James Simpson

Director of Copper Candle

James owns creative technology company, Copper Candle, which specialises in creating digital pre-visualisations for theatre and entertainment, as well as creating XR location based experiences and digital content.

Having spent the last 10 years creating 3d visualisations for the Royal Opera House, James is now actively involved in research and developments for the theatre and live events industry. He was recently one of the digital fellows for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Magic Leap where he and his colleagues, in connection with the Audience of the Future funding, have been tasked with researching and creating a new generation of audience experiences and theatrical practice that uses digital immersive technologies such as VR and MR.

He continues to develop the industries practice in 3d visualisation and has worked on many projects including Miss Saigon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Commonwealth Games Ceremonies 2014, Saturday Night Fever, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and &Juliet as well as over 300 productions and projects for the Royal Opera House. He is pioneering the development of virtual production sets using VR and MR technology and is developing the industries use of more advanced 3d visualisation processes. His research for this is being supported through his PhD which he is undertaking with Rose Bruford College and University of East London.

James is also the Head of The Centre for Digital Production at Rose Bruford College where he is creating a hub for new thinking around digital systems in theatre whether that is for live projection and video or virtual theatre using VR and MR technology. As part of this new initiative, he has designed three new graduate and post-graduate courses to train the next generation of digital super-stars, as well as curating a programme of industry led training and short courses for professionals who want to upgrade their skills ready for the digital age.

He writes for several journals and publications, sharing his research and the latest digital practices in theatre and live events. He has a regular column on future technology where he shares his discoveries in science and tech and analyses how it will affect the events industry.