A HARTLEPOOL company is leading the way by creating mind-boggling special effects for stage shows all over the world.
Whizzbang 3D Productions’s offices at Brougham Enterprise Centre looks like any other with its desks and computers.
But the team here are creating mind-blowing effects that are entertaining audiences all over the world.
In the last 12 months, the team operating under the Amazing Interactives brand name, headed by Hartlepool-born Tim Dear, has added their effects to shows in Hawaii, and California, Florida and New Mexico, in America.
And last week, audiences at Sydney Opera House were blown away as severed heads, flames and birds appeared to fly out of the stage straight at them. That is because Whizzbang create 3D special effects for the incredibly popular Horrible Histories live stage shows.
Company director Tim, 52, said: “We have developed probably the world’s most advanced 3D software.
“It allows us to independently adjust the levels of 3D for individual elements of the scene.
“You might have a bat fly out at you or centipede that goes over the rest of the audience and comes right at you.
“It is a great illusion.”
The team has been creating ever-increasingly clever effects that the actors interact with since they teamed began projects up with the Horrible Histories team in 2005.
Tim said of the audiences reaction: “The kids go wild and scream their heads off when something disgusting comes out of the stage.”
Whizzbang, which also has an office in America, also create 3D sequences for the worlds UK’s biggest pantomine producers Qdos Entertainment.
They are also producing new interactive 3D stage shows for Haven Holidays & Butlins’.
The company recently moved to Brougham Enterprise Centre, in Brougham Terrace, from Middlesbrough.
And Tim says he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
“Its great being in my home town of Hartlepool,” said Tim. “Brougham Enterprise Centre is such a lovely historic building and everyone is really welcoming.
“I hope our work with some of these big brand names helps to keep the town on the map. It would be good if it attracted more creative technology companies to the town too.”
Tim and his team are also breaking new ground with the creation of its 5D Enchanted Castle show.
In 5D visitors walk-through an area that is completely surrounded by 3D screens as all manner of creatures leap out at them from all directions.
And they are in talks to take the new shows to Australia, New Zealand and south east Asia.
“The technology is still developing and we are always trying to push he boundaries of what we can do,” added Tim. That includes create walk through 3D models of major new building projects.
They are currently working with Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London.
And Tim thinks the technology could be used in a similar way for the Hartlepool Vision regeneration project.
It is a radical new blueprint spearheaded by Hartlepool Borough Council that aims to revitalise the centre of Hartlepool, spark the town’s wider regeneration.
Tim said: “I would be really interested to get involved with it.
“We could probably make a 3D model of parts of the town, certainly the arts quarter, to help everyone understand what is planned.”