kind of curious of how much of the service Kodak moment is providing? Is it basically you're providing all the technology? Or is there some partnership with Disneyland Paris there?

Lee Palmer  8:07  
Yeah, nice for the take the example of the photo spot that we're looking at, we do that AR ourselves getting moments do that we do that. And that's done in post production. And so the images captured obviously goes off to the server, and then it's done in post production. And obviously, all this is done in in pretty much in real time for the consumer in terms of you know, when they'll get it back. So yeah, so no, we, as I say, we pretty much provide everything end to end, we obviously work very closely with Disneyland Paris, you know, anything that involves their assets, you know, in terms of Disney content is obviously clearly with them. They obviously own all of those assets,

Gary Pageau  8:44  
you've expanded your offerings and your opportunity with Disneyland Paris, what were some of the enhancements you're able to provide? Because I'm guessing now that the world is coming out of COVID-19 the demand on that system is going to be incredible.

Lee Palmer  8:58  
Absolutely, Gary, and we've seen that I think June was was one of our best months, we have seen that. You know that the park is very busy again. And it's great to see, to see that right, given what's happened over the last few years. Obviously, you know, it's been difficult, but But through all of that we've been you know, as the same with Disneyland Paris, you know, the focus has been very much on, you know, staff safety and guest safety and everything else that goes with that. But we did we did look to try and you know, use that time as well to do some upgrades where we could so one of the big I would say the biggest enhancement for guest experience is really what we've done around the website, because in the past it was it was there was quite a time delay between when the images were captured and when then a guest could view them, you know, online in that collection. So we did a big enhancement and upgrade to that so that now rather than having to wait hours, it's almost immediate, you know that they can view their images online, which is, again, speaking from personal experience, you know, when you come off a ride or You've just had your photo photograph taken, it's amazing how quickly you want to view it, you know, on your device, you know, so so we have really spent a lot of time and work on trying to make that very quick. So that's probably one of the big enhancements. Similarly, we did take the opportunity to to upgrade all of the photographers, cameras and PDAs that they have on sites, again, that's really about improving both the quality of the images. And also making the transfer process faster. We also looked at on some of the rides, where you have lots of people maybe in the shot, like Buzz Lightyear and, and Tower of Terror, you know, constantly looking at how we can kind of get better identification of guests. So yeah, so So those are probably some of the upgrades we made in the, in the kind of like, over the short period of time, you know, over the last 12 months or so. And then obviously, looking forward, you know, it's Disneyland Paris have is we're seeing right now we've got big expansion plans and growth plans and want to continue to innovate for their guests, and really create that, you know, the whole Disneyland experience is about creating wow moments, right, and creating that positive, pleasant, pleasant surprise to their guests. So, you know, a lot of what we're working on now is, you know, how we can support that from an imaging standpoint. So that when Disneyland create these kinds of magical moments with, we're there to help capture and preserve those moments for their guests.

Gary Pageau  11:27  
When I'm thinking of things like AR, you know, certainly that's a technological achievement and kind of interesting, not sure it's really going to drive more purchase. But when you look at something like identifying people getting the right people in the picture, I think that is something that will actually, you know, increase customer satisfaction, how is that being done? Is it like through an AI thing? Because, I mean, forgive me, it's been a while since I've been through a PhotoPass experience? Didn't they just kind of want your barcode on a pass of some sort? How is it? Is there any technology or process there that's changing that?

