Clifton Productions’ Hair Expo 2012
Posted on Thursday, July 5th, 2012
Hair Expo Australia 2012 took place in the Sydney Exhibition Centre during June. Clifton Productions were appointed as the main supplier of rigging, lighting and video technology for the majority of the stands and main production area.
The 5m wide High Definition VuePix Screen, consisting of 35x P6 panels, was installed above the catwalk on the main stage, showcasing the work of some of Australia’s premier Hair Artists. Accompanying the screen were 6x Robin 600 LEDWash lights, helping to create special atmospheres during the parades.
Hair Expo Australia brings together the Southern Hemisphere’s hairdressing community, offering an unparalleled opportunity to experience the hottest brands and products, world class education, international talent and show stopping live performances.
Spirit of the International Boat Show
Posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
The largest on water show for boats, yachts and marine accessories in Asia Pacific held at the end of May in Sanctuary Cove on Australia’s Gold Coast. Exhibitors from all over the world came to showcase their latest luxury boats, and yachts in The Marine Village during the 24th year of Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS).
ULA Group partnered with Above and Beyond Productions to supply fixtures to illuminate the Horizon brand of luxury motor craft.
Blair Terrace from ULA Group Comments: “ The new Building Wash 14-10FC fixture which is manufactured and designed by Visio LED, proved to be an excellent choice for lighting the Horizon yachts berthed in The Marine Village. Utilizing the 10Watt RGBW Cree MCE LED Chips as it’s light source, the Building Washes provided extremely bright output and superb, even colour mixing effects. The specially designed ventilation system allowed the fixtures to run all night on full duty cycle without any decrease in brightness. Thanks to its IP66 rating these fixtures are suited to these types of outdoor events and installations.”
The SCIBS is an annual four-day event attracting more than 40,000 visitors each year all across Australia and around the globe. The stunning weather throughout all for days let all the visitors and exhibitors enjoy great long weekend full of fun, exciting events and activities on the coast.
Mark Hammer delivers Local Produce
Posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Mark Hammer has been keeping busy with the team at MTV involved in a series of records for a segment called Local Produce which showcases new music from emerging and established local talent. Mark is the lighting designer and director and is assisted by Luken Smyth who operating the lighting console.
The initial brief was for a dominant cyc look with lighting elements that could be used as set elements as well as lighting fixtures. The set is lighting based with about ½ dozen large old style 10kw fresnels scattered over the stage. In to the mix Mark has thrown some ParACLs, gobos and some pendant fixtures with large clear globes attached.
“With each act elements are swapped and added both in the lighting and staging,” commented Mark Hammer. “Recent additions include some VL2500 Profiles. While the theme is not genre driven we have been able to keep the look consistent. We have had a variety of artist including 360, Timomatic and Sam Sparro.”
Tannos & Choice get the Innovative treatment
Posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012
It was an exclusive 5 show season at The Parade Playhouse Sydney – Marko Panzic Presents the dynamic choreographic duo Tannos & Choice.
Stephen Tannos & Morgan Choice co-directed, created and choreographed a one hour high octane dance spectacular featuring 10 talented Australian dancers. Produced and Co-Directed by Marko Panzic, the show was an inspirational journey fusing contemporary & hip hop.
This is Dance as its never been seen before!
For Jeremy Koch, the debut of TANNOS+CHOICE was a show that would stretch his technical abilities and test creativity to the MAX!
Both Marko and Stephen Tannos were familiar with Jeremy’s work, having worked with him at the Australian Dance Festival and other events. They knew they wanted Jeremy and the team at Innovative to design and deliver the visual experience for their show. After the first meeting at a café in Surry Hills, it was a match made in heaven. Intense and immersive was the brief; creativity and passion were paramount, boundaries were to be pushed to the limits. Let’s go!
What unfolded in the next few weeks was nothing short of amazing. Rehearsal after rehearsal, bodies were pushed to the limit. With the soundtrack on repeat, the creative juices flowed at the late night rendezvous’ in dance studios. During one of the rehearsals a flash flood ripped through Marrickville. Thunder, lightning and floods became definitive elements that resulted in one very inspiring show.
With coolux Pandora’s Box and grandMA2 providing system control, a rig of Martin MAC Auras, MAC TW1’s, MAC 700 Profiles and a Barco RLM-W8 Full HD Projector brought a dream to reality and helped take the audience on a ride they would not forget!
‘This is by far one of my proudest moments as a designer and as a supplier. Having the privilege of providing such an integral component of the show and the ability to be creative with no real boundaries was just amazing. Also feeding off the passion and appreciation from the cast, choreographers and producer of the show made it all that extra bit worthwhile. This was an experience I will always remember and I can’t wait to take it on the road!’ – Jeremy Koch, Lighting and Visual Designer for Tannos+Choice.
Clay Paky struts its stuff at Fashion Week
Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2012 called upon lighting designer Mark Hammer to design the lighting systems across three show venues as well as exterior lighting and a retail / demonstration space all in the Overseas Passenger Terminal precinct.
“I was involved with each show producer and designer as each show had their own specific requirements,” explained Mark. “From lasers, to colour and intensity changes, from rock bands to DJs, skateboard ramps to portable forests I had to cater for all these elements. And above this there needed to be an exact focus for the media. There is a large contingent of video and still photographers and the lighting must be of a standard that they can get high quality images for their client, publication or for sale.”
The trick revealed Mark is to find the balance to keep everyone happy, including himself! This year, Mark turned to the Clay Paky Alpha 700 Profile, the only 700 watt automated spotlight with framing system available on the market.
“The Clay Paky Alpha 700 Profile proved to be a very useful instrument,” he remarked. “It combines a lot of the features of the larger fixtures in a compact unit. The beam angle and shutters were an important element in shaping the catwalk and featuring elements in shows.”
