Eskimo Joe hit the road with Martin
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Perth band Eskimo Joe has just finished touring the country in support of their new album, Inshalla. Phaseshift Productions supplied the lighting system that included sixteen Martin MAC700 spots, eight MAC700 washes, eight MAC250 washes, eight Atomic strobes and nineteen LC Panels as well as various generic fixtures such as molefays and groundrows.
Lighting designer Dave Jackson was given a fairly free rein when it came to designing the show although the band did request a ‘clean’ stage. Dave came up with the idea of placing some LC Panels on the stage floor in front of the guitar amps thus hiding their clutter.
The LC Panels were hung sideways with three banks of three panels on the back truss, two banks of four Panels on the mid truss and one each on the floor in front of the guitar amps.
“The idea was to give the impression of a wall of LED,” said Dave. “So looking at the stage from out front the appearance was of twelve metres of video screen. I used fairly generic content with a little bit of the band’s current video clips. I also edited some of their old clips.”
During the show Dave was also running a remote Sony camera which was positioned downstage and controlled front of house by Dave with a joystick enabling him to run live shots through the LC Panels.
The back truss held seven MAC700 spots and four MAC700 washes with the mid truss holding four more MAC700 washes and five MAC700 spots. Four more MAC700 were placed upstage on the floor. There was no front truss.
The MAC250 washes were mounted on vertical trusses positioned behind the LC Panels.
”At the moment the MAC250 wash is my favourite light!” commented Dave. “It’s just a killer. It’s bright, has nice beam angles and is reliable. We’ve just purchased the beam upgrade kits for them and I’m looking forward to do a show with them.”
Robe ROBIN® 300E Australian Debut – QANTAS Darwin Gala Ball
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Total Event Service in Darwin is the first event production company to take delivery of the new Robe ROBIN® 300E Wash fixtures in Australia.
Head of Lighting, Rick Bishop had a lot to say when receiving these new fixtures, as this was the first time he actually had been able to get hands on with the new Robe ROBIN® 300E Wash.
Says Rick, “My initial reaction to these units was simply a surprise. The first surprise came when I picked up the first fixture - I'm use to hauling around heavier fixtures, so I was expecting something with a bit of weight to it, but these units are amazingly light at only 20kg! Finally we have a light light! Even the boss’s wife could easily pick one up!”
Total Event Services first gig with the Robe ROBIN® 300E Wash’s was for the Qantas Darwin Turf Club Gala Ball, Australia's largest outdoor seated dinner event, with an attendance of 3,800 people. The Gala Dinner set beside the ocean, amidst tropical gardens and under the stars, “Setup with these units is very fast and painless,” says Rick, “Especially because of their very low power consumption. 4 units happily run off a 10amp 240v circuit with room to spare”.
The rig consisted of not only Robe Robins, but Robe ColorSpot 1200ATs, Robe LED Blinders, Anolis ArcLine 36 along with iLED Star drapes as a background to the stage. The Gala Ball featured an international main act with world class entertainment and a fantastic fireworks display.
Rick continues “I ran the self-test for about ten minutes , which was comprehensive enough to follow, but quick enough not to be boring, and then decided to point one fixture at a wall. Now, our warehouse has white perspex skylights, as well as the usual 400W highbays, but even from 20 metres away, the Robin cut through the ambient light in all colours and zoom ranges, and the wall was well lit”.
The Robe ROBIN® 300E Wash is a compact fixture with easy to use features. Rick says “The full colour touch screen display is an absolute pleasure to use, with it being very responsive and very forgiving of my pudgy fingers. The menu navigation is by far the easiest I have ever seen, with an absolute plethora of information at your fingertips. DMX addressing and lamp functions are directly accessible from the start-up screen, and everything is painfully obvious to suit every user.”
One of the features Rick loved was the zoom and speed of the Robin when operating, especially live. Rick says “The 4 degree zoom is extremely punchy, easily equalling any ACL, and it cut straight through the big LED wash and assorted other movers I had on behind them. At the 40 degree end of the zoom, there is still plenty of output for a decent stage wash and movement is very fast due to the light weight.”
“I was pleased with the usual gamut of features that Robe have put into these fixtures, says Rick. The CMY with variable CTO, the usual colour wheel, a very narrow 4 degree to a nice wide 40 degree zoom, and the lamp is nicely optimised for all zoom ranges with Robe’s new hotspot control and is a very fast shutter with a smooth dimmer."
Rick concludes to say “Overall, the ROBIN® 300E Wash is an excellent fixture, and Robe have outdone themselves on this one. We absolutely love these fixtures, and given the choice, I would own nothing else. If the business plan allows it, we will definitely be buying more Robins. They are absolutely fantastic!”
|LC’s Wake Up In Vegas
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Martin LC panels were used to great effect for Katy Perry’s performance of her new single ‘Waking Up in Vegas’ on Rove recently.
LD Frank Racina utilized some custom content to push the Vegas theme of the song through Martin LC LED panels. Control was provided by Lachlan Sinclair operating a Hippotizer media server. “It was great to finally make use of the LC’s. They looked great for this and I can’t wait to use them again” commented Frank.
Resolution X supplied 8 Martin LC 2140 LED panels and the Hippotizer. This added to the MAC550 and VL500 used regularly on the program. Tim Hall, managing director at ResX comments “The LC’s are proving very popular in both the TV and events markets. The speed of set up, ease of use and reliability is simply amazing”.
Perth Truck & Trailer Show
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The Bi-annual Perth Truck & Trailer Show hauled its way into the Perth Convention Centre for three huge days in July, extending over all 6 pavilions at the venue. The 2009 event showcased a huge selection of brands from all areas of the related industries. Big names, legendary names, new names, accessory displays and competitions offering something for everyone.
The 2009 show attracted a crowd of over 8,000 and presented many opportunities for networking and generated many sales and leads for exhibitors. The comments and feedback from all parties involved were extremely positive.
Clifton Productions Perth was the official rigging and lighting contractor for the Truck & Trailer Show. Clifton Productions, contracted by Staging Connections, elected to visually enhance the Scania stand with a VuePix P25 Screen display. “This display certainly had everyone talking”, says Ed Matthews of Clifton Productions, of the P25 suspended over the stand featuring the ‘Scania’ logo and custom video animation.
Clifton Productions also exclusively lit up the Truck & Trailer gala dinner in the Convention Centre’s ballroom. All designs were by Michael Wood of Clifton Productions Perth. A projected screen was used in the centre on the stage and 42 VuePix P25 LED panels utilized for additional effects around the perimeter.
6 x iLed Star Curtains were used as a featured wall behind the VuePix screens. A full Robe Rig was used to project vast array visual colours and washes consisting of 8 x Robe ColorSpot 1200AT, 8 x Robe ColorSpot 700E AT and 8 x Robe ColorWash 1200AT. 12 x iLed ColorBank HO 108 were also added and used to illuminate the underside of the stage.
“Although the ball was only for 400 people, we had rave reviews from those who attended” says Ed. “Our Robe and VuePix products continue to impress!”
Clifton Productions Lights Up Hilltop Hoods
Australia’s premiere hip hop crew, the acclaimed Hilltop Hoods hit the road in July for what promised to be one of this year’s most highly anticipated tours. The shows bringing together the best of local and international hip hop artists with special guests ‘Classified’ and ‘Briggs’.
Clifton Productions were employed to supply the lighting and rigging for the Australian tour supporting the release of the new album “State of the Art’, which not only debuted at #1 but also achieved Gold Sales status in the first week. On top of that, “State of the Art” is the fastest selling Australian album this year. The Hilltop Hoods are renowned for their live shows having toured extensively throughout Australia.
The stage featured a large VuePix display covering the back of the stage wall. At 7.2 metres by 3.6 metres, 100 x P25 LED panels were used on a 5 metre high truss arch. The design of the VuePix P25 panel gives the screen a semi-transparent effect. Strobes, Moving ACL's and Blinders on verticals were positioned upstage behind the VuePix screen to great effect.
A full Robe ColorSpot 700E AT and Robe ColorWash 700E AT rig hung over the mid and rear of the stage. This created behind, through and all over stage looks projecting through the band to the crowd.
The overall effect was “Massive” said System Tech Matt Downs of Clifton Productions.
All the custom made animations that ran through the VuePix screen was all in sync with the audio, creating a combined visual auditory impact bringing the entire show together.
Matt expressed how everyone was amazed at the speed of the Robe 700 fixtures and their overall performance with further comments on the quality of zoom and colours produced. "For the last leg of the tour we had to ditch all spares due to lack of truck space, but we never thought twice about it.... we knew they would stand up to it!" says Matt.
Lighting Designer and Operator Paul Owen, used an Avolites Diamond 4 to control the entire show. Matt says “I had to talk Paul into using the D4 and he absolutely loved it, having good experience with Avolites Pearls previously. Matt continues, “ There are some quirky things you could do on an Avolites Pearl, however I showed him how Avolites have really improved so many more features on the D4, offering more choices and options on so many usable features. He is a huge fan now, and impressed on its reliability!"
Martin MACs for Evermore
Evermore has just finished their 'Truth of the World' national tour of Australia with GRB Lighting supplying the lighting and rigging.
The rig comprised of eight MAC600 wash, eight MAC250 Entours, six Atomic strobes, four Molefay duets, thrity-two Par 64 nsp and six 26 degree Kupo profiles.
“The tour was extremely A-class and our Martin fixtures went hard for six weeks proving to be reliable at every one of the twenty-two shows,” commented Greg Butt, managing director of GRB. “The LD Jason Steele did a fantastic job of lighting the band without drawing away from the 8m x 5m fast fold screens which had a huge nine Gig of content per song.”
Lighting designer Jason Steele has been working with Evermore for the past 2 years. The brief he was given for this tour was that he had to work around the three massive video walls while still delivering an impressive light show. Jsaon was required to enhance the video content but still give them a very punchy rock look.
“To do this I used MAC250’s because of their great range of gobos and the rich colours,” he remarked. “They’re also nice and light and easy to rig in some of the smaller venues. The MAC250’s helped heaps with the theatrical side of the show highlighting band members and also giving lots of ‘Pink Floyd moments’. I used the eight MAC600’s on the ground to achieve big silhouette looks of the band and to splash colour around when I needed it. The pars and strobes they were there to add a bit of old school to the rig and fill in were the movers left gaps.”
As well as really liking the rich colours and great gobo selection of the MAC’s, Jason was amazed by their great reliability - going the whole tour with out any faults – and that they fit into such a small footprint on the stage and into the truck.
|Bjorn Again again but with LC Panels!
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Doing their part to keep to keep the music of Abba in the forefront of people's minds and wallets, Entertainment Installations supplied production to Bjorn Again for their three sell-out shows at the State Theatre in Sydney.
"The rig featured the usual Bjorn lighting spec with some extras, as 60 Minutes was on-site doing some filming for an up-coming feature," explained Neale Mace, managing director of Entertainment Installations. "Alex Saad is the LD / ringmaster for Bjorn Again and he runs a tight ship - in fact his lighting cues are perfect."
Eight Martin LC Panels were the dominant feature of Alex's rig, forming a staggered backdrop of images. Eight Martin MAC700 Profiles also played an important role situated on the floor behind the band from where they could fan out in a stunning array.
The rest of the rig comprised of 16 x Kupo Par64, 32 x Kupo MultiPar NSP, 8 x 1k Kupo Fresnels, 8 x Kupo Molefay Duet, 8 x Kupo Profiles, 1 x Martin Atomic and the show of course wouldn't be complete without a 24" mirror ball. Essential to the lighting crew was a container of home-made banana muffins.
Phaseshift go Greek
You may never have heard of him, but Notis Sfakianakis is apparently like the John Farnham of Greece! In June he played to adoring audiences at Sydney Entertainment Centre and Melbourne's Hisense Arena with a fabulous production supplied by Phaseshift Lighting and Johnston Audio.
Notis Sfakianakis' LD Alex Petraj liaised closely with Phaseshift to ensure a spectacular show using sixty-four Martin MAC700 fixtures, twenty-two Martin Stagebars and plenty more all controlled by a MA Lighting grandMA.
The rig was comprised of a front truss and two mother trusses over the stage from which were sub-hung seven finger trusses. On each one of the fingers there were three MAC700 washes and three MAC700 profiles. The front mother grid truss there were six bars of ACLs and more MAC700 profiles whilst the rear mother grid truss had four bars of Studio Due CS4’s and two bars of ACLs. On the front of each mother truss there were a 4-lites.
The front truss held seven MAC700 wash, twelve 4-lites and twelve Source 4 profiles. On the stage floor were twelve MAC700 profiles and six Martin Atomic strobes.
"The opening was the highlight of the show for me," commented Lawrie Videky, managing director of Phaseshift. "Notis appears on top of the riser where there’s a treadmill placed so he can do this walking thing to the 'Eye of the Tiger' song! It's very Eurovision."
Leading down from the riser was a two-metre wide staircase which Phaseshift retrofitted with sixteen Martin LED Stagebars using custom brackets.
Sydney crew: Lawrie Videky, John Bamford, Matt Spiker, Rob Oswald
Melbourne crew: John Bamford, Matt Spiker, Rob Oswald, Troy Brown, Tim Beeston
Phaseshift having a laugh
It’s been a comedy start to the year for Phaseshift Productions - Going Danny Boy to Wayne Brady and now on to Ross Noble in Australia’s first comedy in the round at large arenas.
Phaseshift was asked to supply a great looking rig that was easy to put up and take down every day. Another stipulation was that all of the Stage, Video and Camera gear had to fit into one truck - no easy task .
The crew on the latest show was LD Dave Taylor, systems techs Michael Corbett and Harley Parker who was out on his first tour which he passed with flying colours and praised by all.
The gear toured was 8 xRobe 1200 washes, 8 x Martin MAC2000 profile, 8 x 4lite, 16 x 2k Castors and 20 x Multipars. Phaseshift also toured a new MQ 100 Chamsys Console with a Hog 1k as back-up. Dave was very impressed with the MQ 100 and the ease of how easy it was to use.
Martin in the Pink!
The Pink Funhouse Tour is currently winding its way around the country half a dozen times as she plays a record breaking 58 shows. With a stunning set designed by Mark Fisher and show direction/lighting by Baz Halpin, the show is a roller coaster ride of visual treats.
Trent O’Connor, ex pat and one-time Bytecraft employee who has resided in London for several years, is operating the lighting for the entire world tour using his favourite console – a Martin Maxxyz.
”I believe that the Maxxyz is basically what the Hog 3 should have been,” commented Trent. “It’s easy to program, the cloning on it is brilliant and just operating it is really easy. Everything is laid out in front of you.”
Trent went on to say how he particularly favours the surface layout of the console which makes programming such a breeze.
“All you have to do is click and type to change any value. It’s simple. It’s not as many button presses to do what you want. It’s powerful and fast. You can run a lot of universes of it so it’s ideal to run a big show like this.”
Trent pointed out that the double processors now installed in the Maxxyz make the speed of it fantastic.
Trent regularly supplies Martin with feedback on the console and being a company that listens, Martin takes his comments seriously. In fact Trent reports that Martin is currently working on some of his suggestions.
Also in the show are Martin MAC2000 washes which Trent describes as a reliable light that are great for touring as they never seem to break. Martin Atomic 3000’s, the best strobes in the world according to Trent, are also in the rig.
Lighting Avenue Q
The Tony Award winner, Avenue Q, has finally hit Australia making its debut in Melbourne courtesy of Arts Asia Pacific and Power Arts.
Described as "Sesame Street on crack", Avenue Q is a quirky adults-only musical that aims to shock and entertain.
The Australian production of Avenue Q is directed by talented director, performer and Helpmann Awards host, Jonathan Biggins. Other members of the creative team include: David Skelton as Musical Director, Nathan Wright as Choreographer, Set and Costume Design by Richard Roberts, Technical Direction by Richard Stuart, Sound Design by System Sound and Lighting Design by Richard Pacholski.
Richard Pacholski designed a rig that utilised the power of Martin MACs including 1 x Martin MAC2000 performance, 9 x Martin MAC700 profile, 8 x Martin MAC700 wash, and 6 x Martin TW-1 80v narrow lens units.
“The MAC700 profiles and washes proved themselves with great functions and reliability,” he commented. “We had no swap-outs during the whole tech period and their quiet operation was important in a small venue like Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre.
“Again, I was impressed with the MAC TW-1 narrow lens unit. It’s a great light for theatre use....great colours and fade profile....and quiet.”
Effects include 2 x Look Solutions Unique DMX hazers, 2 x Look Solutions Viper DMX smoke machines, 2 x JEM Magnum smoke machines and 3 x JEM AF-1 DMXsmoke fans. Control is a MA Lighting grandMA console plus a grandMA lite and 2 x ELC Nodes.
According to Richard, all units were supplied and expertly prepped by Chameleon Touring Systems.
|Robe Hits Doll Domination
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The Pussycat Dolls hit Australian shores mid May stirring up a bang with their Worldwide tour – Doll Domination, supported by Lady GaGa. Touring production services were by Bytecraft Entertainment and Robe fixtures supplied by Clifton Productions.
LD Scott Warner exclusively used a full Robe rig including fixtures from the new Digital Series for the Pussycat Dolls “Doll Domination” tour, a Robe spec for the entire world tour. He added 28 REDWash 3•192 LED wash lights to the design. The rig also included 60 Robe ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500E ATs.
Warner first used Robe fixtures on a PCD show in St Petersburg, Russia last year. The performance, brightness and features impressed him so much that Robe has now become his moving light of choice. The PCD performance is a highly visual, all-action extravaganza encompassing the genres of pop, hip-hop and cabaret, for which Warner’s light show needed to cover the wide range of lighting requirements. His creative scope has to cover all avenues and keep the new looks coming and the excitement and anticipation pumping right to the final chords. He achieves all this with a relatively expediently sized rig in terms of fixtures.
“The 2500s are fantastic,” says Warner, as the core elements of his design, “They’re proving really reliable, very bright and offer all the flexibility I need”. The lights are distributed all across the rig. This features an innovative trussing design based on 4 Octopods - two static underneath the front truss and two moving ones over-stage left and right, plus a 4.5 metre circular truss stage centre, and a smaller semi circular truss. In the upstage left and right corners are two 20ft runs of SwingWing truss, flown diagonally and there’s also a back truss running the full width of the stage.
On the floor are 6 REDWashes used as footlights across the front of the stage and 4 ColorSpot 2500E ATs in ‘shin-buster’ positions stage left and right. The idea was to keep the floor clear as possible of lights and accentuate the clean lines of the set, a co-design between Warner and production manager Bryan “Froggy” Cross.
Warner uses the REDWashes to cover the stage and set with numerous lush and striking colours. He comments, “They are really brilliant units! The coverage and the colour range are both amazing, and they also have a proper white which is very useful”. Warner adds that the technical service and support from Robe in Australia and worldwide is “Excellent” and also feels they really have their fingers on the pulse in developing digital lighting technologies for the future.
Robe’s REDWash 3•192 is the first in a series of new moving head wash lights based on RED (Robe Emitted Diode) technology. The fixture features 192 Luxeon Rebel LEDs and provides a rectangular light field with manual control of beam spreads. Supplied with a 25º “egg crate” lens module, with 15º, 45º, and 15ºx45º options also available, the unit’s LEDs are tightly arranged for optimized homogeneous colour distribution and uniform shadow behaviour.
Clifton Productions are the first in Australia to purchase the new technology featured in the Robe REDWash 3•192. Managing Director Cuono Biviano says “It’s great to see such enthusiastic early adoption of the new technology so quickly and a thrill to see Australia’s first tour using the REDWash technology. It’s also great to see two industry leaders working together on such a high profile world tour to produce a first class production.”
Warner concludes to say “The REDWash 3•192 is a fixture I will definitely be adding to all my future designs. Its bright, fast, has fabulous rich colours, is compact and highly reliable – true to Robe’s form. This is my new favourite light, hands down!”
Vari*Lite & ETC Razzle Dazzle Chicago
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Chicago is one of the world’s most popular and thrilling smash-hit musicals. After a decade of decadence Chicago has returned to Australia and is currently playing at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.
Chicago has been honoured with 6 Tony Awards®, 2 Olivier Awards®, a Grammy® and thousands of standing ovations. An estimated 17 million people around the world have seen Chicago which has played over 15,000 performances worldwide.
The legendary lighting designer Ken Billington lit the original Chicago on Broadway many years ago using Vari*Lite VL6 fixtures. Since then he has overseen numerous productions and the moving lights have changed with the times. The Australian production has a rig consisting of ten VL2500 spots and over 250 ETC Source 4 fixtures, supplied by Bytecraft Entertainment.
“We went from VL6 to VL6C on Broadway, in London from VL6 to VL2000 spots and VL1000 Arc,” he commented. “The original Australian production used VL6 and for this production we went to VL2500 spot.
“The show moving light wise is simple and I do not use many gobos and don't do colour mixing. The few times we use colour it is from the colour wheel. I have not re-designed the show I have just upgraded the equipment. Over time the lighting has gotten brighter; the theatres are bigger for touring productions than the Broadway and West End theatres, so an increase in intensity was necessary.
“The Vari*Lite is the moving light I always request for Chicago. They are efficient, reliable and a work horse in the industry. When Chicago was done in 1997 it was one of only two moving yoke spots made in the world. I guess I am loyal and why change a good thing?”
Ken reveals that Chicago on Broadway was the first complete ETC Source 4 show done in New York.
”When we opened thirteen years ago the PAR had just come out,” he said. “The show worldwide is all Source 4's. In some country's it was the first Source 4 they had ever seen! It was also the first all Source 4 show on the West End.”
Photos by Jeff Busby
Bliss N Eso get the trafficlight treatment
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Paul Lim from trafficlight was engaged as the Production Manager and Lighting Designer for Bliss N Eso’s Melbourne leg of the Flying Colours Tour. Their Melbourne shows at Festival Hall were not only the largest venues of the tour, but incredibly the 10,000 punters who saw them over two nights set a new record as the fastest selling Aussie Hip Hop show in Australia. Event equipment supplied the bulk of the rig, with Resolution X and Johnston Audio supplementing the rest and Element Rigging providing truss and motors. The show was operated by the Band’s touring LD Chris Quinliven, who got to use his biggest rig yet on a Bliss N Eso show.
1 x Hog 1000, 3 x Dimmers, 1 x DTS Wireless DMX transmitter, 3 x DTS Wireless DMX Receiver, 18 x DTS Delta R Wireless, 4 x MAC700. 6 x MAC500, 4 x MAC250, 4 x Atomic Strobe, 6 x Molefay Duet, 10 x Par64 LED, 32 x Multi Par HOG, 6 x Selecon 1200w PC, 4 x Slecon Acclaim profile and 2 x Unique Hazer.
Perth’s Central Park goes Red for MS week
Perth’s Concert & Corporate Productions has been helping the MS Society of WA increase public awareness of this disabling neurological condition that affects around 18,000 Australians. As part of MS week CCP were asked to light up Perth’s tallest office tower Central Park.
The building, completed in 1992, stands 224m to the peak of the spire. The challenge of lighting this prominent landmark was handled by CCP’s Sean McKernan for the second year.
“We tried to do something different this year to make the building stand out even more than last year,” explained Sean. “The spire was not prominent last year so this year we decided to install Pro Shop LED Honeycomb 72’s up the spire for added effect.”
CCP installed twenty Honeycomb 72 fixtures up the 12m spire and these were focused straight out to allow for 360 degree viewing and visible from up to 30km away. Adding extra colour to the base of the spire and lower level support beams are sixteen Kupo 575w Arc MultiPARs and four Studio Due CityColor 2500w.
“The HC72’s and MultiPARs are awesome and we use them a lot, we have custom Dichroics made for the MultiPARs to prevent gel burning out,” remarked Sean.
Robe Shows Planetshakers The Powa
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Powa Productions rocked the Planetshakers Conference, an annual conference aimed at empowering youths and young adults from around the globe.
Planetshakers Conference is a Christian Conference which has emerged as Melbourne’s number one Christian Conference bringing in 25,000 youths to Melbourne each year. Powa Productions were brought in to supply all the stage lighting to house this mammoth event.
The Robe lighting rig was designed by Simon ‘Junior’ Johnson of Powa Productions producing an impressive creative design for this event. Junior used over 80 fixtures from Powa’s Robe inventory consisting of 6 x ColorSpot 2500EAT, 16 x Robe ColorWash 1200AT, 16 x ColorSpot 700EAT, 24 x ColorSpot 575AT and 16 x ColorWash 575AT. In addition 10 iLED Star Drapes were used as a back drop behind the stage.
Over 50 Blinders were used above the stage in between sets in conjunction with the Robe Hazers and iLED Source 36 Par Cans illuminating through the haze on stage, giving a rich glowing ethereal effect. An additional 6 x ColorSpot 250AT and 4 x ColorWash 250AT were used to complete the rig. “Powa Productions has invested in a large quantity of Robe fixtures due to their reliability and performance,” says Junior. “The reliability of the 575 and 250 fixtures are especially great, as these lamps are just work horses and they just seem to keep going and going what ever environment you put them through”.
The lights were arranged depending on their lamp power - with the ColorWash 1200’s out front and in the roof, the ColorSpot 700EATs on rear truss and ColorSpot and Wash 575’s coming down the legs and on the floor. A few ColorWash 1200’s were positioned along the back of the stage for some movement, when Junior needed the sheer light power to cut through the rig with colour. Two Hog 3’s were used to drive the fixtures. One running all the lighting fixtures and the other running Arkaos outputting to 100 LED Panels arranged over the back wall.
“Everyone was over the moon with the rig and the way the Robe’s worked together, says Junior. “I’ve been very happy with the fixtures. The ColorSpot 2500EAT worked really well on the front truss allowing me to wash the stage in gobo’s then zooming right in for specials at certain times. The Zoom on the 1200 Wash’s is unbelievable as I can wash the entire audience with only 6 fixtures! The gobo selection in the 700’s and the matching of colour temps between them and the 575’s made it very hard to depict the difference in fixtures as you moved down the rig. I’m always keen to spec Robe movers whenever possible – they are such great lights.” concludes Junior.
CLSA deploy their Tri-Colour PAR64 LED cans to the max!
CLSA in Melbourne purchased sixteen Tri-Colour PAR64 LED cans a few months ago and they couldn’t be happier with their performance.
”Quality wise, they’re fantastic and we haven’t had any failures,” said Trevor Lloyd, CLSA’s managing director. “
Trevor comments that every job that the Tri-Colour PAR64’s have been used on has resulted in positive comments from the client.
“Everyone is impressed by their brightness and their punch,” he said. “"Being Tri-Colour the colour is discreet and there’s no chromatic shadowing that you get with standard RGB units. They’re fantastic to use because they’re very quick to set up.”
The Tri-Colour PAR64’s have been used on a variety of events from dance parties to fashion parades. Recently they were used for the Melbourne Trance dance party where CLS designed, supplied and operated lighting and rigging for Stage 3, 4 and 5.