Lee Palmer  12:03  
Yes. So obviously, at the moment, a technology allows that, you know, when you're on the road, when you're on the rides, that it is, you know, it knows where you're sitting to be able to take the photo exam, share the photo of you, you know, from the carriage, if you're like that you're you're on, obviously, you know, there's, there's lots you can do with facial recognition, which is kind of like, what you're referring to, and there's lots that can be done, to create interesting opportunities with that. It's something that we continually look at, it's not straightforward. using facial recognition in, in Europe or in, in most countries around the world. There are obviously lots of data privacy considerations that you always have to consider. And, and actually, especially around, if you're, if you're using facial recognition, and you're looking to keep those images for a long period of time, right, there's different implications around if it's a, just a short term facial recognition, or if it's a, you know, you're you're storing facial recognition data and, and obviously, you know, with the, the images that we're we're doing on the consumer, you know, on their holidays, you know, we want to be at a store these images so they can can access them for for a period of time. So, there are there are lots of opportunities that the technology allows. Obviously, we, you know, we, we discussed that with Disneyland Paris, but we'll always look at it on the balance of, you know, what's right for the guest. You know, we don't wanna be invasive either. So it's always always a balance. At the moment, like I say, it's, it's, we can do it without the kind of core facial recognition stuff, just to note, we can just know what carriages they're on and, and kind of capture from there. And there's some small things we can do to really try and like make sure we, that people get the images they're most interested in. Right, and not necessarily other guests. But, but obviously, with facial recognition, they say it's a thing we're monitoring, and we're constantly evaluating that we need to be very mindful of it as well.

Gary Pageau  14:01  
Yeah, because in Europe, I know there's a lot more restrictions over facial recognition and privacy and different things like that. And I can imagine, if you're using it, just to say, hey, there's a human being in a photo. And I want to I want to focus the camera on the human being, that's very different than this is a specific human being. And it's tied to this specific account. And there's privacy issues there. And like you said, you know, if you're gonna hold on to the assets for a while, I imagine it's kind of interesting.

Lee Palmer  14:32  
It is it you know, like I said, the technology is very advanced, you know, in terms of what exists, but I think it's, you know, we've all of these things, you're, it's, it's yes, of course, you absolutely need to be everything needs to be correct from a legal perspective. But it's also just evaluating, you know, what's best for the user experience as well. Right? Not just what's legal and what's not legal, it's what's best for the consumer experience. You know, what's best for the guests. You know, obviously you need Is lamb Parris ultimately will decide, you know that that's that's what you know, you know, they own and we'll be the ultimate decision makers on that, obviously from our standpoint as an imaging provider, we, we look at what the technology is capable of, and at least we can understand that and what's, what can potentially be leveraged in the future. And but you're right, it's not a it's not a linear straightforward conversation. There's, there's lots of moving parts that go into it. But it's, it's a it's it does, does provide interesting opportunities. But there's clearly lots of other discussion to go on that in years to come not just with us, but I think in in general across the world, and not just probably in

Gary Pageau  15:35  
Europe, like I said, I think Europe has kind of been a lead more of a leader than in the United States with that sort of thinking. I think,

Lee Palmer  15:42  
certainly in Europe, data privacy is a I'm sure it's big everywhere. But certainly, it is a very key issue in Europe. That is true. Yeah.

Gary Pageau  15:49  
But you know, but I've mentioned in any kind of park environment like that your people are opting in, if you will. So so that does help a little bit, I want to talk about privacy for everyone I want to talk about is the big a lot of the business side. So tell me about the the guest has gone through the entire park, and they've had the vacation of their lives. And they're excited. They're they're looking at their PhotoPass every night, they're having a great time. But now, when it's over, what can they do on the Kodak moment site to print and output those images? What are some of the offerings there?

Lee Palmer  16:24  
Yeah, so obviously, we do we do have solutions, first of all, on site for some printing and output. So that is available to guess should they want to take take up the opportunity and face is, is one of the things we've noticed, you know, kind of poster lock downs, we've been quite surprised to see that that's one of the areas it's been growing quite a bit. I mean, the digital collection, yeah, the digital collection is has continually been growing and probably is less surprising. But we've actually seen some increase in the, in the actual outputting. that's being done on our printers. So there is that available on site, and we are constantly talking with these Anam Paris, you know, how that could also kind of grow and expand in the future. Because certainly, you know, the consumers appetite to use their images is is always at its highest right in closer to the event. That that's one thing we often see. And obviously, you know, post post the hot your holiday, if you'd like then yeah, you have access to your collection online, where you can can view that download it, and we we have a Kodak moments at within the in Europe and also one that exists within the US, you know, we are looking at how we can provide some links to that. So that you know, we can then connect people after they've got their collection online to then create some output products, you know, again, whether that's a canvas to go on the wall or a or a photo book of your collection. So So yeah, so we use the Kodak moments app, and we're just looking at how how best to kind of connect to that, you know, from their digital collection.