The size of the Clay Paky Alpha 700 Profile was very important especially in an environment where aesthetics were paramount.
“You get all the features such as the shutters, the gobo range and the zoom range in a small package which was perfect,” said Mark. “This was ideal and we had a very limited trim height and needed a fixture that was compact. Plus they were easy to use, had a good light output and came up well on the camera. They’re a very handy fixture.”
Also in the rig was thirty-six of the latest Pro Shop LED Pars which Mark describes as amazing.
“They are so punchy and have a nice tight, clean beam angle,” he remarked. “It’s not like you’ve got a fixture that’s bouncing light everywhere – you get some nice tight beams. They’re great for truss lighting but I used them on Fashion Week to light up the ceiling. It just gave some depth to the venue which they didn’t think was possible so I was really happy with that.”
Control was a couple of MA Lighting grandMA’s and a grandMA2 console with Matt Tunchon, Scott Rogers and Toby Sewell assisting with programming and operating.
“Each of them has their own designer qualities and great temperament for fast turnaround situations,” noted Mark.
The massive task of Technical Producer was expertly tackled by Nick Macfie of Production Technologies. The lighting system was supplied and installed by the team at PRG. Luke Oneil was the Account Manager and the Team Leader was Don McGregor.
“This event is very particular, but no task was an issue and everything was done with a minimum of fuss,” concluded Mark.
Photography: Lucas Dawson Photography.
Vari*Lite VLX LED Washes Soar Above Sydney Harbour
Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012
The recent Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, La Traviata, was Opera Australia’s most ambitious project to date held on a purpose-built stage on the waters of Sydney Harbour.
Set designer Brian Thomson’s minimal but striking stage design was dominated by a giant chandelier, measuring 9-metres x 9-metres, which sparkled with thousands of Swarovski crystals symbolising the world of Verdi’s much-loved opera with its glittering Parisian salons. The chandelier was suspended from a 26-metre crane, blackened out so that it is invisible against the night sky.
The La Traviata Chandelier took 720 man hours to manufacture and 240 man hours to assemble. Along with the beautiful 10,000 Swarovski Elements crystals, the La Traviata Chandelier contained 1,025 crystal shapes, 23,104 facets, 3,000 LED lights and 12 Vari*Lite VLX LED wash lights. The VLX were chromium plated especially for this production so that when they moved they would sparkle and glint within the chandelier.
Lighting designer John Rayment decided upon the VLX fixtures due to their light weight, with the chandelier having weight restrictions, and to compliment the LED set electrics and point sources within the chandelier.
“I wanted to continue the same light source and that led me to the VLX with its equivalent colour temperature,” commented John. “The VLX fixtures proved to be spectacularly reliable in what was really quite a hostile environment. They worked well and their light output was impressive. The consistency across them all, in terms of colour, was great. They’re just a nice light!”
John also had a number of Vari-Lite VL3500 Washes and Spot out front, stating that he is particularly attracted to lanterns with shutters.
“I wanted the punch and the shutter control as well as consistency,” he said. “The VL3500 is a very good light. They’ve got great optics and are very punchy.”
Lighting was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
Beach gig a breeze for EventSound and their Pro Shop LED Uplight Sets
Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2012
EventSound has taken delivery of four Pro Shop LED Uplight Sets, each housing six HP units, which are ideal for rental and production companies allowing quick and easy uplighting for venue theming.
The Pro Shop LED Uplight Sets were flown over to Cable Beach Resort in Broome, Western Australia, for a conference event where one of EventSound’s corporate clients held a national awards night by the beach.
“On the first evening, we placed the Pro Shop LED Uplight Sets around the pool area to enhance a welcome BBQ dinner in the clients brand colour of red,” explained Keith Clarkson, managing director of EventSound. “For the actual awards night, with the amazing Cable Beach sunset as a great backdrop to the event, we used them to light up a row of palm trees that lined the walkway from the resort to the event by the beach.”
Keith reports that these battery-powered LED lights proved to be a great asset due to the lack of power available.
“We could set them individually by the palm trees where running power to each area would have been a logistical and time consuming process due to the lack of power available in the area,” he commented. “Working in such hot and humid conditions, it was great to minimise the workload by using the battery-powered Pro Shop LED Uplight Sets.
“We have found our Pro Shop LED Uplight Sets to be a really valuable asset to our hire inventory. When a client wants a light in a difficult place or when we want to do a set of outdoor lights, we can accomplish this without the additional burden of cabling. Plus they are compact, stylish and are really well suited for events in private houses or galleries where they can easily blend into the decor.”
Showtech automates Australia’s Got Talent
Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Australia’s Got Talent is an Australian reality television talent show based on the Got Talent series format that originated in the United Kingdom with Simon Cowell. The Australian production is produced by Freemantle Media for the 7 network and has become one of the leading rating variety shows.
Showtech Australia is working on the sixth season of AGT which is filmed at the Dockland Studios in Melbourne.
For this season Showtech is providing the automation system for the entire series. This consists of differing winches and other equipment from the hire stock held in Showtech’s Melbourne base and controlled by a Stage Technologies console running eChameleon software. The winches will be used for flying aerial effects, specialist performances and stunts.
Australia’s Got Talent is a challenging show for the production team. The nature of the show is dynamic and very fluid on its content. With contestants being ‘voted’ each week the requirements of the following weeks shoot can be very unpredictable. With the use of the BT200 & BT280 winches, it has enabled Showtech to change creative requests faster than ever before. The performers constantly reworking their routines as they get closer to the finals often means changing the winching programme minutes before rehearsals and even the live shoot. This in the past was not possible in similar time frames.
“With the Stage Technologies winches & software, we are able to re plot the movements of the contestant’s performance to millimetre fraction of second accuracies and work with the directors to ensure optimum camera angle shots of the performances and lighting fx . . . The production company is constantly reworking schedules to optimise the shows shooting schedule which is also where the winches come into their own,” says director of Showtech Tiny Good.
