Tesla Coils and Special Effects:
The Science Behind STORMDRAGON

Tesla Coils have provided electrical fireworks for motion pictures and stage since before the advent of the talkies. Films include Metropolis, Frankenstein (et al), Star Wars, Terminator and many, many more. I was awed by the imagery, and developed some Tesla effects of my own. The following pages show some of mine and some by others.

Don't try this at home!

My brother, Michael, plays the "Tesla Electric Guitar." The instrument could actually be played during this effect.

Streamers arc from my conical coil to a 14' diameter ring. I toured this effect with the Doobie Bros. and Kansas around 1980.

Ken Strickfaden, whom I visited in 19 76, gave me his brochure. Ken did all the major Tesla effects for the movies from the '30s until the '70s. His last film was probably Young Frankenstein. Ken was a cool guy, very innovative.

Hey! How did you guys get in here?

Not your standard 110-volt outlet.

More Special Effects

© Lloyd Ritchey 2008


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