Gary Pageau  17:51  
So can you do some printing directly from that site? Or are you trying to build a connection to the Kodak moments site?

Lee Palmer  17:59  
So the site the Disneyland Paris site? Is it is it like a digital collection only today? So it's not it's not a print from site today. But that is something that again, like like, like several areas of it, we could move into overtime? You know,

Gary Pageau  18:14  
it seems to me like that would be you know, the next step, it's a ripe opportunity. Because, you know, like you said, when people are most excited, you want to reduce the friction for them to engage with their pictures and do more with them. I would think doing some sort of, you know, creating a photo book or a collage or something like that would be

Lee Palmer  18:31  
absolutely so let's say there's, there's some, there's some things we're working on, like the real time, I guess with with the app, the kind of moments that you there's, there's probably kind of like with this multi year agreement we've got with Disneyland Paris, there's there's you can imagine probably lots of areas we'll discuss where there's opportunities to improve the overall guest experience, you know, from an end to end perspective, certainly in the immediate future, the big thing we're really looking at is this idea of you know, how we can increase the the number of images captured first of all, because I think, you know, that's the kind of top of the funnel how do you how do you get more fantastic images, you know, of the guests experience, if we get that right, everything else kind of follows in a little bit. And the start point is at the top of that fun also working with them as they, as they themselves have been increasing the number of photographers as I mentioned, and and how we can, you know, increase the number of ride capture systems and also come up with different kinds of ride capture systems, right things that are unique and innovative and again, provide that element of wow factor to two guests. So for sure that you know that that's that's something that we both see as being critical on the horizon of increasing that collection of memories right capture those those moments, and then also continuing to look to innovate in that space as well to make them as interesting as possible for the for the consumer and if we the more we get that right. Then obviously then downstream they're more opportunities kind of like come with That and for sure that, you know, one of the things, you know, working with Disneyland Paris, which is fantastic is they're absolutely it's in their core DNA and they are solely focused on creating this great experience for guests what what is the right things to do to make this fantastic experience for guests and make the, you know, the Disneyland product, the best product possible? I mean, if you get if you if you continue to focus on that, and then all the other good business stuff comes with that down the line,

Gary Pageau  20:27  
is there anything in the system being built in to facilitate short videos or things like that, that could enhance that experience? I guess where I was going with that question was more of the like the short video capture, I mean,

Lee Palmer  20:39  
give you one really great example that say, as I mentioned, Disneyland Paris have just launched the Marvel campus, which is a new kind of location within the Disney World studio. Within that attraction, we've exactly got something like that, it takes a collection of kind of like still motion images, to exactly create that kind of four or five second video for the guests. So it's hard to explain it right now in an audio format, it's much more visual medium. Without hopefully I don't get sued. It's like a Matrix style. You know, type thing on a four, five second video where you're, you know, the guest, you know, stands with the Ironman and you've kind of got this, it kind of like almost 180 motion, right? For five second video. So it's very cool. I mean, I kind of like seen it in action for the first time, you know, over the last few weeks, and it? Yeah, it's again, it's another interesting piece of content that we can provide the consumer. You know, we've Disneyland Paris, so, so yeah, so absolutely. You know, that's something that, you know, for sure, Disneyland Paris, I'm sure we'll look at how they can share that. And, you know, and leverage that kind of stuff. But it's, yeah, so it's a very cool product that we've just launched with them literally in the last few weeks. 

