Monsters are coming to Sci-Port this Winter
How to Make a Monster: The Art & Technology of Animatronics Exhibition Makes Movie Moguls of Visitors Who Get a Rare Peek Behind the Scales of Feature Creatures
Published Monday, December 1, 2014 6:00 am
by Claire Floyd (318)424-8678

SHREVEPORT, LA.– The Shreveport debut of How to Make a Monster: The Art & Technology of Animatronics Traveling Exhibition opens Saturday, December 6, at Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center. This exhibition allows visitors “behind the scales” to see how cinematic creatures are made, from the storyboard process to the convincing specimens that actually appear on the big screen.

Visitors will experience how steel, wire, nuts, pulleys and miniature motors are combined to create the bones and muscles that bring animatronic creatures to life. Plus, guests can touch the alien guts from Pitch Black, run Inspector Gadget into a stop sign, maneuver a Megalania (an ancient Australian mega-reptile) and even direct a dinosaur.

Director of Education Lou Papai wants visitors to know that this entertaining exhibition is full of multidisciplinary content, too.  He shares, “Sci-Port has always incorporated STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) into all that we do.  This exhibition helps to connect to the arts, as well, making it a STEAM exhibition. Language, visual, digital, and even the performing arts are all intertwined with the STEM in this exhibition, creating opportunity for audiences to become animatronic puppeteers, lighting technicians, creature designers and much more!”

The brainchild of Academy Award®-winning animatronics expert John Cox and his Australian team of craftsmen, the exhibition showcases some of the stars of Cox’s movie career and takes visitors on a journey of the creative techniques used in visual effects and movie animatronics.

Among the classic creatures visitors can expect to see are parts of the giant crocodile from Peter Pan, the gorillas from George of the Jungle 2, the legendary Abominable Snowman and pieces from Terra Nova.

Ann Fumarolo, Sci-Port’s President/CEO, on why the science center decided to bring this exhibition to northwest Louisiana: “We’re always trying to come up with exhibits that are relevant to the people and industries in our community, appeal to our members, provide curriculum-rich information for school groups and bring new visitors to the Center.  This is a tall-order, so we’re excited to find an exhibit that fits this to a T! It’s also the first time that this exhibition has been to this part of the country.”

The exhibit will kick off with the Monster Mad-Dash, a family-fun run, on Thursday, December 4 at 6 p.m.  Mad-Dash participants will have the opportunity to view the exhibit before opening weekend. 

Several programs are free with Center admission and will include:

  • Dough Creatures: Practice your sculpting skills to create a Dough Creature using conductive dough. A “Dough Creature Kit” from the Discoveries Unlimited Gift Shop will allow visitors to create a monster whose eyes light up and speaks.
  • Shrinking Heads: Within this family-fun project, visitors will start the process for creating their own tsantsa, or shrunken head, out of an apple.
  • Make a Mummy: In this monstrously fun experiment, explore the art and science of mummification while mummifying a hot dog!

Sci-Port will also offer a variety of programs at an additional cost, including a Monster Masquerade Dance Party, Monsters & Movies Family Evening event, Monsters & Martinis for adults, Meet a Monster and a Nightmare Before Christmas.

Sci-Port’s annual Mad Scientist Ball fundraiser, March 7, 2015, will incorporate the exhibit and have a Monster theme! 

Admission to How to Make a Monster is $3 for Sci-Port Members, $5 for Future Members and $3 for school group students and chaperones (teachers have free admission with a valid I.D.).  

The exhibition runs through April 2015.

For more on John Cox and John Cox’s Creature Workshop visit

Cox is available for photos and interviews by appointment on Thursday and Friday, December 4 and 5.


About John Cox's Creature Workshop

John Cox's Creature Workshop is internationally acclaimed as a leader in the design and manufacture of fantasy creatures, monsters and realistic animals. Based in Australia, John Cox's Creature Workshop has worked worldwide including: Europe, South Africa, Asia and New Zealand, as well as Australia. Projects include a long list of USAproductions. A purpose built 1100 sq meter studio with Broadband internet facilities allows all clients to view work in progress. John Cox is the recipient of a 1995 Academy Award for Visual Effects for the movie Babe, and has 26 years in the visual effects industry, including creating creatures for Peter Pan, George of the Jungle 2, Scooby Doo, Racing Stripes, Inspector Gadget 2 and, most recently, Terra Nova. According to Cox, his fascination with movie monsters began when he saw the original King Kong at age 14. He and his team bring a wealth of talent and experience to each project. More information is available at


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Contact Info

Sci-Port Discovery Center
820 Clyde Fant Parkway
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101


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