Enter the Vortex
Posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017
Enter the Vortex is a commercial contemporary production from The Dream Dance Company. The third season featured a cast of sixteen of the most elite dancers in Australia. The audience is invited to enter a world of a source with so much power and influence you feel you have no control. Enter the Vortex is about being drawn to a destination where you are your genuine self at the depth of your core.
Jeremy Koch (Innovative Production Services) was the lighting designer who has worked with The Dream Dance Company on their previous two seasons of “Genesis” (2015) and “Secret Society” (2016) with Darcy Cook as the Associate LD and touring production manager. Darcy’s brief was to create a show in each city as close as possible to the original design at NIDA.
“We learnt that we both light dance shows in a very similar way so Jeremy felt very comfortable with handing me the project,” commented Darcy.
Innovative Production Services brought in 10x Martin MAC700 profiles, 10x Martin MAC700 washes, and 8x Martin Stage Bar 54L’s for the first shows held at NIDA, and then again for the Australian Dance Festival. It was a simple and clean design – the MAC700’s were arranged in a 5×4 grid from downstage to upstage with the Stage Bars as side light. These fixtures formed 90% of the light show with next to no front light (only used to highlight magic and the bows). Control was from a MA Lighting grandMA2 light for shows in Sydney, and MA onPC kit for interstate shows.
One thing I took away from this experience and working with Jeremy was that it’s sometimes not what you light, rather it’s what you don’t light. This may sound a bit odd, but one example, the last piece all we have is the washes in narrow beam, focused straight down. Open white at about 20% intensity. The light bouncing off the stage deck was enough to illuminate the solo dancer enabling the choreography to be planned so she danced in and out of the light beams. This was a really cool effect in the show.
“We had over 220 lighting cues in the 50 minute performance so it was very intense and fast moving,@ said Darcy. “Especially the sequence we referred to as the “Boys sequence.” This was a track about two minutes long with five lads, each being individually lit at certain times for about 2 to 4 beats. This was a piece with about 40 cues – so it was incredibly fast paced, but looking back on it, it looked absolutely awesome.”
Biggest challenge of this tour was taking it to venues that had not had the opportunity to invest in newer technology and moving lights. Darcy did a show in Adelaide purely with conventional fixtures, which at first thought doesn’t sound so bad, but when the show is based around a purely ‘intelligent rig’, it becomes quite the challenge to stay true to the original design.
“This was an interesting process to create a similar light show where I really had to push the boundaries of creativity and programming skills to match the energy coming off the stage,” added Darcy. “Suffice to say, some very interesting dimmer chases were created, but worked very well, and given the limitations we walked out with a very ecstatic director (Marko Panzic).”
Chauvet Professional used for BTC Legally Blonde and BTC Barnum
Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2017
Recently, the Bendigo Theatre Company (BTC) hosted two productions, The Broadway musical Barnum during the period of September 28th to October 8th at the Girton Grammar Black Box and the production of Legally Blonde: The Musical during the period of October 19th to 22nd at the Ulumbarra Theatre Bendigo. Barnum tells the story of Phineas Taylor Barnum, an American remembered largely for being a 19th century circus owner while Legally Blonde follows sorority girl Elle Woods who enrolls in Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. A huge part of the shows held for the two productions was the double story set, 35 cast members juggling, twirling and jumping through hoops, and a 25-piece band. To complete the sets, BTC contracted lighting designer Ian Scott to integrate a lighting rig to give the musicals a professional touch.
To give all the shows a colourful look, Ian Scott was looking for a compact, yet powerful wash light and LED Ellipsoidal to do the job. After conducting some research, Ian decided to acquire CHAUVET Professional lighting fixtures for the lighting rig supplied by Showtools International. Fixtures included 8x Rogue R2 LED Moving Head Washes and 6x Ovation E-910FCs LED Ellipsoidals.
8x Rogue R2 Wash were used for both shows as a main backlight colour wash and were kept up with the high amount of backlight from the led panels. The R2 Wash was implemented for its ability to provide saturated wash lighting to induce a whole manner of theatrical atmospheres. The saturated wash colours produced by this fixture allowed Ian Scott to create a strong atmosphere on stage, which works in counterpoint and in combination with the Ovation Fixtures. In addition, the smooth color mixing of the Rogues really helped wash the stage as well as the zoom of the R2’s which allowed Ian to control the coverage and to pump up the energy when the shows started. This combined with the bright, powerful light and the ability to offer five zones of LED control to pixel map its 19 (15 W) RGBW quad-LEDs as well as a standout zoom range of 12° to 49° allowed Ian to spread to cover even the largest areas of the stage.