Victorian Opera find grandMA2 an absolute fairy tale
Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
In late January Victorian Opera presented a new production of Cinderella, a traditional pantomime for the whole family and a glorious way to introduce children to the wondrous world of theatre and music. Based on the fable, Cinderella’s adventures were given a special treatment by Victorian Opera Music Director Richard Gill, who has written both the story and songs.
This production saw pantomime return to the beautiful surrounds of Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne renewing a much-loved tradition. Cinderella featured a stellar lineup of artists from Victorian Opera and the world of music theatre.
Lighting designer for the production was Richard Vabre with Resolution X supplying the equipment. This production gave Victorian Opera’s head electrician and programmer Peter Darby an opportunity to spec a grandMA 2 control package.
“The grandMA2 light is a fantastic console to program with” exclaimed Peter. “We got some fantastic support from Show Technology. I love the MA2 console as it’s so flexible and so, so powerful. We had a primary grandMA2 light with another as a slave. That way I could program with the secondary grandMA2 light in the stalls with the primary console in place doing all the processing – the networking side of the MA consoles is one of its most brilliant features.”
Peter particularly likes the flexibility of the grandMA2 light, how you can configure it exactly how you like it.
“The grandMA2 has a much more integrated and powerful effects engine behind it compared to the original grandMA console,” he said. “Another great feature is the built-in colour pickers which I find the designers love. At one point we were running two grandMA2 light consoles, a laptop running MA onPC and another computer running the grandMA 3D visualizer. We built the whole show and plotted it with grandMA 3D at Res X’s warehouse as we knew we’d have a very limited bump in time”
The show utilized twenty-two Martin TW1 tungsten fixtures which Peter reveals are a staple fixture for the Victorian Opera.
“I have them on most shows that we do as they are quiet and designers seem to love them,” he said. “We also had some Martin MAC700 profiles for effect lighting and specials.”
One of the most important scenes is when the pumpkin transforms into a carriage and to hide the change, eleven Geni Point Strobes were attached around the proscenium, along with some Molefay Duets, to temporarily dazzle the audience. A Martin Atomic Strobe built into the carriage also added to the effect which took place in billowing smoke supplied by a JEM ZR33 smoke machine.
“Haze was supplied by four Look Solutions Unique 2 hazers that are great because they are reasonably quiet and create a really nice level of haze,” remarked Peter.
“All of our lights are from Resolution X who are amazing,” Peter added. “They really are terrific to work with.”
Victorian Opera’s next production will be the new Australian work ‘Midnight Son’ which will be on from 16th May at the Malthouse Theatre.
Utopia goes laser crazy
Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012
Saturday May 5th marked the 35th Utopia dance event in Sydney with Utopia Music Festival 2012 at Sydney Showground.
In keeping with the brief, BLM Production Services returned to the “Old Skool” look with lots of scaffold and plenty of laser.
Across two stages were:
12 x Design Spot 300 Pro
12 x XLED390
14 x Scan575XT
24 x LED PAR64
12 x 54w LED OptiPAR
2 x Design 400
8 x Atomic Strobe
4 x 1.4w Green Laser
8 x 750mW Green Laser
2 x 4w Colour Laser
2 x 2.5w Colour Laser
4 x Antari Fazer
4 x FT1500 Fogger
2 x HZ500 Hazer
2 x WholeHog III
2 x W-DMX Wireless DMX systems
Main Stage Lasers were controlled by Pangolin Quickshow
2nd Stage Lasers were controlled by DMX
Showtech on stage at the Logies
Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012
The TV Week Logie Awards are the Australian television industry awards, which have been presented annually since 1959.
The 54th Annual TV Week Logie Awards were held at the Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne, and was televised Australia wide on the Nine Network.
Performers at the event included British-Irish boy band One Direction, Flo Rida, Tony Bennett and the The Voice mentors, Seal and Delta Goodrem.
Showtech Australia provided all the rigging services for the broadcast and had the opportunity to use its BT280, BT200 winches and Nomad Control Consol that set a new benchmark for scenery mechanics at the Logies.
With six winches in total, four BT280 and two BT200 the set design called for six panels on three tracks to move throughout the evening to create many different looks for different segments of the production. 4 900 Kg LED video wall panels and 2 200 Kg scenic walls where used on the tracks.
“The Nomad system allowed for various set up and configurations of the LED screens, cascading splits, cannon reveals and staggered placements,” says Showtech Austalia director Tiny Good. “Positions were often called, and changed by the show’s director in live time, which were easy to load into the Nomad controller. Advantages of the automated system were the precision, timing and complexity of stage effects, accurate repeatability and quick set up and out times. Not comparable to manual set ups.”
Rohan Thornton, the show’s technical and lighting director was very specific that the system must provide a smooth, coordinated and organic motion and be safe and reliable. The stage is always ‘live’ during the evening and the cream of the Australian industry watching all of the action both on air and in the room during the breaks, with all scene and talent changes and resets done often unrehearsed and with the system in motion. The crew and system performed flawlessly.
Jands Vista V2 Never Did Me Any Harm
Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Never Did Me Any Harm is a new dance theatre work by award-winning director and choreographer Kate Champion (Not in a Million Years, The Age I’m In), exploring the complexities of contemporary family life. It is a co-production between Sydney Theatre Company and Force Majeure.
Force Majeure is known for making work that transforms the familiar and domestic into the poetic. Drawing inspiration from Christos Tsiolkas’ bestselling novel The Slap, Champion and her company interviewed people of all ages and backgrounds for their opinions on what makes a good parent.
Using a distinctive language of dance and text, Force Majeure and Sydney Theatre Company give full dramatic voice to these real life stories. In an unsettling yet familiar Aussie backyard, the fears of parents are danced, voiced and unraveled.
