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Astera supports Anzac Day commemorations
Lighting designer Brenton Slattery from Scene Change Brisbane chose Astera AX1 and Titan Tube wireless battery-powered LED fixtures to create a light sculpture and messaging for the 2020 Anzac Day commemorations. The sign spelt out “LEST WE FORGET” in bold, bright, positive letters and was highly visible on the waterside lawn at Howard Smith Wharfs in the Queensland state capital.
Scene Change has an in-house inventory of sound, lighting and audio kit including the 48 x Astera AX1s which were used for this installation. The additional seven Astera LED fixtures needed to make up the lettering were Titan Tubes supplied by Astera’s Australian distributor, the ULA Group.
For this installation, the Astera fixtures were rigged to a metal frame which was built from a combination of trussing pieces, scaffolding elements, custom stands, and cross pipes plus some ratchet strap technology. Seven beam type moving lights were positioned behind the completed Astera sign to provide effects and background lighting.
All the AX1s and Titan Tubes were run wirelessly, and Slattery programmed all the lights including the Astera sign via a GrandMA2 light console. A 2-minute pre-programmed show ran every half hour between 9 p.m. and midnight the evening before 25th April which is officially Anzac Day. In between each show, the Tubes returned to a static amber colour and stayed that way until 6.30 a.m. on Anzac Day itself.
The sign could be seen from vantage points all over the city and along the river. To ensure the Astera installation kept running through the night, Slattery pre-set the fixtures to the 20-hour battery period. The end of the installation coincided with ‘Light Up The Dawn’ - an initiative started by the Australian veterans organisation RSL - which saw hundreds of thousands of Australians nationwide joining together and lighting candles at 6 a.m. on Anzac Day in a show of solidarity. This year, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, this had additional resonance.
Slattery worked closely with Adam Tetro, Scene Change’s operations manager on the event planning and logistics, which included designing the sign framework and working out the hanging angles and techniques for the 55 tubes.
(Photos: Matt Van Dalen)
Marc Janowitz chooses Elation for Jimmy O. Yang stand-up comedy special
Lighting designer Marc Janowitz has lit comedian Jimmy O. Yang’s debut stand-up comedy special on Amazon Prime - ‘Jimmy O. Yang: Good Deal’ - using Elation Rayzor 760 and Fuze Z350 LED wash lights. The special was recorded last fall at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle and aired in early May 2020 on Amazon’s paid subscription service.
“When lighting a comedy special, there is typically an intro look with a bit of fanfare as the comedian walks on stage,” says Janowitz, “but then that settles into a look that stays for the rest of the show. It’s a different way of thinking about lights. You study a bunch of different features of a light simply so you can find the one feature that makes it on camera as opposed to finding a light that has a lot of features because you need a multitude of flexibility.”
Janowitz, chief designer at lighting and production design firm E26Design, worked closely with the Jimmy O. Yang creative team that included producers Comedy Dynamics, director Marcus Raboy, production designer Tom Lenz and director of photography Dylan Sanford. Design for the special had started last August with the comedian heavily involved in establishing what kind of aesthetic he wanted.
Already in the house rig at the Neptune Theatre as part of the overhead lighting package were Elation Fuze Wash Z350 single source par moving heads. Janowitz had ten of the units on two overhead electrics at his disposal. Featuring prominently in the many camera angles were 24 Rayzor 760 LED washes, placed on the deck and on booms both downstage and upstage. In keeping with the linear theme, each boom-positioned Rayzor had a single line of pixels running across its face.
BG Event selects Martin Audio MLA for arena shows in Budapest
Magdolna Ruzsa Band recently played two concerts at the 12,500-capacity Papp László Budapest Sportarena through a Martin Audio MLA PA, supplied by their Hungarian partner BG Event.
BG Event used a total of 46 MLA cabinets, and four MLD Downfill enclosures as main PA and side hangs. They also provided monitors. “This is a difficult venue compared to an average arena in Europe due to its larger size,” says BG Event’s Balázs Szentiványi. “It measures 120 meters across by just around 80 meters deep.”
“Moreover it ends in smooth flat vertical concrete surface and a huge glass sided room for the follow spots,” Szentiványi continues. “There is a significant slap back with delay coming from there - and there is also a VIP section at the end of the venue high up above last seats.” BG Event’s FOH engineer Gabor Bacskay-Mazsi and system engineer Marci Mezei jointly evolved the set-up for this particular arena show.
Behind the main left PA there was an MLX sub array rigged as well. Contrary to the electronically delayed sub layouts it was in phase in the full venue and also delivered sufficient volume. In addition to the MLA consignment, the 22 x MLX subwoofers were designed to provide the LF presence, with 10 boxes rigged on the left flank and the remainder on the ground in 2 x 3 end-fire setup.
A further 36 MLA Compact cabinets were deployed as two delay lines, and near fills. For control they used Martin Audio’s proprietary Merlin processors and new DX 4.0, as well as a Lake LM44 to optimise the system.