CLSA took the opportunity to deliver a few new items from their rental stock like five DJ tables built from Curved Tri Truss sections in 2 metre, 3 metre and 4 metre diameter which looked amazing with the Tri-Colour LED used as truss toners.
CLSA’s grandMA console produced stunning matrixed pixel effects through 24 x Pro Shop Honeycomb LED fixtures on Curved Upright Tri Truss capped off with a Martin MAC700 perched on top of each. The giant white big top tent housing Stage 3 was also an ideal location to try out their 6 metre Tee-Pee Tri Truss Towers which all had a MAC2000 on top, a 24in mirror ball inside the apex and a 42inch Plasma on each face. Once again Tri Colour LED cans were used to highlight each leg.
JLX Productions take to the Catwalk
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April saw the return of the Australian Fashion & Design Awards to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. JLX Productions, with Iceworks Design again provided technical and artistic direction for the nationally televised live event through the Nine Network. Apart from the fashion segments the event included performances by Jessica Mauboy and also Wes “Whoa” Carr.
With an entirely new artistic concept brought together by Gavin Hampstead (Iceworks Design), Jason Raft and Jason Organ (JLX Productions) plus an even tighter schedule meant for new challenges along the way.
An entirely neutral set in contrast to the previous years gloss black allowed lighting designers Jason Raft and Jason Organ an almost endless variety of surfaces to light and as Jason Raft says ‘make the magic.’ Along with lighting JLX Productions also provided production management this year with newly appointed Productions Co-ordinator Marcel Micola and Jason Organ sharing site manager duties.
Lighting Plots where drawn up in WYSIWYG perform allowing for 3D rendering of the set and pre-programming for client presentations prior to the event. With a tight 24 hour bump-in schedule including set build the load in was split over two crews working 12 hour shifts starting at 0200.
Lighting crew were JLX with additional labour supplied by Stealth Crewing and Yianni’s Entertainment Services again provided riggers for the event.
The Jasons’ this year opted for a selection of VariLite and Martin Fixtures. The over stage truss held most of the twenty Mac 700 Profiles and twelve VariLite 1000 providing the different set looks. Twelve 700 washes provided the colour for stage and the catwalk. Forty two VL2000 Washes filled out the catwalk wash and provided colour treatments for the room. Forty six Strand 2k Castors provided the main wash on stage and the catwalk with a handful of Source 4 Profiles for the Lectern. Twenty Honeycomb 72’s located under the stairs lit the perspex inserts and another twelve lit a string curtain upstage. The string curtain was used as a diffuser for Soft LED panels. Twenty four Source 4 Pars and more Honeycombs were built into the set to enhance different sections. Two Unique Hazers and three DF50’s provided the haze & two RJ Aramis Follow Spots were used for Award winner pick-ups.
TDC supplied the two Soft LED curtains which hung upstage centre and also two 20’x11’ Screens and Barco R12 projectors for in room vision. Alex Loh from JLX Productions operated the in room AV which included sponsor loops and a feed from the OB truck.
Jason Raft used a Whole Hog 3 console with a second running backup. This controlled all fixtures and the JLX .Productions Arkaos Media Server which fed content to the Soft LED. He was also heard singing along to Wes Carr during rehearsals and performance.
Chameleon Touring Systems provided the bulk of the lighting rig with much thanks to Rob Eastick and the guys at Chameleon for organising the equipment out of Brisbane and Sydney.
The Biggest Loser is the biggest winner
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For the fourth year running The Biggest Loser series hit our screens yet again. The finale show attracted a peak audience of 2.33 million viewers and was once again one of the most watched shows on Australian television. Lighting Director for the finale show was Ian Anderson who is no stranger to live television.
“The design brief was to make the show elegant," commented Ian. " We didn’t want to distract from the contestants nor create television that was hard to watch. The show is about people looking a million bucks so the lighting had to reflect that.”
Ian, as usual, got together a mixture of fixtures that performed their own little tasks perfectly.
“I tend to pick the right light for the right job,” suggested Ian. “I used a mixture of Varilites, Macs and Selecon 80v fixtures. The 80volt units are my new favourite conventional. The level and colour temp work very well on camera. All of my key lights were 80v and most of the backlights were VL500 units also with the 80V source. We also used a special 80volt followspot that was secretly taken from another studio and put back under the cover of darkness."
The inventory consisted of the following: 48 x VL500, 6 x VL2000 wash, 6 x VL1000, 10 x VL3500 wash, 26 x MAC700 Spots, 16 x MAC700 Wash, 58 x Honeycomb 72, 18 x Martin Stagebar, 48 x LED Tricolour PAR, 6 x Selecon 80volt Fresnels, 16 x Selecon 80volt Profiles, 1 x Selecon 80volt Followspot, 16 x 2k Arri Fresnel, 3 x Unique Hazers, 220m x 18” Box truss, 36 x Chain motors, 2 x grandMA consoles.
Lighting equipment was from Chameleon and rigging by Pollards.
|WooHah Goes X‐Qlusive
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WooHah Productions was called upon for the Dutch DJs SHOWTEK show at festival Hall in Melbourne December 2008, providing the lighting production for the entire event including the side rooms. The original lighting design done by Chromatic was designed for Horden Pavilion in Sydney. “We took the design and changed the rigging to fit into the Festival Hall requirements, but still trying to keep to the original design and quantity.” Stated Arosh Fernando, production manager for the event.
The rig consisted of 36 x Mac 700 profiles, 18 x Mac 2k washes, 16 x Atomic strobes with scrollers, 16 x 2‐way blinders and 8 x Pro LED 64 Tri Colour cans all controlled off full size Grand MA for the main room. Side room included 8 x Mac250 Entours and 8 x Pro LED 64 Tri Colour controlled off Jands Hog 1k.
“Martin gear was chosen for its reliability and value for money and that’s exactly the result we got, we had very happy client at the end of the show.” Confirmed Arosh.
Chad Spencer operated the lights with Andrew Killengray as assistant and system tech. WooHah production technicians Brad Watson and Chris Mantel were part of the team to make this event happen. Resolution X and Phaseshift Productions were also called to upon to fulfill the requirements for this rig.
For a short video of the show go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9JrJ1‐R5Q8
CCPWA’s lighting has punters in a Trance
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The Trance Energy Festival 2009 has just finished touring the country with shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
The event is produced by ID&T and the creative team from Sensation and is based on the popular Trance Energy Events held in the Netherlands every year since 1999.
The Trance Energy show that hit Australian shores may have been scaled back but none of the impressive visual power that ID&T and Sensation are renowned for was lost. With headlining DJ's like Judge Jules, Marco V, BT and Sander van Doorn Perth punters were in for something new in terms of dance festivals in Perth.
Perth's Concert & Corporate Productions won the contract to design, supply and operate the lighting and vision for the Perth leg of the tour. Held in the Belvoir amphitheatre in the Swan Valley with a capacity of 5000 the event was bound to draw some interest from the industry and punters alike.
The staging for the event utilised a 12m x 12m scaffold tower with a fascia of 3m x 3m box truss grids arranged on the front of the scaff in a 4 x 3 arrangement. Truss and scaffold was supplied by Statewide Staging Perth.
The lighting system was designed by CCPWA's Sean McKernan and operated on the night by Jason Place and Dean Gratwick. The rig consisted of 14 x Martin MAC2000 Profiles, 16 x MAC700 Profiles, 20 x Atomic Strobes, 22 x Pro Shop LED Honeycomb 72, 4 x Pulsar ChromaBanks, 6 x Studio Due CityColor 2500w, 5 x DWE 8 Lites, 14 x DWE 4 Lites, 30 x DWE 2 Lites, 4 x LED Multi pars and a Catalyst G5 Media server. Control was by 2 x MA Lighting grandMA's networked with an MA on PC backup.
“The MA's performed flawlessly and saved us heaps of time by networking the system,” said Jason “Also having the rig in a grid arrangement meant we could set up Bit Map Effects layouts for all fixtures. The Moles and the Atomics looked amazing when controlled by the Bitmap Engine.”
Cliftons at the Melbourne International Motor Show
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The Melbourne International Motor Show that is the motor vehicles industry high octane madness, ran recently for a fortnight and featured over 23 exhibits, and over 50 Robe moving lights. The Melbourne International Motor Show was attended by 240 000 car enthusiasts, those attending included local celebrities such as model and television personality Jennifer Hawkins.
Clifton Productions was one of the lighting suppliers for the 2009 Melbourne International Motor Show and did a great job setting up each of their specified stands. Each stand they lit had its own very unique design, layout and lighting effects from Lexus’s stunningly massive display with large washing effects to KIA’s Vuepix P10 LED screen presentation. Robe 1200AT and Robe 2500EAT fixtures were out in force illuminating numerous cars including Toyota, Lexus, Kia, Holden, Mazda, Lotus, Honda and Nissan.
With nearly 340 cars on show ranging from the exclusive sports to luxury cars, and those priced from under $15,000 to well over $800,000, there was something to suit the needs and dreams of just about any new car buyer.
Lamborghini’s Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder was the Italian supercar star of the Show, shown beside its coupe running mate and the mighty Murcielago LP640.
CAR magazine in the UK recently declared the LP560-4 coupe its Performance Car of The Year shortly after it won Road & Track magazines Ultimate Track Test in the USA.
System Tech John Stanley programmed and operator the Lexus stand with an Avolites Pearl, the Toyota stand with a Hog PC and the rest of Clifton’s stands with LSC Maxium consoles. Honda and Mazda stands made use of Wireless DMX to provide connectivity to fixtures from the control consoles – no wires for the ultimate clean look.
At Honda the big interest was on the Wheels Car of the Year, the Honda Accord Euro. The stand was popular given it featured the most asked-after car of the Show, the soon-to-be-released new Honda Odyssey seven-seater. Close by was the Toyota stage which featured 12 iLED ColorBank 54 around the bottom of the rotating stage that lit the display. Lighting Operator Ziggi Ziegler from ZZ Creative Services was also brought in for creative design of the Toyota and Lexus stand to add his personal touch.
Aaron Humber, System Tech from Clifton Productions programmed the Nissan and Holden stands. Nissan gave Australian sports car enthusiasts their first look at the new 370Z. The all-new 370Z is the first full redesign of the iconic Nissan Z since the 350Z arrived in 2003, and follows Nissan’s Motor Show reveal last year of the mighty GT-R.
Lighting effects play a huge part when operating a large exhibition at the calibre. Aaron says “The Robe fixtures played a big part in the lighting of most of the stands, while Vuepix also played a big part on the visual impact that was created for the exhibitors. Everybody was extremely happy with the lighting effects and overall outcome. We are happy to come back and be a part of the event again.”
The Melbourne International Motor Show will now be the only major motor show in the country for the year due to a joint venture between Melbourne and Sydney, resulting in the alternation of the country's major motor show between the two cities each year. Consequently, the 75th Melbourne International Motor Show will be the last to bear this title, the name changing for all proceeding shows to the Australian International Motor Show.
Clifton Productions have in excess of 500 Robe moving lights in their inventory which sees constant and continuous employment around Australia, says Aaron. “Wish we had more – we just can’t get enough of Robe!”
Vari-Lites Get The Party Started At The 2009 Mardi Gras
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In March 2009 Mandylights’ designer Richard Neville was once again charged with the task of designing the entire party site for the infamous Mardi Gras party - the largest gay and lesbian dance party in the world. Working with the "Nations United" theme of the festival, Richard's designs for the five rooms reflected the international theme of the party and scenic items found around the site.
Richard chose to use a purely Vari*Lite moving light rig for the main venue - Royal Hall of Industries (RHI) - which looked spectacular for all ten hours of the party. The venue took on the theme of "It's a gay world after all," complete with elaborate set and giant rotating technicolour globe in the centre of the space. The RHI's lighting design took a different turn this year, with Richard choosing to lower the trim height of all the trusses to create a less cavernous atmosphere and more intense space.
“I used 24 VL3000’s for the profiles, 24 VL2500 washes and 12 VL5’s on the stage,” explained Richard. “I really like the speed and the output of the VL2500 as well as the fact that they can zoom down to 18.5° so you can get a really strong beam of light out of them. I think they must be one of the fastest wash lights on the market especially when you get the colour bumps out of the colour wheel if you want really, really fast colour changes. The CMY system is also very good.
“With the VL3000, I still don’t think there’s a better spot fixture out there in terms of gobo selection and output. They work in any situation from theatre to dance parties. They have a good stock of gobos that work incredibly well and the irises are very fast.”
The VL5’s were located on the stage where a big, tungsten back light look was required. A dozen were placed at the back of the set which had holes cut into it so that the VL5’s could poke through. This was also made possible by mounting the VL5’s on custom made mounting brackets.
Richard used a further 6 VL3000 profiles in the Byron Kennedy Hall.
Images supplied by Petez Imagez
Leeuwin Concert 2009
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Classic rock 'n' roll, high powered hillbilly and power ballads brought the house down when Chris Isaak and his band blasted on to stage at Leeuwin Estates Karri Tree amphitheatre to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the prestigious winery concert series.
For over a decade Perth's Concert & Corporate Productions has provided the production for such a unique event in an equally unique setting and this year was no exception.
CCP’s production manager Sean McKernan designed and programmed the lighting system that was then operated by Isaak’s long time LD Lane Hirsch.
Martin MACs featured prominently in the design with 26 x MAC700 Profile, 6 x MAC700 wash, and 16 x MAC600 as well as 22 x Pro Shop LED Honeycomb 72, 4 x 2500w Studio Due CityColors, 4 x Pulsar Chromabanks and 3 x Look Solutions Unique 2 Hazers.
A MA Lighting grandMA was chosen as the preferred operating system.
"The MAC’s performed fantastically for the three days of shows and rehearsals lighting up the iconic Leeuwin sound shell and Karri Tree backdrop with ease,” commented Sean. “The resulting looks prompted Leeuwin Estates owners to declare it the best looking Leeuwin concert to date."
Sydney Sound Relief
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Like it’s counterpart in Melbourne, the Sydney Sound Relief concert was a resounding success helping to raise millions of dollars for the bushfire appeal. Held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, highlights of the show included Coldplay teaming up with John Farnham and an amazing set by the Presets.
The event was made possible by the generosity of many people including production companies such as Chameleon Touring Systems, crews and touring personnel. The whole event came together in just two weeks with JPS providing production management.
The lighting for the show was not designed per se but rather it was designed around what was available.
“Every piece of equipment was only made available by the generosity of the production companies involved,” remarked Paul Collison, lighting programmer for the Sydney show. “The Chameleon crew was fantastic.”
The lighting featured an all-encompassing backdrop of fifty-six Martin LC Panels particularly useful as most of the broadcast was during the day and the LC Panels enabled the stage to take on a variety of looks during the entire ten hour broadcast.
“The rig contained some Vari-lites as well as twenty-seven Martin MAC2000 washes which helped fill out the stage during the day whilst at night they wiggled around and changed colour in time to the music!” said Paul. “There were a dozen Pulsar Chromabanks situated to the sides of the stage for those really oblique camera angles and helped to contain the stage. We also had fourteen Martin Atomic Strobes.”
Out front there were two grandMA consoles; one for video and one for lighting. Fortunately all but one of the touring lighting designers was familiar with the grandMA. Content for the LC Panels came from an ArKaos Media Master.
Followspots were two Robert Juliat Cyrano’s and two Aramis’ throwing an amazing 150 metres and still cutting it on stage. Atmospherics came from two Look Solutions Vipers and two Unique Hazers.
|Robe On Tour With Future Music Festival
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Bringing a bigger and even better line up this year, Future Music Festival toured the nation recently with over 200 Robe moving lights on board with crowds of over 40,000 and 9 themed stages of music and more attractions than ever featured before.
This year featured an impressive line up of local DJs supporting International headlining acts including N*E*R*D, Basement Jaxx, CSS, Paul Oakenfold and Grandmaster Flash. Site wide lighting and rigging for this festival was provided by Clifton Productions with their vast range of Robe inventory, with all stages heavily loaded with Robe moving lights managed by System Techs Matt Downs and Michael Parsons from Clifton Productions.
Melbourne and Sydney events had the largest quantities of different stages and performances, although the major stages and rigs were emulated in all the states the festival ran. Sydney housed some of the largest stages which were set both at the Randwick Racecourse and Hordon Pavilion. The Enmore Theatre was also used for some performances.
The stage at the Hordon Pavilion was designed and operated by Matt Mombario who controlled all lighting fixtures with a Hog 3 and 2 Mini Wings. The stage at the Enmore Theatre was designed and operated by Leggie and the Future Music Stage on site was designed and operated by Andy Mutton and Matt Downs from Clifton Productions.
Lighting rigged consisted of 8 x Robe ColorSpot 700AT and 8 x Robe ColorWash 700AT on the front truss, 4 x Robe ColorWash 1200AT on dollys as side lights down stage, 6 x Robe ColorSpot 1200AT were on dollys upstage across the back of the stage. The rest of the 22 x Robe ColorWash 1200AT, 14 x ColorSpot 1200AT and 48 x 575w Multipars were placed on the front and back truss to provide a 4 colour stage wash. Headline acts performing included N*E*R*D, Basement Jaxx and Paul Oakenfold.
‘Likes of You’ Stage - 6 pole circus tent - All Robe fixtures were rigged as verticals on stage or floor dolly's all with wheels, to allow for the EDC scaffold CUBE to be moved into place during change over’s. 6 x Robe ColorWash 2500EAT, 6 Robe ColorSpot 1200AT and 14 x Robe ColorSpot 700AT were used. 8 of the Robe 700 Spots were rigged from a 4mt 300mm box circle flown above the DJ console. 30 x Vuepix P25 screens were used on a tab track system to allow for the EDC cube to be rolled through the middle of the screen during changeover, and 8 x Vuepix P25 screens were used on a rolling DJ riser. Morph from Morph visuals was brought in to operate the Vuepix screens, and Andy Mutton to design the lighting to suite DJs Riche Hawtin & EDC’s rig. All fixtures were driven by a GrandMA.
Other stages on the Future Music tour that featured Robe’s included the Sublime Stage with 8 x Robe ColorSpot 2500EAT, 8 x Robe ColorWash 700EAT and an impressive array of 48 x P25 Vuepix screens which were suspended with-in truss shaped like pyramids (P25 x 25 panels each outside V’s plus 6 x Robe 2500EAT on the inside V’s) These were operated by Rob Easton from E Productions. The Grandstand Stage had 12 x Robe ColorSpot 575AT rigged on the front, mid and back truss which was all driven from and Avolites Pearl Tiger. Major lines ups included GrandMaster Flash and CSS.
Matt Downs says, “This years festival was the largest one yet in all. We had all of our Robe inventory out this weekend with festivals in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide over 3 days with identical rigs. Plus other events on at the same time were the Melbourne International Motor Show and Toybox in Sydney. All Robe fixtures work as usual with minimal faults or issues. LD ‘Leggie’ loved using ROBE and didn’t expect to find them here in Australia, as he has been working with them heaps of times overseas. He said he will definitely be using them again next time he is down under.’’
Andre Rieu debuts the Martin MAC III in Australia
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The numbers are huge: 125 meter wide stage, 4000 square meter palace façade set, 400+ Martin Professional automated lights, 80 containers of transport. What is being called the biggest transportable touring set ever graces Andre Rieu’s latest and greatest tour - “World Stadium Tour: A Romantic Vienna Night” which visited Australia late last year.
The 26 meter high stage - a reconstruction of the Schonbrunn castle in Vienna - includes a ballroom with gilded chandeliers, majestic fountains, and even ice for skating. Lighting the massive set is an equally impressive Martin lighting rig made up of 30 MAC III Profiles, 185 MAC 2000 Washes, 58 MAC 2000 Wash XBs, 114 MAC 250 Washes, 10 MAC 2000 Performances and 14 Exterior 200s.
Lighting design for the tour is in the capable hands of Maurice Verbeek who has been designing lighting for Andr é Rieu for nearly twelve years. Verbeek turned to Martin’s popular 1500 watt MAC III Profile to span the set’s enormous trim heights. “When I started to draw the plots for the World Stadium Tour I realized the size of this stage was enormous!” Verbeek says. “The trim of the main rig needed to be 15 meters and we needed a lot of strong lights.
“At that time, the MAC 2000 Profile/Performance was the strongest spot but I needed something stronger with a bigger zoom range. After finishing the European tour, Rent-All informed me about the new MAC III Profile. After seeing a demo we decided to exchange the VL 3000 with the MAC III.”
Verbeek first used the MAC IIIs on the Australian leg of the tour, programming them to match the gobos and effects of earlier shows. “The MAC III performed very well with few problems. Finally, there is a profile spot that's strong enough to compete with the power of a MAC 2000 Wash.”
Co-designer and programmer on the tour is Gertjan Houben of Moving Lights Support of Amsterdam. He adds his thoughts about the MAC III units: “When we started designing for André Rieu's World Stadium Tour we knew we needed something bright, powerful and versatile,” he said. “While looking at all the usual suspects in that segment, Rent-All BV invited us for a demonstration of the then soon to be released MAC III. Having heard some rumors about it being bright and powerful, we didn't hesitate to accept the invitation. The demo was very impressive and we knew we had found the light we were looking for.”
Luckily, says Houben, the release date of the fixture coincided with the shipping dates to Australia. “When the rig came online in the Telstra Dome in Melbourne and we started programming, the light kept all its promises. The brightness of the output exceeded our expectations and with the impressive zoom we could get the light where we needed it most.”
Besides the versatility of the fixture’s gobo/prism combination, Houben was most impressed with the new colour mixing system. “It's fast and mixes beautifully,” he comments. “The extended range of colour depth in the magenta and yellow are a huge improvement. Together with Bart van Stiphout the system engineer, I was also very pleased with the relatively small channel footprint of the light. When it comes to universes in these big shows, more is not better.”
Looking back on the shows, Houben says that they definitely made the right choice with the MAC III Profile. “I'm looking forward to the next production I can spec it on,” he concludes.
Kings of Leon tour with Avolites
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As one of this decades most popular rock groups, Kings of Leon has recently toured Australia with their “Only By The Night” show. Kings of Leon whipped up a storm with sold out shows nationwide. All lighting equipment was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
Lighting designer/director Ali Bale had no hesitation in specifying an Avolites Pearl Expert console to control lighting for the world wide Kings of Leon tour. Bale is a big Avolites fan and has used Avolites consoles for the last 15 years.
Bale has worked for Kings of Leon for the last four and a half years since he was originally asked onboard by co-LD and the show’s creative designer Paul Normandale. This latest tour is a co-lighting design between the two of them, on which Bale is also working extremely closely with video director Phil Woodhead and the live visuals director & Catalyst (digital media server) programmer/operator Phil Haynes.
The arena tour design is a creative fusion of video and lighting that illustrates first hand the concept of “convergence” between the two visual mediums. It also sees Bale, Haynes, and Woodhead all operating from the FOH position – to maximize synergy and communication for producing the show.
The lighting rig is based on 3 chevron shaped fixed trusses. Each truss has a cluster of Element Labs using VersaTUBE LED frames which are driven by Hayne’s Catalyst with Barco Matrix screen. Down stage had approximately 80ft of Matrix, 3 Panels Deep, Midstage and Upstage had 4 VersaTUBE LED frames. Lighting fixtures comprise of 20 x Martin MAC 700 Profiles, 14 x MAC 700 Washes, 20 x MAC 2K Washes, 8 x Atomic strobes with Colour Scrollers, 4 x Syncrolites, 22 x 4 Way Molefays – 6 of them were floor mounted and had Colour Scrollers on them - and 7 x ACL Bars. In addition to these were 6 Floor Cans with Colour Scrollers.
All of this is controlled by the Avolites Pearl Expert, on which Bale remarks, “It’s a perfect sized desk for an arena tour of this size – offering plenty of power and options without being at all over-complicated”. The two rollers enable him to split the rig between moving and generic elements which is very convenient.He first started using the Pearl Expert shortly after its launch at the end of 2007, initially on the Kings of Leon, followed by The Rifles.
“Like all Avo desks, it’s great” he says, “quick, easy and intuitive to program and operate”. He also comments that having the additional top row of 30 faders available makes “All the difference”, and it’s also great to be able to work with a small desk and within a tidy footprint. Bale always specifies Avo desks for his tours. The Avolites Pearl Expert was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems. Kings of Leon have been on the road since June 2008, and the tour is currently scheduled to run until September 2009.
What is Lectern Rock? Lectern Rock, developed by the Belong Group for Westpac Banking Corporation, is a business presentation with difference; a hybrid of circus, theatre and rock concert. Lighting Designer, Scott Allan developed the production with Designer Andrew Bellchambers, early last year and after several successful presentations in Melbourne (Malthouse Theaters), put the show on the road for the rest of corporate Australia.
The ninety minute event, which includes live rock bands, live video, circus routines, acrobats and the odd light-saber dual, is aimed at delivering the latest Westpac initiatives to staff and clients alike.
Scott has used 16x VL500, 15x Mac700, 10x TW1, 24x Source Four, 12x MRX/CXI colour scrollers, 12x LED IPix Satellite, ArKaos media server, Barco 10k projector, midi & click-track sequences and Unique Hazers.
This was also a great opportunity to put GrandPA Lighting (http://www.grand-pa.co.uk/report%20viewer.html) new show file interrogation software to the test. Scott said "I found Report Viewer extremely helpful in tidying up preset focuses and working out what presets and pallets we had used throughout the show and where, and conversely what we had "missed"."
Lectern Rock is currently touring Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.
Robe Headlines Good News Week
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With a successful season ‘under the belt’ in 2008 Robe has been chosen again for the key feature intelligent lighting on the Australian satirical news-based comedy quiz show Good News Week (GNW).
Sydney based Production Company Theatricks has been engaged to provide the intelligent lighting for the new season of Good News Week. With over 70 ULA Products comprising Robe, SGM and iLED, Theatricks through principle Roger Hind has certainly brought brand awareness- especially with Robe - to the forefront of the Sydney television market developing a strong following given Robe’s quality, reliability and performance.
Paul McDermott has returned once again to host GNW, one of Australia’s most successful current affairs comedy shows. Recorded in front of a live studio audience at the ABC studios in Ultimo, Sydney, GNW (produced by GNW TV for Channel 10) is bringing a bigger and even better production to the screen with this year’s season.
Experienced Lighting Designer Graham Brumley has been brought in to design the lighting once again. The amount of intelligent lighting equipment changes from week to week, depending on special guest and live performances, however weekly rigged lighting consists of 4 Robe ColorSpot 1200EAT, 9 Robe ColorSpot 700EAT, 3 ColorSpot 575AT and 8 ColorWash 575AT all of which are positioned above the audience and over the performance space.
The set features 14 illuminated perspex towers each with SGM Palco 3’s as feature lighting in the base. There is also a moving light projection on top of each tower. A further two Palco 3’s are used in the base of the ‘soundproof’ perspex booth whenever it is used on the set. The GNW Ceiling Ball above the audience is lit from above with a single iLED Source 36 to provide the colour changing effect.
