Crucial FX unveils Origin, a sensory experience with Harry Potter appeal

Crucial FX,  specialists in interactive and immersive technology has launched their latest hi tech showroom, Origin, with a £200,000 price tag.

Question. How does a company attract clients to see the latest wizardry in special effects when based in Chester?

Answer. Set up shop at the The Ministry member’s club in London Bridge and take over the basement to create a smorgasboard of cutting-edge sound, lighting, projection mapping and AV.

This was the promise as I was led down the stairs at The Ministry for the unveiling of Origin by Crucial FX.

You walk down to the basement into a corridor of drawers, with promise of hidden delights. And then into a room which looks like the backdrop to a Harry Potter film.

Sitting down at a wooden table which Professor Dumbledore would have picked out, if they had such things in Diagon Alley, I saw wonderful things, to paraphrase Howard Carter upon stumbling upon Tutankhamun’s tomb.

But this is after all, the 21st century. I spoke to Charles Moyle, non-executive director at Wolfe, and he could barely contain his excitement. He’s been in the industry long enough that not much will raise his heartbeat. But even he was impressed.

Mark Rivkin, the managing director of Crucial FX and the brains behind Origin explained to me about all the techno tricks in this small showroom. First of all, the surround sound is amazing, as well as the projections on the wall, where lions and gorillas paced, which then changed into astronauts gliding in space.

All the wires and tell-tale signs of tech are carefully hidden away under the table or behind the scenery.

I looked for the wires and saw only one giveaway – one silver coil coming out of the chair I was sitting on. I’m guessing this makes the chair vibrate in an alarming way, presumably to recreate the heavy tread of a dinosaur or to herald the arrival of an earthquake.

The showroom will be used to do pitches for creative directors of agencies, and show them holograms and trip the light fantastic. My favourite item in the Crucial FX’s room was a 3D hologram of a frog. Very realistic, and this virtual amphibian was uncannily realistic. Blinking, gulping and moving so incredibly, I did at one point think it was real.

All of this tech takes money, and the price tag for Origin is more than £200,000 for all the holographics, augmented projection mapping and pyrotechnics. But money well spent. Certainly enough to bring event professionals here to see the wealth of goodies on offer.