A magic tap built for The Boat Show; the tap looked as though it was suspended in mid air held up only by the jet of water. We used a submersible pump to keep the flow of water coming from the tap spout and to help the illusion. This project was for a water filtration system company who were exhibiting at The Boat Show, and we certainly enjoyed doing it.
Prop process images
Before approaching the challenge, we had to think carefully and consider everything in order to create our vision, including, it needed to be an appropriate size for an exhibition and to hold itself, the pump needed to be powerful enough to pump hundreds of litres of water per minute, given the amount of water, we needed to avoid passers-by having a soggy visit, it had to be as silent as possible otherwise it would be a disturbance to the exhibition and would ruin the illusion of it all, we wanted to create the illusion of the tap being suspended in mid air.
We drew the tap in AutoCAD in order to make sure everything was sculpted and put together exactly, as the project was complex and relied on accuracy to suspended the tap in mid air with gallons of water being drawn up through the main aluminium tube and cascading down again, giving the illusion that the tap was magically suspended by its own flow of water. We sculpted the tap in polystyrene and prepared it for the mould making process.
We drew up plans and designed AutoCAD drawings to make the aluminium section that would hold the tap suspended above the water reservoir. We rolled a sheet of opaque acrylic around the aluminium tube to disguise it and also to guide the fall of the water down in to the reservoir
We bonded the cast fibreglass tap on to the aluminium pole. We had to make sure that the tap was strong yet very lightweight as it had to be suspended, held by the aluminium pole, above the water reservoir.
After a few attempts to get the water flow looking as naturalistic as possible, by altering the amount of water passing through the pump and getting the acrylic sheet to sit just right around the pole, we had it looking as if the water was gushing from the tap.
We used a 2-pack polyurethane paint to give it a high gloss and to make sure it was durable enough to be store and used again and again
The pump was probably the biggest challenge that we had to overcome, and took a lot of research to get it done to the way we wanted. Luckily, our SFX guy was on hand to help! Once we had the pump in our studio, we had to try it out. Without giving away too many of our secrets, it was very much a case of trial and error to get it right. The same went for creating the illusion of suspension – we got there in the end thanks to the pure determination and skills of our workforce.
Despite its challenges and having never done anything like it before, this entirely bespoke model was a real success, proving the hard work and determination of every member of our team. We were able to put all of our skills together to pull off this complex project to the highest of standards – and it was a lot of fun too!