A new feature which has been added this season is the iLED FlexiLED installed in the desk tops. There are three separately-controlled strips running along the front of each desk. 11 iLED Star Drapes are used behind the stage to give it the classic night time twinkle sky effect. A warm white iLED FlexiLED strip is soon to be installed around the top of the ‘Blow Up Your Pants’ booth to provide additional key facial lighting for the artists inside the booth. All of the intelligent lighting is controlled by a Hog 1000 console and operated by Ruth Lowry of Theratricks.
Roger has been impressed with the Robe fixtures, “They have proven to be reliable again and again, we are really happy with the performance of all the lights used on the show”. The Robe 700 Series has proven itself in television given its flicker free performance, strong CTO colour mixing and very quiet operation. For television shoots moving light fixtures run continuously for hours and the Robe 700 Series have made a big name for themselves, rapidly becoming the moving light choice in television.
Theatricks has provided Robe moving lights on various other TV shows including Sideshow, Channel 7 Sunrise, Strictly Dancing and The Gruen Transfer. Gruen is a co-production between the ABC and Zapruder (with Andrew Denton as Executive Producer). The 2009 season of Gruen is currently in production again using Robe Colorspot 700EATs and iLED Source 36s airing Wednesdays at 9pm on ABC-1.
Roger is certainly a real Robe supporter, confident in back up and support of ULA locally and his first hand experience of Robe's global support. He loves 'enthusing' his wide hands-on knowledge of the Robe products and has certainly put into practice 'the talk' with his extensive Robe moving light inventory.
Damien Cooper relies on MAC TW1’s for Broadway production
An Australian production of Exit the King is taking Broadway by storm. Directed by Neil Armfield, the play stars Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon.
The all-star Australian design team includes Dale Ferguson (Set & Costume), Damien Cooper (Lighting), and Russell Goldsmith (Sound) with John Rodgers as the Composer.
Whilst the theatre and the country might all be foreign to talented lighting designer Damien Cooper at least he can count on the familiarity of the lighting gear by choosing Martin MAC TW1s! This time Damien has opted for ten Martin MAC TW1 with the narrow lenses as the only moving lights in his rig.
“Martin TW1's are the perfect theatre moving light,” commented Damien. “The narrow lens tube option gives a pure narrow shaft of incandescence. The colour system captures all the lighter tints that I like to work with. I look forward to future incandescent moving fixtures from Martin, maybe an incandescent MAC2000 performer?”
Damien’s rig also features heaps of theatrical analogue fixtures as well eight Martin Atomic Strobes which are used for the chase sequence in Exit the King.
“Geoffrey Rush’s line just after the chase is what the fuck was that?” said Damien. “It’s a very apt way of describing the power and sudden shock that these strobes bring to the stage!”
Vuepix Creates a Visual Masterpiece
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The newest commercial office tower - the KPMG Building in Perth’s CBD, showcased one of the country’s finest visual artists during the Perth International Arts Festival. Clifton Productions Perth was contacted to supply and install 160 Vuepix P25 screens as part of the digital art piece designed by renowned artist Daniel von Sturmer.
The Perth International Arts Festival is the oldest annual international multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere and annually offers some of the world's best theatre, music, film, visual arts, street arts, literature and free community events. No single art genre, concert, performance or exhibition series can cover the breadth of intellectual and imaginative territory of the Perth Festival, nor reach as broadly into the community.
For two generations of locals, summer in Perth without the Festival is simply unimaginable. For over 50 years the Festival has welcomed to Perth some of the world's greatest artists. The three-week long Festival, in February of each year, attracts more than 300,000 patrons to events in Perth as well as in the Great Southern region.
In this occasion, it was a special opportunity to see a new commission by one of Australia’s most exciting multimedia contemporary artists, Daniel von Sturmer. Daniel produced a major digital visual piece of art showing his renowned inventive interventions with space, architecture and visual phenomena. This was his first public work in the City of Perth.
Managing Director Ed Matthews said “The reason the KMPG building was chosen is not only because the building is owned by the Hawaiian Group, a major sponsor of the Festival, the building was actually in a perfect position to target Kings Park and Perth’s busiest freeway – the Kwinana/Mitchell Freeway.
The Vuepix screen was installed for 2.5 weeks running from 8am to midnight for those weeks. Ed said “during this whole period we had to swap only two panels. Even after extreme weather conditions from 43 degree days to storms rolling in off the Indian ocean, the screen performed exceptionally well”
The Vuepix P25 screens enable you to redefine the imaging landscape and customized LED video screens and curtains to your specifications. The VuePix range of LED video solutions incorporates indoor and outdoor LED video screens and LED mesh, making this one of the most versatile LED video ranges on the market.
With numerous successful projects to credit, Clifton Productions Perth provide solutions to any size event from exhibitions to concerts using equipment of the highest calibre.
Coldplay tour with Martin MAC rig
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One of the most successful alt-rock bands of the past decade, England’s Coldplay, is currently touring Australia with a Martin rig, supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems, that includes the new extra bright MAC 2000 Wash XB™ luminaire.
Touring in support of their new album, “Viva La Vida,” the show uses no LED screens or crowd IMAG at the band’s request. Lighting, set, and production designer Paul Normandale makes sure of that, opting for visual impact from video projection and the Martin MACs. The rig includes 24 x MAC2000 washes, 10 x MAC2000 XBs washes, 32 x MAC700 spots, 20 x MAC250 washes and 27 x Atomic 3000 strobes, ten of which have colour changers. Also in the rig are Unique Hazers and a couple of MA grandMA lites.
“Coldplay are a high impact band that requires dynamic looks with lots of cues,” Paul comments. “The MAC2000 Wash XB is used primarily as a rear wash light and is so bright it means I can use less than I would with other fixtures. Plus we trim at 48ft so I needed a wash that would reach with cover to spare.”
The MAC2000 Wash XB is a new 1500W fresnel that takes the proven optical and effect qualities of Martin’s MAC2000 Wash and adds even greater brightness (over 60,000 lumens of power), new efficient fans, ballast, starter and more.
Specific features of the XB that Paul likes include its “sheer punch. They are very, very bright and compact,” he says. “And reliability has been really good.” Paul has them spread across the top sub-grid for washes and as a rear floor light.
“All the fixtures have been excellent,” he continues. “The MAC250s as cross wash and air shot lights add a scale to the stage. Its 80 ft wide and has two 40 ft plus walkways so I needed a physically small but bright unit.”
The tour has been on the road for nearly ten months and lighting operator Fraser Elisha reports that all of the Martin MACs have proven to be extremely reliable.
“The MACs just do what they’re supposed to do and I’m very happy with them,” he remarked at the band’s Sydney show. “The MAC2000 Wash XB’s are just as reliable as the normal MAC2000 Wash but it’s a lot punchier, you really notice the difference between the two.”
Photos: Steve Jennings
VuePix Brings The Vibe at Good Vibrations
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Good Vibrations, presented by JAM recently toured through Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Perth with great success.
Festival promoter Justin Hemmes summed it all up saying, “Were so excited to announce that for the first time we’ve had a sell out festival in all four states. Its testament to the Festival artists, our beautiful venues, the support of the local authorities and the team behind Good Vibrations Festival. Bring on 2010!”.
While lighting was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems throughout, Clifton Productions lit the featured ‘Smirnoff Experience’ stage.
The major line up included International DJ Fat Boy Slim (AKA Norman Cook) who has established himself as one of the worlds most popular DJ’s and Producers. The event also featured The Presets, Sam Sparrow, The Pot Belleez and Deadmau5 among others.
Clifton Productions was brought in to create the ‘Smirnoff Experience” in the Mr. J tent, which was designed by Rob Easton from E Productions, Sydney. Main acts included The Cuban Brothers, The Pot Belleez, Yelle, Miami Horror and Mike Relm.
8 Robe ColorSpot 1200AT were used with customised Smirnoff Experience Gobos which projected around the stage and scaff towers. 35 x 1 metre iLED Graphic Tubes were rigged hanging from the centre of the room’s truss to give an illuminating rich colour changing effect.
2 metre wide by 4 metre high Vuepix P25 screens were used behind the bar area in conjunction with Smirnoff displays. These featured customised content for effective branding and theming. Visuals were designed by Morph from Morph Visuals who are internationally renowned on the VJ scene.
Morph made custom branding content to suit the bar layout and P25 screens just for the whole tour for Good Vibrations. Morph has used Vuepix on many gigs including Summerfielddayze, Future Music Festival and Global Gathering. 16 iLED Colorbank 54’s were used on risers behind the Vuepix screens, with 8 Colorbanks 54’s to light through the screen and 8 Color Bank 54’s to light the marquee wall and roof.
Morph says “I've used Vuepix on a lot of events recently and really like them. They are great, with good clean blacks with no tweaking and really rich colours, especially the reds. The response is fantastic with very little delay from input to screen which is super important in VJing and music focused video. With the highly modular setups we have been able to do some amazing screen configurations and producing custom content for those setups is always a challenge, the Vuepix screens are easily configured to make that side of it a breeze. They deliver on both filmic content and more graphics based material, a key in live work when requirements can change from act to act. They have been a pleasure on my gigs so far and I look forward to having them on future events.”
Lighting was programmed by System Tech Matt Downs from Clifton Productions. Matt says “Smirnoff’s marketing team were extremely impressed with the designs of the event. The really loved the promotional look. There were numerous comments that this was the best looking room on the tour”.
Green is the only colour for Jackson Browne
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Jackson Browne is currently touring the country in support of his first album of new material in six years, Time The Conqueror, and what is so unusual about this tour is that the lighting rig comprises totally of LED fixtures.
Lighting designer Dave Davidian is touring a rig that includes twenty GLP Impression LED moving heads and 180 of the new Pro Shop LED Tricolour Pro PAR cans, all supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
According to Dave, Jackson Browne himself was pivotal in the decision to switch to LEDs as he is a very green-orientated person who cares about his green footprint on the planet.
“The impedance to go ahead and go through with using LEDs definitely came from Jackson but it was something that I had thought about too, knowing his concerns about the environment,” said Dave. “He felt this would be a way to save power and do the right thing as far as his beliefs were concerned. For myself, I was curious about LEDs too.”
The set design for Jackson Browne’s show is relatively simple with Dave aiming to get a variety of different angles of light on Jackson - to get light sources at vertical and horizontal angles and different heights, so that he could make the most of a small physical system and create as many layers and angles of light as he possibly could.
To do this, Dave constructed a rig with two upside down “U” truss configurations, one on each the left and right rear of the stage, with a straight bar of truss in the centre between them. The trussing is lined up and down the sides and across the top with the 180 Pro Shop LED Tricolour Pro PAR cans.
“Using so many cans provides strength in numbers,” said Dave. “The fact that the LED par cans have a low power draw and low heat production, made this design viable.”
The Impressions serve as backlights and sidelights and Dave was particularly impressed by their brightness, describing it as fantastic.
“The colours are stunningly beautiful - better than dichroic - and they do some great colour dissolves,” he added. “Additionally, the movement of the Impressions helps achieve my goal of having as much flexibility with angles and light source points as possible.”
”With their compact size and light weight, the Impressions are easy to transport and setup, and are very reliable” said Davidian, “Jackson thinks the lighting looks great. All the comments from both people and the press have been very positive about how the show looks.”
Asked if Dave would use LED lighting for consequent tours by different acts he replied ‘absolutely!”.
“I think that the Impressions and LED par cans are great instruments. They have so many pluses especially the par cans – you don’t have change bulbs, there are no temperature issues and they offer so many colours. I’m very happy with them and they’re a definite plus for the industry.”
Pandora wins at Tamworth
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The Tamworth Country Music Festival has cemented itself as an Australian January institution and is possibly the biggest party in the whole of the country. The population of Tamworth almost doubles in size to 100,000 and the festival generates more than $40 million to the local economy. They come by ute, bus, train, plane - some blokes used to travel each year by camel – to the large inland city on the banks of the Peel River.
With some 120 different venues showing about 4,000 performances, about 590 buskers on the ‘Boulevard of Dreams’ (Peel Street) and so many visitors, it’s a wonder that country hospitality isn’t stretched to breaking point but the smiles on the locals are as wide as ever.
The festival culminates in the Country Music Association of Australia’s night of nights, the Golden Guitar Awards, which was held this year at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment & Convention Centre. Paul Collison was the lighting designer for the event and saw it as a prime opportunity to utilize the Pandora’s Box Media Server.
On the Funniest Home Videos Grand Final production Paul used the Pandora’s Box Media Player which is the software you use with your own hardware but in Tamworth he used the Pandora’s Box Media Server which is the hardware solution.
Last years Golden Guitar Awards featured one large video screen behind the stage which rather dominated the set and so this year Paul wanted to break up the video elements turning it more into part of the set design than just a video screen.
The LED panels were divided into random strips across the stage with the Pandora’s Box Media Server used to map video, using it more as a wallpaper or set design than a straightforward video screen.
“We were really happy with the Media Server,” Paul said. “When I used the Media Player I was very happy with the smooth playback and the efficiency of the software but using the hardware solution from coolux just took it to another level again. I can definitely see in the near future that products such as Pandora’s Box will be a better solution than software like Watchout and start to bridge that gap between video and lighting. It will bring those departments much closer together.”
Along with the Panodora’s Box Media Server, Paul networked a second Media Player running on a 20inch iMac to send graphics on to the LCD panels on stage. “The LCD panels were only patched in on the day of the show, I used the Spread Content feature of the PB system to spread the content I was using on the main server to the media player. This meant I could clone the Media Player to the Media Server on the grandMA and viola, most of my programming was done for me”
The media used was mainly from the comprehensive collection that Paul has amassed over the past couple of years and included softly moving waves of colour and textures. There were no ‘in your face’ graphics used for this production.
“Video graphics can often be overdone, it was nice to see it as much more of a background than a feature,” remarked Paul.
Paul used Martin MACTW1 fixtures as keylights for the show and he only has one word to describe them.
“Awesome, just awesome,” he said. “I don’t know what else I can say about them. They are hands-down my favorite light. I love the colour mixing and the way they look on camera. Instead of having thirty conventional fixtures in my rig I could use just eight TW1’s with no fuss. They’re just perfect for television.”
Vuepix and Robe Hit Global Gathering
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Vuepix and Robe were in action for the world renowned dance festival, Global Gathering.
The Global Gathering events, produced by Future Entertainment, hit Australia with a bang with shows taking place in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Australia wide lighting was supplied by Clifton Productions.
Known internationally for their large arenas, huge light shows and state of the art sound systems, each Global Gathering event is a huge event of up to 20,000 dance and electronica enthusiasts watching performances from an impressive line of local and international DJ’s including Sasha, Above & Beyond, Mark Ronson, Kraftwerk, Felix the House Cat and many more.
On the Main Stage, an Avolites D4 console along with 33 Robe ColorSpot 1200AT were used in total, which was all operated by Mark Ronson’s Lighting Designer. The floor had band risers lined with the Vuepix screen. 1 by 8 panels, 1 by 4 panels raised up, 2 by 4 panels and 1 by 4 panels.
The upstage truss had 5 Robe ColorWash 1200AT on dropped bars situated just above each Vuepix P25 screen. While 5 Robe ColorWash 1200AT were on the floor of the stage between each screen to shine through the band riser screens and up light a red curtain along with the full backdrop worth of Thomas Pixellines. A further 6 Robe ColorWash 2500EAT, and 6 Robe ColorSpot 2500EAT were distributed across the audience trusses.
Visuals on this stage included 74 Vuepix P25 panel wall operated by Ben from Pilot Vision UK, who also created customised content - pixel for pixel to suit the layout of Vuepix on the tour. System Tech Matt Downs from Clifton Productions says “The desired show using the customised content was only achievable due to the set up process and mapping of Vuepix - scaling of the signal was not an option in this case so it was just not an option, as all of the screens were controlled off just one output from Ben. Each individual finger of the screen or band risers could play anything required. Once set up, the system allowed the custom content to be played through all the screens or just selected screens, they could even be triggered from the audio signal.”
On the Ministry of Sound Stage, all fixtures were hung on truss above the stage. 14 Robe ColorWash 700AT and 12 Robe ColorSpot 700AT were used as the stage rig plus extra's spread around as room fillers. This was the rig to suit Gorillaz Sound System & the German forfathers of electronica, Kraftwerk. Control was via a GrandMA and a Hog II PC. The Krafwerk's show included 5 robotic dj's for the hit ROBOT which also included the use of a stage wide projection screen as a backdrop and at times even a full stage wide projection screen at the front of the stage. Gorillaz Sound System had their visual spectacular show with 12+ projection & slide projectors spread throughout the entire room.
In Sydney the Royal Hall of Industries formed the home for the God's Kitchen Stage, housing 9 Robe ColorWash 700AT rigged on the legs of the stage and truss verticals, all controlled by a GrandMA LITE. Not only was this a visual feast with pyramid shaped trusses on stage, but a zigzag truss running down the middle of the entire room - with moving lights, LED toners and strobes throughout. On the stage rig also included iLED star drapes for an effective ‘sky’ backdrop.
The Fan Klub Stage featured 3 Robe ColorSpot 250AT, 6 Robe ColorWash 700AT and 2 Robe LED Blinder 192DT were used. These fixtures were top mounted on truss vertices and some fixtures placed on top of speaker stacks. A Hog 500 was used to control the lights and was pre-programmed by Matt Downs.
Matt said “Both Michael Parsons and myself followed the show up and down the east coast which included running the prep/set up, show transportation etc. The Robe fixtures performed great considering the wet weather we faced. It rained in every state at some point of the show, whether it was during set up, programming or the show day itself. They copped a hiding with the elements! There were some minor causalities, which only required a little air drying and sunlight and they were up and running in no time. All the LD’s were very happy with the performance and reliability of Robe and never expected to find these fixtures in Australia”.
Clifton Productions has the largest inventory of Robe rental stock in Australia. Robe, Vuepix and iLED are distributed in Australasia by ULA.
Martin goes out with Delta
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Australian songstress Delta Goodrem has returned to the stage for her Believe Again national tour performing hits from her career and current album Delta.
Alex Saad was her lighting designer using a rig supplied by Phaseshift Productions including 26 x Martin MAC700 profiles, 24 x MAC700 washes, 8 x MAC2000 and 12 x Martin LC Panels.
“There were no real prerequisites but I did have a long talk with Delta and she gave me some general ideas as to what she wanted,” said Alex. “It was more of a feel for what she wanted not specifics. She is pretty creative and has the big picture in her head. Generally she wanted nothing hard-edged but all soft and that conveyed through to the lighting.”
The truss system comprised of six ‘fingers’ spreading over the stage and each truss piece held MAC700 profiles and washes. These enabled Delta to be clearly seen at all times. The front truss held the MAC2000’s. More MAC700 washes and spots were situated on the floor.
The LC Panels, used to get away from the standard video set up, were arranged behind a white cyc in a five and seven format. The white cyc softened their presence and hard edges whilst also acting as a projection surface for some 12K projectors.
Content run through the LC Panels was generic looks that Alex had created over time. Behind the white cyc and then the LC Panels was a star curtain.
Phaseshift lighting crew included Crew Chief Jeremy Nolan, and Systems Techs Troy Brown and Rob Oswold.
ETC Eos Inspiring Students At NIDA
The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) is recognised internationally as one of the premier schools for technical theatre training. The NIDA production provides the ultimate skill set for students combining formal teaching with practical, hands-on experience. It also pushes students to work outside of the technical square, and none has been more evident than second-year NIDA student, Luke Woolley, who heard about how fabulous the ETC Eos console was and took it upon himself to get access to Eos for a production of Unidentified Human Remains in the Parade Theatres.
The show’s lighting was designed by 2008 NIDA graduate Jack Horton with Luke acting as head electrician. Rob Kelly, NIDA’s Technical Supervisor, supported the venture and invited Jands to come to the NIDA campus and demonstrate the ETC Eos to the entire class. So impressed with the level of enthusiasm, Jands donated the use of the Eos for the production.
“The great thing about the Eos was its familiarity, as we only had a short time to learn it before going into plot. This was a big plus,” commented Luke. “The effects engine was also a good tool to learn in quick time, with its clear layout and premade effects I was able to aid the designer in what they wanted and quickly move onto the next cue.
“What I liked best about the desk was that I was able to make the desk work the way I wanted it to work, setting it up in a way that aided me best. With the different formatting for the different screens it was a great tool in setting up an environment that was
quick to move around within, with all the information at the touch
of a button.”
Pandora’s Box previews at Funniest Home Videos
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Towards the end of last year Channel 9 produced their popular Funniest Home Videos Grand Final at Brisbane’s Southbank. Stuart Anderson was the Lighting Designer and Lighting Production Manager with Ryan Swan the Lighting Director.
Paul Collison was bought in to operate the moving lights which included Martin MAC2000 spots. LED technology was utilized to the max with 18 x GLP Impressions, 24 x Martin Stage Bars, 54 x Martin LC Panels and some LED tubes. Control was via a MA Lighting grandMA, an MA Lite and three NSP nodes. Three Unique hazers provided atmospherics and there were 108 conventional fixtures in the rig.
Paul also bought with him a brand new secret tool – three coolux Pandora Box software packages to use with both the LC Panels and a centre LED screen (a folsom was used to convert the DVI to SDI and send it to the OB truck from where what went into the main screen was controlled). An ArKaos Media Server ran content to the LED tubes. This was the first time that Pandora’s Box has been used in the country and Paul admits it was used without any official training from coolux!
“It was maybe a bit of a gamble at that stage but we were very happy with how things turned out,” said Paul. “The first time I heard about Pandora’s Box was when I was doing a seminar for MA Lighting in Korea. It wasn’t until I sat down in the room that I realised there was going to be a three hour presentation on the coolux media server and I wasn’t too happy about it. I thought I knew what media servers were and I didn’t need to hear about one for three hours. However by the end of the presentation I wanted to know where to buy one!!”
At that time there was no distributor for coolux products in Australia but once Paul heard that Show Technology had taken it onboard and that there would be quality support for it in the country, he immediately purchased some Pandora’s Box Media Players. Paul’s enthusiasm saw his Pandora’s Box in use at Funniest Home Videos Grand Final.
“It was the perfect show to give it a run on,” he said. “Vince Haddad and I spent a couple of days working it out and I really liked the fact that we could grab the software, install it and make it work. Obviously since I’ve been properly trained to use Pandora’s Box I can do far more with it!”
Paul describes Pandora’s Box as a very smooth product that runs video very, very well.
“In fact that’s the first thing that drew me towards it. Most media servers tend to lack the fundamental ability to play a video clip smoothly from start to finish but Pandora’s Box can.”
A cool feature that Paul discovered with Pandora’s Box is the way that it’s networkable; it’s very similar to the MA Lighting system in that you can control multiple servers and have them all syncronised down to each frame of vision.
“As a result timing is never an issue with your pictures,” Paul commented. You can use the networkable control either via the timeline manager like a video product or you can run it like a traditional media server off the console.”
Paul ran the Pandora’s Box software like a media server from the grandMA console for Funniest Home Videos as the video content was fairly simple.
Lighting gear was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
Vari*Lite fills the void for Le Grand Cirque
Last year the Sydney Opera House hosted Le Grand Cirque which turned out to be the highest grossing show they had ever had. Seen by millions of people around the world, Le Grand Cirque is a jaw-dropping visual feast of breathtaking acrobatics, spellbinding contortionists, soaring aerial performers and whiteknuckle stunts.
UK-based Storm Lighting was re-invited to design the lighting for the return tour which ran this January at the Opera House. Like the acts on stage, the lighting design makes an exuberant demonstration of its own power and presence. Elaborate costumes and reflective stage apparatus come alive in a vivid and everchanging array of colours.
The design was by Pete Kramer with guidance from an old colleague of his Gavin Norris, now a full time production manager for the opera house.
The show was a tricky feat due to the high rig trim height and weight loading restrictions of the listed building. Fortunately, for the first time, Pete had Vari*Lite luminaires in his rig and he was blown away by their brightness.
“In this situation, with the high trim height, I think the Vari-Lites were definitely the best fixtures for the job,” he remarked. “We really needed the VL3000s for their brightness and throw, but also due to the restrictions on the roof, we could use fewer of them. I’ve found the Vari-Lites to be good all round fixtures.”
Chameleon Touring Systems supplied the lighting, including fifteen VL3000 spots, fifteen VL2000 spots and twenty-eight VL2500 wash luminaires.
“The VL2000 spots do all of the grunt work whilst the VL3000 do all of the tricks,” said Pete. “The VLL2500 washes supply all the colour washes.”
A few of the Opera House’s own VL1000 fixtures were also deployed.
Vuepix on the Rihanna and Chris Brown Tour
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Rihanna and Chris Brown recently headlined their first Australian tour kicking off their first show in Brisbane. It was double pleasure for music fans with two of the hottest young international RnB singers wowing sold out crowds with their acrobatic and visual extravaganza.
Clifton Productions recently supplied 220 Vuepix P25 screens to Big Picture Australia for the Rihanna and Chris Brown Tour. With a touring crew of 120 people, including lighting, video, audio, laser & pyro team this show was set for a visual feast.
The Vuepix screens configured 16 panels wide by 8 panels high, totaling 128 panels which was featured on the main stage. From upstage to down stage, further Vuepix displays were rigged in 7's with larger assemblies of 2 panels wide by 10 panels high, fanning out to 2 panels wide by 7 panels high towards the rear, and 2 panels wide by 4 panels high configurations to the front.
System Tech Matt Downs of Clifton Productions says "We didn't take any spares on the tour, but we recommended reducing the main screen size to allow for spares but the client wanted a 'wow' visual impact." "It was a risk, however we are very confident with this product." This clever design of the Vuepix screens nicely framed the stage and drew the audience in, making this smart visual presentation with rich graphics and imagery ignite the stage. Mainlight SoftLED was also included on stage for the beginning of Chris Brown's set.
Matt says “The Vuepix screens worked without fault at every show once it was up and running. It took 1 hour 20 minutes to set up and test all 128 screens which is great." "I like Vuepix as they are easy to set up, easy and simple cabling and there are endless configuration possibilities." "As you can see Vuepix held its own amongst all the other technology used on the tour”. Continuing on to say “The video operator said that the Vuepix screens were one of the easiest screens he used to set up and operate anywhere”. Matt says “Following on from this production, Vuepix continues to generate extensive interest and is featuring on more and more tours and festivals”.
Vuepix redefines the imaging landscape and customise LED video screens and curtains to any specifications. Already installed in many stadiums and sporting arenas, and adopted by small to large rental houses for production and touring, the Vuepix range is affordable, versatile and simply put – an impressive addition to any production house inventory.