(Photos: Armin Toth & Bence Szentivanyi)
SSLRent converts lighting design for BMW event with Chauvet
Frank Appeltans and his team at SSLRent lit a product introduction event for the BMW 2 Gran Coupé at the showroom of Belgian automobile dealer BMW Beliën Neerpelt. Using six Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, positioned on overhead truss, Appeltans bathed the vehicles in blues and reds.
Four Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures, hung on the same overhead truss structure as the Rogue units, was used to draw attention to the vehicle by providing special effects and gobo patterns. The 440 W moving LED fixtures created a ring of light around the BMW 2 Gran Coupé. The Mavericks worked in conjunction with a “curtain” of laser light. A small dark space between the lasers and the vehicle set the car further apart from its surroundings.
The vehicle itself was located on an elevated platform in the middle of the dealership building. To add an extra dimension to the exhibit, Appeltans positioned Chauvet DJ Freedom Par Quad4 uplights below the platform and matched this light with low lying red fog that was itself coordinated with the wash light. “Our idea was to make the car look like it was behind ‘bars’, as if it were something you can’t touch yet,” says Appeltans.
GLX lights Eden Project red with Chauvet
GLX Productions has used a collection of Chauvet Professional Colorado Q40 LED panels to create a glow throughout the biomes of Cornwall, UK’s Eden Project as part of ‘Light It In Red’, a national initiative aimed at drawing attention to the severe challenges faced by the entertainment and event industry in the UK and the entire world.
The vivid red hues that shimmered through the hexagonal cladding panels of the biomes, not only raised awareness of the situation faced by the 25,000 businesses and 500,000 people of the nation’s entertainment and event industry, it also let them know that they are not alone.
“Our industry faces a dire state of affairs,” says Glenn Gridley of GLX Productions. “We know events and venues cannot safely take place for now and we as an industry are in need of support in the interim. Whilst the governments arts sector support is wholeheartedly welcome, there will be people and businesses forgotten. This cannot be allowed to happen.”
“We got involved with ‘Light It In Red’ after having a few conversations with Steven from Clearsound Productions before it went live,” adds Zak Nicholson of GLX. “We spoke about potential dates and looked at which other light ups were taking place.”
Lighting the Eden Project seemed like a natural choice for GLX Productions, which has worked closely with the venue in the past on a variety of programs, including its 2019 Christmas show. This summer, with its usual series of events canceled due to Covid-19, the facility was available to be part of ‘Light It In Red’.
The design team used 36 Colorado Q40 panels at the Eden Project, with 20 of the RGBW fixtures lighting the Rainforest Biome and 16 in the Mediterranean Biome. Suspended from the roof top gantries of the biomes, the fixtures filled the domed space with light, creating a red lantern effect.
Corona: BH Audio turns to D&B for special Ravenna Festival edition
Ravenna Festival which is in its 31st edition, is a summer festival held in the city of Ravenna, Italy, and the surrounding area. The festival began on June 21st and will continue until July 30th but this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions it looks far different to previous years.
For the organizers, cancelling the festival was never an option, instead new programs were put in place. “This is our most important festival yet, people in Italy and around the world have been waiting months to experience the joy of live music,” comments Giulia Artemisia Nicosia from BH Audio, who supplied the audio system for the festival.
This year, a large part of the program is taking place in the open air of the Brancaleone Fortress in the center of Ravenna. From here some 300 people can enjoy the shows live. For those who miss out of these coveted seats, almost all of the concerts will be streamed online. For the audience, as well as the performers, temperature checks and masks are in full effect.
“One of the main challenges for the orchestra was the distance between them, which of course has a huge impact on the sound,” explains Nicosia. “In order to combat this, we used the virtual acoustic shell with Soundscape to help the musicians hear to each other and simulate better acoustics on stage.”
Two D&B DS100 processors with the D&B Soundscape software plus over 60 D&B loudspeakers are being used for the live concert: one for the audience and one to create the “virtual acoustic shell” for the musicians. A third DS100 is being used for the streaming service, to create an enhanced mix for the stereo stream. En-Scene is utilized to virtually position the objects in the stereo mix, while En-Space simulates the 360° loudspeakers at the venue to create the “concert hall acoustics” through an ambisonic plugin.
(Photo: Silvia Lelli)
Maxx and Hildebrandt create looks for Volkswagen branding event with Chauvet
Volkswagen’s new showroom concept, as part of the company’s rebranding campaign, features an updated design rolled out at some 10,000 showrooms across the globe. Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, groups of invited dealers got to “test drive” the new retailing concept through Volkswagen Brand Experience Days, an event involving 50 nations, where guests could get a first-hand look at a real replica of a new store.
Accenting the aesthetic features of the showroom concept was a lighting design by Markus Axmann of Maxx Lichtdesign, who used a collection of Chauvet Professional Ovation and Colorado fixtures supplied by Hildebrandt Veranstaltungstechnik, which was entrusted with the overall technical implementation.
