Billed as a “bigger, flashier, shorter” version of the hit Broadway musical, the $35 million production of Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular could not settle on just any special effects company. When Advanced Entertainment Services (AES) was charged with providing all special effects for the production, the company turned to Look Solutions for fog systems that offered maximum flexibility.
Vegas-based AES, a special effects company with a 25-year presence in Las Vegas and numerous projects worldwide, tapped three Viper systems to supply fog effects for the dressing-room mirror scene and the entrance to the Phantom’s dungeon as well as a Power-Tiny to create atmosphere for the descent into the dungeon.
“We needed to have a smooth output down in the low percentage range,” explains AES president Matt Dillingham. “With most systems, when you get down around 15 percent or less they tend to puff or you hear that “cycling” sound. But with Look Solutions’ Viper, that’s not the case. They’re very smooth down to one or two percent, which is absolutely what we had to have for the show.”
The Viper NT is a compact, DMX-controlled fog generator with a powerful output adjustable in one-percent increments from 0-99 producing tiny fog clouds to the thickest fog.
Dillingham also found the Viper’s very conservative fluid consumption really impressive. “We bought several gallons of fluid figuring we were going to blow through it just during rehearsals, but after several rehearsals and over 40 shows, we still haven’t had to refill the units yet.”
Overall, AES had has “no problems or issues” with the trio of Vipers, he reports. “I love the fact that they have a built-in hanging apparatus on the frames which makes them very easy to mount. We had a very quick install for the dungeon decent segment.”
Look Solutions’ Power-Tiny is a small, quick, efficient battery-operated fog generator. It couples high flexibility and a powerful output with one-hand operation, an adjustable output and one-second heat-up time. For “Phantom,” the unit is deployed by a deck-effects technician who walks across the stage with the Power-Tiny just prior to the lights coming up on the dungeon scene.
“The Power Tiny’s reliability and minimal fluid consumption has also made it an essential tool for this production,” Dillingham says.
For further coverage of Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, look in the July issue of Live Design.