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  • For a very long time now humans have had a love affair with fountains

  • it could be a nice gurgle in a park that spices up a picnic

  • a seal vomiting water through all eternity to amuse tourists

  • Or a young boy who made his dad pull over

  • Because he really really has to go. Over and over again

  • Whatever people just enjoy being near water that does stuff

  • But no one enjoys a fountain more than this man. Mark Fuller the CEO and co-founder

  • Of wet design for he is the creator of this

  • this and for just two hundred million or so dollars this

  • I recently visited WET's headquarters in Burbank, California

  • Partly to find out how mark turned fountains into hi-tech performance art, but mostly so that I could do this

  • If you've ever run across a 300 foot stream of dancing water or a sidewalk that spits out fire

  • there's a good chance that the people at WET made it. The company has pursued this very unique line of work since

  • 1983 that has done hundreds of projects all over the world. Although it's perhaps best known for the Bellagio fountain

  • Almost every piece of the fountains, the lights, the water nozzles

  • the audio gear, gets designed and manufactured here. And much of it is the brainchild of Mark which brings us to an obvious question

  • How and why does one become a fountain man?

  • I've never really had a major surgery

  • But I have to tell you, I'm a little bit afraid that if they ever take the scalpel

  • What comes out may be clear not red?

  • Marks enthusiasm for playful spectacles came to him as a young boy while on that most American of adventures

  • A visit to Disneyland. I was nine and we made our first trip to Disneyland and we left from Salt Lake City

  • then was like a

  • 16 hour drive to Los Angeles

  • And I just fell in love with what Walt Disney had created and I thought man if you can't be God

  • Walt's got a pretty close second here and I set myself a goal of working for Disney when I grew up

  • And then you actually end up becoming an imagineer? I did when I graduated from Stanford

  • I went to work right for Disney and there could have been no more perfect you know

  • postgraduate experience than going from Stanford to Disney and I learned so much there. And you're at Disney for a while and then you

  • And a couple of partners decide to break off and start wet

  • And that's when he got a call from Steve Wynn the Las Vegas real estate tycoon. He says here's the goals

  • I want people to not think they're in Las Vegas

  • I want them to be completely in a separate space and he said we need to tie this, you know to really

  • Beautiful music there's a third condition

  • I think oh my gosh what says he says this has to be the biggest thing you'll ever do in your life

  • That's a scary thought. We kept that for a while

  • I think we've gone a little beyond that but it was Steve really put us on the map

  • Steven Spielberg once described the Bellagio fountains as the greatest single piece of public entertainment on planet Earth. And even though they've been

  • around for decades. They remain iconic amusing locals, tourists, and movie goers alike

  • But what really fascinated me about WET's story is how the fountains are made

  • The engineering and material science pushed the limits of what's possible

  • At it's hard water in a tube wants to be this chaotic

  • Sloshing around thing and what you found a way to do was to to tame it and send it in one

  • direction. Technique called laminar flow what's like the kids or laminar flow?

  • Well if you think of water molecules

  • like a bunch of people kind of running around and somebody says get out of here and they all cram towards the door

  • That's like water coming out of your faucet or your garden hose

  • but if you've imagined a

  • military parade where everybody left left left right left. You know marching in parallel step then everybody

  • Exits the door if it's six people wide in the theater

  • It's six people wide through the nozzle, the door six people wide down the street

  • So you get those water molecules all marching at the same speed in the same direction. It's not unlike

  • coherent light in the laser beam in essence

  • You guys do everything from the you know the architecture all the way up to building how does this process work?

  • Sometimes a client will come and say we just saw the Bellagio or something you've done. They engage us for what we call a

  • concept design phase of work and we'll come up with several ideas that we're excited about

  • From that we do the basic architecture

  • surrounding it and then we'll do the engineering for the fountain part

  • I've no interest in making stuff that somebody else does that's part of doing something new. We have a new

  • device, then of course we design and make that.

  • This means inventing things like this dragon light contraption that helped make the dubai fountain stand out

  • This is our biggest underwater light. They're unbelievably bright

  • Or this fountain that's on fire

  • fire and water. That is cool

  • It's borderline insane to make so much hardware but Mark has embraced the madness

  • How many square feet is your whole facility?

  • You know I should know that I'm gonna say it's around two hundred thousand give or take of that

  • Their workshops are huge, super clean, and whimsical with a giant robot

  • Hidden doors that lead to Mark's personal office. This is my hangout. This is your hideaway. This is my hideaway.

  • A glorious wood shop

  • It smells so good in here

  • It does doesn't it

  • And even a gym with Eric the trainer this guy does push-ups like the Jack LaLanne of today

  • There's also a lot of hard tech that goes into the fountains

  • from advancements in chemistry to new kinds of optics

  • Sometimes you have to dig down one level beneath the engineering to the actual science

  • We have four science labs here

  • We have scanning electron microscopes, high-pressure gas chromatographs, mass spectrometers, all sorts of things to really analyze

  • materials and how they'll interact with each other and with water and so forth. All of this technology eventually comes together at the final assembly

  • Which was designed by Garett here. Officially this is called the bright room

  • But this is where we house our surface mount assembly equipment and then the final assembly and test of the lights

  • Okay

  • So our customers constantly come to us and just say hey do something easy. Just do something you haven't done before

  • And do it in a way that's never been done. Yeah, so that's what we're constantly push ourselves

  • This most recent thing that we're working on is 20,000 lights over 2100 shooters

  • 300 robotic devices and several million gallons in the basin

  • Having to top itself every time out makes life tough on WET

  • And so do the boom and bust cycles of the business. It seems like to me it's just hard to keep getting bigger and better

  • Yeah, you know I read once every every great author goes to bed at night

  • wondering if he'll ever wake up with a new story idea so I go to bed at night

  • thinking, you know, well, we have a new idea tomorrow and uh

  • So far, we they keep coming

  • There's something in water that really draws. You know you and I we're like 70 ish percent water, right?

  • And we're born out of water coming out of our mother's womb. It's such a fantastic substance

  • Now we are doing a few

  • exciting things for the future which are something for consumers. Well, yeah to

  • democratize what we're doing everybody doesn't have some big pile of money to do a public feature

  • But why shouldn't you be able to do that at home? Why shouldn't you be able to to be the coolest family?

  • You know where all the PTA families want to come and have the party

  • You know in the summer party of your house cuz you've got this great

  • thing in your house or yard

  • A Bellagio fountain in my backyard to impress the Joneses. Yes, please just so long as there's plenty of fire

For a very long time now humans have had a love affair with fountains

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迎接世界上價值2億美元的噴泉製造商。 (Meet The World's $200M Fountain-Maker)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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