Planetshakers delivers a visual extravaganza

Posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010


Drawing attendees from around the world and broadcast globally via GodTV, Planetshakers Conference was again an exceptional experience for the Forefront team who were engaged to provide production management and design for lighting, video, monitor audio and custom motion graphics.

Rob Thorne, of Forefront and Lighting Designer for the project, asked Phaseshift Productions to make his design on paper come to life for the 2010 Planetshakers held at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena.

”Phaseshift did a great job and I love working with them,” Rob said. “I’ve worked with them a few times and they’ve always been very good.”

With six weeks preparation consisting of 3D lighting programming and video content creation, the whole production setup went into Hisense arena in only one day. Restrictions on venue availability meant that the crew only had a very short time frame to get quite a large production setup and in place.

“Our sleep deprived team did an amazing job and the result was stunning,” commented Rob Thorne.

 Production Manager for the show was Phaseshift’s Troy Brown whilst Jeremy Nolan was Phaseshift’s Senior Systems Tech and between them they ensured the load in and out was trouble-free. They also assisted in making the gig flow smoothly with very few problems.

The stage was divided into four different zones; the back wall, the ceiling area raked at 45 degrees and two side walls. The back wall comprised of thirty Martin LC Panels, seven Martin MAC700 profiles lower down and above them seven MAC2000 profiles and seven MAC2000 washes. In the ceiling were a further eighteen Martin LC Panels with fourteen MAC2000 profiles and fourteen MAC2000 washes. Ten Martin Atomic strobes were in the ceiling with ten more in the back wall too. Each side wall had six LC Panels plus ten MAC700 profiles and washes. Also on stage were six MAC250 profiles and four MAC250 wash with beam kit.

House lighting consisted of sixteen MAC700 wash and eight MAC600 wash fixtures.

The show requires a high impact design with lost of colour, visuals and movement and this time the Martin LC Panels provided a dynamic video backdrop.

”Weeks out we received the song demo tracks from Planetshakers and starting building custom motion graphics for each song,” said Rob. “Some songs saw video elements created for and sync’d with each individual kick drum and snare drum hit – a big job, but with great visual impact.”

 Rob was careful to ensure that the LC Panel visuals tied in closely with his lighting design. He also set out to take the coolux further than he ever had before in terms of amount of video in the show and time code used. For this production he had one coolux Pro Manager and four Pro Players plus a touch screenwidget for the drummer.

“All the motion graphics and song audio backing trax were run from our coolux media servers, locked via time code to our grandMA lighting console that was pre-programmed at our Newcastle office for every song using a 3D render of the stage lighting setup. Many songs had over 350 cues, providing for exceptional detail but only possible via the system being locked to time code.

“We created a custom touch screen control panel for the drummers to fire off the trax, motion graphics and lighting cues on demand.”

Rob happily admits his love for the coolux media server describing it as a great product to work with almost endless possibilities. Combined with the LC Panels, coolux gives him a creative freedom with lighting and visuals.

”The LC Panel is definitely a great product,” said Rob. “I think most people are surprised at how good a 40mm pixel pitch looks from 30 metres away. One thing I like to do with all my designs is layering and that’s anthor important part of the LC Panels because you can have gear running behind them and shining through. Everyone does movers behind them but I’ve also used plasma screens, LED par cans in fact a whole heap of different products.”
 The event also saw Rob using eight of the Jarag which impressed him with their brightness, ease of use and pixel pitch.

”We actually didn’t let the client know we were getting the Jarag’s as we wanted to surprise them,” Rob said. “They were super happy with them and loved the look. For me, it gave me yet another layer and added more depth to the stage.”

This was a great time for Phaseshift as they had just taken possession of twenty-four Martin MAC2000 washes. The washes spent little time in the factory before they where loaded back in the truck to join the rest of the gear on Planetshakers.

”I love using Martin MACs,” remarked Rob. “The MAC250’s with the beam kit looked really great on camera, they really punch through which is important when you’re running alongside LC Panels. They’re an amazing product and surprisingly bright.”

 Gear used for the 2010 Planetshakers: 21 x MAC2000 profiles, 21 x MAC2000 wash, 19 MAC700 profile, 34 MAC700 wash, 8 MAC600 wash, 6 MAC250 profile, 4 MAC250 wash with beam kit, 24 4 way blinder, 20 Atomic Strobes, 8 Jarag, 60 LC Panel, 4 Coolux coolux Pro Players, 1 Coolux coolux Pro Manager, GrandMA grandMA full size, GrandMA grandMA ultralite backup

Phaseshift would like to thank Cairellie Showcraft, Entertainment Installations and Resolution X for helping with the number of LC Panels it took to pull of this great show.

Crew for the Planetshakers Conference was:
Forefront Productions
Rob Thorne – Lighting Designer & Operator
Josh Oastler – Coolux Technician
Brad Allen – Motion Graphics Design
Nick Burns – Artistic Direction
Ben Schrader – Logistics / Electrician
Jeremy Nolan (Crew Chief) Matt Downs (Dimmer Tech)
Matt Spiker (Light Rigger) Harley Parker (Light Rigger).
Setup/Pack down Crew:
Lawrie Videky, Dave Jackson, Dave Taylor, Johnny Bamford, Tim Beeston, Simon Downs, Rob Oswald, Josh Evans, Michael Corbett, Jay Davis, Andrew Kilengray and Michael Loughnan.