Delivering the tension of unnoticeable change
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Artistic director and choreographer Lemi Ponifasio founded MAU in 1995. MAU is an ensemble of artists taking its name from the non-violent Samoan independence movement Mau, meaning testimony or revolution. Mau offered sustained resistance to colonisation, first by the Germans, then Britain and New Zealand. The work of MAU reflects this keen social perspective, an awareness of history and a critical eye on our own times. Ponifasio collaborates with contemporary and traditional artists, refugees, and marae and Pacific Island communities reviving local-oriented arts, thought and narratives that have been silenced or excluded. In Ponifasio¹s words, “It is a dance or theatre that is mau, truly contemporary, that deals with the life as we experience it, a theatre of where we find ourselves planning our future”.
With bold vision and without ingratiation to western aesthetics or South Pacific clichés, Ponifasio’s minimalist choreography and staging radically reassesses the divisions between disciplines of dance, theatre, ceremony, visual arts and daily life. His often-controversial stage world is inhabited by humans, birds, gods, demi gods, oratory, chants, animals, ancestors, stone and song. The work challenges theatrical parameters of time and space; the searing imagery is enacted by a talented and dedicated ensemble of highly disciplined, cultivated artists from across the Pacific region, their movements, reduced and sacral in space of light and shadow.
Lighting designer, Helen Todd has worked with Ponifasio since 1993 and here she discusses her part in two recent productions: Tempest and Requiem.
“With Tempest, I began with imagining shadows and black spaces as this work deals with disappearing people, individuals and cultures. I wanted stark and arresting contrasts, and I wanted to make the spaces appear and disappear seamlessly and magically, just as it happens in the political realities we are dealing with in our world today.
The work Requiem requires a sacred space, for ceremony and remembrance. It requires an edge of darkness that inspires prayer, or reflection on inflicted loss of life. I try to define territorial zones that shift us, hovering between reverence and fear, where humans and even angels should tread only tenderly.
In both these works I have chosen to use the Selecon 575W MSR Zoomspot fitted with the Pacific Dowser mechanical dimmer which we take with us when we tour. I rely on the subtle and minutely accurate dimming action of these dowsers in order to engage the audience without drawing attention to what they are seeing, but rather the tension of unnoticeable change. The hot-strike lamps allow me to focus and check plotting without losing precious time, and of course interchangeable lenses are perfect if you care for absolute accuracy in your plot. For touring I am delighted to find that increasingly these beautiful instruments are available in Europe and of course in the US.”
MAU tours internationally appearing at venues and festivals which include the Lincoln Center NYC, Vienna Festival, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Holland Festival, Venice Biennale, London International Theatre Festival, Theatre Der Welt, Adelaide Festival and the Prague Quadrennial.
“angel” photo from Tempest courtesy of Lemi Ponifasio
All Requiem photography by Richard Termine.
GHD Ball Fantasy Wonderland
Western Australia’s leading rental company, Clifton Productions Perth, has employed Robe moving lights and LED products from iLED and SDV to create a ‘Fantasy Wonderland’.
The event, designed by Kate Wilson Events for Global Engineering Giant, GHD, was a ball held for over 1000 of the companies staff. The star lit ceiling spanned across the 14.5 x 12.5m dance floor. The set featured a huge tree trunk beneath a star lit sky made up of 6 x iLED Star drapes. The inside of the trunk was lit by 8 x SDV Par64 LED Par Cans, and also housed the DJ.
Lighting Designer Michael Wood, added 8 x Robe 1200 AT ColorSpots and 8 x Robe 1200 EAT ColorWashes. They were positioned off each corner of the space illuminating the room providing table and room wash, as well as dance floor effect lighting as the night progressed.
Ed Matthews, Managing Director of Clifton Productions Perth says of the products supplied by Australian Distributor ULA, “the lights performed flawlessly” going on to say that “our client was extremely happy with the overall effect”.
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Bytecraft Entertainment had a busy festive holiday period providing lighting equipment and LED screens for Sensation White, held at the Telstra Dome on New Years Eve. Heralded as the largest indoor dance party in the world, the aim by Dutch producers ID&T was to set a new standard for Dance Party events held in Australia.
As the first event allowed to rig from the roof of the Telstra Dome and with a soccer game held in the venue on the same day as the load in and a second soccer game held the day after the load out the restrictions placed on the event by the Telstra Dome meant that Project Manager Paul Rigby much of the pre-production working with the Australian Production Supervisor James Klein and the team from Sensation in Holland, Production Director Marcel Elbertse, Head Rigger Rien Engelbertink, Lighting Supervisor Bob van Bree and Production Manager Joris Joosen to ensure that Sensation’s creative brief was satisfied and also that the Telstra Dome roof would hold the 40 Tonnes of lighting and LED installed while ensuring that the venue grass surface would still be alive after the event despite the amount of boom lift moves and equipment moves taking place on the field.
The Bytecraft Entertainment team spent 3 days loading in the 12 Semi trailers worth of lighting and LED, followed by a day of programming. The event was held on New Years Eve followed immediately by the Load Out starting as soon as the venue was clear of punters.
Using the same methodology as their previous stadium gigs Bytecraft ran 3 lighting crews plus an LED crew working on the field in addition to a “Boneyard” crew working in the car park who distributed the equipment to the relevant crews working on the field.
“Given that the soccer games reduced the load in from the 5 days taken in Holland to 3 days required in Australia and the load out was one day here not three that they need in Holland, we did really well to get the show in and out on time” comments Paul. “The show went off without a hitch and the Dutch production team who were here for the show were really happy with our approach to the event, our ability to meet to the strict schedule meant the lighting operators had a full 24 hours of programming prior to the show which was fantastic” added Paul.
Crew Chiefs were: Don McGregor, Fergal O’Sullivan’ Sean ‘Motley” Hackett, Andrew Holmes, Rod Beaumont and Rohan Harrison
Lighting Equipment used was: 2 x Hog 3, w/ full size wing and mini wing, 10 x DP2000, 80 x VL3000 Spot, 72 x Mac 2000 Profile, 14 x Mac 2000 Performance, 44 x VL2500 Spot, 20 x Mac 2000 Wash, 40 x Cyberlight Turbo, 48 x Atomic Strobe w/ Scroller, 8 x DF50, 8 x F100 Smoke Machine, 2 x MDG 3000, 20 x Colorblaze 72, 60 x Colorblast 12, 64 x JB VaryLED, 50 x Source 4 Pars, 64 x Pinspots, 8 x P64 MFL, 6 x MR16, 4 x 1k Fresnel, 1 x Quadpack.
Rigging Equipment used was: 80 x 8’ Black 500mm Box Truss, 26 x 3m Chrome Total Fab Truss, 64 x 8’ A Type Truss, 4 x 3m 300mm Ali Box Truss, 4 x 2m 300mm Ali Box Truss, 4 x 12m Circle, 8 x 3.5m Circle. 110 x 60’ 1 Ton Chain Motor, 24 x 80’ 1 Ton Chain Motor, 32 x 100’ ½ Ton Chain Motor, 16 x 30m 1 Ton GIS Motor, 4 x 2T 30m GIS Motor, 28 x Liftket Hoist w/ Kinesys Control. Steel Top and Bottom Riggging for 214 Points (38m Roof)
Federation Square turns Blue
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For the whole of December Melbourne’s Federation Square was brilliantly lit up in a sea of blue courtesy of Microhire, the Square’s inhouse AV specialists. Come New Year’s Eve the blue was replaced by a kaleidoscope of colours to match the party atmosphere. The idea was to attract patrons to the Square without doing something obviously festive.
Twelve Studio Due CityColor 2500 fixtures were used for broad, sweeping washes over the building as well as twenty Pro Shop Honeycomb 72 LED fixtures. Microhire has been so impressed by the Honeycombs they now have close on forty in their inventory.
“The Honeycombs have a great output and I like their strength,” commented Guy McGregor, general manager for Microhire Victoria. “They put out a nice constant colour and the pricing of them is fair. Personally I really like the fact that they’re a long-lasting item built very well for the rental industry. As they’re so robust they can be forever out making us money!”
Paul Nicolaou, Show Technology’s Victorian branch manager worked closely with Guy to ensure the success of the project testing several fixtures along the way. Also used were a heap of LED pars.
“We had no choice but to use the CityColors but the rest of the lighting we chose to use LED as a Growing Green initiative,” explained Guy. “We linked the LED’s together via a wireless DMX transmitter / receiver so for NYE we could then plug in the MA Lighting grandMA console and away we go.”
Guy has been a longtime supporter of Show Technology describing their technical support as fabulous.
“There was actually an oversight and some of the Honeycombs weren’t rated for outdoors,” he divulged. “Although the Show Technology guys were scheduled to go on break when the mistake became apparent, they were there in no time to fix the problem. I know I can call Paul at any time and it won’t be a problem. The support is incredible and the guys are fantastic.”
Avolites D4 on tour with Alicia Keys
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Alicia Keys kicked off her “As I Am” sold out world tour in Australia early December 2008, with an eye-catching lighting design by VisualLight (Nick Whitehouse & Bryan Leitch) touring with production services of Bytecraft Entertainment.
An Avolites Diamond 4 console was specified for the full world wide tour. All lighting fixtures were controlled from the D4 console, the choice of both Whitehouse and Leitch, “We all chose the D4 on this Tour because we know it’s a great desk and also because the tour will be visiting certain territories and using local production, so we needed a reliable console where it was easy to exchange the fixtures and update, because we are using a variety of different moving lights in the different countries we are touring to” confirms Whitehouse.
Experienced Lighting Director Chris Steel of Avolites was the lighting operator for the European and Australian leg of the tour. The show is run using the D4’s Cue List system, which also gives the latitude to use the instant access facilities of the desk for the improvisational moments of the show. The ‘live’ access capability is the kind of feature that Avolites are world famous for – hand on and fast operation for live performances.
Chris’s Cue Lists is arranged on the first set of 8 Masters faders on the bottom left-hand side of the console, and the generics including key-lights, Moles, etc., on the second. Then on the playbacks at the top of the desk, he has positioned his ‘busking’ section of instant access cues on individual faders.
The show is a narrative charting Keys’ musical journey, which is conveyed very effectively by video links. The performance is divided into distinct sections, and presented with a classy and stylish flourish, embracing a myriad of different styles and musical genres.
The main overhead lighting is rigged onto 3 straight trusses going from back to front, with 2 wing trusses off the side of the stage to the edge of the audience. These contain 36 Vari*Lite 3000 Spots, 30 Vari*Lite 3500 Washes and 14 ColorKinetics ColorBlast 12 LED units.
Twelve Source 4 profiles were used on the mid and front truss for key-lighting the band. On the mid truss there was a kabuki drape to hide the band for a reveal at the start of the show, and this also left the mid and front truss for support bands to utilize for their shows. All the visible trusses are toned by the ColorBlast 12 LED fixtures, producing tasty rich glowing effects. Supporting acts were Australian group LowRider and American Idol winner Jordan Sparks.
Chris says, “My next tour using the D4 is Il Divo starting in Europe in February 2009. It’s great to see designers specifying the D4 on these large shows. I love using the D4 myself as it’s extremely easy to use, reliable, and it’s easy to change things live if you need to.”
Martin MAC2000’s are Gold
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Shane Warne the Musical bills itself as a new breed of Aussie music theatre that smokes, drinks, carries a few extra kilos and still brings home the Ashes. Whatever the description, the show is packing in the punters at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre and is proving to be a great success.
Written and composed by Eddie Perfect, who plays the part of Shane Warne, the production is directed by Neil Armfield with sets by Brian Thomson and lighting by Damien Cooper. Production Management for the show is by Trafficlight whilst Chameleon Touring Systems has supplied the lighting.
The lighting includes six snazzy gold Martin MAC2000 Performances and two gold MAC2000 wash, 13 x MAC2000 Performance, 21 x Martin TW1, 3 x MAC2000 wash, over 100 x Source 4, 36 x Par 64 NSP, 4 x Par 63 MFL, 10 x MR16, 14 x 500w QI, 2 x UV fresnel, 2 x UV flood, 3 x Martin Atomic strobe, 4 x Molefay Duet, 8 x ACL bars and 2 x Robert Juliat Aramis 2.5K HMI. Set electrics include 7 x Cyberlight Turbo, 2 x AF1000 fans for ventilation of cyber lights, 1400 x Festoon, 4 x Star cloth Colour Changing LEDS. Control is a MA Lighting grandMA.
The team of Neil Armfield, Brian Thomson, and Damien Cooper also did the highly successful Keating! the Musical but whereas Keating! was the little show that could, Shane Warne is a big brash rock set with 1400 festoons, cyberlights in the floor, and side lighting towers dressed to look like trophies with gold Martin MAC2000 Performers on top.
“Brian and I had talked about prop trophies on top of these side lighting towers and I suggested using gold moving lights” explained Damien Cooper. “I had seen some MAC700's that Tony Davies at Chameleon had painted white. It was a beautiful automotive paint job. So we now have Toyota gold Mac2000 Performers and Washes!
“I am a big fan of the MAC2000 Performers; the FX wheel is such a great tool for creating movement on stage. Also in the rig are Martin TW1's with their beautiful incandescent fragile light. The Martin Atomic 3000's with scrollers get a huge workout.”
The grandMA controlling the show is very ably programmed by Martin Robert.
“He set the console up in XYZ thus allowing us to trackball all the TW1's onto Eddie for Shine like Shane, a song where I wanted Eddie ten times brighter than everyone else on stage,” added Damien. “There are over 500 cues called by Diana Hume the stage manager.
“It really was a great show to work on. We were looked after superbly by Luke Cuthbertson of Chameleon Touring Systems as well as Kent Johnston and Hugh Carlton.”
EI's Martin Atomic Scrollers debut on Tegan & Sara
Canadian singer-songwriters and identical twins Tegan & Sara are an indie song-writing duo with a large following in Australia. Entertainment Installations recently supplied the lighting for their sold out show at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney.
The show was the debut gig for Entertainment Installations newest acquisition of Martin Atomic Scrollers. Jarred Hawke operated the lighting rig that consisted of twelve Martin MAC700, eight MAC250 Wash, four Atomic strobes, four Atomic Scrollers, a Unique Hazer, and four 4 Liters.
”We decided to purchase the Atomic Scrollers after having seen them on several tour riders for upcoming tours,” commented Neale Mace, managing director of Entertainment Installations. “We first used them on a dance music event and we were very happy with their ease-of-use and the effect they created.
For Tegan & Sarah the Atomic Scrollers were actually on the lighting spec.
“They are an exceptional effect and Jarred used them for some great "bang" effects as well as some subtle looks,” added Neale. “They certainly add another dimension to the already impressive Atomic Strobe.
“We own a number of Martin Atomic strobes and I can see us purchasing more units and adding more Atomic Colors to them as they are a great addition to our lighting hire inventory.”
|Anolis creates the Perfect Reception
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Anolis LED has been a hit again for Northern Territory Darwin based Top End Sounds. Top End Sounds has a large Anolis inventory, and is constantly used on Top End Sound’s event productions.
A local Darwin beach became the venue for a wedding recently. Managing Director Colin West says “We were approached by the Darwin Sailing Club to build a 30 metre long marquee as a reception venue for a recent wedding they were to host”.
Continuing Colin says “The marquee actually looks like it belongs there, however there was a bare space with rocks and sand and we built the marquee from scratch. Everyone was amazed at how good the marquee looked and loved the transition from day to sunset”.
Colin selected to use Anolis ArcLine LED strip lighting in each bay of the draped roof to give the marquee a warm feeling setting the mood for the evening. “Anolis was a good choice for many reasons”, Colin says, “Its advantage is it emits no heat, has really high output and is extremely easy to use. Anolis was a key part of the spectacular look which wowed the clients on their very special occasion”.
Vuepix help turn on the Christmas lights
Clifton Productions Perth has recently been involved in the City of Perth’s ‘Turning on the Christmas Lights’ to celebrate the official beginning of the City of Perth’s Festival of Christmas.
The Lord Mayor of Perth, Model Megan Gale and ABC1’s host Elliot Spencer were just a few invited to celebrate the City of Perth’s ‘Enchantment of Christmas’ for children and their families.
Clifton Productions Perth has recently taken delivery of over 70 Vuepix P25 LED Screens. Managing Director Ed Matthews said “we chose to invest in Vuepix Screens for their light weight and affordability for our clients, as opposed to hiring an alternative more expensive High Resolution LED Display.”
The Vuepix screens were used to create a backdrop and as video displays. Ed states, ‘We initially planned to only run vision effects through the screen however the screens performed so well we decided to run the cameras live on the screen too.” Also used were 12 iLED x Colorbank 54’s around the truss’s arch to give the audience an engaging visual effect using RGB led.
Ed chose 12 x Robe 1200 ColorSpot EAT’s and 8 x Robe ColorWash 1200 EAT’s for their high output. ‘We tried to achieve the look of snow falling projecting on the Post Office Building utilising Christmas colours of red, green and blue. Robe’s are always impressive and we are always happy with their reliability.” said Ed.
Continuing Ed says, ‘We are entering in to our busiest time of year now. Since using Vuepix for the very first time at the City of Perth’s Turning on of the Christmas Lights – we have picked up another 2 jobs because Vuepix had everyone talking!”.
BCL invests in new Pro Shop LED Pro Tri-colour PAR 64 and solve a Carols dilemma
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For the third year in a row Brisbane Concert Lighting has supplied, installed and designed a stunning light show for the IGA Lord Mayor's Carols in the City. Presented by City Tabernacle Baptist Church, and screened by the Channel 9 network, the event is held on the Brisbane River Stage in the city’s Botanical Gardens.
The elaborate stage set features several frosted perspex panels which BCL wanted to back light with LED fixtures but as the show is televised the fixtures they already had were unsuitable due to flickering. Then they came across the new Pro Shop LED Pro Tri-colour PAR 64 with ‘tri-colour’ technology, meaning that each LED contains a red, green and blue chip; colour is mixed before it leaves the fitting, creating highly saturated colours free of chromatic shadowing that is evident on standard RGB units.
Further to that the LED software that controls the dimming has high refresh rates ensuring that the output will not flicker on screens in television applications.
“The Tri-colour LED PARs are great because they have no colour fringing, so the shadowing is smooth and there’s no tri-chromatic separation,” said Sam Walter of BCL. “And the fact that they don’t flicker on camera is great. They’re extremely bright and great for cutting through the large amount of white colour wash required on stage for the cameras.”
A rig of Martin MACs - 6 x MAC2000, 12 x MAC600, 4 x MAC550, 12 x MAC250 Wash – are used to front light the stage. Also in the rig were 96 x Kupo PAR 64.
“The MACs saturate the set with colour from the front so we get a nice two-tone colour separation through the perspex from the front lighting,” said Sam. “The MAC2000’s supply all of the gobo animation over the set.”
This year BCL sub-hired a couple of Robert Juliat Aramis 2.5k follow spots for the gig and Sam was mightily impressed by them.
“It’s the first time we’ve used them and we were very, very impressed,” he said. “From an operators point of view they are built fantastically; everything is so smooth, the dimming is realistic and the light out put is really punchy. Last year we used Xebex follow spots and they tapered off a bit once all of the white wash came on so we were asked to find something that could cut right through and the Robert Juliat Aramis’ certainly did that!”
Jands Vista joins the Circus
For fifty years the Great Moscow Circus has been thrilling audiences with acts of sensational skill and agility. Featuring over fifty International performers, from Russia, Brazil, Mongolia, and Australasia, the Circus is again touring the country with a new production.
Brian Anslow, a lecturer in Technical Production at WAAPA, designed and programmed the lighting for this latest show trusting in a Jands Vista i3 for control.
“I recommended that the Circus buys a Jands Vista i3 as I think it is fantastic!’ remarked Brian. “I really think it’s the next step forward in technology. We’ve had one at WAAPA for the past two years and I think the whole control system is very innovative; the whole idea of it, the visual reference … everything.”
When asked which features Brian favours on the Vista i3 he bluntly replies all of them!
“I do like the fact that you can put in a track and choreograph it,” he adds. “Rather than having a CD player where you press play, have a listen and then go program a bit, you can marry all that together so you can program whilst you’re listening. That allows you huge amounts of accuracy.”
Brian pre-programmed the opening of the Great Moscow Circus on his laptop with another screen connected to it so he could run both Vista and WYSIWYG with the audio track in Vista.
“It allowed me to pre-program everything,” he said. “I just like that whole technological advancement whereby you can pre-program on your computer, take your USB, stuff it in a desk elsewhere and away you go.”
Containers for the set up of the Circus were flying in to the opening in Queensland from all over the world but unfortunately the container holding the custom truss and moving lights was held up by customs. This meant that Brian didn’t receive the truss and moving lights until 2.15pm on the afternoon of the opening night!
Brian had also never seen any of the acts only a few bits of DVD footage and, due to the late arrival of the last container, a proper rehearsal was not possible.
By the time everything was set up, plugged in and turned on there was only ten minutes until doors and although Brian had the show pre-programmed in WYSIWIG he decided to run the Vista on the fly.
“I had to use a different LED par can fixture in WYSIWIG than what we had in the tent so when I cloned in the new fixtures I didn’t really have time to test them so I opted to run the show live,” he explained. “However, it was fantastic and it was easy to busk the whole thing. Afterwards, during the after show party, I ran all of the pre-programmed stuff and it all worked perfectly. I guess I hadn’t quite been confident enough, maybe in myself, to jump in and run it having never seen it run before.”
Brian had pro-grammed the show on his laptop along with a Jands S1 not receiving his Vista i3 until the day of the show opening.
“Jands actually lent us one as our paper work hadn’t been processed,” said Brian. “We had sixty LED par cans and eight Martin MAC2000 fixtures – if I‘d been using any other desk I wouldn’t have been able to get it together in time. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to run any other desk live like I did the Vista i3. I reckon that I can program a show four times faster on a Vista i3 than any other desk I’ve ever used.”
Gareth Simmonds is operating the show on tour and by all accounts is delighted and comfortable with the Jands Vista i3. Gareth helped with all of the pre preparation and programming and continues to refine the show as it evolves.
Busy Phase for Phaseshift
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Phaseshift Productions have had a busy November with gear and crew going out with Italian mega-star Zucchero, Kenny Rogers, Devo, Franti and Bill Bailey. Naturally Show Technology gear was at the centre of all these lighting rigs
The Zucchero show had three trusses holding 20 x Martin MAC600, 9 x MAC500, 6 x Martin Atomic Strobes, 8 x bars of ACL, and 2 bars of 6 MFL’s.
Kenny Rogers toured with two rigs; the A rig utilized 17 x Martin MAC2000, 120 x pars. 3 x 8 light, 8 x profiles and a MA Lighting grandMA control console while B rig used 17 x MAC700 profiles, 12 x MAC700 wash, 120 x pars, 3 x 8 light and 8 x profiles, again controlled by a grandMA.
Kenny’s LD was Jeff Metter with the Phaseshift touring crew consisting of Crew Chief Jeremy Nolan and for the A rig system Owen Lugg and Lachie Sinclair and the B rig system Michael Corbett and Alex Saad.
Alex Saad stepped in as lighting designer for those crazy guys from Devo using 16 x 240v MFLs, 9 x Martin MAC700 wash, 5 x Martin atomic strobes and 5 x 8lite with scrollers. Jeremy Nolan toured as system technician.
Comedian Bill Bailey also made the most of Alex Saad’s abilities using him as LD for his nationwide tour. Lights consisted of 6 x Martin MAC600's, 26 x MAC500's and 6 x LED pars and once again, Jeremy Nolan was system technician.
Lighting designer Nick Elvin used a Phaseshift rig and crew for a Franti tour including 12 x Martin MAC700 washes, 6 x MAC500s, 4 x 8 lights with scrollers, and a Martin Atomic Strobe. Phaseshift crew was John Bamford and Mathew Spiker.
Novatech on the road with Noiseworks
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Australian Rock Legends Noiseworks are busy touring the country with all audio and lighting production, as well as crew, supplied by Novatech Productions.
One of the main issues that Novatech’s Michael Roberts, lighting designer and operator for the tour, had to consider was power.
“As we are playing mainly RSL clubs I had to design something that would be able to work off what these venues can supply in the way of power,” began Michael. “It’s usually just one 3 phase outlet and that’s incorporating house rigs as well. Consequently I introduced twenty-five Pro Shop LED DMX Strips to the show which add a modern-day edge to the show. They’re easy to install, power up and run data for. I really like using the LED strips in fact we have three on the floor that we designed stands for which really makes life easy.”
In terms of lighting, the band wanted a rock’n’roll show and apparently the LED lighting was a bit of a shock to them being used to banks of par cans.
“The band is happy with the results and Jon Stevens, with his theatre background, can be quite particular,” commented Michael. “He really knows what he wants which is good.”
At each venue Michael integrates the house rig with his own which is no mean feat.
“That has been the main problem as you just don’t know what to expect,” he said. “Most venues have been great but there have been places where, for example, there’s been nowhere to rig anything. It’s been a challenge.”
One reliable constant on the road with Michael are eight Martin MAC250 Entour moving profile lights for effects and four Martin MAC600 moving wash lights for front wash. Four Martin Atomic 3000 Strobes and four Kupo 4 Way Strip Audience Molefays complete the rig.
NRL Grand Final Footy Show
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The footy season has finished with the Channel 9 guys once again staging a magnificent production at the Sydney Entertainment Centre for the NRL Grand Final Footy Show.
The lighting was designed by Andrew Veitch and Stuart Anderson with Paul Collison taking care of the visuals on the thirty-four Martin LC Panels via an ArKaos media server.
The LC Panels were arranged in strips either side of the central video screen thus helping to expand the performance area. All video used on the stage was run by three ArKaos front of house.
Paul used all the standard holding graphics on the main LED screen, such as logos for the footy teams, and for the LC Panels dove into his wide supply of stock footage from around the world.
“I was very happy with the way the LC Panels turned out and I really liked the way they framed the stage,” said Paul. “There were absolutely no problems – the new software worked a treat and was easy to use so we’re happy with it and I’m looking forward to seeing it on the market soon.”
Andrew Veitch explained why he chose to use so many LC Panels.
“To put a set into a venue as large as the SEC you’d need a set with six metre high walls and things like that so it’s actually cheaper for us to use LC Panels and get a look that we want to do as opposed to getting a set designer to design and build a set that is destroyed at the end of the show.
“We decided to place ladders in between the strips of LC Panels to break up the LED visuals with lighting and I think it came up well.”
The main lighting rig consisted of forty-eight Martin MAC2000 wash, thirty-four MAC700 profile and some Vari-lites. On the ladders were some of the twenty-four GLP Impressions used on the show as well as MAC700’s. The rest of the Impressions were used on the floor.
“The Impressions were great,” said Andrew. “They really kick and are fantastic for television. Their colour snaps are fantastic.”
More LED was used in the form of twenty-four Pulsar ChromaBanks and sixteen Martin StageBars situated around the back of the audience.