“Brightness and color temperature were extremely important in reflecting the new design concept,” says Martin Hildebrandt, CEO of Hildebrandt Veranstaltungstechnik. “The show was hosted by many different speakers every day and we had little time for rehearsals. It became clear that the whole light operation had to be done with cues inside a PowerPoint presentation connected with a timecode programmed show.” Team members included Torsten Bauschke who was responsible for static analysis and CAD drawings.
The rig featured 22 Ovation F-915VW Fresnels, 12 Ovation E-930VW ellipsoidals and 28 Colorado Panel Q40 rectangular wash fixtures. Fields of white light from the Ovation units highlighted the automobiles on display, helping them stand out from their backgrounds, while at the same time integrating them visually into their environment. Balancing this effect were the color washes from the RGBW Colorado fixtures. At the start of each show, the excitement level was pumped up with a strobe display.
Adam King lights ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Mountview with Chauvet
Just before the Covid-lockdown put a temporary halt to live theatrical performances, Adam King lit a production of the Frank Loesser musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Mountview’s recently completed new location in Peckham, south London.
Helping him in this endeavor was a lighting kit that featured over 40 Chauvet Professional Ovation LED fixtures supplied by White Light. King was familiar with that kit, having been involved in the evaluation process that led to it being installed at the school.
Color changes were critical in aiding the transition from scene to scene. “Using LED fixtures allowed me to do smooth live color changes,” says King. Key to creating these colors were the 15 Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidal fixtures in the kit, most of which were placed head-high on booms with the remaining units located in FOH positions. The RGBA-Lime fixtures served as the main key light for actors’ faces, and were also used for texture and color on large group scenes.
Further contributing to the color-scape were Mountview’s 16 Ovation F-915FC Fresnels. These fixtures were placed in three different positions: nine used as overhead top lights, six arranged on ladders and serving as high side lights, and one located FOH to provide a full stage color wash for dance numbers.
Rounding out the Ovation fixtures in the kit were eight B-2805FC batten and two B-1965 Batten fixtures. “The B-2805FCs had two positions - the first was a bar flown right out almost to the grid to allow the units just to skim down the back wall,” explains King. “The second position was actually above the grid. We had scenes set in the sewers and I wanted to get an effect of light shining through grates so I rigged two units above the grid to achieve this. As for the B-1965 batten, they were on booms at stage level and used to get bold colors into the U.S. set items and create some fun shadows.”
“Programmer Alex McManus helped me get through hundreds of cues in a very limited amount of time,” continues King. “I also owe a great deal of thanks to the rest of the LX Team: Production Electrician Dan Foggo, LX Crew Josh Rooney-Walker, and Followspot Operators Conor Thornton and David Pughe, and of course the Mountview Production Arts staff team.”
Corona: Chauvet Colorado fixtures used for Keith Urban drive-in show
Social distancing - the concept was key to everyone behind Keith Urban’s Drive-In concert on May 14, 2020, not just for the Vanderbilt University Hospital medical heroes, in whose honor the event was held, but also for the team that created the stage setting for the one-hour show on short notice.
“The paramount thing about this gig for Keith and everyone else was being socially distant and as safe as possible,” says Brent Maxon, Urban’s Lighting Director. “Our goal was to involve the fewest people possible in setup, while still putting together a quality show for this very important audience of special guests.”
Maxon and the rest of the team began working on a plan to achieve this goal five days before the surprise show was scheduled to begin. “I was contacted by Chuck Hull, our tour manager, telling me that Keith wanted to get a ‘guerilla style’ show together to honor the hospital workers,” says Maxon. “We didn’t have much time, so Randy Gardner, our stage manager, and I headed over to Premier Global Productions and talked to Geddy (Anthony Kordyjaka) about securing a flatbed trailer for our stage, a generator, and a few lights to get things going.”
The rig featured 20 Chauvet Professional Colorado 2 Zoom fixtures. “We positioned the Colorado fixtures on six and eight-foot towers behind Keith and the band,” explains Maxon. “Keith loves the lighting to set a mood for a song, so having downstage color is super important. I’ve been using a temp fader for him to creep in some white just to make him pop a bit more for video purposes, or when he is soloing. Other than that, I just tried to vary the color schemes for the drive-in show. I had some color wipes, plus a few different dimmer effects up my sleeve. I ended up having to put the Colorados on an inhibitor because they were so bright and we had a camera going to the Drive-In. So, it was nice to be able to really kick up the levels towards the end of the show when it got into more high energy second set.”
The lighting on stage was coordinated with video images on the drive-in’s screen. Video content was played back on the crew’s own GX2c media server, with images captured by one Sony HXC-100 camera and two Panasonic AW-HE130k robo cams. Camera switching was directed by Simon Roberts.
In the end, the 200 invited medical hero guests who came to the Stardust Drive-In 40 miles outside Nashville enjoyed a well-deserved break from the stressful routines they have followed since the outbreak of the pandemic. They maintained social distancing taking in the sights and sounds from their vehicles, while sitting on hoods or the open beds of pickup trucks.