Gary Pageau  21:58  
How long has this been agreement been in place? I mean, what kind of result early results are you seeing? I guess? Yeah.

Lee Palmer  22:05  
So we've been working with Disneyland Paris, pretty much for for more than 20 years, I think in terms of how long have we been working with them that, you know, the difference with this announcement is we we now provide everything in terms of end to end and and now they're officially on site imaging partners. So the agreement we announced at the beginning of this year, obviously, once we've kind of come out of the lockdown periods, you know, across Europe, and you know, where we're at at the moment is you touched upon Gary is we're seeing this huge kind of swell of tourism again, and the park is seems to be heaving, at least from what we can see with the the volume of images that are moving through the servers and through the site. So So there's definitely seems to be a, you know, obviously, with the fact that people have been in lockdown. Well, I think we're now seeing the aftermath of people, you know, wanting to get away wanting to have, you know, maybe vacations or holidays, they haven't been able to have, I think there's a real additional focus around kind of experiential things as well, I think that's something we've seen coming out of this, that that's the thing that people have missed probably as much as anything, right, the ability to go out and, and that social mobility and, and be with other people and still maintaining, you know, being safe and everything, but but I think that's something that people have really missed. So we are really seeing, like I said, you know, June was, it was one of our best months ever. But the moment we've, you know, I think we're really pleased as, hopefully Disneyland Paris are with how things are tracking, kind of as we've been coming out of the lockdown, obviously, we've also had a lot of focus around supporting them for the launch of the Marvel campus, as you can imagine, that was a big project for them, you know, reaching way beyond just imaging for them. That was a big strategic priorities. And obviously, we were keen to make sure we could support that to the best of our abilities with the imaging solutions. At the moment, I say, I think, you know, it's it's, all things are really positive. We've got lots of, you know, pipeline of lots of exciting projects, you know, to work on and in the years in front of us, aside from the even just a great level of offerings, we think exist now to the consumer, especially when they get the PhotoPass plus. And yes, I think it's kind of like exciting times ahead and working with somebody like Disneyland Paris is great, because they just they aren't Yeah, they get it. They demand innovation. They really focus on the, as I said earlier, the consumer guest experience, you know, I think we as a team are always learning as well from them as well. There's stuff we can glean from that. So, yeah, it's it's a great business to work with. And it's always great when you're dealing with a product or a service that you know, is bringing joy to people, you know, yeah, it's an enriching thing we're dealing with and that I think, for those of us that are working on it, it provides a lot of value and enrichment for us as well because it's nice to know that you're, you're helping people you know, capture and preserve those memories that you know that there Oh, probably, like you said, revisit, you know, for hopefully lots of lots of years to come. 

Gary Pageau  25:05  
Well, thank you, Lee for your time. And it looks like I have to schedule a trip to Disneyland Paris to check this out myself. But if I wanted to get more information about what Kodak moments offers in this space, where can they go?

Lee Palmer  25:19  
If it's a case of within the Emir region, then obviously anybody's Welcome to to reach out to myself. I'm sure my details will be attached, you know, to this podcast, and then we do have it there's a guy called Joseph BT LGBT to us who's the kind of like the Global Head of travel and leisure. So he kind of has that oversight of all of the parks that you kind of touched on earlier around the world. I'm sure we could put his details on the on the podcast, links below and, and they can reach out to him. So absolutely, if if there's people interested to learning more, you know, whether it's from the b2b side or even just as a as a guest site, you know, in terms of experiencing it, then, then, you know, more than happy for them to reach out to us directly.

Gary Pageau  26:06  
Well, thank you monthly and best wishes for the rest of the summer.

Lee Palmer  26:10  
Now, I appreciate thanks a lot, Gary. It's been a pleasure talking to you. Take care.

Erin Manning  26:16  
Thank you for listening to the Dead Pixels Society podcast. Read more great stories and sign up for the newsletter at www the dead pixels society.com

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