The colour mixing of the 6x Ovation E-910FC’s were used with the lime being essential as it allowed Ian to create both saturated and unsaturated colours without compromising brightness. The Ovation E-910s were used as a side light for the Legally Blonde production and as a front/side light for the Barnum production. The 910FC’s were great for the shows because Ian could rely on them as an all-in-one color source, instead of hanging a lot of different systems of blue, orange, green, and so forth. When a scenes atmosphere needed a change and contrast was needed, Ian was able to change colour or intensity easily, without swapping to a different system, “The brightness and colours of the Ovation E-910FC’s were beyond expectation. “Skin tones rendered nicely with different shades of colour,” emphasized Ian. “When a variation was needed to brighten up a lighthearted moment in the musical for example, the fixture allowed me to seamlessly roll out the saturation on one of the Ovations, and not muddy the rest of the scene.”
With the use of the Rogue R2 Washes and the Ovation E-910FC’s, Ian Scott was able to create a memorable lighting experience over the course of the two productions. The musicals were a huge success, thrilling sold out audiences with the combination of the brilliant young talent on show and the durable and dependable CHAUVET Professional lighting fixtures that provided the perfect backdrop to the performances.
Restraint(s) lit by Roderick van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
Then he hands both the music and environments to the dancers of the Australian Dance Artists who will use the music and the environments to choreograph on each other and themselves. As the lighting designer Roderick van Gelder is involved from the early rehearsals and is a part of the creative process. Later in the process a costume designer is commissioned to design costumes for the now more developed concepts.
“What makes the work challenging is that everything happens inside the studio / workshop and every inch is occupied with the various installations,” commented Roderick. “This was my third production with Ken and ADA, for the first one and this year the elements that make up the installations clear the ceiling by about 5 cm and are tracked on or off stage by dancers and crew. And when they are not in use they block the PS and OP sides of the stage.”
The second year the whole performing area was surrounded with floor to ceiling white walls so finding positions seems to be a reccuring yet interesting problem. However as Ken owns the building, cutting holes wasn’t much of an argument, and Roderick started installing RGB LED fixtures wherever he could.
“I still only had the width between the beams (~420mm) and the height of the beam (~250mm),” he added. “Event Lighting provided a nice range of fixtures at reasonable prices, due to the drawn out rehearsal period the equipment was purchased rather than hired. The rig consists PAR12x12 RGBWAU (22), PAR5x8 RGBA Par (4), PAN2x1x30 (8), PAN4x1x30 (3), PAN8x1x30 (4), PIXBAR12x8 (4) and assorted bits & pieces like PAR16’s for the five musicians who played live every show and the crystal chandeliers as house lights.”
This latest production was run off an ETC Ion and Roderick added six RGBAL profiles for some gobos from ResolutionX. The piece de resistance was a revolving door which had four 2.4m x 1.2m engraved perspex panels. The panels were surrounded by 60LED/m NeoPixels taking up 450 channels per panel. As this revolving door was brought on stage in full view of the audience and then turned at varying speeds, everything was battery powered and Wireless DMX controlled.
The whole project is paid for by Ken Unsworth without any external financial assistance. There are no tickets available for sale, people are invited to see the show for free.
Garage Sessions with EI Productions
Posted on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017
EI Productions supplied full production for a recent one at Hope Estate that featured Paul Kelly, James Reyne and Busby Marou.
Lighting used Martin Aura, RUSH MH7, LED X-Blinders, LED Truss Mates – all run from a MA Lighting MA2 light. Some of EI Productions’ VuePix ER5 LED screen also went in as well as Megadeck staging and drapes.
EI Productions’ audio rig featured a Dynacord Cobra 2, 2 x Yamaha CL5 and some Martin Audio LE1200 wedges.
Great job by the crew Bryce Mace, Daniel Callaghan, Murrey Carr and Mugga. LX skilfully operated by William Todd.