Set and lighting designer Geoff Cobham collaborated with Chris Petridis, video designer and assistant lighting designer, on the project. A PC running Jands Vista v2 software with a Vista M1 wingboard was used to operate the show.
“Essentially I built the video system which included a Catalyst media server running ArtNet so that was an exciting factor in using the Vista for control,” Chris commented. “I find that the Vista is very compatible with ArtNet and networking.”
The production utilised five standard projectors plus a digital moving head projector so Chris was running two complete media server systems as well as a normal lighting rig. The Vista is the only console that lets you build your lighting designs visually. Lighting is more of an art than science, so, rather than asking you to interpret your visual concepts into strings of commands and type them in, the Vista draws them for you, as you select fixtures, and apply settings using Vista’s graphical user interface.
“Geoff and I are similar in our artistic approach to lighting and consequently we really favour the Vista because it’s very intuitive in creating the desired stage looks,” explained Chris. “Other consoles can be all about numbers. With the Vista, instead of having to think about what you’re trying to create in a
mathematical manner you can think about it in an artistic way. That’s the greatest thing about Vista and that comes across in the programming of it using features like the colour picker and having all the gobos visible when you’re loading and programming them.”
Like modern video and audio software, the Vista displays your designs as a series of ‘events’ laid out across the screen over time. This ‘timeline’ approach means that you can see everything that’s happening in relation to time: when lights come on, when they go off, when they change colour, when they move. Chris is partial to Vista’s timeline particularly as it uses the same shortcut keyboard commands as a PC or Mac.
“It makes it so simple to move attributes between cues,” he added. “Rather than having to constantly think about tracking and how to pull attributes out of certain cues to move them, you can just click on the attribute and cut and paste as you would with any other software. Just the other day I showed this feature to another lighting designer and he was blown away by it. Being able to scrub the timeline is handy – you can move to the point where you want a new attribute to start fading and just drag the attribute to that point. That’s fantastic.”
The Vista’s interface makes patching a breeze. You just pick the light you want from a list, type the quantity you want, then drag it over to the DMX universe screen. All done! The Vista also includes an extensive fixture library including profiles for the world’s most popular and less well-known lights.
“I find the patching on a Vista to be incredibly simple and I like having the visual 512 channel universe and being able to move stuff around that way is really great,” added Chris. “I like that you can have all the windows pop out and put them on a second monitor, it’s so nice having a large visual display of what you’re using.”
Never Did Me Any Harm will be playing at the Melbourne Festival later in the year.
Resolution X at Planetshakers Conference 2012
Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012
For the second year running Resolution X has provided lighting and rigging for the Planetshakers Faith Conference. The Planetshakers City Church took over the Hisense Arena for this four day conference and featured acts for all ages. Lighting Design was again taken care of by Paul Collison (Eleven Design) and Dan Cornwell (Planetshakers). The successful conference for Planetshakers was one of the largest single gigs ResX has ever taken on and was installed in under 36 hours. Thanks must go to Chameleon for their assistance with sub-hired kit.
116 x Martin MAC 101s
26 x Martin MAC 700 washes
16 x Martin MAC TW1s
24 x Martin Atomic strobes
40 x Clay Paky Alpha 1500 Profiles
44 x Clay Paky Sharpies
6 x Vari*Lite VL500 80v
48 x LED Fusion Bars
48 x new DMX Blinder Bars
33 x Selecon Pacific Profiles
100+ x Chain Motors
Over 650 metres of trussing
All running through a Grand MA 2 with NPUs.
Out of this 400+ fixture rig only three units needed to be swapped out which is testament to ResX’s attention to detail and quality of prep by the team.
All Photos courtesy of Kane Meade
Total Carnage Fight Night
Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
The ultimate fight event – Total Carnage – showcasing the hard-knocks of traditional Muay Thai & Kickboxing, brought the world best modern-day gladiators to the Gold Coast on Saturday 7th April.
The Gold Coast convention & Exhibition Centre was transformed into the ultimate ‘Battledome’ for that night, combining ringside and grandstand seating. The Cross Promotions International together with Clifton Productions and Jupiters Hotel & Casino created a world-class boxing production, the best Australia has seen to date.
Clifton Productions supplied all lighting and visual technology for the event. The big VuePix M10 series screen was flown in centre of the main stage. Three smaller screens were flown up above the boxing ring, offering all the boxing fans in house detailed picture of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes happening in the ring.
The lighting rig featured 6 extra punchy Robin 600E Beams placed on the main stage, 28 of Robin 700E Spots and 28 Robin 600 LEDWashes used for lighting both fights in the ring and side show on the stage. The lighting design of the whole event was created by Michael Parson with Matt Hansen operating the lights during the night.
This ferocious battle of the world’s hardest fighters was broadcasted by Fox Sports TV.
The Highlight of the evening was local Nathan ‘Carnage’ Corbett, the nine times World Champion Martial Arts Artist, defending his title against Stephane Susperrequi from France. Fighting for his fans on home soil, Corbett won on points after a heavyweight fight and proved to be the best WKN no 1 Champion.
Clay Paky Alpha Beams enter the Main Arena at The Sydney Royal Easter Show
Posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012
As in previous years, Paul Collison is lighting the Main Arena Spectacular at the Sydney Royal Easter Show however this year he has a new and powerful weapon in his arsenal in the form of the Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700 which he describes in one word – awesome!
The stadium is in the process of being renovated and unfortunately the new lighting positions that Paul had been hoping to use this year were not ready. Consequently he has had to make do with the old five positions of previous years plus a couple of lighting towers.
Paul is using the same amount of Martin MAC2000 Washes as last year and he admits that they are only just enough to cover the field adequately.