“The StageBars gave a really nice wash over the audience and worked out very well,” said Andrew. “I also had twelve Studio Due CS4 fixtures for audience lighting. Most of the ChromaBanks were placed up in the grid and were used mainly for the music segments although there were a few on the main stage too.”
During the show Andrew controlled the moving lights out front with a couple of MA Lighting grandMA consoles whilst Stuart took care of the analogue lighting from the OB truck.
“We put a lighting console in the OB truck which is a good concept as it meant Stuart was sitting next to the CTV guys and it’s a good way to operate,” remarked Andrew. “Instead of having to communicate via talkback you can discuss things and get nice pictures happening
“It all went extremely smoothly, it was fantastic and I was really happy.”
Cats in Korea
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Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, one of the world's most loved musicals has toured the world constantly since it's premiere in London's West End in 1981. The musical has enjoyed particular success in South Korea, where local producers recently teamed up with the Really Useful Company Asia Pacific to produce an all new version of the famous show after several recent tours of the country by the world-touring English production.
Mandylights designers Richard Neville and Greg Yates came on board as associate designers to David Hersey's original legendary design, and were given the brief to create a new interpretation of the design that would be spectacular but still remain true to original look and feel of the show. Before putting pen to paper, Richard and Greg researched the lighting designs almost every past production of the musical, even watching videos from the original 1981 London and 1985 German productions to trace the evolution of the design and find out how to successfully recreate as much of the original magic as possible. Later in the process, armed with dozens of new ideas, the pair flew to New York to meet David Hersey himself to discuss the show's design. The final product was a design that compliments the raw sexual, circular choreography and direction of the musical, with careful programming that follows almost every musical and movement change throughout the show.
With a very short production period inside the theatre, Mandylights recreated the entire venue, set design and lighting rig in ESP Vision inside their Sydney studio, and programmed around 80% of the show offline with outstanding accuracy. Upon arriving in the Charlotte Theatre in Seoul, it only took two weeks to bump in and have all the lighting programming ready for the show.
New elements in the design include a few dozen specially made LED fittings that are built into the junkyard set which add depth and highlight different parts of the set throughout the show. The most spectacular component of the design, however, is definitely the custom truss structure that the bulk of the rig hangs from - two giant arcs of truss that encircle the Cats Light Ring and Heavyside Layer Pod - two integral pieces of automation that the musical is famous for. The circular nature of the show is seen in the choreography, direction and set design, so Richard and Greg thought it only natural to continue the theme into the lighting rigging and programming as well.
Richard and Greg both designed and programmed the show, which effectively gave the production the knowledge and enthusiasm of two designers and two programmers - an unusual bonus for the producers even for a professional production. On top of this, the staff of Mandylights back in Sydney greatly assisted with the production's visualisation while the company as a whole negotiated directly with the equipment supplier for the tour to arrange all the specifics of the design and installation.
Richard, Greg and the rest of the Mandylights team are thrilled to continue their involvement with the Korean production team, Seol and Co. and the Really Useful Company which has already spanned several years and many productions.
The new production of Cats opened in Seoul on September 19, and will tour Korea over the next year.
Equipment List: 28 x Martin Mac2000 Profile (all with custom gobos), 26 x Vari*Lite VL2500 Wash, 3 x Martin Atomic Strobe, 164 x ETC Source 4 Profiles (varying beam angles), 72 x Par64 (varying sizes), 12 x Police Beacons, 40 x Eggstrobes, 24 x Custom Made LED Blocks, 2 x Martin QFX Fibre Units, 2 x Animation Wheels, 360m of custom made and dipped festoon looms, 32 x Coloram Scrollers, 2 x MDG Ice Fog Units, 4 x Antari Dry Ice Low Foggers, 4 x Antari Haze Machines
Control: 1 x GrandMA Full Size Console, 1 x GrandMA Light (backup), 2 x GrandMA NSP
|Coemar De Sisti supply Opera Australia with custom LED solution
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Coemar De Sisti Australia was contacted by Colin Alexander from Opera Australia regarding a lighting feature required for the upcoming production of Don Giovanni. The feature included hundreds of 300mm short fluorescents that they needed to be DMX controllable. Through some investigation they found a fluorescent fixture but had reservations about its suitability and the daunting control side to consider which was going to involve hundreds of dimmer channels.
Colin met with Peter Kemp Managing Director of Coemar De Sisti and they discussed the possibility of a custom led solution. Peter proposed a led strip with a diffused lens, built-in direct DMX control, requiring only an external 24v supply. At first Colin was sceptical of the idea, however Peter arranged for some handmade samples to be made with varying number of leds (as Opera Australia had a strict budget they needed to adhere to).
Colin was shown the samples and very impressed with the results and pricing, he felt it was the perfect solution to their problem. Colin had a few minor changes required to the sample such as the mounting system, blackout of part of the fixtures and end caps. These changes were made accordingly and a final handmade sample submitted to Colin for the final approval.
One feature that utilises the led is known as “the clock” which replicated the old style multi segment digital clock and each segment is one led strip. Coemar De Sisti prepared detailed wiring schematics for the layouts which included all the inter-connecting cables for both 24v supply and DMX to assist Opera Australia when installing the systems. After everything was settled with samples etc for the project, Opera Australia requested Coemar De Sisti supply a complete system of led strips and cabling system and manufacture began.
In April this year Coemar De Sisti supplied the complete system to Opera Australia, and installation began. Colin is extremely pleased with the end results and recently raved about the products “I am so happy with the Custom LED fixture that Coemar supplied and for the level of commitment and service that we received from Peter and his team. Peter and his team worked hard to supply us with the right product for our 1m x 4m 'Clock' in our production of Don Giovanni. The LED clock had two forms. Act 1 when it was the Clock, it consisted of 121 x Custom LED fittings and then during interval the whole piece was re-hung vertically and an extra piece added to increase the quantity of LEDs to 151 and it became the 'Statue' Peter worked with myself and Lighting Designer - Nick Schlieper a year out from the opening night, showing us various options of LED fitting and power/control systems. When we first used the 'Clock' in the Opera House, it brought out quite a few ooh's & aah's from the creative team and crew... not always the easiest audience!"
As we frequently have clients with a demand for such a diverse range of custom made led products, Peter travels at least once a month to China to work closely with the factory on required samples. This gives us the opportunity to offer our clients a tailored made product providing them with exactly what they need.
This is an example of just what Coemar De Sisti can offer in the way of customised led projects to meet a particular requirement and particular price, once again another very happy Coemar De Sisti client!
Martin LC Panels behind the Pussycat Dolls
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Ford Live! is a yearly cocktail party run by Ford Australia which raises funds through ticket sales for the National Breast Cancer Foundation to be used to fund breast cancer research. This year, the Pussycat Dolls, the group who everyone wishes their girlfriend was hot like, and Amy Pearson performed at Melbourne’s QBH club.
Alex Saad was called upon to turn everything pink changing the venues’ existing exterior lighting pink as well as the inhouse lighting. For the performances on an extended club stage, Alex hired in twelve Martin MAC700 profiles and eight MAC250 Entours from Phaseshift Productions and eight Martin LC Panels from Group Production Services.
“I absolutely love using the MAC700’s.” stated Alex. “They’re a versatile lamp, not too heavy, have great rotating gobos, the colours in the colour slots are good with correction in it for when you want to use them for television ……. pretty much a good little workhorse!”
Alex used the MAC250 Entours to the side of the stage whilst the LC Panels formed the backdrop.
“I’ve used the LC Panels quite a bit recently and they’re fantastic,” he said “People are always coming up to me and asking me what their pitch is. Usually they think it must be 10 or 16 mm and when I say it’s 40 mm they’re always surprised at how good and bright they are. In fact, they’re really too bright in a club situation; I had to turn them down to 30% - 40%.”
Other than the one Pussycat Dolls logo, no content was supplied by the band and the only brief Alex received was to make the show ‘bright and flashy’.
“I always ask the question is there anything they don’t want,” said Alex. “And the reply was no, just make it bright and flashy with a bit of a ballyhoo at the beginning.”
Just a couple of days earlier, the Dolls performed an outdoor show in the plaza for Sunrise and again Martin LC Panels were used as a backdrop. This time, the Panels were supplied by Entertainment Installations with Bryce Mace at the controls.
Lighting the ARIA's
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The Annual ARIA Awards held at ACER arena is one of the country’s biggest events. Lighting this extravaganza is no mean feat with over 10,000 people in the room and 16 television cameras capturing the event which was aired live on the TEN network. Auditoria’s Ian Anderson took on the Lighting Design/Director role this year. Paul Collison was the Associate designer and Graham Anderson called followspots and sunguns. One of the biggest challenges that any music awards night is making all acts look different on the same set. The ARIA’s had 8 acts all with very different styles from Presets to Pink to Gurrumul. The use of “extras” on top of the base system helped differ the looks. Moving trusses, LED and the old 5k Fresnel all had a go! Matt Hanson who was the LD for the Presets event brought the green laser back!
“The show went off without a hitch” says Ian. “The system was well looked after by Brad Gander and all the crew from Chameleon.”
One element that Ian was keen to use on this event was the Kinesys hoist control system.
“The initial use for the 6 hoists on 3 trusses was for Faker. It enabled us to get the trusses in just above the band and move them around on cue which adds a whole new visual effect. We also ended up using them for angling trusses to suit different stages and even to get a VL3500 in the right spot to light Andy as he hung in the middle of the lighting rig!”
Chameleon was the lighting supplier.
Lighting: 800ft x truss, 116 x Chain Hoists, 6 x Kinesys Hoists and Control, 5 x 24way Hoist Controllers, 33 x 5k Fresnel, 16 x 80v Selecon Pacifics, 84 x Source 4 Pars, 256 x VNSP Pars (Sam Sparro), 6 x 48way dimmers (Sam Sparro), 8 x Redheads, 2 x Blondes, 3 x Sunguns, 16 x Studio Due CS4 (Pink), 12 x Pulsar Chromabanks (Veronicas), 8 x LED Pars (Faker), 8 x Zipstrips, 20 x 8 light Molefay, 20 x Duets, 32 x VL3000 Spots, 30 x VL3500 Wash, 10 x VL2000 Spots (set), 10 x VL2000 Wash (set), 30 x Martin TW1, 30 x VL500 Wash, 7 x Highend Showguns, 30 x MAC 2000 Wash (audience), 20 x MAC 2000 Spots (audience), 30 x Palco 5, 24 x Martin Stagebars (set), 6 x Followspots (house), 6 x Hazers, 4 x Fans, 4 x Foggers, 30 x Martin Atomic Strobes inc colour changers, 3 x grandma consoles, 8 x NSP Nodes.
The Bangles shine with Victor
The 80's just wouldn't have been the same without The Bangles. Hits like Eternal Flame, Walk Like an Eygptian and Manic Monday continue to be played on radio stations across the world and are sung along to in Karaoke bars with all the giddy joy and effervesance that the Princesses of Pop brought to the masses of music fans back in the 80s.
Despite a traumatic break-up in the '89 and just over a decade in hiatus, The Bangles are back and they are bigger than ever. 2003 saw the release of Doll Revolution, which received rave reviews by fans and critics alike, and the girls have been touring the world ever since.
A highly successful tour of Australia has just wrapped with Entertainment Installations supplying full production and crew for the girls at their Canberra Royal Theatre gig (pictured) as well as lighting for the Sydney Enmore gig. The rig included eight MAC700 profile, six MAC250 Wash, two Studio Due CS4, three Molefay 4 Liters, eight MAC TW-1 and a Look Solutions Unique Hazer. Also in the inventory was Entertainment Installations latest acquisition – two Robert Juliat Victor follow spots.
“We were looking for some more powerful follow spots to use when our existing 1200w HMI spots were not enough,” said Neale Mace, managing director of EI. “After a bit of investigation and discussion with James at Show Technology, we decided to try out the Robert Juliat Victor models.
“Our initial demo was a gig where the throw to the stage was about 50m and we used one Victor compared against one of our 1200 HMI follow spots. The 1800 MSR Victor easily out-performed the 1200HMI spots.”
Neale further describes the Victor follow spots as light in weight, easy to use, possessing excellent on-board dimming and he loved the fact that they arrived with a bunch of useful accessories including a T-shirt and gloves!
“We decided to purchase two2 units and have since used them on several shows with great results,” he commented. “They seem to "tick all the boxes" for a great follow spot – light weight, simple to operate, very punchy, great dimming and they just "feel nice" to use.”
IC the LC’s on the Footy
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The AFL Footy Show Grand Final edition has always been a big project. When designer Rohan Thornton decided to use Martin LC Panels he knew he would need quite a few and so he turned to Resolution X to supply the seventy-two panels required.
Behind the stage fifty-six panels were used to create a wall 28m wide and 4m high. This included a centre section that would fly to create a stage entrance. Above the stage, eight panels made the centre of the diamond at 4m x 4m. Another eight single panels were out-rigged of truss around the diamond. This three-tiered design gave great depth to the stage.
Rohan ran the system with four Hippotizers along with a Spyder supplied from Massteknik. The Hippotizers ran all of the media while the Spyder distributed it over the screen. This allowed the LC’s to carry both media server footage and live content.
“It was an outstanding success,” reported Rohan. “We as an industry are one step closer to being 'Lighting/Visual’.”
To assemble this system ResX drew not only on their own stock but also freighted panels from other suppliers around the country.
“It was a logistical challenge as not only did we have to build this massive system but we had to get the panels straight back out again to other projects – such is the demand to use the LC’s” said Tim Hall.
VariLite and ETC Make a “Wicked” Theatre Combination
It seems that Melbourne is awash with world famous musicals at the moment, with crowds flocking to see Guys and Dolls, Wicked and Spamalot. And what do these three productions have in common apart from rave reviews? They all rely on the winning combination of ETC analogue lighting and Vari*Lite moving lights to produce their stunning lighting designs.
The Regent Theatre is playing host to Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz, which is fabulously lit by Kenneth Possner. It utilizes 12 x Vari*Lite 3000Q Spots, 17 x Vari*Lite 3000 Spots, 32 x Vari*Lite 2500 Spots, 26 x Vari*Lite 2500 Washs and a whopping 278 ETC Source 4 fixtures.
The Princess Theatre is home to Guys and Dolls which was originally lit by Howard Harrison and his associate James Whiteside. The rig contains 10 x VL3500Q Spots, 4 x VL3000 Q Washs, 3 x VL2000 Spots, 8 x VL2000 Washs and 69 ETC Source 4 fixtures. Added to that are six ETC Revolution fixtures.
Over at Her Majesty’s Theatre Spamalot, originally designed by Hugh Vanstone, was using 15 x VL3000 Q Spots, 10 x VL2500 Spots, 14 x VL2500 Washs, 18 x VL500s and heaps of Source 4 fixtures.
What else do these productions have in common apart from amazing lighting and lighting products? The talented Hugh Hamilton! Hugh worked as Production Electrician on Spamalot and Wicked as well as Associate Lighting Designer on Guys and Dolls. And Hugh just loves his Vari-Lites.
“Vari-Lites have the best output and their zoom is absolutely amazing,” he commented. “They go from 60˚ to narrow with a single fixture. Their brightness, even field, easy maintenance means that theatre designers are always specifying Vari-Lites. The VL3000s are particularly bright and the new VL2500 washes and spot are great with their new dimmer modules – the glass enables a much better fade than with solid metal blades.
“I think at the moment Vari-Lites are definitely the new unit on the block and there’s a lot of money being invested in them. Meanwhile their competition’s products are getting older and so everyone is buying Vari-Lites.”
Hugh describes the ETC Source 4 fixture as the workhorse for theatre lighting in Australia. For the first time, Hugh is also using the ETC MultiPARs on Wicked and he describes them as having a lot of output.
“They’re a handy batten,” he said. “As for the Source 4, there’s really no other profile competitor in the industry that can match the reputation of it. I found the Revolutions very entertaining. They’re reliable and their inter-changeable pieces are great. I used the shutter kit on Priscilla and the twin rotating wheels on Guys and Dolls – the way you can drop in and out modules is neat. They’re also the same colour temperature as the rest of the Source 4 rig which is good.”
VuePix adds versatility to Olympic Broadcast
Channel Seven’s recent coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games has been viewed by over 17 million Australians, outpacing all other Olympic Games and other major events over the past five decades. Beijing 2008 was the first time the event has been broadcast in HD, with Channel Seven broadcasting over 17 hours a day of 1080i coverage.
The Broadcast was hosted from the Channel Seven studio of the International Broadcast Centre in Beijing. The Channel Seven Production was designed by accomplished Australian Designer Mal Nichols, where elements of the set were designed to maximize the limited space that the studio occupied in the Broadcast Centre. Mal wanted flexibility in lighting effects incorporated into the design, and so the lighting rig included a 20 panel VuePix LED Video Screen, 50 iLED Color Tubes, and 70 iLED ColorBank 54’s, supplied by Clifton Productions - who also constructed the set.
Mal Nichols states that the goal of the lighting in the television production was to “create atmosphere, and increase options and flexibility” in a very small environment. This was the key motivation behind incorporating the VuePix screen, as the versatility of the screen allowed various content to be relayed to the audience – including live to air feeds and computer generated graphics. It was also imperative that the screen had brilliant resolution, so as to ensure that the quality was maintained for 7’s HD broadcast. Mal states “the resolution was of surprisingly quality for a 6mm, and there was no strobing through the screen”, which was essential for a flicker free broadcast.
This impressive screen was VuePix’s P6 RGB SMD 3in1indoor model. The P6 is a high resolution (6 mm) display with a calibrated brightness of 1000cd/m2 and a pixel density of 10, 000 pixels/ m2 to deliver unrivaled light output, and incomparable color depth and uniformity, best suited for broadcast conditions. The content was powered by a multi-format image processor that accepted Channel 7’s HD SDI signal and digitally scaled it to 1024 x 768 (to fit the format of the screen) with ease. This signal was then sent through the VuePix’s video processor, which can accept a wide range of incoming signals: S-Video, composite, DVI and VGA. The screen was configured via the VuePix LED Studio software.
James Pavey of Clifton Productions supports the screen by stating “it looked good and went together easily”. He goes further to say “there were many positive comments from crew and guests on the set”. The VuePix range of leading LED video screens for indoor and outdoor use is distributed exclusively in Australia by the ULA Group.
Martin LC Panels in fashion
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The David Jones Summer Collection was launched in Melbourne and Sydney recently with a fabulous lighting design by Hugh Taranto that incorporated Martin LC Panels into the flooring The venue in Sydney was the Royal Hall of Industries whilst in Melbourne it was the Town Hall.
The David Jones event team was keen to utilize a video effect and initially they looked at a variety of video screens and such options. But problems arose with how the screens would be supported, their weight plus cooling difficulties. However the Martin LC Panels were perfect in shape and size to fit into the standard staging fixture plus they were light and very easy to install into the design.
The stage consisted of a thirty-metre, Perspex catwalk made out of Staging Rentals new LE deck, and the look continued to the back of the stage almost as if the catwalk was climbing the wall for six metres. The large screens on either side, supplied by TDC, displayed the main imagery with the catwalk used for colour and textured that complimented.
A total of thirty-one LC Panels, supplied by Cairellie, were used in Sydney with twenty in Melbourne where the catwalk was shorter. The media fed through them was supplied by the David Jones creative team headed by Mike Mizrahi.
“The LC Panels give you so much more creative freedom as a lighting designer,” said Hugh. “They were perfect for this job as it meant that the light was coming from a much larger source than a small point source as even without running media content, they provide a great colour wash. It meant that the top lighting wasn’t influencing it too much.
The LC Panels are a great product for what the client was after and more cost effective than using some of the other LED screen options they were initially looking at. The way they could be implemented into the catwalk really met their creative needs.”
The rig lighting was mostly Source IV pars with barn doors for the catwalk as well as Source IV profiles for audience lighting. Martin MAC700’s were used in the pre-show and after-show area as well as some LED fixtures. These were all supplied by Bytecraft.
Avolites Diamond 4 Elite goes Bollywood!
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An Avolites Diamond 4 Elite console is currently touring Australia with the theatrical dance spectacular, The Merchants of Bollywood. Hitting Australian shores after its sell out international tour in London, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Geneva, The Merchants of Bollywood have landed at the Gold Coast’s Jupiters Casino for a 16 week run.
The Merchants of Bollywood extravaganza charts the history of the world’s largest and most prolific film industry, and a dynasty of stars that have lit its way over generations. This fictional story, based on real life, reveals to Western audiences the workings of cinema and the part it plays in the heart and soul of Indian society in an extraordinary evening of music and dance.
UK based lighting designer, Benedick Miller, has worked on The Merchants of Bollywood since December, taking over from original LD Liz Berry, and has completely reworked the programming on the road. Miller has been in the industry for over 25 years and has used a variety of Avo control throughout his career, from the Pearl Sapphire way back to the QM500 – which he wishes they still made!
He operates The Merchants mix of theatre elements and pure Bollywood Rock’n’Roll very much hands on, with 500 button presses per show – not including all the preloaded chases! Miller states “The Diamond 4 is a workhorse” and claims that the desk is especially suited to creating the big, bold, and colorful looks which are essential for The Merchants musical numbers.
The D4 is controlling a combination of fixtures from Martin, High End, Robe, and Le Maitre. The gear for the Gold Coast production is a combination of items from Jupiters Casino’s inventory and also items supplied from Chameleon Touring Systems Brisbane, including the Diamond 4.
From a design perspective, Miller has two distinct elements within the production that he must program for. The first is the standard theatre sections of the show, which involve direct delivery of dialogue to the audience. During these sections the emphasis of the lighting is on the actors, and the look is clean and simple.
The more dynamic parts of the show are during the musical numbers which involve a lot of movement and color. Miller has spent considerable time studying traditional Bollywood movies, to create authentic looks and has come up with a combination of big bold patterns and strong powerful colors. He also paid particular attention to the costuming, taking costume changes as cues for the lighting, so as to enhance and compliment this essential element of the production.
Vanessa Amorosi turns to LED’s for solution
Vanessa Amorosi toured throughout Australia in June/July in support of her new album "Somewhere in the Real world". The show was catered mainly for the Pub and RSL market and once again her lighting designer Rohan Thornton had to address a no smoke issue.
“Vanessa really doesn’t like using smoke which isn’t a great thing for a lighting person!” remarked Rohan. “Sometimes the lighting can look a bit bland without smoke.”
The rig contained twelve Martin MAC250 Washes, four Atomic strobes, sixteen MultiPARS and seven Molefay Duets but Rohan felt that, with the lack of smoke on stage, he needed something else of interest; some extra eye candy and a bit of a blast. He found that the addition of ten Pro Shop Honeycomb LED fixtures did the trick.
“In fact on a couple of the smaller shows, where I only had ten amps of power available, I used the ten Honeycombs as the whole rig and they were actually some of the better shows!” said Rohan.
For the final four Victorian shows, more LED pizzazz was added in the form of three Martin LC panels.
“Once I had the LC Panels I used the Honeycombs more for wash,” said Rohan. “For a small budget rig it ended up working quite well. Entertainment Installations supplied the gear and crew and they were great.”
Chameleon & Enttec Make Light Work of World Youth Day
Faced with the challenge of distributing DMX signals across 70 towers surrounding Randwick racecourse, Chameleon turned to Enttec’s ODE with great results.
World Youth Day, held recently in Sydney, is the largest youth event in the world, and with 110,000 international pilgrims from over 170 nations, the largest event ever hosted in Australia. The Final Mass celebrated by the Pope, and overnight vigil leading up to it, were held at Randwick Racecourse, requiring a massive amount of site lighting, supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
The site is enormous, capable of holding up to 400,000 people, so the challenge of providing enough light to keep everyone safe during the overnight vigil was a big one, to say the least. Organisers turned to Chameleon Touring Systems to meet the challenge of lighting up all the World Youth Day sites.
One of the big challenges was always going to be the distances involved. With hundreds of par cans, Light Balloons and intelligent fixtures deployed around the site on 70 scaff towers, the data distribution required some planning. World Youth Day were installing a fibre-optic network around the site with HP managed switches for the production departments to utilise. Chameleon decided the best course of action was to distribute Art-Net from their Wholehog II console in the Venue Control Room to the various locations around the site. All they needed was a cost-effective, simple yet reliable, DMX over Ethernet converter to allow this to happen.
Josh Moffat, Chameleon’s Site Lighting Account Manager, remembered seeing the Enttec ODE (Open DMX Ethernet), a single-universe DMX over Ethernet node, during the Entech tradeshow earlier in the year, and realised this would be perfect device for this application.
The ODE supports Enttec’s Node Management Utility (NMU) – a free software package that bypasses IP settings and allows remote configuration of DMX over Ethernet nodes from a central location. This allowed him to assign each node to an Art-Net universe, and change it later if need be, from the control position, rather than having to wander out to each tower to check dip-switches if there were any problems.
The low cost of the ODE (around $350 inc GST) also made it attractive for such a large project, as previously DMX over Ethernet nodes have been well over the $700 mark, making it unaffordable for use on such a scale.
Chameleon got final sign off on their design and proposal with only two weeks until the load in was due to begin, and ordered 90 of the ODE’s to be delivered within 10 days. Enttec were ready and delivered the full amount with a day or two to spare, allowing Chameleon to test the units prior to deploying them in the field.
“We had a minor issue during the initial testing, but Enttec’s support was great and we got them up and running in no time” says Josh. “The NMU application made configuring the ODEs straightforward and easy, and given the size of the network we were putting together, that was really important. In the end, the gig went well and we were really happy with how it all came together”.
Martin LC Panels cut through the daylight for Sneaky Sound System
For years lighting designers have feared the day time, outdoor gig. Many wondered what was the point of any lighting? Usually if there was a decent lighting rig, it was there for the act that was due on after sunset and anyone performing prior just had to make do.
But with today’s high output LED lighting this has all begun to change especially with the Martin LC Panels. Not only do they act as a back light source, they can provide colour, pattern, movement and fabulous eye candy for day time productions especially those that are being filmed.
The recent performance by Sneaky Sound System on Channel 7’s Sunrise programme was a prime example that had many people talking. A stage was built ‘in the plaza’ for the band to perform two songs that were broadcast live. The Entertainment Installations crew of Bryce Mace (programmer/operator) and Christian Yanni (LX rigger) worked closely with the Sunrise crew to produce a simple yet effective rig that the cameras just loved.
Key to the rig were the Martin LC Panels (Entertainment Installations recently purchased four more Panels to expand the four they already had) that provided a kaleidoscope of coloured light and pattern behind the band whilst sixteen Kupo MultiPARs provided side light. Despite being filmed in the day, the LC Panels still shone brightly and were highly visible on camera and from all areas of the Plaza. It has to be said that Martin LC Panels have certainly added a whole new dimension to outdoor gigs and this summer, we should see them being utilized extensively on music festivals and concerts.
