23 August 2013

Special effects pioneer Ron Griffin of Attraction Services talks about his work

Judith Rubin: You were on the team that built the gigantic, animatronic owl for the Electric Daisy Carnival, a 3-day music festival held recently in Las Vegas. This was a high-profile success and images of the owl have been all over the media. Tell us about it.  

Ron Griffin: We were approached by Gary Goddard’s entertainment and design company, The Goddard Group, for Insomniac Events to build a 35-foot-tall, 80-foot-wingspan, animated owl for the event, which would see an attendance of over 300,000 over three days.

The creativity of the owl concept and the plan for its use as a key element in the festival were fantastic. The bad news: We would have only six weeks to design (mechanically and electrically), build, test, ship, and install him. We were cautious at first about taking this job – but it was the kind of big challenge that we love to solve. Working with Goddard and Insomniac, we were able to form a plan that we felt would succeed even in the short timeframe allowed.

Six weeks! Our approach had to be simple, yet provide the desired look and animation. It had to use components that we could get quickly and that we knew would work. 

Click here to read the complete interview.