Thinkwell Group Promotes Jason McManus to Principal

McManus to be promoted from Senior Art Director to a strategic leadership role with expanded responsibilities.

January 10, 2022 (Los Angeles, CA): Thinkwell’s leadership team announced today the promotion of Jason McManus to the title of Principal. With nearly 20 years of experience in the themed entertainment industry and more than five years at Thinkwell, Jason has both led and collaborated on some of the world’s most premier entertainment projects in his prior role as Senior Creative and Art Director. 

As one of Thinkwell’s Principals, Jason will serve in a key leadership role for the company’s production teams, acting across three areas to guide creative and production leadership, strengthen company culture, and build strategic relationships for the global organization. 

The designation of Principal is reserved for Thinkwell’s leaders who are industry professionals that have built a robust career within the company and the industry, and who have shown exceptional leadership qualities, subject matter expertise, and superior client rapport. 

“Jason’s creative drive, proactive client focus, and collaborative innovation is apparent in his work, and his industry expertise is recognized by peers and clients alike,” says Craig Hanna, Chief Creative Officer and one of the owners of Thinkwell. Jason was voted one of 2020’s Blooloop Top 50 Theme Park Influencers, and he has led the development of recent global and award-winning projects including: Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration nighttime spectacular and its Marathon of Mayhem show extensions at Universal Studios Florida; the Manchester City Stadium Tour in Manchester, England; SEVEN Entertainment Developments within the KSA, and numerous other international and domestic projects.

“Jason’s dedication to Thinkwell’s projects and internal team development has only grown during the pandemic, and his commitment to Thinkwell’s values and goals has made him a valued company leader,” notes Tyler Rinehart, VP of Production for Thinkwell. “The passion he shares within his project teams and his strategic approach to finding and nurturing new business partnerships has helped push us forward. We are excited to have Jason in this new role as his influence in future projects and collaboration with our clients continues to evolve.”

Prior to working for Thinkwell, Jason worked in creative leadership roles within Walt Disney Imagineering and other experiential design firms and currently teaches themed entertainment design at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Thinkwell Group Congratulates Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood on Its Latest Tour Expansion & Reopening

Los Angeles, CA (August 19): In an ongoing collaboration with Warner Bros. Studio Tours,
Thinkwell designed and produced the all-new Welcome Center experiences at Warner Bros.
Studio Tour Hollywood, which opened in June. Part of an entirely new building that expands the
Tour with retail, parking, and more, celebrates the Studio’s cinematic history and key franchises,
including new immersive interactive and media-focused experiences for the two largest Warner
Bros. properties, Harry Potter’s Wizarding World and DC Comics.

Visitors begin in an introductory exhibition space that showcases the history and innovation of
Warner Bros. and Burbank studios. Guests encounter a satellite view of the studio lot covering
the floor, displaying the scale of the Warner Bros. lot and featuring a 14 ft (4.3 m) replica of the
iconic WB water tower. Surrounding media exhibits give an introduction to the Studio’s storied
history. Guests then enjoy the tour’s new preshow film in a state-of-the-art theater before
heading out to discover the secrets of the lot on the tour. Upon return, guests enter into a new
immersive finale attraction that brings the blockbuster movies guests love to life, featuring DC
Superheroes & Villains and Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts.

The DC Universe area includes opportunities to bring Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso to life
and scan a surveillance system inside Batman’s Batcave for villains lurking around Gotham.
Custom interactives with unique photo ops bring the heroes of DC Comics to life alongside
never-before-displayed film artifacts.

Within the new Harry Potter spaces, guests explore a variety of interactive and photo-ready
magical encounters. Visitors can link their Wizarding World accounts and be sorted into their
house with the Sorting Hat, test their potion-making skills with interactive cauldrons, or pull “live”
mandrakes out of pots in the Herbology room. A room dedicated to Fantastic Beasts lets guests
connect with a variety of magical creatures through fun photo ops and interactive state-of-the-art
media surprises. Guests conclude their time with a “Celebration of Warner Bros.” finale
experience with a rotating collection of awards and mementos from the studio archives where
guests can pose with an Oscar statuette.

“Thinkwell is proud to have played a vital role in the creation, design, and development of these
new experiences at Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood,” says Craig Hanna, Chief Creative
Officer at Thinkwell Group. “We are fortunate to have great partners at Warner Bros. who
helped continue to push the project to completion last year during the pandemic, and we’re
excited to see guests welcomed back to the reopened Tour with these new experiences.””
The Welcome Center expansion creates an entirely new introduction and finale attraction to the
Tour with interactive and engaging moments celebrating the Warner Bros. legacy and library.
Thinkwell conceived, designed, and produced all media and interactives throughout the new
spaces in conjunction with Thinkwell Media and Thinkwell Studio Montréal for the new Welcome
Center and finale.

About Thinkwell Group

Thinkwell Group is a global experience design and production agency with studios and offices in
Los Angeles, Montréal, Beijing, and Abu Dhabi. For the past 20 years, Thinkwell’s
multi-disciplinary team has created compelling experiences for a wide range of clients and
brands around the world. Thinkwell has extensive experience in the strategy, planning, design,
and production of award-winning theme parks, brand & intellectual property attractions, events
& spectaculars, museums & exhibits, expos, and live shows.

Thinkwell Media is a full service creative production agency that specializes in immersive media

Thinkwell Studio Montréal develops and delivers cutting edge interactive experiences that
seamlessly blend content and technology.

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Thinkwell Group to Design and Produce U.S.A. Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Los Angeles, CA (March 9, 2020): The U.S. Department of State announced on January 15, 2020, its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and appointed Thinkwell Group as the turnkey designer and producer for the U.S.A. Pavilion.

Thinkwell is extremely honored to be able to deliver an experience that will welcome guests and take them on a journey into The American Spirit. Inside, they will discover a pavilion that celebrates and explores the exciting future made possible by American innovation, vision, and enterprise during the six month duration of Expo 2020 Dubai, kicking off from October this year. Thinkwell is committed to delivering one of the great pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai. Thinkwell will also be working closely with Global Ties U.S., which will recruit youth ambassadors to serve as guides in the pavilion and program cultural performances that reflect the geographic and cultural richness of America.

“As an American/Lebanese dual citizen working in the U.A.E., it is incredibly exciting to be a part of the United States’ participation that is made possible thanks to Thinkwell’s local presence and global footprint,” says Amin Rashmani, Managing Director of Thinkwell, EMEA, who is leading the project collaboration between Thinkwell’s Abu Dhabi Office and its Los Angeles Headquarters & Studio. “Our teams look forward to sharing the innovation and vision of the United States through the design and development of the U.S.A. Pavilion at this global event.”

About Thinkwell Group

Thinkwell Group is a global experience design and production agency with studios and offices in Los Angeles, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Montréal, and Riyadh. For nearly 20 years, our multi-disciplinary team has created compelling experiences for a wide range of clients and brands around the world. Thinkwell’s creative, collaborative team brings extensive experience in the strategy, planning, design, and production of theme parks, destination resorts, major branded and intellectual property attractions, events & spectaculars, museums & exhibits, expos, and live shows. The award-winning company has become a leader in experiential design by bringing a unique holistic approach to every engagement. Thinkwell most recently delivered Lionsgate Entertainment World and the award-winning Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest indoor theme park.

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About Global Ties U.S.

Global Ties U.S. is a nonprofit organization that coordinates exchange programs that bring current and future leaders from around the world to communities across the United States.