See live footage of the concert at http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/sunrise/12524/sneaky-sound-system-perform-on-sunrise
Novatech get their 50 Cent's worth
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Hot on the heels of the Air tour (below) came a whirlwind tour by world famous rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent who teamed up with fellow artists G-Unit and Phinesse for a short, three concert stop in Australia. Novatech Production Services supplied all production elements for the concerts held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Lighting was a mixture of 112 parcans, 12 MAC600, 10 MAC700, 4 Martin Atomic 3000, 8 four way blinders, 24 Pro Shop LED strips and 160 Pro Shop LED tubes - all run by an MA Lighting grandMA with a PC back up and a Jands Hog 1K triggering the ArKaos media server. The show focused on some old school looks so there was a shift back to the traditional parcan and away from moving yokes. With this in mind there needed to be something to give the stage a finishing touch so the 160 LED tubes where fed video signal converted into DMX via an ArKaos LED mapper and video server. This gave the stage some eye candy technology without detracting from the intention of the ‘old school’ lighting design.
The vision system for the concerts was a key component necessary to maintain the continuity of the 50 Cent show. With custom graphics packages for each of the tracks in the 50 Cent set, the system needed to deliver high quality i-mag camera shots and great graphics. A single projection screen each side of the stage kept the system simple and was adequate for the size of the venues. Barco CLM R10+ DLP projectors provided bright and sharp images. A Sony DFS-700 mixed the vision sources with multiple DVD and computer sources mixed together with four live cameras to create the final vision mix.
Novatech Tour with Air
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In March 2008 French music duo, Air, toured Australia for the first time with the V Festival. They then followed up the V Festival with their own concerts in April. Novatech Production Services supplied the production for four of the concerts working with Michael Coppel Presents and Production and Tour Manager Ian 'Spider' Digance. It was Novatech's first time collaborating with Ian and they enjoyed the experience, providing the production for two concerts at the Sydney Opera House and
one each at the Melbourne Palais and Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide.
The production was focused on high quality audio and mood building lighting. Unusually the shows were free of visual (video) production, with the intention of keeping the audience focused on the musical performance. As the band plays all of the music live and does not rely on sequencing or backing tracks, audiences seemed very content to just sit back and listen to the band play different versions of the tracks that they all know.
The concert's lighting design was minimal with a dark feel to the looks and programs. The aim was to produce an emotive lighting show to match the bands individual style of music. The looks were achieved with a mix of 30 MAC700's and MAC600's, 10 Duet Blinders and 20 bars of Par 64 and Ray cans. A full colour LED drape backdrop completed the stage look and a MA lighting GrandMA console (with a redundant PC version in parallel) supplied the control for the system.
The concerts were enjoyed by the audiences, the band and the crew. There was always a joke being played by the band directed at the production
crew, they cheekily relabelled desks and equipment at random and generally joked around during set ups and sound checks. It's always a good sign that things are running smoothly if there's time to waste during checks. Our crew even managed to learn some valuable French phrases for use in future tours, although it's anyone guess what the band was really teaching them to say.
Battle of the Choirs
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Channel Seven’s singing competition show, Battle Of The Choirs, has become a rating success and is now heading to a thrilling climax.
Chameleon Touring Systems supplied the lighting rig which consists of 16 x Martin MAC700, 9 x MAC250 wash, 31 x MAC2000 profile, 37 x Pulsar ChromaBanks, 2 x Look Solutions Unique Hazers and a MA Lighting grandMA lighting console. The Technical Direction Company supplied six columns of 6mm Barco screens driven by Catalyst.
The lighting was designed by Francesco Calvi who whilst away in a sunnier climate with Big Brother left the knob twiddling to Brad Landi and Michael Burton.
Pods of Pro Shop LED Strips for Kisschasey
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Kisschasey have been on the road to promote their new album with lighting designed by Phil Riordan and supplied by Brisbane Concert Lighting. The rig included four Martin MAC600, eight MAC250 Kryptons, ten rays, eight 2-way molefays, two Atomic strobes, and a hazer but it was Phil’s use of twenty Pro Shop LED Strips that had everyone talking.
The LED Strips were grouped into five pods of four with Brisbane Concert Lighting making the custom pods especially for this tour. The pods became the main focus and were pretty much the set with silver cloth draped behind them.
“I’ve been experimenting with the LED Strips on other gigs, such as the Caloundra Music festival and The Dreaming, but often I was using them as day time eye candy,” explained Phil. “I began to think about incorporating this ‘eye candy’ into a rock show and I came up with the pods. I guess I was inspired by the early silverchair shows where they used a heater sort of a look as well as old AC/DC videos where they used big banks of wash light.”
Phil reports that the pods transported well as BCL had a custom made, 1.2 metre square road case designed and built for them.
Phil is certainly a fan of the LED Strips describing them as a great, cost effective effect.
“They’re very user-friendly,” he added. “You can use them as a RGB wash or use the built in multiple effects which are quite effective. I have to say I’ve really enjoyed using them on a variety of gigs and when you incorporate them into larger light shows they can make it look ten fold bigger than it actually is. They really add another dimension.
“Also the LED Strips give out heaps of light and definitely act as stage washes too. I used them at the Caloundra Music Bowl and they kicked all the way past front of house and keep on going. I could have tilted the pods and used them more as a bank of wash coming down on the band. I’d really like to create a ‘dome’ of the LED Strips over the stage - that would look awesome!”
Phil also points out that because the LED Strips are only three inches wide they tend to disappear into the set when switched off.
It’s Vari-Lites all the way for Celine Dion
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Celine Dion thrilled capacity crowds in her first Australian tour in more than 10 years, showing the irrepressible energy and powerful voice that shot her to global notice.
Her ‘Taking Chances’ tour, which started in South Africa and will travel the rest of the world, was lit by her long-time designer Yves Aucion, a self-confessed fan of Vari-Lites.
“Vari-Lites have always been my favourite lights,” remarked Yves. “It has been a long story between them and me. I’m constantly checking other lighting fixtures and I’m really up to date with what is out there, but once again I’ve decided to go with Vari-Lites as I really like the VL3000 series and the VL500 series.”
One of the primary reasons why Yves always opts for Vari-Lites is the colour white that they offer, a shade of white that Yves describes as superior to those offered by other lighting brands.
“I always start with the colour white so it’s very important for me,” he stated. “I’ve always said that the movement of the Vari-Lite is far sexier than any other fixture even the big VL3500 wash, which moves a little slower, still has a sexier move. I’m really impressed by the VL3500 wash – it’s amazingly powerful for its size and I like the ability to change the lens inside of it.”
Having been on the road for twenty years, Yves is very grateful for the support he has always received from Vari-Lite.
“They have always offered super technical support and really look after their clients”, he said.
The Australian production featured a standard rock’n’roll rig with two U-shaped truss and a mixed match of Vari-Lite spots and washes. In total there were 110 Vari-Lites including VL3000 spots, VL2500 spots and VL3500 washes. The rest of the world tour will see the show performed in the round.
“The design is fairly standard because every country that we visit I have to reproduce the same look with different vendors and suppliers,” said Yves. “That’s why I’ve opted for something quite simple. Sometimes I’m going to a country for just two shows and I don’t always have the luxury of Vari-Lites.”
Bytecraft Entertainment was the Australian production company.
Photos: Bob King
CCP and the Guru
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CCP were contracted to supply lighting, rigging and vision for the Perth event “A Celebration of Life” featuring the renowned Indian Guru Bhaishri Rameshbhai Oza held in June 2008.
Held inside a 45m x 45m four pole circus tent supplied by Ashton’s Circus, the event had many challenges to overcome before a single light was hung.
Holding an event of this size and nature, in June on the Esplanade in Perth, is risky due to the weather and with just a few days before the opening it was touch and go with the ground flooding and putting everything in jeopardy.
The design brief was to convert the inside of the Circus tent into an Indian themed intimate venue. The majority of the set was designed and built in India and shipped to Perth for re-assembly with some portions being made and handled locally.
CCP’s lighting designer for the event Sean McKernan designed a system that not only supported the lighting rig but also allowed the set to be hung and supported easily. Using over 400m of Global Truss 550mm, 400mm and 300mm box truss to create all the lighting positions and set supports was a large undertaking.
The lighting rig was simple but effective with the following equipment used to create a single state for the whole event: 8 x Martin MAC2000, 12 x MAC600, 6 x Pro Shop LED Honeycomb 72, 4 x Pro Shop LED Wall Washers, 8 x BO4 Par 64 MFL, 22 x ETC S4 Parnels30 x Kupo Multi Pars MFL, 12 x ETC S4 15/30 Zooms, 12 x ETC S4 19 degree, 40 x Par 56 on Floor stands, 70m Blue LED Listel Light, 24 x Blue Fluoro Fittings, 8x 240v Par 16 and a MA Lighting grandMA.
CCP also supplied 2 x 12 panel Barco Slite 10XP LED screens for Image Mag and Video Rolls.
The event ran for three days with two 2.5hr sessions a day. The Final result was stunning and was well received by all who attended, marking a successful end to a memorable once in a lifetime event.
LED Media sets MTV Awards alight
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A 10,000 strong crowd and a long list of hot celebrities rocked Sydney’s Australian Technology Park for the MTV Australia Awards 2008. Celebrities included Mischa Barton, Leona Lewis, Brian McFadden to present and performances from 50 Cent, Eve, Juliette Lewis & the Licks who are among the eight set to entertain.
The fourth annual awards were held in a revolutionary new format at Australian Technology Park, Redfern, rather than the more staid Acer Arena, and the result was more of a party atmosphere.
As usual the lighting was designed by MTV’s world-roving LD Tom Kenny who liaised closely with Technical Production Manager James Klein. Sean ‘Motley’ Hackett operated the moving lights, Julio Hinede was the production designer and the lighting was supplied by both Bytecraft and Cairellie.
James Klein had to liaise between all the different technical people on the production and basically pull the event together.
“I drew the Australian Technology Park in CAD so we had a 3D representation of the venue making the planning of the event easier,” said James Klein. “It’s useful for all aspects of the event – for example MTV wanted to put in a flying camera through the venue so I could give the director different views and options of where to install the camera. This way, we discovered that the height limitations of the venue wouldn’t allow us a camera shot that was worth it – all worked out in Vectorworks without even entering the venue.”
It was decided that a video component down the centre of the main bay of the venue would be ideal but the venue posed several rigging limitations and weight restrictions. Fortunately James had used the Martin LC Panels before and knew that they would be the ideal solution.
“The LC Panels are great so I suggested them to the MTV team,” he said. “They’re lightweight and really easy to install. Cairellie supplied twenty-eight LC Panels fed by a media server with custom content from MTV and some additional content from Alex Saad who operated the Panels and did an awesome job.”
The client was stoked with the see-through capacity of the LC Panels as they surrounded the pillars. The Panels were rigged with 3mm steels to become somewhat invisible on TV so the panels just ‘hung’ in mid air.
Julio and James were keen to add some movement and colour to the floor of the stage and so they had the stage floor made of transparent acrylic and underneath were placed 180 Pro Shop LED Tubes. Evenly spaced, the LED Tubes were pixel mapped so that video could run through them (18 universes of LED Tubes).
“They looked really good on crane camera shots,” reported James. “People in the venue couldn’t really see them, but they looked fabulous on television and really the show is made for broadcast.”
A further 181 Pro Shop LED Tubes were placed in the roof with special rigging on the walls to make the install neat and tidy.
Moving lights were a mixture of Martin MAC2000 washes, MAC2000 profiles and Vari-Lites with control via a MA Lighting grandMA plus a grandMA Lite for tracking backup. Three MA Lighting NSP’s were used to control the LED Tubes. The LED Tubes data was distributed using ELC Switch 8’s and 8-way nodes with redundant network loops between stage and control in the event of a cable getting damaged.
“The event went very smoothly with Cairellie and Bytecraft doing a fantastic job,” commented James. “The new venue, the warehouse vibe that really fits the mentality of MTV and the shortened show (from last’s year three hours down to ninety minutes) resulted in a tight, together show that really went off!”
|Selecon Lui Cycs create a-MAZE-ing effects
Strategically situated at the busy junction outside Raffles City, the Festival Maze temporarily added new dimension and depth to the Singapore cityscape as just one of 450 free arts performances and events that made up the 31st annual Singapore Arts Festival (SAF) 2008.
Commissioned by the SAF the Festival Mazeart installation, disSPACEments was conceived and designed by local designer Chia Yu Hsien as a way of exploring the spatial articulation of moments along a journey. Each day from the 9th May – 22nd June, 2008 the public were invited to wander through this maze of twenty-five towers losing themselves in photographic memories and three dimensional forms.
Kamal Thapa of Phat-EventZ comments on the art of lighting this unique installation, “I decided to use 2 Selecon Lui Cycs to light up each of the twenty-five Maze towers with a blue gel in the top one and an amber gel in the bottom one, with some scenes utilizing both to give me a third colour for variation. The Luis were the perfect choice of light for this project due to the angle of coverage as well as the fact that it did not burn out the colour gels like Cyc Floods from some other brands. One other major factor in the choice of the Selecon Lui Cycs was the thin rubber tubes which wrapped around the Maze towers could not be exposed to extreme heat. These luminaires definitely performed to my expectations!"
Photo courtesy of Phat-EventZ.
Mandylights Cuts Loose
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Knox Grammar High School is known for a professional approach to their musicals, and their 2008 production of 'Footloose' set new standards when the school called in Mandylights to completely overhaul their production design to create something new and fresh. Richard Neville was responsible for the visual design of the production, which utilised 300 Pro Shop LED 'Happy Tubes' arranged on vertical trusses to literally cover the stage with a low-res video screen.
Control was via a MA Lighting grandMA console and media was piped to the tubes with a new Hippotizer V3 system, which proved to be worth its weight in gold.
"The processing power, range of controls, reliability of the server and the design of the content management system of the Hippo really is unmatched by any other media server," said Richard.
The vast majority of the media for the show was designed in house at Mandylights - everything from static imagery through to a series of video clips that made full use of the aspect ratio of the design and resolution of the tubes. With so many designers simply relying on stock video content, Mandylights prides itself on coming up with new, unique content for every production, and Footloose was no exception.
"We created a very stylised look made up of simple, icon-style graphics and bold, sweeping colour schemes to create a sense of place and atmosphere for every scene," explained Richard.
In addition to the 300 LED tubes, a selection of moving lights were thrown in and carefully programmed to work with the media content in every scene. Cairellie Showcraft supplied all of the equipment for the show, and went above and beyond the call of duty as they had custom-made low profile frames made up to mount the tubes evenly.
With 465 cues in each show, Richard hit the Go button nearly 3,000 times in the two week season, leaving a few thousand people very impressed with the show's staging and design.
Design: Richard Neville
Associate / Spot Caller: Michael Gearin
Equipment: Cairellie Showcraft
The Light in Winter
Lighting Designer Andy Mutton is again involved in The Light in Winter @ Federation Square. This year he is interpreting the meaning of light from the culture of the Hispano-American Community. By projecting and overlaying the light beams of three Robe 2500 Spots, Andy is programming an image that represents the communities story of light. He has designed three individual gobos for the projection from the Robes. Clifton Productions have graciously sponsored part of Mutton’s light based installation.
Andy Mutton’s Sun God - Gift of Light 2007 Interpretation of the Aztecs Sun calender is pictured right.
The Light in Winter 5 June – 5 July
In 2008 Federation Square gives us two more bright reasons to rug and up and head for the city. Directed by Robyn Archer, The Light in Winter a new light-based event will bring together artists, designers and communities to explore their ideas of light, enlightenment and hope.
The Light in Winter will present two elements:
When The Gods Came Down To Earth - a commission from international artist and film maker Srinivas Krishna and The Gift of Light - nine Melbourne communities working with artists on the theme of light.
These installations, along with the whole Square, will be bathed in a warm winter glow created by lighting designer Nathan Thompson of The Flaming Beacon.
When The Gods Came Down To Earth by Srinivas Krishna will have its world premiere at Fed Square on 13 June. The artist invites visitors to contemplate the beauty of sacred images of Hindu Gods, the meaning of their ritual function and the power of their magical aura.
Presented on Fed Square’s recycled big screen, When The Gods Came Down To Earth will be on public display for four weeks, running continuously 24 hours a day.
Born in India and educated in Canada and the US, Krishna first came to notice as the writer, director, producer and star of the international hit Masala (1991). He has produced subsequent films that have premiered in the Official Selection of the Cannes Films Festival (Lulu 1996) and the International Film Festival of India (Forever 1999).
On 21 June, nine of Melbourne’s diverse communities, facilitated through the Footscray Community Arts Centre, will bring more light to winter and the Square with The Gift of Light. As dusk falls in Melbourne, these communities including Indigenous, Japanese, Indian, Tuvalu, Hispano-American, Turkish, Vietnamese and Afghan will share their Gifts of Light, the result of working with an artist to create contemporary interpretations of the meaning of light from their culture. Each group will install a piece of light inspired art – their gift. Melbourne’s community is invited to share in this celebration with music and performance on the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year which marks the heralding of longer, brighter days.
The Gift of Light will be launched with a Switch On Event at 5pm on 21 June.
The Gods Came Down to Earth
Dates: 13 June to 13 July 2008
Location: Federation Square
The Gift of Light
Dates: 21 June to 5 July 2008
Time: from dusk
Location: Federation Square
CCP celebrate with The Osmonds
Concert & Corporate Productions provided lighting and video for the iconic American entertainment family “The Osmonds” at the Burswood Theatre in Perth Western Australia last Thursday 5th June. Playing to a full house The Osmonds, headed by Donny and Marie, gave a performance that resulted in standing ovations for most of the night. The lighting was designed by Bandit Lights in Nashville Tennessee and was reproduced by CCP. Originally designed for arenas it was a tight fit in the Burswood Theatre but CCP managed to achieve the artistic intentions of the lighting and video design. The onstage rig consisted of six independent trusses filled with moving heads and flown at varying angles on twelve points. A FOH truss was flown using twelve movers for front wash and six x four-lite blinders for the audience.
The full rig was made up of: 24 x MAC700 profiles, 24 x MAC600 washes, 10 x MAC2000 Profiles, 8 x 3k Atomic strobes, 4 x Pulsar ChromaBanks, 8 x four-lites, 66 meters of 400mm Global Truss, 14 cm 1ton chain motors, 4 x 2k follow spots and was driven by a Whole Hog II.
Thirty-six panels of CCP’s Barco S-lite LED screen upstage center formed the backbone of the video production and was augmented with two 16’x9’ rear projection screens serviced by 2 x Panasonic DL 5500 projectors. Simon Greaves, the Osmonds video director, used a combination of Catalyst driven images and a vision mix of 7 cameras. The Video rig consisted of. 36 Barco Slite LED panels, 1 x DX700, 4 x Sony DXC – D55 cameras, 4 x remote cameras, 1 x Grass Valley Indigo switcher, 2 x Image Pro HD scalers, 1 x Grass valley Turbo, High End Catalyst media server.
CCP is now able to provide high end video production and LED screens along with their lighting and production services.
Michael Buble tours Australia with HES DL.2s
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He’s got “The World on a String” and DL.2s in his rig. “That’s Life” on the road for Michael Buble, who is selling out venues with his repertoire of Rat Pack-styled song standards.
LD Kurt Wagner chose 14 High End Systems DL.2 digital light fixtures as the visual centerpiece of his show design. Christie Lites' Ian Gordon first recommended that he take a look at the digital light fixtures. After seeing them on The Tragically Hip tour, Wagner was sold. "LD Brent Clark's approach was a bit different in how he used them, but I was impressed with what I saw," Wagner says.
With DL.2s, supplied by Christie Lites, Wagner is easily customizing each Michael Buble show to the cities they’re playing by featuring video footage of local landmarks. So it’s not just the songs -- “Mack the Knife,” “Call Me Irresponsible” and “The Best is Yet to Come” -- that are making audiences stand up and cheer.
The DL.2 is an automated luminaire with an onboard media server, which allows for still or video projections through this one fixture. It’s controlled like a regular moving lighting using a DMX console.
"I get my video director Kevin Carswell to go out and shoot local footage every day," Wagner explains. "We have a basic formula of shots that I'm looking for. It has worked out well. I've never done this before with other video equipment, so I have no comparison."
The DL.2s are positioned on the third truss line, roughly 10 feet from the downstage edge. “I wasn’t planning for the DL.2s to be the centerpiece, but as I found my feet with them and pushed them more they became a strong part of the show. My goal was also to use them as a lighting instrument as well as a video unit,” Wagner says.
"I've really enjoyed working with the DL.2s. it has been a large learning curve with the fact that the fixtures can do so much. I'm always finding new things I can do with them. The best way to sum them up for myself is that I approach the DL.2s as a moving light that does video. Not the other way around. My lighting rig is not huge and I try to get the most out of every fixture I have."
Joining him on the lighting crew is Dan Cassar, programmer and board op.
Tthe rig also includes extensive soft LED (4 custom lighting borders and 7 panels 24' x 8' on the upstage spinner truss), plus 50 moving lights (Martin 2Ks + Mac Performances). There is also a mixture of analog with the main light being a smaller blinder called a 20 lite. Consoles are grandMA's and operating system for all the LED is a system called Vixen. The truss system is a custom swing wing truss.
Kurt will be conductinfg an ALIA tour of the lighting in Perth on June 15th.
Baz Barrett chooses ChamSys Lighting Consoles!
Respected Australia Lighting Designer Baz Barrett has worked on some of Australia’s greatest lighting productions. Most recently, Baz has been the lighting designer for British rock band Stereophonics on their Australian and New Zealand Tour.
Previously Baz was using a Hog Console to control his lighting designs, but was in the market for a new generation of lighting console. The solution was easy: a ChamSys MQ100 with an Extension Wing.
ChamSys create intelligent and easy to use lighting consoles. ChamSys began when a group of lighting designers and long time lighting product developers got together to develop a new console that would overcome the limits of traditional consoles.
Baz borrowed a ChamSys MQ100 Console from Lighthouse Distribution with a practical demonstration by avid ChamSys user, Matt Owen. After plotting a couple of shows and using it live on the Stereophonics Tour, Baz simply said, “I am incredibility impressed.”
The ChamSys MQ100 has an in-built colour touch-screen, so there is no need for external monitors as the control is at your fingertips. Each of the ten theatre style playback controls is electronically labelled to show the current and next steps in the Cue Stack. Eight rotary encoders make controlling individual parameters simple. The MQ100 supports effortless playback of pre-programmed shows whilst allowing instantaneous over-ride via the powerful MagicQ programmer for ‘busking’ those unexpected moments.
MagicQ MQ100 provides an ideal starting point for the lighting designer. With access to up to 202 playbacks through virtual playback controls, the MQ100 can handle the most complex shows. Should more faders be required for a particular show, simply connect one or more MagicQ Playback Wings.
Baz is so impressed he is organising to use a ChamSys MQ200 on the European Festival leg of the Stereophonics Tour.
Baz will be back in Australia in several weeks and hopes to continue road testing this awesome console.
Clay Paky fixtures light up “Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour”
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Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour” is currently touring Australia with the help of 345 Clay Paky lighting fixtures. The show is a live fusion of songs, dance and team-spirited fun inspired by the pop-culture sensation and Disney Channel Original Movies, “High School Musical” and “High School Musical 2.”
The show, produced by Feld Entertainment and Kenny Ortega, made its world premiere in New York City last September as part of an unprecedented global tour featuring three companies playing more than 100 cities across the US and locations in Canada, Mexico, South America, Australia and Europe. The ice tour will include never-before-seen choreography, costumes, lighting, special effects, projection and scenery.
The show showcases 345 Clay Paky full-automated fixtures in three identical rigs including 115 fixtures per show made up of 37 Alpha Spot HPE 1200s, 61 Alpha Wash 1200s, and 17 Alpha Wash 575s.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and have used every kind of light known to man,” says Dennis Flenniken, electrical operations manager at Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live family entertainment. Feld Entertainment draws 25 million people to its shows each year; productions have appeared in 50 countries and on six continents to date and include “Disney On Ice,” “Disney Live!” “Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey” and “Doodlebops Live!”
“Clay Paky fixtures stand up to any light touring, and the new Alpha Series is just unbelievable. For ‘Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour,’ we did three identical shows, each with 115 active fixtures. The Alpha Series has many effects -- nobody has as many spinning and rotating gobos -- so lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe was able to create beautiful swimming effects and sunlight.”
Lighting programmer Patrick Dierson calls the show “very much a hybrid: a very theatrically-staged show that breaks out into musical numbers in an arena environment. It’s not quite theatrical, not quite a concert but very much both at the same time.” He was tasked with “lighting the faces of all the skaters in the cast -- energetic teens who are difficult to distinguish from each other -- and keeping things bright so the audience can see while maintaining a good amount of coverage.” He also needed to “combine a big, bold wash look with rock ’n roll flyouts to the audience with ballyhoos and effects. We had to keep up the intensity while creating moods.”
According to Dierson, “this is Feld’s first lighting rig to be completely automated, with no conventional units.” The team, specified Clay Paky fixtures “based on their reliability -- I’ve had a phenomenal run of reliability with them. For ‘Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour,’ we’re beating on them pretty hard. They take a lot of abuse with no problems.”
He says the Clay Paky “washes are bright and punchy, with good beam shaping; they do a lot of tricks. The Alpha Spot HPE units have a really great amount of gobos and a variety of patterns -- which didn’t look like disco gobos -- which gives us a lot of flexibility: This is the first time we didn’t have to specify all the gobos in the unit.”
In addition, “the Alpha Spot HPE units have some great built-in effects which is nice when you’re programming because you’re not as reliant on the console,” says Dierson. “And the effects are randomised enough so they don’t look repeated.”
He also finds “the optical clarity of the typical Clay Paky fixture to be high quality with a lot of output. They punch right through other wash lights, and have consistent colours across the board so we didn’t have to custom mix. They all dialled in extremely consistently. Everyone liked the way they looked.”
In the opinion of Feld’s Flenniken, “the Clay Paky fixtures are brighter than similar lights in terms of what the eye perceives in amount of lumens.” That means a small but powerful lighting rig enabled his team to “load in at 8 a.m. and be ready to go at noon. We used to take 10-12 hours!"
2008 ASTRA Awards
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A record 31 winners were honoured at subscription television’s night of nights, the 6th Annual ASTRA Awards, at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on April 21st. The ASTRA Awards are produced by the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association, the peak industry body for subscription television.
More than 1000 people attended the gala event, created to recognise excellence in subscription television, both in front of − and behind − the cameras.
Lighting this spectacular event was Hugh Taranto using a rig supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems. The event was produced By Technical Productions with Keri Chittendon as Event Producer and Bill Ainley as Production Manager.
Hugh utilized a Show Technology dominated rig including 21 Martin MAC700 wash, 16 Martin MAC2000 wash, 28 Martin MAC700 spot plus two Studio Due Dominators for the after party walk. LED lighting included 46 ProShop LED Tubes, 22 Pulsar ChromaBanks which were modified for set installation, 16 Honeycomb72 LED Flood for the foyer wall, balloon and photo wall and 20 Martin LC2140 LED video panels to construct a 10m x 4m curved video screen.
