grandMA goes to Wellington

Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2008

MJF Lighting is an expanding New Zealand lighting production company based in Wellington. Managing director Mike Farrand knew a few months ago that it was time to upgrade his inventory with a powerful lighting console and so he thoroughly researched the market.

“We’ve been assessing the market for the past 12 – 18 months to find a console that would suit the current needs of our company but also address our future needs,” said Mike. “We also had a good look at what products are being used around the world. The MA Lighting grandMA certainly looked like it would be the best long term solution for us.”

During his research, Mike was impressed by the grandMA’s track history and the support offered by both MA Lighting and the local distributors.

“We found that a lot of the people that we were talking to were very knowledgeable on the console and had very good experiences operating them,” added Mike. “The console, or the brand, didn’t appear to have a lot of faults and problems that were well know to other brands in the market place. So we knew we were buying something that was going to be reliable and had a very good reputation in the market.”

Mike particularly likes the processing power of the console which enables quick programming, reliable playback and also integration with other parts of the production such as media servers.

“We need a console that could embrace all of the latest advancement in technology,” he said. “It also had to be simple enough to take out on a small corporate show or do the largest production job that would come through the city. The grandMA is easy to use in its’ basic form but has the complexity needed at the other end of the scale.”

MJF Lighting has been in business for eighteen years starting with small theatre shows and band work; today they can cater to big concerts, corporate show or any other section of the entertainment industry. Eight full-time staff are employed at MJF with many casual crew on standby.

“The grandMA will be used on a number of large jobs over the next few months,” commented Mike. “The fact that grandMA is being specified on so many riders was also a factor – last week it was in Christchurch being used for Stevie Wonder. Plus, there is a limited availability of grandMA’s in New Zealand so they’re in high demand. In the past if we needed to hire in a grandMA it was difficult as other companies, who were not reluctant to do so, had their own workload for them. Sourcing off-shore was too costly particularly if it’s only a one or two day event.

“We have traditionally owned Strand and Avolites consoles but I have to say we all love the grandMA. It’s another level up.”