This Model ‘Futurama’ Holophonor Will Make You Want To Switch Hands With The Devil [Video]
Since the folks who make Futurama often don't know if it's coming back for another season, sometimes it feels like the show has had half a dozen different series finales. That said, my favorite is still "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings," which features Fry switching hands with the musically gifted Robot Devil so he can play the holophonor for Leela. It's a memorable episode, and has compelled one fan, Harrison Krix of Volpin Props, to make his own holophonor, and it's pretty impressive.
Krix posted a full build diary up on Volpin Props' website. The entire thing is a fascinating read, but here's a quick excerpt:
I had a client express interest in having a full scale real world model built, so I started gathering about a billion screencaps from the series. Since Futurama is hand drawn, the Holophonor varies wildly from shot to shot. Sometimes whole sets of keys are missing, sometimes it looks about a foot shorter then normal, and the lower bell seems to be anywhere from 6″ around to over 18″ depending on which frame you’re looking at. I fired up Netflix and grabbed a ton of reference. The keys in some of the more detailed shots reminded me of a clarinet, and the more I checked, the more that I was certain the Holophonor was inspired by one – the grouping of the 4 long keys at the bottom, the same number of front facing valves, even the very long upper hinged keys. I drew up some blueprints:
The process involved, among other things, a clarinet, a blow torch, and well over 50 LEDs. And while it may not create actual holograms (that's a bit too much to hope for), it does project light patterns onto a wall from up to 15 feet away.
Now if only there were more than a few people in the universe who could actually play this thing.