High-End-Systems-Scheinwerfer beleuchten Wale bei Trevor Noah
Beim Auftritt des US-Rappers Wale im New Yorker Produktionsstudio der TV-Sendung „Daily Show with Trevor Noah“ im Februar 2020 brachten Lichtdesigner George Gountas und Licht-Programmierer Ryan Phillips SolaPix-7- und SolaPix-19-Scheinwerfer von High End Systems zum Einsatz.
Beide Systeme wurden auf der Mittelbühne des „Comedy Central“-Studios verwendet. Das Team um Gountas positionierte die Scheinwerfer im Rücken der Wale-Backing-Band auf einem umgekehrten Goal Post Truss (ein Rohr, das sich von der Decke nach unten erstreckt).
Green-Go supports wrestling show in Zurich
Stagelight provided a Green-Go event comms solution as part of the full technical production package for a professional wrestling show at Zurich’s multi-purpose Hallenstadion earlier this year.
With the show production built around the central wrestling ring, Stagelight’s team designed a 360° sound system on a completely flown rig, with no ground support to block the all-important sightlines. With four followspot positions located high in the stands surrounding the ring, the intercom solution had to be distributed to the furthest reaches of the venue, via both wired and wireless beltpacks.
The system fielded by Stagelight was part of an investment with Green-Go’s Swiss distribution partner, Zap Audio. It consisted of one MCXD Multi-Channel Desk unit as a management station, with ten BPX wired beltpacks and seven WBPX wireless beltpacks, plus two wireless antennas to cover the site. In all, 19 users were connected to the system.
Stagelight’s Michael Dünki was responsible for the event’s technical coordination and comms. “Careful preparation - in labelling of beltpacks, readying settings within the software and planning cable runs in advance - saved valuable time on-site,” he says. “The ability to spot-check connections by trying them the day before the show gave us further confidence in the system.”
GLPs Fusion-Scheinwerfer beleuchten „Hercules“-Musical im Central Park
Lichtdesigner Tyler Micoleau hat für das Public-Works-Programm des New Yorker Public Theater das Musical „Hercules“ beleuchtet. Der gleichnamige Disney-Film wurde für diese Weltpremiere in Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Public Theater und Disney Theatrical Productions in ein Bühnen-Musical verwandelt.
Als Veranstaltungsort wurde das Delacorte Theater im New Yorker Central Park gewählt. Um das gewünschte Ergebnis zu erzielen, setzte Micoleau neben dem Standardmaterial des Repertoire-Theaters 34 Fusion-FP7-Par-Scheinwerfer und zwanzig Fusion-FS10-Sticks von GLP ein.
„Musicals sind nicht die typische Produktion im Delacorte Theater“, erklärt Micoleau. „Ich benötigte Ergänzungen zum Standardmaterial des eher geradlinigen Repertoire-Theaters, um die für das Musicaltheater typische Farbveränderung und Dynamik erzeugen zu können. In den letzten Jahren verwendete das Stadttheater einige farbveränderliche LED-Scheinwerfer und einen kleinen Bestand an Moving Lights, diese waren jedoch nicht wetterfest (IP65 oder besser).“
Alex Brandt (Leiter der Beleuchtung des Public Theater) und Micoleau untersuchten die zurzeit verfügbaren wetterfesten Scheinwerfer und entschieden sich letztlich für die GLP-Produkte. „Um die Leuchten auch dort in das Set zu integrieren, wo sie nicht abgedeckt werden können, war die IP-Schutzart entscheidend“, so Brandt.
Der Bühnenbau war eine aus Holz gebaute Nachbildung einer antiken griechischen Theaterruine. Sie war von den Werkzeugen und Materialien einer zeitgenössischen archäologischen Ausgrabung in Form eines Gerüstes umgeben.
Die Fusion Sticks wurden so in die metallischen Fachwerkkonstruktionen des Gerüstes integriert, dass durchgehende lineare Reihen an der Vorderseite entstanden. „Sie zeigten auf das Publikum und gaben mir eine Reihe von LED-Pixeln, die das Bühnenbild verbanden. Die Fusion Pars sorgten für Uplights an der Basis der sechs 8,5 m hohen griechischen Säulen“, so Micoleau.
Der Lichtdesigner setzte die Farbmischung des Scheinwerfers für schnelle Schnitte und Überblendungen ein. „Der Strahlengang des FP7 ist mit 6° ziemlich eng, daher war mir die Diffusorlinse für die Beleuchtung der Säulen wichtig“, erklärt er. „Wir haben das Rosco Opti-Sculpt eingesetzt und den Strahl auf ein Oval 40°/60° aufgeweitet.“
Die Fusion Sticks konnten wegen der Bühnenstruktur nicht als durchgehende, nahtlose Lichtbänder installiert werden. „Stattdessen mussten wir jeden Fusion Stick einzeln aufhängen, was die segmentierte Natur der Bühnenstruktur unterstrich. Wir entschieden uns dafür, keine Diffusorplatten zu verwenden, da die Linsen gerade über dem Publikum lagen und die LED-Pixel und 6°-Linien gut sichtbar waren.“ Chris McMeen von Christie Lites zeichnete für die Lieferung des Beleuchtungssystems verantwortlich.