“Our biggest restriction has always been weight so we’ve only ever been able to hang enough lights to acceptably cover the field,” he remarked. “But by adding Clay Paky Alpha Beams not only have I got a really cool beam effect to throw around the ring, throw the frost in and they actually supplement the wash on the field. So I actually now get more light in the centre of the field than I ever have before and we haven’t even started utilising the new lighting positions. That’s been really exciting, to grab a fixture like the Clay Paky Alpha Beam and have it actually contribute to the wash rather than just add another flavour.”
Lighting is supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
MA onPC command wing makes its debut at the Easter Show
Posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012
Paul Collison is using the new MA onPC command wing to control the lighting of the Main Arena Spectacular at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show. Designed as the perfect hardware expansion to the grandMA2 onPC software, the MA onPC command wing enables the look and feel of the software to be as close to a real grandMA2 console as possible.
“I was really keen to give it a go and on this show it controls ten universes of moving lights,” he commented. “It allows you to have hard buttons, knobs and faders to control grandMA2 onPC software which is basically grandMA on your computer. Now, rather than having a large console in the control room I’ve got the compact onPC wing.”
Wherever it is physically difficult to use a grandMA2 console, the MA onPC command wing, in conjunction with the grandMA2 onPC software, enables the customer to program or playback within the grandMA2 world.
Paul used a MA2 light to program the show, switching to the MA onPC command wing for replay.
“It’s not too dissimilar to using an actual console and I was surprised at how easily I took to it,” he said. “All of the buttons are in the same arrangement as the console and the six faders are more than enough for a cue to cue show. I also have two touch screens hanging off my computer. Using the MA onPC command wing hasn’t compromised what I have to do at all in fact I’m very happy with it.”
The MA onPC command wing paves the way for mobile use of the highly flexible and powerful grandMA2 control system. In combination with the free of charge grandMA2 onPC software, the MA onPC command wing is a portable 2,048 parameter control solution that can be used nearly in any location – and all for an affordable price.
“The MA onPC command wing is very cool and I think that it will be a fantastic tool for the touring lighting designer who goes from show to show never quite sure of what console they’re going to get,” Paul added. “It gives you the ability to use what is probably the best lighting control platform that there is in an affordable package. Plus you can take it as hand luggage.”
Thanks to the MA onPC command wing – incorporating the command section of the grandMA2 consoles – it has never been easier to use the grandMA2 onPC software. With a simple USB connection between the MA onPC command wing and the computer running the grandMA2 onPC software, all inputs and outputs of a grandMA2 console are available to the user. DMX, Midi, Timecode and Analogue Remote are all on hand directly at the MA onPC command wing.
Little Shop of Horrors at The King School
Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2012
BLM Production Services has just completed a very successful season of Little Shop of Horrors at The King’s School Theatre in North Parramatta.
Directed by Michael Terzo, Little Shop was the King’s and Tara schools’ first major venture into the world of production technology, allowing students an opportunity to get up close and personal with moving lights, lasers and special effects usually only seen in major professional productions with big budgets.
BLM’s Theatre Lighting Designer Steve Furzey spec’d 56 moving lights including Elation Design Spot 575E, Design Spot 300 Pro, Robe Scan575XT, Spot575AT Zoom, Wash575AT and PR XLED390 LED moving wash. A combination of Light Emotion LED OptiPARs, Elation Design Strip 60 and BLM Pixel bars provided back and Cyc lighting. Conventionals included 16 x Selecon Pacific Profile, 10 x 1kW Fresnel, 12 x PAR64MFL and 2 x Selecon Pacific Zoom follow spots. Special effects are were in the form of 4 x 1.4w BLM green Lasers, 3 x Antari Fazers, 2 Antari Ice Foggers and an Antari HZ500 Hazer.
Lighting Control was via Light Factory PC with programming and playback wings and an Entec Datagate MkII. Laser Control is via Pangolin Quickshow with 2 x FB3’s.
Photography by Peter Hoyle
Evanescence get ethereal with Clay Paky Sharpys
Posted on Friday, March 30th, 2012
Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures are making their mark on the Evanescence Tour, the world tour by American rock band Evanescence in support of their eponymous third album. After a successful start to the tour in the US last year, the band, with frontwoman Amy Lee, is currently playing to packed houses in Australia.
Lighting designer Dan Hardiman of UK-based THC Design is using more than a dozen Sharpys as part of the upstage floor lights. He positions them in pairs on draped cases and utilizes them for aerial lighting effects and to back light the band.
“Amy Lee is very creative; it’s great to work with an artist who wants to be involved in all the creative aspects of a live show,” says Hardiman. The music has strong contrasting elements: Amy’s soaring angelic vocals, the crunchy guitars, the haunting piano sections, the ethereal orchestral accents. So it’s important that the light show reflect the juxtaposition between them.”
He reports that, “all elements of the lighting design have been chosen for their impact and compact stage footprint. Downstage on the floor are several vertical auto-truss towers full of wash lights for my side wash. Upstage are several five-foot towers with wash lights to back light the band. Between these are pairs of Sharpies for aerial effects and low beams. The roof is a standard rock ’n roll layered truss rig with PARs, ACLs, moving lights, blinders and strobes.”
Hardiman notes that the rig has had several incarnations, depending on the type of venue from stadiums and arenas to more intimate theaters and clubs. He boosts the number of Sharpy floor lights if the stage is bigger than 50 feet wide.
The core element of the show, he says, is the back lit backdrop, which was adapted from Amy Lee’s idea of recreating the album artwork: the band’s name with lights coming from behind it. Hardiman figured out how to achieve this with soft goods and a huge gobo of the band’s logo. The band does not like strong key light and is kept fairly moody, a look that Hardiman balances with intensive moving light effects.
