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Thread: Laser show in the UK

  1. #1
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    Default Laser show in the UK

    Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum so please be gentle with me

    After reading about the Pink Floyd spectacular a couple of posts down I've decided to open myself up to mocking and ridicule by expressing my long term wish to put on my own spectacle and to ask for help and advice on how to go about it. It would also be interesting to know if there's anything else like it in the UK (as I can't find anything, but some would say that I couldn't find a tree in the woods!) and if anyones tried it and what their experiance was.

    I'm open to suggestions, ideas, help and constructive criticism, but please no name calling or I'll cry.

    Mike.

  2. #2
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    Cool Hi there!

    Welcome to PhotonLexicon, Mike!

    I'm sure some of our European members will chime in here with details about laser shows in your area... However, to attempt a re-creation of the show that Ryan Waters put on is really a tall order.

    They used three lasers (all 3 phase, water-cooled units), plus 18 intelligent lighting fixtures, 3 DLP high-definition projectors, and a whole *bunch* of computers and support equipment. I don't even want to try and total up the exact cost of all the stuff they had, but we're talking serious 5-figure numbers; knocking on the door of 6 figures even.

    On the other hand, if you would be satisfied with something a little less grandiose, then you might be able to assemble your own projector that would be capable of *some* of the effects you see in that show, though on a smaller scale.

    Adam

  3. #3
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    Smile pink floyd

    Hey Mike ,
    I kinda suppose it depends how your going to attack it ..........home brew or simply throw your mortgage at it .

    If your going to throw lots and lots of of money at it with the hope of recouping it with a tour you might well manage it as theres nothing like it in Uk that i know of , I am pretty sure you can guarantee at least 6 ticket sales from people in here as long as the tour covers whole of UK.

    Homebrew wise , well its gonna likely be a long slog ......... it seems everything in lasers is hit n miss unless you throw money at it and simply buy the best . further problem there is that theres a lot of changes in pricing / and quality improvements going on that mean you could well buy better kit for less money six months down the line.

    If its a solo project i would be tempted to buy the cheapest system possible just to get programming and see if you enjoy that side of it ...... your basically building animations frame by frame ... again its a long slog ...so between building you kit and building your show it truly would be a long term project . Especially timing it to music !

    My own experience is , expecially for the first few years of building and framing is that nothing i have been able produce either kit wise or frame wise has realisitcally been good enough for public consumption on a paid basis .

    So what your proposing to try seems so far away for me , but maybe you have more money , more time , more abilty .Nowadays you certainly have more ambition .........

    if you throw us some more bones about how you intend to go forward theres quite a few in here who will happily point out some common errors we have ll done time after time .......... ith suppliers / kit / assembly / programming etc

    Please come in and be active ... theres not that many of us in uk, and we need more ! there might even be a chance of a "UK meet" for you to attend in the Summer

    PAUL

  4. #4
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    Default

    Adam, Paul,

    Thanks for your responses, I keep forgetting that people can't mind read and therefore don't put enough information into a post (however I don't want to put too much in and bore poeple) .

    So, I guess the first thing would be to say a little about me to put things in context, so here goes (I'll try and keep it as brief and to the point as I can):

    I'm 37 this year and have been involved in entertainment as a hobby in various ways since I was about 8. I started in the theatre with walk on parts, went on to perform magic tricks on stage and at parties, moved on to DJ'ing (but preferred playing with the lights), was in a band , worked in Nightclubs doing the lighting and the most recent thing is doing the lighting for various bands. I work with computers as a day job, and have done everything from managing servers to building PC's, html, SQL PHP etc. I can do basic electronics to support my hobby (I know what I want to do, just not quite how to do it - but if it's in a kit then no problem).

    I started in Lasers with a 1mW red He-ne laser with a pair of mirrors mounted on motors, went on to get a 250Mw Argon laser with mirrors mounted on speakers and very basic computer control and now I have a full color DPSS whitelight laser (600mW Red, 600mW Green, 600mW blue - although I'm told that it's running about 900mW) running through a pair of cambridge 6800 scanners being controlled by Pangolin pro level software with a performer console. My lighting at the moment consists of 4 moving heads (EVL Pro spot 250's), a few par cans, some cheap LED tubes all being controlled by Martin Lightjockey software with Fingers and a 17" touch screen monitor (although I'm looking at changing the lighting control, or writing my own, but maybe that's a bit too ambitious). I should be getting the video side of things sorted out this year and I'm looking at the Arkaos software.

    In terms of doing a show, I don't want to copy what someone else has done (unless I got their permission to do so) as I think that's unfair to them and doesn't really challenge me. I would like the show to pay for itself, however I'm in it more for the fun of the hobby and the thrill of entertaining people.
    I think I've got the technical aspect down it's more the creative side that I've got to work on, and I guess that's where I'm asking for the help.

    So, a general question: is there anyone out there that wants to help me, in any capacity, with this project? My aim is to hire a venue (probably a theatre), advertise, get the source material (music, pictures, video), sync up the lights, laser, video and to have a lot of fun/hard work/blood tears before I'm 40 - who's up for that?