“This was the first time that I had used the LC Panels,” commented Hugh. “The client was looking for something they could use as a more three-dimensional screen which could have action behind it. The screen itself had to be curved too. The LC Panels could achieve all of their wishes.”
Custom-made content was fed to the LC Panels via two Catalyst v4 media servers; one providing vision for the 3m sphere, whilst the other pixel mapped the ChromaBanks and provided vision to the LC Panels.
“Once it was all set up it was pretty easy to make it all work,” said Hugh. “The Panels were attached to a custom rolled piece of pipe to make them into a curved screen. Initially we had some problems with weird patterns coming through the TV for the broadcast but we discovered it was a synch problem with the cameras. All we had to do was genlock the screen to the cameras and the vision equipment to solve the problem – I believe that the LC Panels have something in their box that allows you to do that.
“The other issue we had was that they were too bright and we had to tone them down! Other than that the LC Panels were faultless and the effect was great. One great effect with the LC Panels was when Lior performed and we had an orchestra behind the Panels; to reveal them we opened up a window in the content which basically revealed the musicians behind the screen.”
The Pro Shop LED Tubes were installed into the ground set – on ramps and entrances – in strips to outline the stage. The ChromaBanks were situated behind sheer fabric on the set so that at times they could virtually disappear, yet when they were switched on they shone effectively through the fabric.
For control Hugh was using two MA Lighting grandMA consoles; one as a main console and one as a tracking backup. Three Robert Juliet 2.5K Heloise followspots were used n the production.
The after party was held nearby in the Byron Kennedy Hall with lighting designed by Scott Bason using six Martin MAC250 Entours, six MAC300, twelve Pro Shop Honeycomb72 LED Flood, eight Pro Shop Honeycomb36 LED Flood, five Oil FX Projector, 100 metres of Festoon, and analogue lighting.
Robe tours with Future Music
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The Future Music Festival toured nationally this March with over 100 Robe moving lights on board.
Arguably one of Australia’s most exciting and contemporary electronic music festivals, the Future Music Festival brings together an impressive line up of the world’s best DJ’s including massive headline act, The Chemical Brothers. With crowds of up to 40,000+, the huge day of full blown entertainment was spread out across several stages.
The lighting Rig for all the auxiliary stages was provided by Clifton Productions, and project managed by Clifton’s Production Manager Michael Parsons. All of the stages were heavily loaded with Robe moving lights. Parsons states that from his point of view having Robe’s on a production puts his mind at ease, “The reliability of the Robe products is fantastic. They withstand the rigors of touring and the elements and just keep working!”
For the Sydney and Brisbane legs of the tour, the Future Music Stage was operated by Parsons himself throughout the afternoon. Parsons states that “the main hurdle that the lights had to overcome was to cut through the daylight”. As such the lights had to be powerful, and this was the motivation in incorporating the Robe 2500 ColorWash with PC Lens into the rig – which proved prudent – as Parsons states that the “brightness and punch of these fixtures was outstanding”. Parsons goes so far as to say that the “2500’s made the strobes in the rig look like tiny blinking LEDs”.
When the main act, the UK’s Chemical Brothers, kicked off the last spot on the line-up, they did so with their own specific lighting design from Lighting Designer/Operator Ricardo Lorenzini. Phaseshift Productions were brought on board to provide the lighting equipment and consoles for The Chemical Brothers for all of their Australian shows (except Perth). The Chemical Brothers are renowned for their amazing visuals, and brought with them as a feature a Stealth LED Screen measuring a huge 12m x 7.8m, and 2 x 10K full colour lasers.
Phaseshift’s Simon Aitken states that the LD asked for a ‘very punchy wash fixture to project through the Stealth Screen’. This was accomplished by rigging 27 Robe 1200AT ColorWashes behind the screen on angled pods, revealing the lights only during the Chemical Brothers spot. The rest of the rig included 10 iLed StarDrape Panels, as well as other fixtures from Phaseshift’s inventory. Simon states “The Robe 1200 Washes are a great unit and we never had any fuss with them at all throughout all the shows around the country”.
For the Melbourne leg of the tour, the Mischief stage was operated by John Stanley of Light and Sound Solutions with gear provided by Clifton Productions. The rig included 8 Robe ColorSpot 700E AT and 6 Robe ColorWash1200E AT. The lighting show was completely operated by E:Cue 3.8 with MM Dongle, Fader unit and Butler. On the performance of the Robe’s, Stanley states "They Robe’s were used due to the fast CMY color mix system and proven reliability. This enables me to produce extremely fast color flicks. I would say that the Robe's have the fastest CMY on the market."
Other stages on the Future Music tour that featured Robe’s include the Fan Klub Stage and the Famous Stage with 6 ColorSpot 1200E AT and 6 ColorWash 1200E AT on both rigs. The major Trance stage God’s Kitchen featured 8 Robe Colorspot 700E AT and 8 ColorWash 700E AT, and the innovative Silent Disco featured 4 Colorspot 700E ATs. The Future Funk stage featured 4 ColorSpot 700E ATs, and the very retro Roller Disco had 4 ColorSpot 575E ATs.
Overall, Parsons was very effusive about the reliability and performance of the Robe’s on the Future Music Tour – “I toured the lights from the Brisbane to Sydney gigs and had no hiccups. I took 6 spare fixtures and never even had to take them out of their cases. They withstood everything - rain, heat, dust – no problems.” It seems both the Future Music Festival and the Robe’s proved to be a huge success!
Martin Stagebar 54’s go to the top of the class
The classic game show It's Academic has been a long-running success for Channel Seven. Hosted by Simon Reeve, it’s an educational and entertaining show that sees students from primary schools compete against other primary schools in an attempt to win cash and prizes.
Moving light operator Michael Burton has been with the show since the beginning and although the set hasn’t changed much, the lighting has kept up with the latest technology. Crucial to the set up of the show are the coloured screens behind each team of contestants which are lit in different hues. When a team member hits their buzzer the screen turns white to indicate which team has answered.
Before the latest round of filming It’s Academic a bunch of par cans achieved this effect but were not an ideal solution. Then lighting suppliers Lots of Watts came across the Martin Stagebar 54, a compact and powerful LED answer.
“The decision to switch to the Stagebars was made because the par cans draw a lot of power and take more set up time,” remarked Michael. “The Stagebars deliver a much more even spread of colour and they also allow me to run effects. The colour temperature is good too. Also the space they are in is pretty confined and the fact that the Stagebar produces no heat is a real bonus.
“I have only used the Stagebars on this show but I can see them used in many more capacities. In fact I’m quite impressed by them and they’ve worked really well.”
A total of nine Stagebars are used: three mounted on Martin MAC2000 road cases behind each screen. From there they can colour each school in green, red or purple. When a child presses the buzzer the MA Lighting grandMA console triggers a MIDI signal to change the StageBar colours.
Alongside the studio lighting there are eleven Martin MAC2000 fixtures: five in the air and six on the ground. One of the MAC2000’s in the air contains a glass gobo of the It’s Academic logo which it projects onto the floor of the studio.
Gladiators – are you ready for the MAC2000 Wash?
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After being a brief smash hit for Seven over a decade ago, the battering rams are coming out again with the successful return of Gladiators. It’s a colossal clash of Gladiator v Challenger that transforms the Dome arena floor into a spectacular battleground.
The massive action on the floor is matched by an immense and versatile rig designed by Francesco Calvi with Paul Collison acting as lighting director. Filming ran through January and February and the days were long for the crew.
“It’s a really tough show to make in many aspects,” said Paul. “From a lighting perspective it was very different from a normal show where you have a band on stage and your audience in one spot. We had a playing area that encompassed most of the floor area of the Dome and we could shoot from any one of the 360° that was available. The cameraman would be spinning around, the director would call stop and that would be the shot and within thirty seconds you had to have it lit and have the background covered. Consequently we were always on our toes! However the producers understood that things often wouldn’t be perfect and they wanted to go with that exciting, live feel.”
When designing the rig Francesco was careful to ensure that all bases were covered and providing the grunt in the system were ninety-three Martin MAC2000 washes used to light the floor, the set and the games.
“The MAC2000 washes were great and a pleasure to have,” commented Paul. “Thirty-one 8-lites were placed around the arena floor to supply a bit of a lift when required. Eight truss followspots worked hard lighting hosting positions and the players during the games, to isolate them a bit and bring a bit more colour and texture out around the games so it didn’t look like it was being held in a car park.”
Eighty-five Pro Shop Honeycomb LED fixtures were used to light the audience as were thirty-three Studio Due CityColors. Eighty Pulsar ChromaStrips add their usual bedazzle whilst seventeen of Francesco’s favoured Studio Due CS4’s throw their beam effects where required. A massive two-hundred Pulsar ChromaHeart LED MR16’s were embedded into the floor to provide colour and movement.
“There were kilometers of LED Neon Flex on the games, in the floor and in the main wall set,” added Paul. “The LED Neon Flex is great; it’s picked up where neon left off. Neon is a great effect but is just too brittle for the kind of things we needed to do whereas the LED Neon Flex looks great on camera and is easy to install. At the end of the day, it’s also relatively cheap. It’s no surprise that set designers are starting to use it in bulk!”
Of course Paul had a couple of MA Lighting grandMA consoles for control and two ArKaos media servers.
Trafficlight and Lighthouse Distribution shine on the Spicks and Specktacular Tour!
ABC’s Spicks and Specks, the hugely successful musical themed quiz show in its fourth season, recently toured Australia with the ‘Spicks and Speck-tacular Tour’. The technical production was delivered by Melbourne based production company Trafficlight.
When designing the lighting aspect of the show, Trafficlight needed a high output fixture with low power consumption. The solution was the DTS Delta LED Projectors. Trafficlight used six Delta R’s in dark grey as floor mounted and stage feature washes. The Delta’s are substantially smaller when compared to simular products on the market, and are silent, allowing the fixtures to be inconspicuously blended into the backdrop.
The Delta’s have superior colour rendition, using 40 full colour RGB LEDs, which independently generate 16 million colours. This full colour technology always produces a uniform light beam and offers a user definable white balance, which presents real solutions to age-old tri-colour LED problems.
The Delta’s are extremely versatile fixtures; they are IP65 rated and are camera flicker free, presenting the perfect option for both television and outdoor use. “The greatest advantage of the Delta over other fixtures in its class, besides its extraordinary colour rendition, is its ability to transition seamlessly between theatrical and architectural applications," comments Michael Jankie from Trafficlight Productions, pictured.
The DTS Delta’s are distributed exclusively in Australia by Lighthouse Distribution.
Martin LC Panels for Matchbox Twenty
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Matchbox Twenty 'Exile On Mainstream' Australian Tour 2008 is currently underway with Lighting Designer/Programmer and Video Designer Benoit Richard of Millennium Lighting Design, Inc. not only employing lighting choreography that would create an unforgettable lighting experience for the crowd, but uses quality products that possessed a strong temperament for the duration of the tour and translate the band’s vision.
“I always use pre-visualization software as a starting point for all of my designs,” said Ben. “I also like to have a large amount of control when it comes to the visual package (console, media servers and video surfaces). Having a hand in all aspects of the production definitely helps give the show a seamless look”.
Keeping dynamism in mind, Ben chose a rig outfitted with a large quantity of Martin products including 22 MAC 2000 Washes, 12 Atomic 3000 strobes with Atomic Colors, 25 Stagebar 54 LED luminaires 12 MAC2000 profile and 14 x MAC700 profile. It is safe to say, however that Richard’s choice of 36 LC Series 2140 and 4 LC Series 1140 LED panels may be what set this tour apart from the rest.
The LC Series is a semi-transparent, modular system of LED panels, perfect for displaying video and images. Designed for stage shows, TV studios and other commercial applications, the LC closely integrates light, video and set design, offering entirely new possibilities for staging.
“Out of all the transparent video products on the market, I thought the Martin LC had the perfect look for the band,” said Ben. “It’s definitely the ‘cleanest’ and the most transparent that I found.”
“I thought it was really bright,” said Ben when describing his first impression of the LC Series. “And the 40mm pixel pitch gives it a certain texture that works very well with the type of content we are using for each song.”
This was important as Ben was intent on bringing a beautifully complex video design concept to life. To employ products that would create the exact effect he envisioned could have been a challenge. However, the choice of using the LC panels resolved any possible issues in that respect.
“To create some 3D video looks at certain points within the show, the LC panels worked really well in front of the [hi-res LED screen],” said Ben. “The fact that the LC is 60% transparent made it possible for us to spread the two LED surfaces apart and increase the field of view for the audience.”
Other challenges important to those working in production is travel, set-up and breakdown time, both of which the LC panels handle famously. The crew hasn’t had one issue while traveling with the LC Panels which are built to cater to a sometimes extremely harsh touring industry.
LC panels can be stacked or hung several units high and as wide as necessary. With standard Prolyte CCS6 conical truss connectors, linking the lightweight units together is simple and strong. With no external power supplies or drivers, each unit comes with everything it needs built in, which reduces logistical costs and set-up time. They are certain to become a production team’s favorite as they also are designed for travel and can be serviced without the use of tools.
Martin are in a strong position to provide the end to end solution for scenic/creative LED displays and content delivery by evolving the product line of displays hand in hand with the Maxedia products.
Mark Hogue, Production Manager for Matchbox Twenty stated, "The Martin light curtain is one of the most dazzling video effects on the market today, a true combination of video and lighting. In the hands of a skilled visual designer it is one tool that could bring a very cost effective dramatic look to any show."
“The band is extremely happy and proud to showcase the LC panels in addition to all of the other fun things we present to concert-goers on this tour,” said Ben.
Ben acknowledges the end result production as being one that will remain in the minds of concert-goers for a lifetime, but also notes that such a memorable experience is not brought to fruition by his hands alone.
“Coming up with visual design concepts is not as hard as finding the right team to execute 4 or 5 load-outs each week,” he says. “If I didn’t have these dedicated professionals by my side, this show would never be as cool as it is.”
Lighting for the Australian tour was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
Robe up late with Andy Warhol
The recent Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane has proven to be a melting pot of past and present pop culture with the inclusion of the Andy Warhol Up Late performances.
Live music from national and international artists every Friday night of the exhibition has bought one of the most influential and important artists of the late twentieth century to today’s audiences.
Brisbane’s live production gurus, IJS Logistics were on hand to provide the audio and lighting for the Andy Warhol Up Late gigs. Holding one of Queensland’s largest Robe inventories, IJS used various combinations of Robe’s across the dozens of acts involved in the Up Late performances. These acts included names such as Architecture in Helsinki, I Heart Hiroshima, Tyrone Noonan, Trans AM, and New Buffalo. To close the Andy Warhol exhibit, award winning Australian band, Wolfmother, were called on to perform the final Up Late show. Playing to a sold out audience of 1000, Wolfmother lifted the roof of GOMA’s River Room and rocked the crowd with hardcore riffs and explosive lyrics.
Lighting on the night was courtesy of 8 Robe ColorSpot 700E AT’s, 4 ColorWash 575E AT’s, as well as 12 SDV ColorFusion 803’s. The fixtures were used to provide color and wash to both stage and audience. The ColorSpot 700’s were mounted on the front and back truss and the ColorWash 575’s were set around the stage. In the relatively small space of the River Room, the output of the 700’s set the stage alight with color, adding mood and depth to Wolfmother’s performance. Due to the conditions of the gallery, IJS were not able to use smoke or haze on the gig, so the color and light emitted over the stage and band was bright and sharp offering a different effect to the standard rock gig.
Robe certainly helped Wolfmother shine as bright as Warhol, and the combination of classic art and modern rock proved to be a great success – if the audience’s reaction was anything to go by.
Jands Vista a Saviour with Xavier
Jamie Schmidt of JLS Lighting has recently returned from touring the United States and Canada with that one man and drummer roots band Xavier Rudd. According to Jamie the tour was made a lot easier for him by his treasured Jands Vista S3, the feature-packed console you can fit under your arm and is designed to be used with your desktop or laptop.
“I purchased my Vista S3, plus the M1 playback-only Vista control surface, last year and I couldn’t be happier with them,” said Jamie. “I was primarily looking for something I could carry onto flights as I tour so much. I had a good look at the market and the Vista just seemed the perfect fit for what I was doing.”
The portability of the Vista S3 was especially important on Xavier’s US tour as most of the gigs used the venue’s in-house rig.
“The Vista S3 was so easy to integrate into in-house systems,” commented Jamie. “I was also traveling with an ArKaos media server so all the files stayed where they needed to be and all I had to do was change the attributes of the moving lights – something that is simple with the Vista S3.
“The fact that I can basically change any fixture that I’ve got on the console to a different fixture really easily is fantastic and it really saved me a lot of time in the US. If I wanted to convert the functions of a Martin MAC500 to a Vari-Lite it could easily swap all the attributes across with the fixture pooling.”
Jamie found that technicians around the States were extremely impressed by the Vista S3’s capabilities and it found many new fans. Jamie had been concerned about was the backup service on tour but found that A.C. Lighting had consoles in the U.S. and that Briere Productions had consoles in Vancouver.
“I love using the timeline features of the Vista S3 and also the effects generators as they allow you to create your own effects easily and it means that you don’t have to go with the inbuilt effects.
“The timeline feature is particularly useful on corporate gigs as it makes life so much easier than just using a cue list. I find that achieving off set looks using the timeline function is so simple.”
Jamie also enjoyed the Vista S3’s patching facilities that allow him to drag and drop fixtures across any universe and in any channel with minimum effort, and the fact that he could patch Arkaos into the fifth universe and simply link his laptops together to operate Arkaos.
LED's make an Impression on So You Think You Can Dance
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So You Think You Can Dance Australia is set to be television’s smash hit of 2008! After the US series proved a ratings winner, Network Ten embarked on the local version to showcase Australia’s best undiscovered dancing talent. Currently filming at Sydney’s Carriageworks this spectacular production is lit by Francesco Calvi using masses of Show Technology gear supplied by Chameleon. The set was designed by Mark Dyson.
LED lighting abounds on this production with Francesco using two of the hottest LED products on the market; the GLP Impression and the Martin Stagebars.
Impression is the first LED moving wash light to give the equivalent of a 575W wash in a compact, lightweight housing, offering 660° pan and 300° tilt - with a complete 660° swing taking less than two seconds; this makes it application-perfect for touring, stage and TV as well as clubs and bars. It’s no wonder that Francesco was impressed with the Impression!
“The Impressions have been really good: punchy, small and have a really tight beam which is different for an LED,” he said. “They’re just a really cool fixture and also very robust, they’re great.”
The twelve Impressions are situated on the floor of the set whilst the sixteen Martin Stagebars are hung on a circular truss high above the stage.
“The Martin Stagebars have been excellent and are very punchy,” Francesco commented. “What’s unique about them is the fact that they have amber and white LED as well as the usual RGB mix. The amber allows you to get warmer looks and the white is good for colour mixing. They have an amazing throw and it’s surprising how much grunt they’ve got. They deliver a really nice, defined beam which you don’t normally get out of the RGB models. They’ve been amazing.”
Forty-two Pro Shop Honeycomb LED fixtures are situated behind the main screen from where they can make the backdrop change colour.
“They’re ideal for this as they’re low heat and have lots of colour options,” said Francesco. “I don’t have to dick around with bulbs and stuff. They’re very punchy and good value for money. We’ve put a bit of frost over them to help break it up a bit.”
Thirty-two Pulsar ChromaBanks and forty-eight Pulsar ChromaStrip are also used to light behind set pieces. Miles of LED Neon Flex is used to highlight the set.
Moving lights include thirty-six Martin MAC700’s, twenty-one MAC250 washes and fourteen of the MAC TW1 tungsten wash movers; a fixture that Francesco describes as great.
Control is via two MA Lighting grandMA consoles; one in the control booth to the side of the stage and one used for programming out front and as a back up console.
Vuepix makes it Austalian debut at Melbourne International Motorshow
The latest in High Resolution video screens is the Vuepix range of LED video solutions, distributed exclusively by the ULA Group. Making its official launch at Entech 2008, the Vuepix screens have quickly made their way into the production world with a debut at the Melbourne International Motorshow this March.
Purchased by Clifton Productions, the Vuepix P10 LED Video Screen was featured on the Kia stand at the Motor Show. With a very successful start to the year, and the launch of two new models, the Kia Display at the show needed to have significant impact. The Vuepix screen certainly helped with this, and was used to display full color moving images of the Kia, as well as text and static images.
The VuePix P10 LED screen delivers superior high resolution. The screen has a pixel pitch of 10mm and is completely modular for ease of rigging and setup in touring and production applications. The VuePix P10 LED screen is equipped with SMD RGB 3 in 1 LEDs and has a pixel density of this screen is 10 000 dots/m2. The P10 screen is ideal for synchronous display of all kinds of text, graphics, pictures, signs, and any signal from DVI, VGA, Composite, Component and S-Video.
Robe helps out in the Carols against Poverty Spectacular
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Held this past December at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre was the Carols against Poverty Arena Spectacular. The goal of this event was to raise funds for Children in need in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The spectacular had a variety format and the Robe’s were used to bring color and versatility to the event.
The Spectacular, hosted by local Gold Coast celebrities, Rob Molhoek and Rowena Szeszeran-McEvoy, played out a modern day nativity story through a variety of musical and dramatic numbers. Staged in the round, the show featured stars such as Australian Idol contestants Matt Corby and Guy ‘MUTTO’ Mutton, as well as other local stars and celebrities.
Lighting on the night was supplied by Dominica and MLR (Clifton Productions) and designed and operated by Luke Criss of Dominica. The lighting rig, combining a mixture of Robe ColorSpot 700E AT, Robe ColorWash 700E AT and Robe ColorWash 575 AT, was used to provide an array of Color Washes and Gobo Effects to pull together the many elements of the spectacular.
Criss comments that “The zoom on the Robe ColorSpot 700EAT was great, it just kept going” and “… with the CMY it made a great seamless colour changing light.” He goes further to say “The Robe range worked well with all the shows variations, in a very big venue they worked easily and filled the arena with colour and vibe.”
The night had many elements, with the main focus on raising much needed funds for Burkina Faso, Criss states “The night was a great success; over 180 children were sponsored through Compassion International Australia.” All with a little help from Robe.
Melbourne Opera's La Boheme
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Melbourne Opera's production of the much-loved Pucini romantic opera La Boheme opened in Melbourne last month and is touring until July of this year. Lighting Designer Scott Allan created a beautiful lighting design for this classic tale of love. The rig comprises: 12x 2kW Fresnel, 12x 1.2kW Fresnels, 24x 15/32 SL Profiles, 12x 23/50 SL Profiles, O/W Festooning, 12000x7000 Starcloth and a few purpose-built practicals. Venues are suppling control so touring Victoria and Tasmania, the Strand Palette appears heavily on the list. Interestingly, Scott has commented favorably on the 700 series of Lee colour supplied by Mediavision. "I particularly love the L776/4 and L728 colours. I have new favorite colours!".
Scott also used L776 extensively on last year's Sweeney Todd. This production was Directed by Hugh Halliday and Designed by Richard Jeziorny.
|Martin LC Panels make the Australia's Funniest Home Videos Show
Last year lighting designer Stuart Anderson used Martin LC Panels for the grand final of Channel Nine's Australia's Funniest Home Videos and he was mightily impressed by them! Fortunately, so were the show's producers who requested that they be used for the latest series of the show. With a new look and a new host, the show is as popular as ever.
"I was so glad the producers liked the LC Panels because I really wanted them for this series," commented Stuart. "The graphics that run through the Panels are designed inhouse at Channel Nine, although the graphics people are still learning the best way to do the graphics. For example you have to have a lot of contrast in the graphics but the Panels can't be too bright as they'll compete with the lighting of the host."
However, Stuart usually runs the six LC Panels on full sometimes adding extra colour into them to tone them down. Each show has one lot of graphics to keep a continuous theme through the recording with the next episode having new graphics. The back cyc always has a lavender wash at the top and an amber wash at the bottom. The colour of the graphics is closely matched to whatever the host, Shelley Craft, is wearing for that particular episode.
"The LC Panels are great although it's a totally new way of doing things," said Stuart. "It's like going back to the first moving lights that came out or the first DMX, it took a while until everyone was up to speed with the new technology.
"I'm also using six Martin MAC700's and six VL500's to add a different layer of lighting particularly between the gaps left by the LC Panels. I'm using a MA Lighting grandMA for control with an ArKaos media server off an iMac. Paul Collison helped me out a lot with the grandMA and ArKaos and of course, Super Vince has always been there for me."
Feeding the LC Panels took a bit of working out due to the fact that they need less than ten metres between runs however a DVI fibre to the first batten, then a variety of splitters worked out fine.
Lighting up the plinths that hold the screens are several Pro Shop LED Honeycomb fixtures.
"I looked at heaps of gear that Chameleon owned but nothing was bright enough as the light level can be quite high in here," remarked Stuart. "Eventually they showed me the Honeycombs which are great and they're now permanently mounted in the plinths."
Stuart pushed hard to get the shiny, black floor which is made of slightly convex tiles that reflect the LC Panels nicely as does the gloss on the risers.
"It's quite a simple show to do with only three positions for her but multiple angles so basically I have a ring of lights all the way around and every angle with about thirty memories in the console," said Stuart.
There’s a light.........
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It’s astounding, time is fleeting and The Rocky Horror Show is back in a totally brand new Australian production at Sydney’s new Star Theatre. This production, directed by Gale Edwards with sets by Dale Ferguson and lighting by Damien Cooper, has received rave reviews in the press and continues to wow audiences.
The moving lights in Damien’s rig are mostly Martin MACs with twelve MAC2000 profile, ten MAC2000 performer, seven MAC2000 wash and eighteen Martin MAC TW1.
“I really like the quality of light you get from the MAC TW1,” he said. “It’s a quality I often find I’m missing with normal moving lights. They also have a nice clean fade to black. The combination of the TW1’s with the MAC2000 profiles and performances works very well.”
Damien found the new Star Theatre a fairly difficult venue to design for as it is rather cavernous and does not have a normal proscenium arch style. To compensate Damien had a proscenium arch loaded with camp light effects built into the set. There are rope lights, LEDs, festoon lighting but crowning it all are Pro Shop LED Tubes arranged in a pseudo-haphazard fashion.
“The ‘happy tubes’ are really quite good,” remarked Damien. “I’d like to use them on a larger scale one day.”
For control Damien was using a MA Lighting grandMA with a Catalyst media server. When asked why he opted for a grandMA, Damien summed it up in three words: flexibility, ease and speed!
”Usually I tend to use more traditional theatre consoles such as Strand but for this show I needed a console that could run the Catalyst, lots of LEDs etc so I needed something that could handle that kind of speed and processing quickly.”
Lighting was supplied by Bytecraft.
