We’ve all seen one at the Oscars, and a select few of us may have seen one at Simon Cowell’s 50th birthday party. Holograms—of famous people living or deceased—are fast becoming a high-tech fixture in the world of special events, from product launches and awards presentation to corporate and social events.

“Holograms can be anything—real people, animations, machines—anything you can film or create with visual effects and CG can be made into a hologram with the proper techniques,” says Vicky Godfrey, managing director of London-based Square Zero, a digital motion graphics company specializing in 3D production, live holograms, live action and animation, and virtual-reality technology.

The human holograms, which are the most popular, look like life-sized real people. “The filming techniques are so good that you wouldn't necessarily know they were holograms if you hadn’t been made aware previously,” she says.

At a recent event for Saatchi & Saatchi, Square Zero brought one of its head officers, the late Paul Arden, “back from the dead” by pairing old footage of him with a body double and voice actor for a presentation at the Cannes Lions Festival.

Another recent event, a party for a global staffing firm held simultaneously in 26 countries, featured a DJ--who came flying in with his magical booth to mix music—as a hologram.

For more information, visit www.squarezero.co.uk.