Saturday, November 21, 2020

By Suzanne Pender

SANTA is turning to technology for 2020 – zooming straight into your living room this Christmas so no-one misses out on that magical festive visit!

Innovative Carlow-based companies – Creative Productions, which specialises in video content, and website specialists InScreen – have teamed up this Christmas to bring you SantaCalls.ie, the ultimate virtual visit to see Santa. With Santa visits not as accessible this year, SantaCalls.ie allows children, families and classrooms the unique opportunity to see Santa safely over Zoom from his secret location in the North Pole.

“Some months ago, I was hearing all this negative talk about Christmas and people wondering what would happen for Christmas this year, so I started to do my research and tried to come up with a creative idea of what I could do so people could go to see Santa safely,” explained Richard Doyle of Creative Productions.

Richard, who lives in Rathnapish, Carlow, teamed up with his brother-in-law John O’Reilly from Browneshill, who runs InScreen, and the result was SantaCalls.ie

“We want to create something fun and interactive that families would enjoy with a few games, a few surprises and an experience they’ll never forget,” adds Richard.

The busy elves at SantaCalls.ie got in touch with a place that definitely knows a thing or two when it comes to celebrating Christmas – the Delta Centre. It seems Delta has a direct line to Santa so after a special word, a tech-savvy Santa agreed to take on the virtual gig at Santa Calls.ie for Christmas 2020.

Keen to harness the magic, too, was the Talbot Hotel, transformed into the perfect bolthole for Santa! From his secret location in the North Pole, using studio-quality camera, lighting, sound and green screen, Santa will come live via Zoom and enjoy a wonderful chat with families.

“We really want this to be a special experience for families. We know that for some families it’s been a long time since they’ve seen grandparents, especially if they live a distance away, so we’re also inviting grandparents to join the Zoom call with the family and Santa,” said Richard. “It’s a chance for everyone to come together safely and have this experience.”

From 3D-generated reindeers, interactive games and Santa coming live into the room, it’s all about thinking outside the box to keep the magic of a Santa visit alive – even with 2020’s restrictions. Each Zoom will be personalised to suit the individual family or classroom, while a souvenir video of the visit will also be emailed to families afterwards.

SantaCalls.ie is also available to schools, with a number of local schools already signed up and excited about their call for Santa. The cost is €35 for a family of four or €50 per classroom. For more, log onto www.santacalls.ie.

 

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