All praise to Martin LC Panels and TW1 washes
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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.
Jands Vista PC is Speck-tacular
Adam Hills, Alan Brough and Myf Warhurst have been touring the country with the Spicks and Speck-tacular! A stage show loosely based on a comedic music quiz, Spicks and Speck-tacular features games from the show ramped up for the stage and the whole show is rocked along by a live band led by Myf’s big brother Kit.
trafficlight were chosen as the Production Management and Lighting Design Team for the tour, an exciting and important undertaking for them due to the challenge of incorporating numerous, multi-dimensional activities within a tight schedule. The production focus for this live extravaganza included combining live performance, audience participation and several exaggerated props to create a smooth running, successful event.
The lighting, a combination of moving heads, moving mirrors and conventionals, was designed by trafficlight’s Niklas Pajanti. A Jands Vista PC running of a Mac Book and a Jands Vista M1 were used for control.
The Jands Vista gear is owned by Hamish Clift who was Assistant Stage Manager and Head Lighting Tech on the tour. Hamish purchased the Vista PC and M1 six months ago. The Vista PC enables him to duplicate all the functions of the Vista lighting console on his Mac Book. The fixture icons even provide a basic visualization of the show, so he can use it to design and build shows at home or on the road. The Vista M1 is an ultra-compact and extremely cost-effective playback-only Vista control surface that is often described as the console in your back pocket. The M1 allows Hamish do program a light show in advance on his Mac Book, whilst providing hardware to simply control the playback of his show. With five playbacks including faders and flash buttons, plus a rotary master fader, the M1 is a complete and portable Vista playback module.
“I wanted a console that was easy to tour with and preferably a Mac-based solution,” Hamish remarked. “The M1 playback wing is tiny and fits into my hand luggage; the combination is excellent for touring around the country. From a lighting design point of view, the visual orientation of the Vista software is really good because you have all of your colours, gobo rotation right there in front of you. The way you add clips is very handy and easy to use. Coming from a theatre background, I’m using it with theatrical knowledge in a rock’n’roll environment which is excellent – best of both worlds.
“The Jands Vista is lot different from many other consoles and it takes a bit of getting used to but once you’ve done so, it’s very fast and easy to use. The entire operating system is completely different; the way it controls moving lights and the visual representation of everything is just excellent. You have a picture of what you see instead of numbers which is very nice.”
Wireless DMX in Mardi Gras Parade!
Wireless Solution gets onboard Sydney Mardi Gras float to help the parade maintain it’s unrivalled reputation for glitz and glamour!
Viewed by over 300, 000 spectators, the 30th Annual Sydney Mardi Gras Parade was held in Sydney’s Darlinghurst on the 1st of March. The massive 4km procession travelled over a 1.6km route and was made up over 150 floats and 10 000 participants. The Parade is considered ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the Mardi Gras festival and this year Wireless Solution was onboard to help the parade maintain it’s unrivalled reputation for glitz and glamour.
Produced and designed by Wayne Mulder of Sydney’s Action Sound, the Wireless Solution system was featured on the Surf Life Saving Australia’s float themed "Whatever floats your boat". The Wireless DMX was used to communicate between the two float trucks that travelled anywhere from 150 to 200 metres apart. Dancing between the two trucks was a contingent of Life Savers, illuminated by 4 City Lights that were required to change color on cue. Mulder states "it was very important that the lights on the two trucks were in sync without the need to have two lighting controllers and two operators. Through the use of W-DMX we were able to control all the lighting from the front truck with one transmitter."
The Wireless DMX rig included the user friendly W-DMX BlackBox S-1 transmitter, which features "One-Button-2-Go" technology, to transmit to the BlackBox R-512 receivers on each truck. The S-1 and R-512 system transmits and receives 512 channels of DMX (one universe) wirelessly through the W-DMX technology and uses AFHSS, Adaptive Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum, along with a number of other techniques to avoid interference and create a very reliable wireless link.
On W-DMX’s reliability, Mulder states that "the Wireless DMX system never skipped a beat and there were no problems with signal strength or reliability". He also goes further to say that without W-DMX the project would have been impossible - "we wouldn’t have been able to do it any other way". The Wireless Solution is a new addition to Action Sound’s inventory, but due to its ease of use and reliability, it is sure to feature in many more projects.
Martin LC Panels - something to Shout about!
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From the team that brought you Dusty – The Original Pop Diva, comes a brand new, multi million dollar production of SHOUT! – The Legend of the Wild One, Johnny O’ Keefe. This fabulous production has just finished playing a highly successful run at Melbourne’s State Theatre opening this week at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.
With sets and costumes by Roger Kirk and fantastic lighting by Trudy Dalgleish, this production is a visual treat. This is the third production of Shout; the first was in 2000 touring lyric theatres around Australia whilst the second in 2002/3 toured regional areas in a tent.
”The script of this version is very similar to the tent production,” revealed Trudy. “It’s leaner and meaner. It’s a totally new set design and therefore a new lighting design too as the set really tells you what positions you can use for your lights. Roger has designed a really nice set which is multi-leveled and allows a whole lot of different scenes out of the one area. The last one was a big blue box where I had to make every scene – from intimate family scenes to big, stadium rock scenes – work. But with this one we have scenic elements to help which is great. It’s really nice to be able to place lights at different levels of the set; basically we have moving lights hitting all over the back cyc at different levels. I like Roger as a set designer, he’s very clever and he thinks about the lighting as he designs the set.”
The production uses Martin LC Panels hung in six metres by three metres format, an idea that was neither Trudy’s nor Roger’s but the directors, Stuart Maunder, who had used them at the APEC conference. Apparently he was very impressed by them and incorporating them into the show was the only suggestion he gave to Roger Kirk.
”We don’t use the LC Panels extensively,” said Trudy. “We wanted to resist using them as a background for every scene preferring to use them sparingly. That way, when they are used the effect is even greater. I don’t use them in an Australian Idol way; they’re used to display things like newspaper footage and stills of old television footage. They’re used in a documentary manner not an abstract way which works well. It also means we only use them in black and white.”
Trudy had used the LC Panels at the Schools Spectacular in November and she was keen to use them again.
”I really love them,” she exclaimed. “The possibilities they offer are endless. I love the way that you can do intensity in fact in some scenes we’re running them at only six percent! I’d like to use them a lot more to see how much they can actually do. I’d like to use them as individual panels, rather than a whole screen, and have those panels run the same image through them all. Stuart is actually talking about designing an opera based around the LC Panels so that should be interesting if it ever happens!”
Trudy’s moving light rig includes eighteen Martin MAC2000 Performers, twelve MAC2000 Profiles, fifteen MAC2000 Washes and thirteen VL6b’s for set lighting. It’s a rig she describes as a nice mix.
Bytecraft Entertainment supplied the lighting equipment.
The DTS Delta brings Christmas Cheer to Traffic Light!
Melbourne based production company Traffic Light designed and installed the lighting aspect of the spectacular Christmas Tree at City Square, Melbourne. The giant tree lit up City Square throughout the Christmas period, and included a sound and lighting show each night from 830pm. The tree and accompanying show was a great family event and the perfect backdrop for Christmas photos.
Traffic Light required a waterproof low power consumption solution that would perform in the face of bad weather over many nights. This solution was the DTS Delta R fixtures supplied in Australia by Lighthouse Distribution. The Delta fixtures are IP65 rated, so the fixtures are dust resistant and will withstand harsh weather conditions including heavy rains. They are also light enough to be truss mounted and have three len types to optimise its versatility.
“The greatest advantage of the Delta over other fixtures in its class, besides its phenomenal colour rendition, is its suitability to both indoor and outdoor applications without sacrificing quality or output.” Comments Michael Jankie, Company Director, Traffic Light Productions.
The Delta is one of the brightest fixtures in its class, it has forty full colour LEDs that produce a perfectly uniform colour beam with no false colour shadows. The fixture can always be used with Boost mode on, thanks to better heat dissipation and an automatic function that detects LED temperature making them even brighter at 500mA.
In addition to offering 3 sets of lenses (Spot, Medium flood, Wide flood), the Delta introduces the new very wide flood reflector, which provides a light beam projection of no less than 120° (horizontal) x 85° (vertical), ideal to light large areas and backgrounds from a short distance.
To see how the DTS Delta’s can help your next project, contact Lighthouse Distribution today. www.lighthousedistribution.com.au
Martin MAC TW1 fixtures for Billy Elliot
Billy Elliot is a funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of young boy’s dream in a gripping tale of triumph over adversity. The original story captured the hearts and minds of the world when the movie was released in October 2000. The original creative team; director Stephen Daldry and writer Lee Hall, were joined by Elton John, the most celebrated UK singer song-writer of the last 30 years to create Billy Elliot The Musical.
The Australian Premiere took place on Thursday December 13th at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. Australian audiences and critics are raving about Billy Elliot.
Renowned lighting designer Rick Fisher has been working in British theatre for over twenty years and he is currently Chairman of Association of Lighting Designers. Rick spent several weeks in Sydney preparing the lighting for the Australian version of the stage show along with Associate Lighting Designer Richard Pacholski.
For this production the decision was taken to use sixteen of the new Martin MAC TW1 tungsten fixtures as well as eight MAC700 wash and fourteen MAC600. Chameleon Touring Systems supplied the gear.
“The TW1s on Billy Elliot at Sydney's Capitol Theatre were a new addition to the rig replacing a variety of other conventional and moving fixtures,” explained Rick Fisher. “I was very pleased with their flexibility and, most importantly, the quality of the light and subtle colour mixing that blended in with the other units in the rig. I was also impressed by their silent operation which is essential in a book musical like Billy Elliot. I look forward to expanding their presence in the upcoming Broadway production at the Imperial Theater in autumn 2008.”
Rick notes that he is a big fan of a tungsten light source for basic light on people and to have a wash unit that offers flexibility when rigging space over stage is becoming increasingly precious is fabulous.
”With near silent running, the MAC TW1 is a wonderful new addition to the lighting designer’s box of tricks,” he said.
Richard Pacholski backs up Rick’s comment adding; "The TW1 narrows on Billy Elliot were great proving themselves to be a rock solid unit with absolutely no problems during a long and grinding load-in. They worked straight out of the box. We used them in 'silent' mode giving us complete control over fan noise. For a show that requires minimum moving light noise they were a perfect choice. Performance wise they are a formidable unit. They have great punch and smooth colour mixing plus the choice of mechanical and electronic dimming made for flexible programming.
The Martin TW1 has been worth the wait."
A Day on the Green with Martin LC Panels and TW1's
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A Day on The Green Australia Day Special was held at Bimbadgen Estate in the Hunter Valley, NSW with Kait Hall producing a spectacular lighting rig. The line up included Jimmy Barnes, Diesel, Mahalia Barnes, Baby Animals, Tim Rogers, Archie Roach and Tex Perkins with the concert going live to air for Music Max.
Heavy rain during most of the bump in didn’t deter the lighting crew with production supplied by Phaseshift whilst video was supplied by Group Productions. The rig included an MA Lighting grandMA, Martin MAC700 spots, MAC700 washes, MAC TW1, Atomic strobes and scrollers, Pro Shop LED Tubes and Martin LC Panels.
Kait was given a free reign with the lighting design and she was pleasantly surprised to find that the client was generous with the budget!
“They took me for my word which was great,” she remarked. “The rig was designed primarily for the cameras and I tried to work within the shape of the orbit stage to make sure that some kind of light or video panel was in every camera angle. Jimmy Barnes has never used any video component in his show before but was keen to do so and hence extra budget was allowed for this.”
Having only been hired for the event nine days prior, Kait not only had to design a lighting rig she also had to source her video content.
“With Missy Higgins it’s a very lyrical based design but not so with Jimmy,” she said. “It was trickier to find appropriate content for his songs as it’s a totally different kind of lyric.”
After using the Martin LC Panels successfully on the last Missy Higgins tour as well as at the Pyramid Rock Festival, Kait was keen to use them again.
”These gigs have all been outdoors with limited set up times and little programming time in the dark,” she said. “However, as the LC Panels are so bright they are clearly visible in the day. This was particularly important on this gig as I had four acts prior to Jimmy Barnes; the LC Panels could still provide a dramatic impact in daylight hours. You can also do that with some of the high price video walls but most of these acts just can’t afford them.
”The LC Panels are quick and easy to set up and light enough to be able to incorporate into many things. More than anything else, it really comes down to budget as it’s the first time that LED screens have become an option for these bands. They’re amazingly bright which incidentally helps with televised gigs. On this gig the crowd was illuminated from the screen which helps with camera angles into the crowd. That was an added bonus which also allows more audience interaction with the artist as they can actually see them.”
This gig was the first one that Kait had used the Martin MAC TW1 tungsten fixtures on, hanging eight of them from the front truss to supply key specials for the band members.
”I thought the TW1’s were fabulous and I really like them,” stated Kait. “They were great for the camera guys. As some of the bands didn’t turn up until about half an hour before they were due on stage I couldn’t have heaps of fresnels or profiles as it wasn’t possible to hang them neatly for all the shots. The TW1’s enabled me to have less lights and to put them wherever I wanted without having to rehearse and have pre-focusd positions.”
Also in Kait’s rig were eight MAC700 spots, twelve MAC700 washes, and four MAC600. She also hung Pro Shop LED tubes from the roof so there were no dead, black spaces on the roof underside from particular camera angles. Control was Kait’s preferred console; a grandMA.
LC Panels "Awaken" Christian City Church
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Christian City Church at Oxford Falls held their "Awakening" Conference for young adults in the first week of February, and Mandylights was there to design the lighting and visuals. Richard Neville came up with a design that used a mixture of lighting, projection and the new Martin LC Panels to create a spectacular backdrop to the three day event.
Ten LC Panels were hung 'randomly' around the church's stage, with eight Vari*Lite VL2500 washes behind them to take advantage of the transparent panels. The lighting and vision was programmed and operated on a full size MA Lighting grandMA console which was networked to an ArKaos media server. Also in the rig were four Martin MAC700 wash, four MAC300 and two Look Solutions Unique Hazers. During programming, equal attention was given to both lighting and audio so that each visual medium complimented the other. The result was a phenomenal, unique, integrated look that went above and beyond the expectations of the church.
Richard was blown away by the LC Panels, especially how good they looked on camera, and can't wait to use them on a number of projects in upcoming months.
”The client was initially thinking of using multiple projection screens,” explained Richard. “They’re really into the whole idea of integrating video; last year we used ColorWeb and we used a wall of SoftLED for their last DVD shoot. The LC Panels were something new and different that they hadn’t seen before and that hasn’t been used by any of the churches yet. They’re also a brighter and better alternative to projection.”
The original creative concept for the church was to use side by side screens in a conventional configuration but Richard proposed the idea of hanging the LC Panels in a random manner.
“It looks like they’ve been thrown around the stage at random but there was a little bit of thought behind it!” he revealed. “Some sat straight on the stage, others were suspended from pipes and some were hung from trusses. Basically we ended up with five panels either side of the stage placed around the central projection screen.”
Richard was astounded at how easy the LC Panels were to maneuver, particularly as they are so lightweight, and he loved the fact that the LC Panels allow him flexibility with his design.
“With a traditional LED wall it has to be configured as it is on the plan whereas with the LC Panels you can change their positioning at will,” he said. “You’re not reconfiguring hundreds of kilos of LED wall or anything like that. They’re incredibly versatile when you’re on site and allow for easy last minute design changes. Putting the LC Panels together is so simple and quick; you just need an allen key to bang them all together.”
The back wall of the church is usually white but was draped in black for this event. Normally the church’s head pastor doesn’t like black backdrops because the event is shot for television and broadcast around the world. However the LC Panels acted as set pieces and according to Richard, read really well on camera whilst not being distracting. There was no ‘moire’ effect that can happen with LED walls.
“The theory behind the LC Panels and how they operate is really sensible,” commented Richard. “I’m not a video person but I could patch them up if I needed to. The addressing system is good; it’s straight DVI in so there’s not the hassle you have with video splitting up a source.”
The content, fed via ArKaos, included material from the church and also Richard’s own stock video. Many LED products such as ColorWeb and SoftLED are pixel mapped whereas the LC Panels are fed by a direct DVI feed and this effects the response time.
“With the LC Panels the response time is as quick as a monitor,” stressed Richard. “There’s always a bit of a lag with ColorWeb or SoftLED but with the LC Panels it’s an instant response time. We had a DVI cable run of nearly 80 metres and the response time from the LC Panels was just fantastic.”
Richard was astounded by the brightness of the LC Panels stating that he had to run them at 40 – 50% if he wanted to make the content match the projection screen.
”However it’s fantastic for the big moments – it’s the equivalent of putting all your moving lights to white and throwing the light out to the audience,” he said. “It’s an incredible impact. The colours are also really good. Even when you run the LC Panels at a low intensity they hold their colour really well which is great from a lighting point of view. It’s good to have a video source that can compete and work at the same intensity as the lighting. We could have all our washes at full and all the LC Panels at full to create a huge impact.”
Equipment was supplied by Cairellie Showcraft
For more photos and the full story go to www.mandylights.com
grandMA controls The Police
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One of rock ‘n roll’s most eagerly anticipated comebacks became reality when The Police started their Australian reunion tour this month. When Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland went out on the road again after 24 years a complete MA Lighting network system including grandMA consoles, MA NSPs and the software based media server grandMA video accompanied them around the world.
The intention of lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe and associated lighting designer and also lighting programmer Danny Nolan was, to give the “The Police Tour 2007/8” an unique touch of old-style and new, to show how the band appeared once before and how they are now. The original stage was designed to show the band in a contemporary setting with unobstructed views all around.
Video plays a big role during the show. Three high-resolution LED screens display live footage and selected content whilst Versa Tubes are mounted to the face of the oval truss above the stage and display different media content. Two PA wings feature 15 x 12m custom low resolution LED screens and show strong and simple graphic content. One grandMA media server controls the low-res screens, one the VersaTubes while three other grandMA video systems feed the high-res screens.
High-res video first passes through video director Kevin Williams’s Grass Valley switcher which also sends live feeds and imagery from a Doremi server to the high-res screens. grandMA video offers the possibility to format the Versa Tubes and the side screens as a complete map with images expanding from the middle.
An MA Network on a fibre-optic backbone connects the two grandMA full-size consoles, five MA NSPs and five grandMA video media servers, allowing interface with the system at any time. The fibre optic was chosen because of the long distances and to get a reliable fast speed network because of the 100 Mbit/s working speed of the MA-Net. The MA NSPs are installed locally. One is placed at the FOH for audience lighting while the remaining four are positioned backstage. The NSPs make the desk to server system scaleable with no extra processing drag on the desk.
During the pre-programming of the show the free grandMA 3D software was used. This gave the programmers the chance to work right from the start with the complete stage view. Also the multi-user mode was a welcome tool. It gave the programmers the opportunity to share the same showfile at the same time by dividing the show into different “worlds”.
The rig also includes 40 Martin MAC2000 wash, 18 MAC700, 11 MAC250 wash and 8 Atomic Strobes.
Martin LC Panels launch new Mercedes
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When Mercedes Benz decided to launch their new C Class car into the Australian market they turned to James Klein of atmosphere to technically produce the event and design the reveal component in an innovative and creative manner.
“My client (3 Degrees Marketing) asked me to come up with a fresh and different way of revealing the car,” explained James. “They didn’t want a normal silk reveal or to drive the car in behind a drape or anything like that. I had a look at the venue, which was Mercedes Benz’ signature showroom/office for Australia and it’s in the shape of the Mercedes Benz symbol; a circular shape with the cross built in architecturally to the building. The client wanted to do the reveal over to one side, driving it through some drapes or something like that, but I said that the room lends itself to do the reveal right in the centre of the space. Basically I left that meeting saying I had an idea and that I’d get back to them.”
James’ idea was to wrap the car in video (initially he was thinking of Element Labs Stealth panels), have all the guests around the vehicle and then raise the video panels into the air to reveal the car. Upon acting on his idea James discovered that there were not enough Stealth panels in the country and also that they were very expensive to hire. Fortunately for James the Martin LC Panels had just made a triumphant entry into the Australian market.
“They were certainly a lot more cost effective and basically I got the same sort of effect for a lot better budget,” he remarked. “The LC Panels also bought a new element into my design; they allowed me to light up the car while the video was still playing around it. This meant there were three stages to the reveal; the complete block out where you couldn’t see the car through the video, we then turned lights on whilst the video screen was down so you could see the car through the video and finally the whole screen rose up into the roof revealing the car.”
Working out how to hang the LC Panels in that particular configuration took a bit of time with James using Vectorworks to model the LC Panels, which are designed to be hung straight as a rectangle, into a curved shape. The result was that it was impossible to discern the start point for the video, which scrolled around in 360 degree motion.
”Chameleon Touring Systems, who supplied the LC Panels, and I did a few tests in the warehouse beforehand,” commented James. “I took the design of the panels off the internet, and then drew them up in Vectorworks onto a circular truss to work out how many Panels we’d need and whether they would fit. I worked out that we’d have a gap of about 30 centimetres left over but the guys at Chameleon and I experimented with taking some rods out of the Panels, keeping the whole frame. I wasn’t sure if the remaining rods would continue to work but they did so we customized one of the Panels to fill the 30cm gap.”
The reveal worked perfectly and the event was highly successful. According to James, the client was thrilled and the event was held at several more Mercedes Benz showrooms throughout the country.
The reveal began with Jade McRae singing ‘Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz’ as she descended down a staircase. As she touched the LC Panels, the launch sequence was triggered and the reveal happened.
The video images were run off a Hippotizer media server using custom-made content from Atmosphere as well as generic Hippotizer images. The LC Panels were run separate from the lighting to ensure that James had total, individual control.
Martin MAC700 profiles and MAC600 washes complimented the LC Panels as well as profiles and fresnels to supply generic lighting around the room. LED lighting in the form of twenty-four Pulsar ChromaBanks and Pro Shop LED Honeycombs were also utilized.
“I’d like to use the LC Panels on heaps of different shows,” concluded James. “My overall opinion is that they’re a fantastic, cost effective way to get a Stealth-like effect. I believe there are so many different uses for them, they’re really versatile and they can adapt to a whole range of different scenarios. I think they’ll be getting used over and over again and incorporated into more and more shows. Plus they’re so much cheaper than the high-end video gear. I also like the fact that they’re 2 metres high by 1 metre wide as that gives you a lot of screen surface for a relatively small hire charge. For the same hire charge you’d only get 30cm x 30cm of Stealth screen. Yes, it has a higher resolution but I’m not so fussed about that – I’m more there for the effect and bang for your buck. The LC Panels deliver a fantastic solution to incorporating video into a show.”
Microhire supplied the other audio visual gear, Norwest Melbourne did the audio whilst Chameleon supplied the LC Panels and the lighting.
|Army Carols 2007
On the 7 December 2007, the Defence Force School of Music (DFSM) and Australian Army Band Melbourne (AABM) in conjunction with Defence Support Group Watsonia staged their annual Carols By Candlelight concert on the Long Green in Simpson Barracks. The event featured Adam Harvey, Raymond Khong, the National Children’s Choir & Youth Chorale of Australia (NCCA), and musicians from the Defence Force School of Music and the Australian Army Band Melbourne, performing to a crowd of around 4,000. The concert is a free community event and is growing in size every year. It is produced by members of the Australian Army Band Corps (AABC) with equipment being supplied by the following companies: Resolution X (Lights), Norwest (Sound), Showtech Australia (Tomcat system & Rigging), Pro-Stage (Staging), Southern Cross Fireworks and Southern Generators.
The lighting rig consisted of 8 MAC 700 washes, 10 Martin MX10 Scanners, 12 Martin Pro 400 Colour Changers, 36 Multi Pars, 2 Zoom Profiles, and 2 Robert Juliat Super Korrigan Follow Spots all controlled from a Martin Lightjockey USB system by Sergeant Jason Grimsted.
The FOH sound rig was an EAW line array system consisting of 8 KF730 elements per side flown from the stage structure and 3 ground stacked SB100z Subs per side. Infill was done with Acoustic Technologies SS24 speakers. All processing was taken care of by a Dolby Lake processor, which fed Lab Gruppen amplifiers. FOH mix was through a Digico D5 Live console, internal effects were used except for a TC Electronics MOneXL reverb unit. Onstage mics were a mixture of Rode, Audio Technica, Shure and AKG. Wireless needs were covered by 6 channels of Shure UHF-R receivers.
FOH mix was done by Sergeant Peter Bell. Monitors were supplied from our own in-house systems and operated by Musician Tim Brook. This comprised of an Allen and Heath GL2200 mixer run in flip mode with Symetrix eqs through XTA crossovers feeding Powersoft D class amps. Biamplified EAW JFX290 boxes were used for all foldback sends on stage.
The stage, built by Pro-Stage was 12 x 12 metres at 3 levels, and was surrounded by the Showtech Tomcat truss system, supporting the roof, and the lights and sound.
The fireworks for the night was supplied by Southern Cross fireworks and fired by our newly qualified Pyromaniac Sergeant Peter Mathison.
Thanks go to everyone that supported the gig. Marcus & Fuzzy from Res X, Paul and Chris from Norwest, Tiny & his team at Showtech, Trog and Frank at Pro-Stage, Southern Cross Fireworks, and a special mention to Southern Generators for coming through Thursday night with a replacement generator to get the lighting rig up and running for programming! The AABC is working hard to develop its in-house production capabilities and the skills of our members, and an event such as this demonstrates the results that are being achieved so far. However, none of it is possible without the support, advice and assistance provided by trusted external companies such as those listed above.
Mandylights in the Domain
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The Mandylights team have spent a lot of time in Sydney's Domain - part of the Royal Botanic Gardens - in the last few months, lighting two large but very different projects.
Christmas in New York
Just before Christmas, Mandylights designed lighting and technically produced a lavish corporate Christmas party that recreated a cold Christmas in New York in the middle of Sydney in summer. With different themed areas - one of which included an ice rink, snow machines and 200 live Christmas trees - Richard's design called for a huge assortment of fixtures and practical fittings. The event looked spectacular and was also the Vari*Lite 3500 Wash's debut in Sydney after they were specced to light up the ice rink.
On New Year's Day, Richard, Dan and Mike returned to the Domain to design and operate Fuzzy's Field Day - a dance music event for some 50,000 partygoers including four stages of live music. The main stage design featured a very cool archway of truss made up of 30x Atomic Strobes with scrollers and 30x Molefay blinders. A bunch of Syncrolites and 6k Dominator Effects on stage ensured that nobody would be complaining about the lack of light anywhere on the site, while 32x Mac700 profiles and washes were hung in the grid above stage.
A few hundred metres away, Dan Mercer operated the Buzzy Freaks Stage which featured 32 randomly hung LED tubes as well as an assortment of moving lights and zip strips. Mike Gearin completed the live operator team over at the Killer Stage.
For more photos of these events and a selection of our favourite events over the last twelve months, check out www.mandylights.com
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