Hardiman was introduced to Clay Paky Sharpys last summer on the Goo Goo Dolls USA shed tour when he chose them as a lightweight fixture whose beam he could see in daylight. “I had 17 of them around a motion-controlled horseshoe truss,” he recalls. “I fell in love with them, as did everyone who saw them. We did a few indoor shows, and their brightness, movement, speed and colour temperature made them stand out from the rest of the rig. They held their own happily against 1200W fixtures and greater. There’s no other fixture that offers a similar impact with such a compact size and weight and low power.”
Having had a positive experience with them on the Goo Goo Dolls tour, Hardiman says, “the Sharpys were the obvious choice for me to use on Evanescence as the floor-beam fixture.”
During last summer’s Goo Goo Dolls tour only one Sharpy required servicing in six weeks, he notes. They are performing great on Evanescence. We have a 100 percent success rate currently.”
The rig in Australia is supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.
Photos: Troy Constable
Vari*Lites Dominate The Touring Circuit
Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Only a couple of months into the New Year and there have already been many high profile tours on the road with Philips VARI*LITES………
Ronan Keating toured with thirty-two VL3000 Spots and twenty-seven VL3500 Wash supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems. Lighting designer Neil Trenell used a simple three truss rig designed to cater for a wide variety of venues from state theatres to arenas in Australia and New Zealand and to make load in and out easy due to several back to back shows.
“The VL3500 Washes are great – very, very bright and deliver a great beam effect that compliments the other lights in the rig,” commented Neil. “The VL3000 Spots are just a really nice light and you get a great gobo out of them, they’re ideal for the theatre environment that we’re trying to create.”
Eight VL3000 Spots were situated on the floor, the back truss held a further seven plus eight VL3500 Washes, the mid truss held eight VL3000 Spots and seven VL3500 Washes whilst the front truss housed eight VL3500 Washes and seven VL3000 Spots.
The Vari-Lites are ideal for this type of application – very nice in the theatre environment,” added Neil. “The quality of the Chameleon Vari-Lites was great, they’re well looked after.”
Roxette’s lighting designer Calle Brattberg is using VL3000’s on their current Australian tour and he had the following to say – “The reliability and accuracy of the VL3000 Spot’s optics and zoom are ideal for achieving the diversity of moods the Roxette set demands. The ability to rotate a gobo smoothly, really slowly or zoom out to max and maintain the same focus are some of my favourite features. I‘ve always found the luminaires to be reliable with consistently uniform output, even across a large number of fixtures.”
Roger Waters bought his Wall to Australia in a show originally designed by Marc Brickman with lighting director Mark “Sparky” Risk on the tour. PRG supplied the tour with the circular screen above the stage rimmed with twenty-four Philips VARI*LITE VL3000 Spots and twelve VLX Wash units used across the stage floor. Eighteen VL3500 Wash units are used on six vertical torms stage left and right.
“The sidelight torm lighting is my signature,” says Brickman. “It creates a dimensional palette to get lines of light in a horizontal way like cutting with a knife. People look beautiful in that lighting.”
Rod Stewart’s lighting designer Mark Payne has been using VL3000 and VL3500 fixtures for years and the recent Australian tour was no exception with twenty-two VL3000 Spot, twenty-five VL3500 Washes and eight VL6c in the rig supplied by PRG.
“The quality of the beam across all the lamps is really important for me,” said Mark. “I rarely use smoke or haze so evenness of field on edge and focus across lamps is important. The new VL3500WASH lights are great.”
For the current Rod Stewart tour the VARI*LITE’s are distributed fairly evenly across the rig although Mark likes to rig in odd number groups such as three’s or five’s.
“I have eight VL6 fixtures on the set,” began Mark. “I often use the smaller lamps on, in or around sets; their size is the most important thing rather than features. I do use other brands mostly due to availability or budget, but given the choice VARI*LITE’s are my light of choice for arena shows.”
Taylor Swift kicked-off her “Speak Now” tour in Australia this month with a lighting design by Baz Halpin who once again relies heavily on the VARI*LITE VL3000 Spot and VL3500 Spot luminaires.
“They way I like to create my looks is to put fixtures in places that create beautiful pictures, and the VARI*LITE VL3000 Spot and VL3500 Spot luminaires are staples in my designs,” he said. “I can literally put them anywhere to use as a key light, a front truss light, a wash light, a side light, or for an aerial beam light. They are definitely the workhorses of my shows because of their versatility and reliability. While some fixtures may give you one great look, the Series 3000 fixtures give you many.”
The rig was supplied by PRG.
Photography: Troy Constable
Martin LC Panels and MAC101’s wow at the Mardi Gras
Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2012
This year’s Mardi Gras party was bigger, sparklier and more fabulous than ever and with Kylie Minogue as the main act tickets sold out in no time at all. Held after the Parade, the ten hour party spanned five huge venues with Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter transformed into a theme park entitled Mardigrasland.
The Royal Hall of Industries was the main venue and it was here that Kylie performed in the wee hours of the morning to a crowd of 15,000 devoted party goers.
Lighting designer Richard Neville, a director of Mandylights, wanted to get away from the traditional stage set up of a set build and do something a bit cooler opting for thirty-two Martin LC Panels.
“As the LC Panels are so lightweight we could over-rig them and under-rig them easily on the automated truss,” explained Richard. “The LC Panels are bold, bright, fairly cheap and easy to set up.”
Together with the automated trussing, the LC Panels were able to change the physical set up of the stage whilst the media content magically transformed the look.
“We didn’t want a straight forward, solid video screen preferring something a bit more creative,” remarked Richard. “Mandylights made custom media content for the entire night taking inspiration from Kylie’s tribal theme for her performance and a big geometric techno backing for Sneaky Sound System. We wanted to do content that people hadn’t seen before and obviously with Kylie there’s a pretty high standard of production, so we were keen to impress.”