(Photos: Joan Marcus & Cass Valentin)
Horizon 2020 Friday Night Party lit with Robe
Before the Coronavirus pandemic has sent most of the world into lockdown, Canberra, Australia-based technical production and event specialist and rental company Elite Event Technology ensured that Horizon 2020 - a Friday Night Party event that was part of the Australian National University Students’ Association’s annual Orientation Week activities - had lighting and sound for their main stage, including an all-Robe moving light rig.
Staged at the Fellows Oval sports ground on the University of Canberra campus in ACT, around 3000 students enjoyed a line-up of young emerging talent from some of Australia’s best ‘ones-to-watch’ music stars. Elite provided a D&B PA system for the event.
The lighting rig was based around a festival lighting spec created by headliner Club Sport’s LD Jake Ploss. Elite’s owner and house FOH sound engineer for the night, Darren Russell, took this as a starting point and - in consultation with Ploss - modified elements to make it practical for the event and to fit the 14-metre-wide truck stage.
The stage offered 6.5 metres of headroom to its structural gantry, below which Elite flew their four production trusses. Elite’s Blake Watkin operated lighting for all the other bands apart from Club Sport.
For the Friday Night Party, six BMFL WashBeams were on the most downstage truss and used for some subtle key lighting and specials. Sixteen BMFL Spots were distributed around the other trusses together with 16 of the 24 x Pointes, with the balance of Pointes on the floor. These other eight Pointes were part of Club Sport’s floor package and were wheeled onto stage on mobile tank trap bases together with some strobes. All the lights were controlled through the GrandMA2 light house console.
The stage was positioned and set up the day before the event - on the tarmacked end of the playing fields - so there was enough time to rig lighting and sound and for Blake Watkin to do some pre-programming the night before, getting some basic building blocks into the desk.
With no video elements, all the visuality of the performances was down to the lighting. The biggest challenge for Friday Night Party’s lighting was keeping enough smoke and haze in the stage area (which was open on both sides) to enhance beams and effects.
Elite Event Technology also provided all the stage risers and blackline for the concert, plus crowd barriers. Darren Russell and the team commissioned and ordered the generators and designed and supplied site-wide power distro infrastructure covering the stage and production plus the entire Fellows Oval field for the concessions.
(Photos: Louise Stickland)
Calibre equips Motu stand at NAMM show
To ensure they got noticed at the winter NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim earlier this year, Motu - an engineering-driven music technology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts who develop audio software and computer hardware peripherals for audio and video production - turned to Calibre.
“We had a theatre vibe to our booth using truss and scrim,” explains Motu marketing director Jim Cooper. “In previous years, we used projection against a wall - but it looked washed out. It was never enough contrast to look good. Plus it was cumbersome to set up and align. We tried upgrading the projector a number of times.”
“Then, at Prolight + Sound 2019, at the Calibre booth, I saw the Calibre AiO,” he continues. “The Calibre booth staff let us connect our laptop to the LEDFusion A130 AiO display, allowing us to see how Motu’s software would look at the AiO’s native resolution.”
Calibre’s Paul Wilson then supported Motu at NAMM. “I was able to get Motu up and running with the LEDFusion 130 so that they were able to connect their Mac Pro and laptops and start running through their presentations,” he says. “I was talking to Paul, and next year we’ll plan to use the 163-inch AiO screen to give us even more of a presence.”
Hippotizer used for Cyber-Gen ShockWave Tour
Hippotizer Media Servers were chosen to drive the visuals for the 2019 Cyber-Gen Shock Wave Tour. Featuring a line-up of Deutsch-rap and R&B artists signed to the Cyber-Gen music label, the tour played dates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Lighting designer Otto Schildknecht asked Emanuel Jörgner to programme and operate the show’s video and lighting elements. “Because we needed a high performance server, which would ensure all the live notch FX ran smoothly, we chose the Boreal+,” says Jörgner. “The other good reason for choosing the Boreal+ was the fact that we could deform the content with the FX library.”
The display setup consisted of a 8 m x 2.3 m, 16 mm pixel pitch LED wall positioned upstage, with alternative configurations for shows in the smaller venues on the tour. “Besides the LED wall, we integrated eight Astera AX-1 PixelTubes on each side of the screen,” explains Jörgner. “In special parts of the show we used the Hippotizer’s PixelMapper to map the video content to the PixelTubes.” Jörgner merged ArtNet data from both the Boreal+ unit and the lighting console to control the PixelTubes.
In addition, the stage set featured custom-made cubes of 4 mm pixel pitch LED panels. Each visible surface was mapped with a variety of video content and effects, while content was also fed to the top sides of the cubes for a complementary uplight effect.