Lighting the State Drama Festival
Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
The 2017 NSW Public Schools State Drama Festival celebrates classroom drama achievements of students in Years K-12. This event is a two day celebration of Drama works showcasing strong Drama outcomes in classrooms from across the state. Over 600 students participate in a range of dramatic styles. The auditions are held throughout the state as part of Area Drama Festivals and a selection of items from these Festivals are chosen to perform.
Lighting designer Christopher Snape was asked to come up with a design that would be flexible enough to cover around thirty widely varied drama items; all of which he would not see until the rehearsal days.
“The biggest challenge I find is creating something unique and special for each and every item,” said Christopher. “Some of these items are extremely abstract and very challenging to come up with the initial concept especially at the end of an 8hr plot session. So at the end of the day, I like to think that I have given each and every item a unique and visually creative design which doesn’t take away but compliments and adds to their performance.”
With his lighting designs, Christopher likes to challenge and push to the limits not only himself but also the capabilities of the venue.
“Lets just say I do enjoy being the first person to try something new that has never been done before in a venue. I don’t ever just copy and paste my plans, but push myself to create something new, different and visually breathtaking. I have lit this particular festival now for a number of years and there has not been one design the same. This year I decided to do something I have not done before and that was cut back on movers and add more generics and use these in their amazing colour of tungsten…open white!. I was very happy with the end result.”
This years rig consisted of 8 x Martin MAC101s and 80 x LED Pars. Christopher also used 30 x generic profiles for gobo washes, 42 x 1.2k Fresnels as various beam and wash cover as well as UV tubes. Also utilised were 12 x LED cyc units plus another twenty or so generic fixtures for general wash, FOH and footlights. All programmed on the in-house ETC EOS console.
“When I light these shows its hard to put a finger on one favourite moment,” added Christopher. “I define moments for me when I get goosebumps up and down my arms as I watch. There was one item that stood out for me that just flowed so smoothly and the end result was stunning. It was around a 10minute piece with only about 12 lighting cues, but each cue was 20-60 secs long with varying subtle changes throughout. This was actually the last item plotted for the week and was just perfect to end on. The photos are from this item.”
Console setup: Eddie Welsh
Programmer: Lachlan Hogan
Head Lx: Edward Wheeler
Equipment Supplier: Chameleon Touring Systems
GLP for Bernard Fanning
Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
Lighting Designer Jeff Pavey recently designed a GLP lighting rig for Bernard Fanning’s four sold-out shows at Brisbane’s The Triffid, selecting GLP X4 Bar 20s, GT-1 Hybrid Spot / Beams and X4s LED Wash.
“I’ve used the X4 bars a bunch of times but this was the first time I had gotten to use the GT-1s,” said Pavey. “The thing I like the best about the GT-1 are that they are fairly small and lightweight but the output is crazy. It really is a nice fixture. They have a really nice colour mixing system, the gobos are excellent, and the focus is very smooth and it’s a very easy light to work with overall.”
Jeff was responsible for the original lighting design at the Triffid so when it came time to add more to the rig Jeff choose the GLP X4s LED Wash.
“When the TLC guys first showed me these I thought they would be perfect for the Triffid, but this was the first I had gotten to use them since they were installed and I have to say I’ve really fallen in love with them, the zoom and output are amazing and they really suit these small to medium size venues.”
Creative will also be supplying another rig of X4 Wash and GT-1 for three Sydney shows at the Factory.
8 x GLP X4s
8 x GLP X4 Bar 20
8 x GLP GT-1 Hybrid Spot/ Beam
Control Via – Highend Hog 4 Fullboar
Talking Heads with EET
Posted on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
As much of the exhibition is quite futuristic, our brief was to create a sense of this in the space for the launch event. Working with the Gallery’s team, we came up with the idea of why don’t we make the launch totally content driven so that the content actually provides the launch of the event, rather than someone from the gallery making a speech or similar. the gallery then worked with one of the artists from the exhibition who created the character that is the head in some of these images. this futuristic “talking head”, then actually launched the event.
This “talking head”, that we have to say was slightly creepy yet appealing all at the same time, was projected around a large round surface in the middle of the space, for those of you who visit the exhibition, you will discover the connection of this cylinder with one of the major exhibits in Hyper Real.
We also provided Martin VDO Sceptron fixtures to emulate Neon tube within the room as a part of the continuation of the futuristic look.