Exhibit Designers: ZED Creative
Production: ZED Creative
Script: Damon Fairclough
Hardware Specification and Installation: Piranha

Project Scope: Create a new visitor experience for Llechwedd Slate Caverns 500 feet below ground
Project: Project Management, Video Production, Live Action Filming, Green Screen Filming, Motion Graphics, 3D Modelling and Animation, Script Writing, Special Effects, and more…
Created with: After Effects, Modo, Photoshop, Illustrator, Canon Filming and Photographic equipment, motion controlled slider and timelapse rig, and more…

In May 2015, ZED Creative was approached to produce a new underground tour for Llechwedd Slate Caverns in North Wales. Initially, we were asked to look at creating an additional tour that would sit alongside the existing audio tour, but as the project progressed, it became apparent that a completely new tour was needed (and the Welsh weather had a hand in helping make this decision).

Working closely with the client throughout the project, our first task was to commission a copywriter, Damon Fairclough, to create a theme – develop characters and a storyline to carry the show – and once this had been agreed, the process of creating the content for each of the 10 caverns began. The script was finalised, actors were selected, filming and sound recording began, editing, compositing and sound effects were completed. 3D animations were created and an Augmented Reality sequence was commissioned. At the same time, the installation of several tons of projectors, lights, screens and special effects machines was proceeding 500 feet beneath a Welsh mountain.

The show control system was specially designed by Piranha to be expandable at any point in the future and new tours can be easily added in to either sit along side the current tour, or to create new opportunities to use the caverns for different audiences and occasions. It also allowed the guides much more control, allowing them to set each sequence into action at a pace that suited them and their visitors, while at the same time they were able to monitor other guides in the caverns so that they didn’t catch up with them too quickly – the very nature of the tour requires this kind of flexibility.

The new tour was launched in April 2016 and won the Go North Wales Tourism “Best Use of Digital” Award in the same year. The tour was also nominated in the Innovation category of the Museum & Heritage Awards 2017.