The main event space overlooking the Hollywood Hills planned for the new Academy Museum.
Renzo Piano Building Workshop / Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences The main event space overlooking the Hollywood Hills planned for the new Academy Museum.

What exactly is a film museum?  It's a question without a clear answer, but one upon which some $300 million is riding as the Academy Museum lopes towards the goal of a 2017 opening.

In his first interviews since being named director of the burgeoning museum, Kerry Brougher has opened up to the press about his vision for the museum that will inhabit and rethink the historic May Company building on Wilshire Boulevard, stressing the importance of creating an "immersive experience" that both captures the magic of watching a movie and communicates the complex artistry and technology that goes into making one.

"In an art museum," Brougher told Variety's Tim Gray, "you hang a Picasso on the wall. You’re hanging the actual art work, as it was meant to be seen. But in a film museum, you’re getting a different kind of experience of film, not one projected in a movie theater."

Think screens-on-screens for Brougher's conceptualization of the museum: three-dimensional montages presented on multiple screens that visitors could walk through, as well as smaller screens that could create 'micro-experiences,' allowing some interested visitors to dive deeper into the craft of moviemaking without forcing all museum-goers to have that experience.

Of course, the Academy Museum isn't just going to be a film museum--it's going to be a museum about the Academy.  That means artifacts from the Academy's collection (things like Dorothy's ruby slippers) will be housed in a permanent collection surveying Hollywood history as well as rotating exhibits focused on more specific topics.  And, of course, there will have to be some exhibit pertaining to the Oscars.