Ono Yasumaro’s Illumination Factory

 

Formed in Surrey, England in late 1967 by students Neil Rice, Ken Smith, and Phil Cate. Performances were mainly in the Woking, Guildford and Farnham area. Later became Infusoria Five Acre Light Show with the addition of Cathy Henshall. In early 1970 Rice joined Krishna Lights as full time employee and later that year formed Optikinetics together with others.

Equipment comprised

4 x Aldis ‘Star’ 500watt projectors.
These were modified so that the heat filter could be raised and lowered in and out of the optical system to control the amount of heat passing to the slide gate. If this was insufficient to start a wet slide boiling then a gas blowtorch was played onto the slide. Don’t think the Health and Safety Executive would approve of this nowadays ! Other lightshows used hair dryers for this purpose as they could also be used to cool a slide if it was boiling too much. Probably a safer method but not as dramatic.
Slide cover glasses and various liquids including silicone, acetone, nail polish remover, food dyes and spirit based transparent inks for re-filling felt-tip pens were used to produce ‘wet slides’. These were continually produced during a performance each lasted 5 -10 minutes, if you were lucky. The edges of the slides remained open and leaked profusely such that ones hands and arms ended up multicoloured afterwards, as did ones face if an itch developed !

Strobes progressed from being high powered photographic lamps in a box with a high speed chopper wheel on the front to ‘proper’ electronic strobes with xenon flash tubes. These were made up from kits sold by The Service Trading Company run by Ted Gilby in Little Newport Street, London.

Later on we also owned a small scaffold access tower. This was erected at the rear of a venue to provide the height to project over the audience and onto the band and the screen at the back of the stage. Prior to this tables were usually stacked up to provide a projection platform unless of course the venue had a balcony which was considered luxury. One evening a gang of leather clad rockers who were not fully appreciating the hippy vibes being produced by the band, incense, joss sticks and lightshow etc decided to unlock the wheels of our tower and take us for a ride around the venue. We had to quickly unplug all the projectors before they ran out of lead and were yanked from the platform !

The screen was actually four double bed sheets sewn together.

 

 

 

Copyright © Neil Rice 2001

 

 

 

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Last modified

Sunday, August 18, 2002