    So, any questions? and before you ask: yes I'm mad and yes I really want to do this.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Hi Mike

    Welcome to PL. I'm pretty new here AND i'm from the right side of the pond as well ;-)

    You don't give much away in your profile. Whereabouts in the UK are you?

    I too was inspired by the Pink Floyd show and also had a fleeting dream about there being business possibilities there. I came to the conclusion that the project would require a pretty large amount of money, and more time than I could afford, so I expect it will remain in my imagination and i'll continue with building my hobby on a smaller scale. If i'd have had the money and this had come along 20 years ago I would have been right there with you, I wish you the very best of luck !

    If you do decide to go ahead you can put me down for a couple of tickets, providing you come to Yorkshire of course

    Cheers

    Jem

  6. #6
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    Default Hey ... I will be there !

    Hi Mike .
    I am so glad your not a pointer jockey whos seen a RGB on ebay and thought ... "hey man , yeah floyd man ..ho- i can do that , yeah rip loads of cash in that man " . First off kit wise you likely have better kit than 50% or more than the members in here so we have some to learn from YOU !

    It seems from your experience you have a fair chance of pulling it all together in terms of venue , ticket sales , finance for kit , creation , projection.

    As its a public perfomance you , if you havent already done so you need to looking in to health and safety ..with your experience in theatres it should be a walk in park for you , but cover all bases with insurance etc .

    You know its a FANTASTIC ambition you have there , and a fantastic project you have in mind and if you werent 500 miles away I would be jumping all over you to partner up and work on it , even though I might not have had a huge amount to offer except motivation ! I sincerely hope you can find a couple of more local members who have interest.

    SO you need help on the creative side ............

    Ok ........... just to narrow things down a little ......... is the plan a kind of hour long or more laser feast ? or maybe a kind of 15 minute event ?
    It might be worth considering as an INTERIM project to try and tie up / RENT
    space in a local science centre / theme park and run 15/20 mins shows for small fee per entry once a month ? these places are used to the kind of short format twice per hour 15/20 minute type shows ... to kinda test the water on intertrst in lasers with public and of course to practice , refine sections of your ongoing "master" show in celebration of your 40th birthday when you open your laser spectascular in the west end of london !!!

    If its a longer show there is i am sure availble some floyd songs and others that could could purchased in to make the "bones" of a show and your own creative inbetween rather than start from scratch. It can be just as fun manilpulating chucks of frames into sections that then become oriiginal in thier own right and therefore "your" creative as it can be to frame by frame design your own image, and this may speed upo the process.

    Another idea for creative might be request help here for ideas for individual songs ..ideas on themes or 5 seconds of frames might set off a train of thought if like me your are creatively bereft !

    Some like me would offer some frames just for the Kudos of being involved ...some here who are more proficient might like to barter you for some "shares" in the project in exchange for some creative ...both are avenues you might like to consider starting new threads on .

    Anyways i wish you well and hope you manage to pull it all off !!
    Break a leg !!

    PAUL

  7. #7
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    Default

    Paul, Jem,

    thank you for your words of encouragement, that's what I need right now, I know it's a huge task to put something on like this and it'll be hard work - however, you only live once and you have to try (if only to fail) to do things that you feel passionately about.

    I appreciate any help you can give me (and, no I'm not after money - other than ticket sales - but that'll come later).

    I've already attended a course on laser saftey and plan to attend another one that's going to give me a certificate (to prove to people I "know" what I'm doing).

    I guess part of throwing it open on this forum was to get motivation, ideas for songs, animations etc, but also because I want to let poeple join in with something that they enjoy doing.

    Anyway, on to the project - the plan is to do one big hour/hour and a half show telling some kind of story or based on movie theme tunes or something like that (ideas wanted, please apply), but I like the idea of proofing the individual sections - in fact I've already started to organise that with my first section or two being shown at a local church event in November this year (and as yet I've only got the shows that come with the Pangolin system!).

    Again generally to anyone reading, if you provide me with frames, animations, ideas etc I promise to credit you in the show, so please help as I want to make this as good as I can possibly make it.


    Mike.
    Taking on the world one lasershow at a time

  8. #8
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    Default

    Hi Mike and welcome to PL
    What are the courses that you have attended and are going to attend?
    How much do they charge and how long are they?
    I've put a 3:30 minute show on the FTP server, but I have a felling that the server is down at present.
    You are welcome to use it.

    Jim

  9. #9
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    Default

    Jim,

    I've attended the "Lasers in Entertainment" course run by the Thames valley university, it was 80 and well worth it. I'm planning to attend the Laser Visuals training course which is 245 - I think this would be better in terms of going to people and saying that I Laser health and saftey training.

    Question for you - how do I get to the FTP server?

    Mike
    Taking on the world one lasershow at a time

  10. #10
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    Default

    The FTP is at 80.89.36.105
    user: ilda
    pass: swap

    but its down at present.

    Jim

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