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Beware of the Shark!

Beware of the Shark!

Curry and a beer as a social concept has much to recommend itself. Easy, fast, tasty and satisfying, what could you possibly add that would make it better? Well, how about a couple of life-size shark holograms? Liz Berry of Hologramica is gaining quite a reputation for juxtaposing reality with illusion. For Avolites’ founder director, Steve Warren the opportunity was irresistible.

“We do a couple of these a year in the demo room at our London HQ in Park Royal. The Avolites and Robe Designers’ Curry Club is an open house for people working in video and lighting live events.

“Yes, people come to the curry night knowing it will have an element of product presentation but we also make the effort to promote the evenings as a networking event, it’s more than just a sales pitch. Tim Meadowcroft, one of the LDs who attended this one said to me before coming: 'You’re always telling me come on down, you never know you might get work out of it so I’m coming.' Sure enough, Tim called me the day after to say he’d picked up some work at Light Initiative on the back of it.”

As it turned out, the second of Berry’s shark holograms was an on the hoof adaptation of what she had originally intended. “It was only a couple of days before, that I discovered the main warehouse had skylights. The illusion wasn’t going to look very good with daylight flooding through the roof so it was a bit of a nightmare until I spotted an office with a window overlooking the party space. The flexibility of our new 3D Holonet meant that by adding a small projector and three pieces of scaff, I could do another installation in the office that could run until it got dark, at which point I could unveil the main space. Koy (Neminathan) and Steve were great in that they allowed me to basically take over two areas of his busy company in the middle of their working day. The whole Avolites team were typically kind and helpful.”

Warren, with his usual generosity, made light of the whole thing. “I’d seen Liz’s work with Hologramica before. Then she approached me at PLASA London last year and showed me her new product, the flexible 3D Holonet. Compared to our normal Curry Club, where we are demonstrating new Avolites software and new Robe fixtures, this was a bit more complex but a hell of a lot easier than setting up one of those Pepper’s Ghost illusions. Yes, it required a controlled space and a bit of extra effort on our part but I have to say it was even better than I expected, very high impact. It looked really effective and I think everyone was impressed.”

Robe also presented the Halo RGB, a type of parcan LED augmentation originally developed by Light Initiative Ltd. Avolites and Robe were sponsors of the evening.

“We were happy to get behind Liz for this one,” concluded Warren. “We always try to add something new to the event. We know touring people can’t always attend expos and demos because work frequently gets in the way, so doing something like this is an easy alternative and always a lot of fun. It’s not often you find a 'live' shark watching you as you eat!”

22nd May 2017

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