All praise to Martin LC Panels and TW1 washes

Posted on Friday, March 28th, 2008

Paul Collison has just finished lighting a spectacular Hillsong event in Sydney’s Acer Arena where Martin LC Panels dominated the visuals. Paul’s design needed to take in to account various things; firstly there was the three day Women’s Conference (called Colour Your World) followed by the 2008 Hillsong DVD record. The Women’s Conference was full of small musical items plus a huge produced conference opener that included video support, live performance and interaction between the two.

The second part of the week was the record of the 2008 Hillsong DVD which is distributed all over the world. This DVD was shot “as live” on the Sunday night after the conference. Both events required the audience covered in both a functional and theatrical manner.

The lighting was a joint supply from Lots of Watts and Chameleon Touring Systems with Paul reporting that both companies worked extremely well together and all staff was a credit to their companies and the industry. According to Paul, the system was very difficult to get in and out however the end result was definitely worth it.

Paul utilised thirty-two LC Panels which were spread around the trusses and mapped from one of the two Martin Maxedia media servers. Paul admits that the lighting design was one of those that looks stunning in 3D on your computer but when you get on site, a bit harder to put together.

“I have to say that in the end it was definitely worth it,” he commented. “The LC Panels have been used a fair bit in the past twelve months since they were launched and I didn’t want to do another big video wall with them. Hillsong already use a 25m x 4.5m LED screen anyway and I didn’t want to compete with that. I decided to break up the LC Panels over the whole stage and map them accordingly so that we could create a bigger picture with the LC Panels if we wanted to or they could be used virtually independently.

“When they were on they provided great colour and movement around the stage however, when they were off they were hardly noticeable amongst every thing else that was around. I could warm the truss behind them and you really had to look hard to see whether they were even in the rig. That makes them a really versatile tool especially when you want each song to have a unique look. Like wise the ColorWeb that hung behind the LED screen; when that was off it was a black wall. I could intersperse content on the ColorWeb, LC Panels or both. At any time I could get up four completely different looks on the stage.”

Paul has spent a lot of time gathering and editing media for use with the LC Panels. He tries to keep his media fresh, adding to it monthly, but at the same time he believes that you can reuse media over and over again by subtly changing it.

“What we need to be careful about in the industry now is overuse of certain media like using the same gobos all the time in moving lights,” he said. “We can’t afford to be buying new media all the time and we certainly don’t have the time to be buying or making new media for every event. There is a fairly limited resource of media out there so I think it is important is to start utilising some of the effects these media servers offer in order to change the appearance of the media. You can have a favourite piece of media that you can then change the colour, focus or key-stoning of to create a whole new look.

“I’ve been careful to create a section of my library that has media with high levels of contrast as I think that is the kind of media that works best with the LC Panels particularly when they’re not in one big wall. When they’re broken up, you need something that does have a high level of contrast and doesn’t always identify the full size of the LC Panel such as random graphic shapes that move through the Panel.”

Control was by a couple of MA Lighting grandMA consoles with four NSP Nodes plus three media servers: an ArKaos Media Server as a pixel mapper and two Martin Maxedia.

Moving lights in the rig included twenty MAC2000 wash, ten MAC700 wash, 20 MAC700 profile and twenty MAC TW1 wash lights.

“The Martin MACTW1 is simply my favourite light!” announced Paul. “The coolest thing is the play between tungsten light and the higher colour temperature moving lights – they just sit so well together. The colours in the TW1’s are phenomenal and I try to use them on whatever I can get them on.

”I was impressed at how the MAC700 Profiles held their own against the bigger 1200w fittings and I am really impressed with how reliable those fixtures are. I don’t recall any of the 700 series fixtures requiring maintenance during our week long stay at Acer Arena.”

Also in the rig were Pulsar ChromaBanks, VL3500’s, VL1000’s, VL3000’s, High End Showguns, VersaTube “Racks”, Mini/Zip Strips, 8-lites, 1200w PC + b/door (7″ lens), Selecon Pacific Zoom 12-28 profile 80v, 5k fresnels and 2k fresnels.