In 2018, Misha Fradin co-founded Lumen & Forge (L&F), a multi-disciplinary technology integration company with a focus on immersive projection mapping, content creation, and interactive experiences. Leveraging leading-edge technologies, L&F transports participants into awe-inspiring, magical, and otherworldly encounters. One of their core services, 360⁰ dome projection, was used during the 2020 Miami Super Bowl off-site events.
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, the company has dominated the field, attaining world records and continuously amazing their list of famous clients, which include National Geographic, Jeep, Capital One, Coca-Cola, and Mastercard, among others. “Our mission is to bring knowledge and experience to bear when providing bespoke solutions. Our years of experience in working with top brands and marketing companies is what allows us to bring dreams and ideas to life,” Misha shares.
To date, L&F has served thousands of clients and completed hundreds of projects with Misha at the helm, ensuring that the gears in all of the departments operate effectively. “I help design and build systems that enable everything to run smoothly. I have a hand in every aspect of almost every client-facing project, from the initial client relationship to the final installation,” Misha adds. “We’re only here because of our clients, so I make sure they’re happy.” Considering that most of their business is due to word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients, Misha has succeeded in his mission.
The Top 100 Magazine spoke with Misha to learn more about Lumen & Forge, the services they provide, and the clients they serve.
Who are your clients?
Everyone wants to include immersive technology as part of their advertising strategy, so we’ve amassed quite a roster of clients. From National Geographic, Capital One, Mastercard, and Jeep, to marketing agencies, restaurants, malls, cruise ships, hotel chains, beverage brands, and stadiums. We can work in any industry in any part of the world, and we’ve created experiences that people will never forget. We don’t just put video on the ceiling—we take up the entire sky.
How did you start in this industry?
We started creating immersive domes and projection mapping experiences from my garage. As projects came in, we built the team, and as needs in the industry arose, we filled them. Our success has been based on our reputation, integrity, and our ability to honor our relationships.
Tell us a little about how you create and execute a client’s vision.
Some clients don’t know what they want, or they have some idea in their mind that they can’t verbalize. We want to bring their ideas to life, not push our ideas on them. We guide them from ‘idea’ to ‘idea on paper.’ We create our 3D experience, build renders in the 3D world, offer design options, then get their feedback. After that, we whittle it down to the actual ‘experience.’ Then it goes into cost analysis and contracting, and finally, execution.
What inspired you to specialize in 360 dome projection?
Partly because it was hard. Partly because no one was doing it. What got me into the industry was working for a geodesic dome company. I sold projects for major brands in the past, and they had projection systems, but we built the domes, and other companies would come and create the videos. I combined the two into a turnkey solution. What inspired me to go off on my own was watching the actual effect that the concept had on people. Structures don’t really have the impact I wanted, but combined with a show or a concert, it can change someone’s perspective forever.
What has the response been from participants?
Everyone loves large immersive experiences. The National Geographic project, Beneath the Blue, was a huge hit that attracted nearly 5,000 participants. We hired local artists to build structures out of recycled plastic, then produced a 360⁰ video experience to emulate being underwater. We created an amazing planetarium dome show for Jeep, where we immersed viewers in a realistic off-road drive. There were base-rumblers that shook the floor and seats, a wind machine to simulate open windows, a scent machine that offered a forest aroma, and the seats were heated. After that event, Jeep completed a survey, which showed that consumers were 40% more likely to buy one of their vehicles.
What are just one or two of your favorite or most memorable projects?
The Miami Dome Super Bowl stadium was the most memorable based on the size and scale of the project. My favorite one was the Jeep experience because we had the freedom to build the experience from the ground up and it utilized all of our creativity. People were throwing their hands in the air and kids were smiling. That kind of response is very rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about your work/what drives you?
What drives me is being able to help shift someone’s perspective for the better, and I think that’s what I also enjoy most about the work. A lot of effort goes into what we do, but seeing the smiles, excitement, and wonderment make it all worthwhile.
Lumen & Forge received gold and bronze Reggie Awards and the 2020 Mondo Award for our Dome Miami project.
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