With ten hours of partying to cater to, the LC Panels with their unique video content were able to constantly provide the venue with new looks. The moving trusses were not used until Kylie came onstage.
Twenty Martin MAC301 LED wash lights were situated on PRG’s hexapods hung over the audience and Richard was blown away by their performance.
“It’s the first time that I’ve used LED wash lights in a party situation and the MAC301’s were incredible,” he said. “They are just so bright! We ran them at about 50% for the shows when they were being used for stage lighting and then at 60% for the dance party part of the night. They’re really punchy and the colours are very bold and good for dance parties. The pods that they were on were on Kinesys so they could come down to about three metres above people’s heads and up to nine metres.”
Richard used a MA Lighting grandMA for control.
Lighting Designer: Richard Neville
Lighting Operators: Richard Neville, Alex Grierson, Clint Dulieu, Nick Craven
Video Content Producers: Mandylights
Party Producer: Brad Wright
Lighting Supplier: PRG Australia
ETC Desire XT LED Fixture Helping Sunrise In Antarctica
Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2012
Rain, snow, ice and heat are no match for the ETC Desire™ XT LED fixtures – or so the marketing says. Paul Slater, director of Channel 7’s popular breakfast show, Sunrise, decided to put this to the ultimate test by taking one with him to Antarctica!
“It was the first time an Australian television program had done a live, broadcast quality transmission from Antarctica,” explained Paul.
Fortunately the lighting team at Channel 7 had an ETC Desire™ XT LED fixture on order to replace a broken HMI fixture and they took delivery of it the day before departing for Antarctica.
“It’s an all encompassing, weather-proof light that enables us to dial in different colour temperatures, whether it’s daylight or tungsten lighting,” remarked Paul. “You also have full dim control; to have all those features in a light without the need for a ballast is really handy.
The XT luminaires were designed for permanent outdoor use in a variety of climates and weather conditions and can be used safely in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 40°.
“The fact that it is 100% weatherproof is a big plus for all of the outdoor shooting we do when traveling and shooting for Sunrise,” said Paul. “Antarctica is a pretty extreme place and it was good to know we wouldn’t have to worry about the fixture.”
The ETC Desire™ XT LED fixture has an IP66 rating which means that the XT fixtures’ enclosures have no ingress of dust, completely protect their electrical components from water, and are undamaged by the formation of ice.
“Although most of the time when we do outdoor broadcasts we have plenty of power, it’s still handy to have a fixture that is LED and requires less power draw than conventional fixtures,” noted Paul. “You never know when you’ll be broadcasting from the bush using a small generator!”
During its few days in unrelenting cold and snow of the Antarctic, the ETC Desire™ XT LED fixture constantly produced bright, clean light without taking on moisture or corroding.
“The ETC Desire™ XT LED delivered a lot of punch which is exactly what I needed down there,” added Paul. “The shots looked great and I’ve had nothing but positive feedback about the broadcast.”
So go ahead and use the XT fixtures wherever you need spectacular, all-weather lighting. And rest easy, knowing the lights will keep running no matter what Mother Nature can throw at them.
Clay Paky Sharpys add to Australia Day Celebrations
Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
Sydney’s Darling Harbour was the centre of attention in January with the Australia Day Spectacular celebrations taking place against a glittering harbour backdrop. Thousands of spectators flocked to the Darling Harbour precinct to celebrate with the day culminating in a highly choreographed spectacle of lights, lasers, fire and water with a stunning crescendo of fireworks.
Production and lighting designer for the event was Paul Collison who opted to use twenty-four Clay Paky Sharpy moving beam lights which have an unprecedented brightness usually achievable only with far greater wattages.
“The Sharpys were awesome because they are so small yet so bright,” commented Paul. “I know everyone goes on and on about it but they really are just the coolest thing.”
This year’s celebrations saw the focus drawn to a barge in the middle of the harbour onto which was placed a cylindrical LED screen and some towers.
“The creative concept was to recreate a small city,” added Paul. “We didn’t want to dump a small screen in the middle of the bay. We came up with the concept of a cylindrical screen with towers around it to give the illusion of a cityscape. This meant that we could stagger the height of the Sharpys from the barge to the centre tower that reached twenty-three metres. It gave me a great expanse of height to play with so it became less about the searchlight effect of the fixtures as we could play with the vertical plane as well which is really cool.”
Paul admits that he could not have done this show without the Sharpys as large searchlights on top of the tower on a barge would just have been unmanageable.
“Using the Sharpys meant that the boys could actually rig the vision – its one thing to have the creative vision but it’s another to actually implement it!” he remarked. “The Sharpys performed flawlessly with their famous Clay Paky reliability. I find that searchlights tend to generate too much heat and thus often fault.”
However it wasn’t just the beams that Paul liked as he noted that the Sharpys gave great beam effects like a traditional searchlight, but being able to add texture to that beam and also use the fixtures like a profile light increased their appeal.
“I could point them at the audience and rotate a texture through the prism and create effects that are usually reserved for traditional profile fixtures. It would be hard to go back to a searchlight fixture again after this!”
Despite the fact that the Clay Paky Sharpys are an indoor fixture Paul had no problem installing them outdoors even though Sydney is experiencing its wettest summer in decades. Paul placed each Sharpy in a protective Pro Shop Air Base which provided amazing weather protection.
The Sharpy is an 189W moving head fixture which only weighs 16 kg and produces a sharply defined beam, free of any halo or discoloration around the edges. It offers an interchangeable colour wheel with foruteen fixed colours and an interchangeable gobo wheel with seventeen fixed gobos, allowing users to change the shape of the beam and create an array of mid-air effects. Sharpy can perform rapid and extensive pan-and-tilt movements.
