Journey to the void
Ten years ago, Dave met Ken Bretschneider while framing his dream home. The two hit it off and kept in touch over the years and when Ken had a unique project in mind — like a movie set or special prop for a Halloween event — Dave was the first one he called.
On one occasion, Ken asked Dave what he would be doing if money were no object. Dave described a haunted forest he had visited in Washington, D.C. that was unlike anything he had ever experienced. He shared how he wanted to refine the concept, have it set in the London-Victorian era, and bring it to Utah. But before he could continue, Ken stopped him and pitched his concept for Evermore Park. The next thing he knew, the two were drafting plans together.
As plans shifted from Evermore Park to THE VOID, Dave joined the team, excited for the new challenge. “I’m thankful that Ken was kind enough to see my potential and allow me to be a part of the company,” says Dave Layne, head of construction and development at THE VOID.
Having the opportunity to come on to a virtual reality company as a builder/contractor is better than anything I had ever dreamt of doing.
working at the void
Dave now leads his team in developing and building physical environments where the magic of THE VOID happens. In just six months, they’ve gone through three versions of walls and a completely new concept for the suit-up rigs that hold the RAPTURE gear.
“The process is evolving very fast right now. I’m very proud of my team for their innovation and ability to execute on new concepts quickly.”
His years of experience building high-end commercial projects and luxury homes — which began when he started his own construction company at the age of 26 — has helped him with the unique challenges that come with working at THE VOID. He’s had to find the materials to build everything from movie set props to one-of-a-kind doorknobs. So when it comes to inventing new sensory effects for experiences, he’s up for the challenge, and his coworkers couldn’t agree more.
“Dave has been working in the construction field for over 30 years, and established a very successful multi-million dollar construction company. He brings a passionate approach to what he does and is always cognizant of innovation and of the needs of the people that he works with. Dave provides an autonomous atmosphere while providing needed direction,” says Bryant Bishop, VP of VEC Operations.
In speaking of taking THE VOID to Vancouver, Canada for TED 2016, Dave said, “We assembled it, we helped run it, and then we tore it down and I remember walking in and it was almost an emotional experience seeing that room empty again. I never thought I would meet people like Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford… It was truly an amazing experience.”
He also took his team to New York to build the company’s first attraction stage for the public.
“Knowing that we’re well over 20,000 people going through the Ghostbusters experience is inspiring, especially since I’ve been with THE VOID since its infancy.”
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT DAVE
Cedar Hills, Utah
Queens of Stone Age
WHAT INVENTION CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
My measuring tape
WHAT I.P. DO YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE VOID?
HOW ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HYPER-REALITY USED?
HOW DO YOU DE-STRESS?
I go up American Fork Canyon with my family to hike, dirt bike, & snowmobile
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
People who chew with their mouths open!
What other questions do you have for Dave about being Head of Construction? Ask him in the comments below!