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Inside Track: Stuart Warren-Hill

When he’s not creating 3D sound and vision, Stuart Warren-Hill, inventor of hologram-friendly material Holo-Gauze and founder Holotronica and Hexstatic, likes to relax with remote controlled cars and his metal detector – and would have been on tour with The Orb last year if it wasn’t for Covid

Where do you hail from originally and where are you based now?
I was born in the Soho area of London and and mainly lived in North London, I currently live and work in Bristol.

How did you get started in the industry?
I started out back in the late 80s creating light shows using slides and optikinetic FX and soon moved into VJIng. Was on VHS back in those days and I worked with many bands and clubs. I ran the lightshow at the Big Chill and then formed Hexstatic while working with Coldcut. I created the award winning AV video ‘Timber’ and ‘Natural Rhythm’ in collaboration with Coldcut and Greenpeace in 1997/98

What advice can you give someone starting out in pro AV?
Work hard and give it time you will succeed, My ethos is to combine art, music and technology. The technology is constantly evolving so it always keeps me on my toes and keeps me interested.

How have you been filling your time during lockdown? Any new hobbies?
I’ve had a hobby explosion from metal detecting, fossil hunting to fulfilling child-hood dream of owning RC [radio-controlled] cars.I’ve also had some time to create new immersive audio visual art such as ‘Vequencer’ a VR180 3D project with 3D sound. You can check it on my YouTube page. I’m also working on a new AV project that I hope to be selling as NFT’s [non-fungible tokens] very soon.

What football/rugby/other teams do you support?
I’ve always supported Arsenal but I haven’t been to a game in years. I haven’t been to the Emerates Stadium yet which is quite shocking really.

Tell us something about you that may surprise people
I had a long career known as Hexstatic, played audio visual shows for many years and released the world’s first fully AV album called ‘Rewind’. I released a few AV albums and then created a new 3D Blu-ray album under the name Holotronica. It was this album project that led me to invent Hologauze for my show.

I think a lot of people don’t realise that I invented Hologauze originally to work with stereoscopic polarised projection systems, but it’s mainly used as a 2D projection surface which actually can present a 3D looking image. I still play out my Holotronica show in 3D on Hologauze and have also reworked some of my best Hexstatic videos to work in 3D also.

Tell us more
Holotronica started out as a 3D album project that I literally had to invent a way to display it.  I invented Hologauze back in February 2013 and after demonstrating it to many companies and productions it finally had its official release in September 2014, with Lord of the Dance at the London Palladium and
with Eric Prydz Epic3 Show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

So, Holotronica Ltd is now a company I run in Bristol and we supply Hologauze screens around the world for sale or hire. We also create the visual content for the screen and can do installation as well. We like to be flexible and our clients have various levels of our involvement in their projects.

How has business been during Covid? What plans have you got for the business as we move out of Covid?
Obviously Covid has been a disaster for the AV/entertainment industry. But we still have managed to move into a much better and bigger studio so we now have a great creative space to demonstrate Hologauze.

I was supposed to go on tour with  the Orb in April 2020, but it was unfortately cancelled. I am VJing using Hologauze which really suits their music. The Orb did a live hologram broadcast with my visuals from the new studio in December 2020 and we plan to do more soon.

What’s your outlook on life?
I’m at my happiest when I create. If you can make a living from something you enjoy then you are a success.

If you could change just one thing about your life, what would it be?
To be honest I think being fit helps if you’re running a business. something I need to work on for sure.