The visual content consisted of a mix of music videos and individual clips provided by the artists. Both video and lighting were mostly triggered by SMPTE timecode. However, the Media Servers were connected separately from the lighting console, which Jörgner says was useful in enabling the flexibility required for such a video and light show, with both synchronous and independent elements.
(Photos: Rainer Clasani/Emanuel Jörgner)
D&B GSL Series on the road with Slipknot
Chase Usry, Systems Engineer for Eighth Day Sound, has been working on U.S. metal band Slipknot’s latest European tour. He explains that with such a loud heavy metal act, the low mid-range is critical for making the desired hard-hitting sound.
“Heavy metal needs to come out as a full sound that is aggressive and powerful, and if the sound system doesn’t have the lower region it will lack the proper feel and will turn into a mess fast,” says Usry. “To meet these demanding audio requirements, we decided to go with the GSL system from D&B Audiotechnik for our current leg of the tour.“
The GSL system is the biggest line array in the D&B SL-Series, specifically designed for large-scale sound reinforcement. Up to twenty-four GSL12 or GSL8 loudspeakers can be flown in vertical columns producing a 120° or 80° constant directivity dispersion pattern in the horizontal plane respectively.
The loudspeakers are driven actively by two channels of a D&B amplifier, one channel powering the L.F. drivers, the second channel powers all other components, these are passively crossed-over. Due to the arrangement of the front and side-firing L.F. drivers, accurate directivity control is maintained from 45 Hz to above 18 kHz.
The standard Slipknot sound system for this tour comprised of: Main - 14 GSL8 and 4 GSL12 per side; Side - 16 KSL8 per side; Flown Sub - 6 SL Sub per side; Ground Sub - 12 SL Sub; Front Fills - 8 Y10P; Center Fills - 2 V7P; Wedges - 10 M4s.
Bradley King lights ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ with Elation Artiste
The new production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at the Westside Theatre in New York City, which marked the musical’s return to Off-Broadway, opened at the venue’s 270-seat upstairs stage on October 17, 2019, and ran until mid-March 2020 when Broadway went dark due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
His first time working at the venue, two of lighting designer Bradley King’s principal luminaires used on the production came from Elation Professional’s Artiste series of theatrical-grade moving heads. “John Dunn (Elation National Sales Manager) gave me a demo of the Artiste Monet last spring,” King states. “At that point, the Monet was so new that we couldn’t quite get enough to fill out the needs of the show, so he offered the Picasso as a supplement.”
Located essentially FOH in the theatre’s overhead grid-system, King describes the positioning and role of the Artiste fixtures on the show: “The Monets work as monster pipe ends for our show deck’s apron, as well as low box-boom units that almost come in at head height. We also have a Monet at center FOH that operates mainly as a movable special. The Picassos are spread out a little more in concert with the Monets, mainly filling out crosslight and box boom system ideas.”
The designer adds that the theatre is too small for followspots, so there’s a position of five Picassos on a downstage FOH pipe that are constantly picking out actors “in a very followspot-y fashion.” The lighting was programmed by Grant Yeager, the Production Electrician was Tom Dyer.
(Photos: Emilio Madrid-Kuser)
Robe fixtures on tour with Véronic DiCaire
Montreal-based visual design practice Luz Studio, headed by Matthieu Larivée, created the production design at the core of French-Canadian singer and impressionist Véronic DiCaire’s current ‘Showgirl’ tour, which was launched in Canada in December 2019, then toured arenas in Europe, before the Coronavirus pandemic took hold and curtailed all live events until the curve is flattened.
The ‘Showgirl’ concept saw the artist delivering material written/performed by around 50 iconic female vocalists in their style and voices, backed by six dancers and four musicians. Larivée proposed an integrated set, lighting and video design which featured Robe moving lights at the center, with 28 x MegaPointes and 12 x Spiiders, plus six BMFL Blades and two BMFL Spots being used with a RoboSpot remote follow-spotting system.
The stage architecture was defined by five distinctive LED columns onstage, a central flat-plane LED surface flanked by four 3-sided columns with the four musicians in the middle, which allowed them to be concealed and revealed as desired.
Larivée worked closely with the artist herself and her creative team including show director Josée Fortier, choreography/stage director Geneviève Dorion-Coupal and artistic director Patricia Ruel. He also collaborated closely with Pierre Martinez (lighting director on the last tour) and asked him onboard again in the same role.
The basic starting point for lighting the show was the band on stage. Each musician was positioned on an 8 ft x 8 ft riser, which DiCaire wanted visible - or not - throughout the set, so the first task was integrating these risers slickly into the stage design. Utilizing blow-through screen with no PSU was the first phase of dealing with the “invisibility puzzle”. DiCaire’s mood boards for the show demanded graphic-style lighting, with LED appearing in dramatic bold strips at times, contrasted, combined and enrichened with matching lighting looks.
The MegaPointes were mainly positioned on the overhead rig in a V-shaped configuration, and on two vertically hung drop-bars either side of the center screen. They produced the desired looks either by pointing directly downwards or being zoomed out very wide to light the screen structures. No gobos were used, but the beams and colors were fully maximized.
