Mighty MDG Goes Walking with Dinosaurs

MDG ATMe and ICE FOG Compack HP generators provide low fog and haze for Walking with Dinosaurs, The Arena Spectacular, Patrick Murray

Back in the mists of time, dinosaurs roamed and ruled the world and with the arena spectacular Walking with Dinosaurs, they have done so again with the help of MDG.

This time the mist, or rather haze and low fog, was created by 3 MDG ATMe haze generators and 3 MDG ICE FOG Compack HP low fog generators, that were supplied by the South Wales-based Production Company, Sonalyst. Sonalyst was already aiming to expand its investment in some serious haze and fog equipment when Walking with Dinosaur’s Lighting Designer John Rayment approached them with his requirements for the tour which called for a huge amount of haze and low fog.

Rayment who has been working on the dinosaur production since the beginning and has always been a great advocate of MDG so pointed Sonalyst in their direction. “We were really keen to get into MDG because we are aware of the capabilities of their haze and fog units as high quality, reliable machines,” said Sonalyst Project Manager, George Pakenham. “When John confirmed he was a big fan of MDG, we decided to go down that route. It’s our first investment in MDG and the units have been excellent.”

He added: “A large amount of haze and low fog was needed to create the right atmosphere, so we purchased three of the ATMe haze generators and three ICE FOG Compack HP low fog generators. Each unit is put in the best position for the airflow of the venue, which of course can change from venue to venue, but a pair of ATMe and ICE FOG Compack generators are usually sited upstage left and right.”

All the generators are controlled via DMX from the console and programmed into the show. The MDG ATMe units provide a fine, continuous haze that enhances Rayment’s lighting and creates a great primaeval atmosphere around the 18 life-size animatronic dinosaurs – some of which require three people to operate them – which range from Raptors to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The MDG ICE FOG Compack provides a creamy, low fog for a theatrical section mid-show and fills the entire centre of the floor. “That’s no small task when you consider the stage is 36m deep x 24m wide,” said Pakenham.

While Sonalyst has previously supplied tours for; Bill Bailey, Russell Brand, John Bishop, We Will Rock You, Dynamo and Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and Dancing on Ice, this is the first time Sonalyst has been involved in Walking with Dinosaurs. “The choice of MDG was a no-brainer,” concluded Pakenham. “The designer recommended them as the best and our involvement with the show has given us the opportunity to invest in MDG and grow our already extensive lighting stock – which of course includes fog and haze effects. We are extremely happy with the effects and reliability of the ATMe and ICE FOG units and would definitely buy MDG again.”

The production has already toured 250 cities around the world, with 24 trucks required to move to different venues, the tour began in September 2018 and will be touring mainland Europe until it finishes in May 2019.