Today we’d like to introduce you to Bob Glouberman.
Bob, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I and Larry Toffler are the founders of Fantastic Race, the premiere scavenger hunt/treasure hunt/event planning corporation in the world. Since 1995, Fantastic Race has created sophisticated and award winning events for all types of players and organizations – from technologically intricate corporate retreats to ingenious, sophisticated children’s parties. Previous clients, participants, and partners include IBM, Google, Katalyst Films, Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black, Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Martin Short, the entire cast of the Amazing Race season 14, Showtime, and the Stanford University Alumni Association. Fantastic Race has four regularly running races in the Los Angeles area, recurring races at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, Galveston, Texas, and Kona, Hawaii. In 2005, LARF, inc. created the Amazing Cozumel (Mexico) Race, a daily race and official shore excursion of partner Carnival Cruise Lines, that has hosted over 25,000 people. Fantastic Race has run thousands of races, hosted hundreds of thousands of players, and has successfully “punked” repeat client Ashton Kutcher (with the video tape to prove it). After the escape room craze hit California, Fantastic Race partnered with actors/producers Anthony Ruivivar and Yvonne Jung, nuclear submarine engineer Rob Moeck, Criminal Minds set builder Rob Lambert, and producer Kerry Brown to create what we would consider to be the ultimate escape room. We combined a virtual reality introduction, slowly closing walls, and Hollywood special effects to create a truly immersive and mind-blowing escape room experience.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest difficulties have been technical. Utilizing the brand new virtual reality technology in a way that it has never been utilized before has been…..challenging. Virtual reality has been used in a handful of escape rooms but never quite in the way that we have chosen to utilize it. And, because we are riding the first wave of the virtual reality craze, our setup has been beset by multiple technical glitches and failures. The biggest struggle has been trying to stay on top of the functionality of the VR system and making sure that everyone who comes to the Virus has the same mind blowing experience. Most of the time we succeed. But if you see what is going on behind the scenes here, you would either laugh or cry.
Please tell us about Get the F Out.
There are many escape rooms in Los Angeles. The entire industry is booming. What I believe sets our room apart from others is the level of immersion. Get the F Out strives to plunge you into an experience. We are not simply a bunch of puzzles in a room. Through our use of tech, sound effects, lighting, and set design we are attempting to create a futuristic dystopia in which the United States is beset by an airborne version of the Ebola virus called the Red Plague. The escape room participants are cast in the role of doctors and have to infiltrate the laboratory and concoct an antidote to the virus and save the world. The participants are not just solving puzzles in a room; they are acting as characters in a story and their success in the room impacts humanity’s future. Additionally, our puzzles are thematically linked to the room and not at all arbitrary. They each utilize a different branch of science to arrive at their solutions: from chemistry to optics to magnetism to displacement to color spectra to polarization.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood was visiting the Exploratorium, the science museum in San Francisco. It is not lost on me that many of the scientific clues in the Virus are inspired by the countless hours I spent playing with laser beams, pouring chemicals, or molding sculptures with iron filings. In many ways, the Virus is an homage to the Exploratorium and those heady days in San Francisco.
- $36 a person for the Virus room.
- Address: Get the F Out
630 S. Flower Street
Burbank, CA 91502
- Website: www.getthefoutroom.com
- Phone: 310-922-4562
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @getthefoutroom
- Facebook: @getthefoutroom
- Twitter: @thevirusescape
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-virus-burbank-3