Thursday 14 February 2013

Customer Focus: The Twins FX

For the third Customer Focus, we spoke to The Twins FX, one of the leading companies operating in the field of theatrical, visual special effects, illusions and animatronics.  

We had a chat with Gary and Paul Hardy-Brown, Directors of the company, and asked them exactly what they do and the process involved in creating such weird and wonderful effects.

Animatronic Dragon with 10m wingspan

So! Tell us what your company does. 

We deliver exceptional effects and turn ideas into reality. Drawing on our wealth of experience and knowledge, we produce amazing special effects to create intimate and powerful entertainment experiences. Our creations are tailor-made to suit our customers’ needs - we make the impossible possible for theatre productions, film and television worldwide.

What are some of your most notable projects to date?

The team at The Twins FX have created some mind boggling effects. With artistry and imagination, we've created effects such as a flying car that floats a few feet off the floor, and then, with wheels folded, flies around an empty stage in every direction. We custom-designed and built the car, which then soars over a speechless audience, right over their heads and into the centre of the stalls. Another fantastic effect is a fully animatronic flying Dragon (pictured above). The Dragon has a wingspan of over 10 metres and stands over 3 metres high. 

The Flying Car in action

We've supplied special effects for ITV’s “Paul O’Grady Live”, which have received outstanding reviews, and also worked with the BBC to bring “Dr Who” to the Stage with the Dr Who Live “The Monsters are coming” arena tour. Their piece de resistance was making the Supreme Dalek levitate over the heads of the Stadium audience! Other recent highlights have been a colossal sea monster, a giant spider that creeps across the stage, and making Orville the duck’s dreams come true. The Twins FX made Orville fly!

Over the years, we've had the pleasure of working alongside stars such as Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, David Hasselhoff, Liam Neeson, Lynda Bellingham and Jason Donovan to name but a few!

2012 has been an amazing year for brand new effects, including a 7-metre tall animatronic silverback Gorilla, a 12m long animatronic Snake, and a flying effect called the “Revolver”. 

One of the latest additions to The Twins FX team, hanging out with Gary and Paul...

How long has your company been in business?

Over 20 years in one disguise or another!

Which of our products do you use?

As many as we can! We always find a use for one of your products in unusual ways - like creating part of the eyes for the gorilla or the scales of a 10m long cobra. 

Did you have a problem that was solved by our products?

Your Technical Support is very good so we never have a problem! The chaps on your help line always answer our questions and point us in the right direction.

Take us through the general process that goes into making one of your effects.

We start off with an idea - some can be very strange...
Then is down to the design and development...
Then comes the fun part - the build and installing the effect in to the venue ready for it to go ‘Live’.

Do you have any stories/anecdotes?

Seeing the driver’s face as we loaded our giant gorilla on to the lorry was a picture!

If you want to read more about what The Twins FX do, and see more photos of their effects in action, visit their website, or you can contact them on 07971 589186.

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