Six of the 12 Spiiders lived on the most downstage overhead truss or LX fly bar, with 6 on the floor in the offstage footlights position for front lighting and washing across the stage in a range of colors. All six BMFL Blades were rigged on the downstage truss where they doubled for front lighting and could be swung round to illuminate the audience. The two BMFL Spots on the RoboSpot system were also on the front truss. Pierre Martinez ran the show lighting on a GrandMA console.
Some custom fixtures were added to help create specific effects, including wireless gloves with lights held by the dancers during the opening sequence. Matthieu Larivée also had some special 2-meter mappable LED tubes built which are fully seamless and were carried, lightsaber-style, by the dancers during one of the medleys. Lighting and video equipment for the tour was supplied worldwide by Solotech.
(Photos: Claude Dufresne)
High Output uses Hippotizer for Boston’s Shimmer winter party
Supplier High Output, Inc. recently chose a Hippotizer Karst+ Media Server to control the visuals for the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) 2020 winter party, Shimmer.
The event, themed on the early-2000s, showcased live fashion shoots, dance performances and a DJ set, as well as large-scale visual art installations in support of BCA’s artist residency programs. The artistic content was curated by visual artist and film-maker Ethan Vogt.
High Output’s Nick Venti, Video Lead for the event, was responsible for running and shaping the video content for the event, which featured an unusually-shaped vertical projection surface - an 8 ft (2.4 m) wide x 20 ft (6 m) tall screen which served as the backdrop to the 38 ft (11.6 m) long runway ran through the middle of the action in BCA’s Cyclorama venue.
Venti used the Hippotizer Karst+ Media Server to run stock digital gobo content, projected from a Barco F90-W13 projector onto the runway backdrop, overlaying the multicoloured lighting which played over the surface, to create an animated, ‘shimmering’ effect.
“I was only using one layer of content,” says Venti. “I used some of the Hippotizer’s geometry controls to size the content and I created a custom mask with Shape (a toolkit used for all aligning, warping, blending and masking tasks) to eliminate overshoot, which would have been impossible with the projector alone. We didn’t know what type of video content would be provided by the client, so the Hippotizer helped with quickly fitting the content to the unusual size of the banner.”
(Photo: Melissa Blackall)
Ken Billington selcts Vari-Lite VLZ for ‘Dreamgirls’
Broadway lighting designer Ken Billington included 66 of Vari-Lite’s LED-based VLZ fixtures in his lighting rig for the latest touring production of ‘Dreamgirls’, a show he first lit in 2008. “I needed to reproduce the lighting for this production, which was using the same scenery, costumes and direction as eleven years earlier,” Billington explains his selection of the VLZ fixture family. “Equipment has changed and what we used originally, VL2500 Wash, VL3000 Spot, VL3500 Spot and color scrollers are no longer available - and if they are, they’re old and unreliable.”
After seeing a demo of the fixture, Billington accepted the VLZs as the next generation fixtures that would bring the desired continuity to the new production. “The main challenge was to reproduce this show exactly as it had been done before,” he says.
In total Billington specified 32 VLZ Wash, 22 VLZ Spot and 12 VLZ Profile fixtures. “The VLZ package forms the entire overhead lighting rig for the show,” says his associate lighting designer, Ben Travis. “Back light, top light, pipe ends, specials - all VLZ. Then, conventional and LED ellipsoidals take care of side-light and front-light.”
(Photos: Tsuyoshi Toya/Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc.)
Glaubenskonferenz „Mehr 2020“ mit Equipment von Robe
Seit über zehn Jahren veranstaltet das Gebetshaus Augsburg die ökumenische Glaubenskonferenz „Mehr“. Die diesjährige Auflage fand vom 3. bis 6. Januar 2020 unter dem Motto „Colours of Hope“ in der Messe Augsburg statt. Neben rund 12.000 Besuchern nahmen mehr als 60.000 Zuschauer über den Livestream im Internet am Geschehen der „Mehr 2020“ teil.
Schwerpunkte des viertägigen Events waren Vorträge unterschiedlicher Referenten sowie Live-„Lobpreiszeiten“ mit verschiedenen Musikern und Bands. Daneben gab es eine Besuchermesse mit rund 150 Ausstellern, die sich auf zwei Messehallen verteilte.
Lichtdesigner Roni Huber kreierte gemeinsam mit dem Gebetshaus Augsburg das Set- und Lichtdesign der „Mehr 2020“. „Wir haben ein technisches Set-Design - das heißt, dass das Design mittels der LED-Wände und Scheinwerfer erzeugt wird“, so Huber.
Das Bühnendesign sah drei geometrische Dreiecks-Anordnungen ins Publikum vor. Mittig befand sich zum Publikum hin ein großes Dreieck, das rechts und links von kleineren dreieckigen Flügeln komplettiert wurde. Die Grundidee dahinter bildeten drei Vierecke, die in 45°-Anordnung verschachtelt waren. Daher zeigte die Bühnenkante drei Dreiecke.