Photos copyright Mark Bedson
Executive Producer: Andrew Walsh
Production Designer: Paul Collison (lighting design and video content)
Technical Director: Nick Eltis
Production Managers: Ian Baldwin, Ian Anderson
Lighting supplier: Chameleon Touring Systems
Pro Shop Air Bases save the day – Australia Day that is!
Posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Darling Harbour’s Australia Day Spectacular is quite simply the biggest event on the NSW Australia Day calendar. It includes addresses from the NSW Premier and the Governor, boat parades, a live concert featuring the original music of Nigel Westlake played by the Sydney Youth Orchestra, a multimedia symphony of light, sound and music and a breathtaking finale of fireworks.
Unfortunately Sydney has been experiencing the wettest summer since the 1950’s and outdoor events have been hard hit by the cruel weather gods. And sure enough the days leading up to Australia Day and even the morning of the event saw bucket loads of rain lash the city.
So why was lighting designer Paul Collison not in the least bit concerned about using moving lights that had a negligible IP rating, outdoors on a barge in the middle of a harbour?
Fortunately Paul had several Pro Shop Air Bases which are strong, clear plastic covers that provide temporary weather protection for lighting fixtures and have proven to be this summer’s must have piece of gear for hire departments!
“The Air Bases meant that we could run the show in the rain using indoor fixtures in a completely inhospitable environment!” remarked Paul. “Really the Air Bases saved the day. It’s ridiculous that such a mundane piece of kit is so integral to a production! The Air Bases meant that the show could go on rain, hail or fire! Obviously it was important to us that the fixtures were protected but it was just as important that we could still do the show no matter what the weather threw at us. The Air Bases also saved us many man hours waterproofing fixtures before and after programming – we could just switch off and go home.”
Darren McLanders, Show Technology’s General Manager, put in a lot of R&D time into testing the transmission of the plastic to make sure that the moving lights would not burn holes into the plastic and therefore run the risk of them being damaged due to a collapsed dome.
“I would never place any fixture out in the rain again without an Air Base,” stated Paul. “They really make a huge difference.”
Photos copyright Mark Bedson
Executive Producer: Andrew Walsh
Production Designer: Paul Collison (lighting design and video content)
Technical Director: Nick Eltis
Production Managers: Ian Baldwin, Ian Anderson
Lighting supplier: Chameleon Touring Systems
ArKaos tours with Cold Chisel
Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012
Cold Chisel, the Iconic Australian band toured Australia and New Zealand at the end of 2011 with their biggest Australian Tour to date “Light The Nitro”.
The immensely popular 10 weeks tour saw the first shows sell out and extra dates were added because of the demand. Shows varied from Circus Tents, Outdoor Stadiums to Large Arenas. This was also the first time the band used video as a part of their show.
Leading Australian Lighting designer Francesco Calvi used ArKaos Media Software to achieve his great creative visual show. Calvi comments: “ArKaos Media Master was the perfect tool for me on this tour. It proved to be the right choice, particular in the pre-production stage. Being able to quickly change and manipulate media while the band discussed their thoughts greatly the aided the whole creative process. It also gave added confidence to the production.”
Each show was similar in most aspects, screens sizes and lighting changed to suit each venue. Media master made this process easy. “One part of the show involved me going out to the audience and taking photos for the show that became a photo montage for one of the songs”, explains Calvi. “I had made a template up and loaded the photos in each night with audience already in their seats (approx. 60 photos). I had to be confident that it would work each night, as there was no time to preview on the main screen. This was a very popular part of the show.”
Two Media Masters were used for the show. The main machine was located at the back of the stage for the video director. Calvi ran a second machine at FOH that replicated the main machine. This gave him the HUD at FOH, which was also used as a backup machine. Both machines ran exactly the same media library. Media varied from stills, layered images and full movies. The main machine was a custom PC (i7) running windows 7, with the backup machine been a Quad Core Mac. Both machines were fitted with Solid State Drives.
Calvi was really happy with the performance of ArKaos. “Ten weeks around Australia and Media Master worked very hard and didn’t miss a beat for the whole tour”, he says. “Big Thanks to Marco and the whole ArKaos team for all their support and great products”.
Celebration time: grandMA2 joins Australia Day
Posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
Celebrated annually on 26th January Australia Day (previously known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day, and ANA Day) is the official national day of Australia. The date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of New Holland. Community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies accompany the day in large and small communities and cities around the nation. A special event is always the celebrations in Sydney – like this year in the city’s Darling Harbour.
For the show taking place there lighting designer and video content producer Paul Collison again relied on MA Lighting products. In detail he used 2 x grandMA2 light and 1 x MA NPU (Network Processing Unit) as well as the grandMA2 3D software for previsualisation.
Said Collison: “We had to build an iconic display in the middle of the Darling Harbour bay and needed a concept that could entertain an audience with a specatular show to end the day. Our control room was some 250m away from the barge on which the display was built. We ran fibre for all services through the air to the edge of the bay, from there, the fibre dropped to the bottom of the bay and ran out to the barge. Needing a fully redundant system, we had the means to run the show from the main control room, or from the barge itself.”
“grandMA2 was the appropriate control system to use on this project”, commented Collison. “I could program in 3D using grandMA3D and had the rock solid network of grandMA2 for the show. Furthermore I had my main and back-up consoles in the control room and additionally an MA NPU and a grandMA2 onPC system on the barge in the middle of the bay. If there would have been a problem with the fibre, we could still have run the show locally from the barge. All in all, it was a lighting, video, fireworks and laser spectacular. A 26 minute sound track all linked together via SMPTE Timecode to culminate in the day’s festivities.”
Andrew Walsh worked as producer, Nick Eltis as technical director and Ian Baldwin as well as Ian Anderson as production manager. Chameleon Touring Systems delivered the lighting equipment. Show Technology is MA Lighting’s distributor in Australia.
Photos – Copyright: markbedson.com