Der Technische Dienstleister Kaiser Showtechnik brachte mehr als 500 Scheinwerfer zum Einsatz und stellte das Aufbaupersonal. Einen Großteil der eingesetzten Moving Lights auf der Bühne bildeten Geräte von Robe Lighting, darunter 53 x MegaPointe, 50 x Spiider, 76 x LEDBeam 150 und 2 x RoboSpot-Systeme, im Single Device Mode mit je einem BMFL FollowSpot LT. Zuständig für die LED- und Kameratechnik war der zweite Technische Dienstleister, 4media.biz.
Da es sich an den einzelnen Tagen um sehr lange Produktionsdauern handelte, wurde im 2-Schicht-Betrieb gearbeitet. Start war morgens um 7:30 Uhr und Ende im Schnitt um 23:30 Uhr - bei durchgängigem Programm, was für spontane Programmierungen und Proben zwischen den einzelnen Darbietungen keinen Raum ließ. Deshalb wurde die Show im Vorfeld via Capture visualisiert.
Die Traversen für die 30 m breite Bühne waren gleichmäßig und zweckmäßig dem 40 m breiten Set angepasst. Im Dach waren sie hierbei als gerade Strecken mit gleichmäßigen Abständen zu den LED-Decken und der Bühnengeometrie angeordnet. Weiterhin gab es drei gestufte Fronttraversen und Steher im Set. Ein Teil der Beleuchtung kam von der LED-Decke.
Die MegaPointe kamen als Spot- und Beam-Scheinwerfer zum Einsatz, da keine reinen Spots vorgesehen waren. Sie wurde als Floor-Beleuchtung hinter dem Center-LED-Frame so positioniert, dass sie von vorn nicht zu sehen waren. Eine weitere Gruppe MegaPointe hing in den vertikalen LED-Frames, die restlichen zwischen den LED-Frames in der Decke.
Die LEDBeam 150 waren auf zwei Ebenen an der dreiteiligen Fronttraverse installiert. Als Washlights setzte Roni Huber die Spiider ein, die teils auf und über der Bühne sowie auf den Publikumstraversen über der Tribüne positioniert waren.
Die via RoboSpot ferngesteuerten BMFL FollowSpot LT hingen in der ersten Publikumstraverse. Mit den beiden RoboSpot-Systemen konnten die beiden Follow-Operator vom Boden aus agieren und via Screen das Geschehen in Echtzeit im Blick behalten. Die Operatoren an den BaseStations regelten neben den eigentlichen Follow-Fahrten auch den Zoom. Für Dimmungseffekte und Farben waren die FollowSpots ins Netzwerk integriert, verbunden mit den 3 x GrandMA3 Full Size, die im 2er-Mode betrieben wurden.
(Fotos: Gebetshaus e.V./Roni Huber)
PWL lights WEGA Global Games opening ceremony in Doha
Painting with Light (PWL)’s creative director Luc Peumans was asked to design a lighting scheme for the opening ceremony (OC) of the first Qatar eSports WEGA Global Games. The OC event was staged in the Khalifa Stadium in Doha and attended by 14,000 eSports fans.
Show artistic director Steven Martin from The Cintamani Stone: Architect of Emotion (TCS-AOE) asked Peumans onboard for their pitch, and they were awarded the project by Doha-based event company The Planners LLC. The all-Belgium technical design and imagineering team also included OC technical director Ludo Vanstreels from Trimex.
Challenges for Peumans’ lighting design included the positioning of the stage in one section down the long end of the stadium, which meant that the whole lighting rig - and all other technical elements - had to be ground supported.
Integral to the winning pitch were projections mapped onto the stage floor and holographic images beamed on a special 30-metre-wide by 12-metre-high scrim - currently a trending aesthetic in the world of eSport tournament OCs. These had to be carefully ‘lit around’, combined with several flying and ground-based cast members and performers. Large amounts of video and LED screens to generally contend with were additional challenges for lighting.
Peumans’ design for the 25-minute show was based around seven 16-metre-high towers, three upstage and four downstage to the sides to provide a sense of depth and a basic structural framework around the 80-meter-wide oval-shaped performance space. These towers also served as lighting positions. Upstage was the 1000 plus square metre, 12-metre-high back video wall. The stage surface was mapped for projections and the holographic images were beamed onto special holo-scrims.
Peumans chose 100 Robe MegaPointes as his main effects lighting fixtures. These were distributed on different levels of all seven towers, as well as along the top edge of the video wall at the back and scattered on the stage deck, giving three layers of optical attack. This was needed to work with the combination of VR and cast, including the flying characters, dancers and holographic images all integrated in the collage of visuals. Peumans created a series of special looks with the MegaPointes to compliment the holographic characters.
Lighting was supplied - along with audio, LED screen, ground support trussing, vari-speed motors for performer flying, general rigging and trussing - by the Doha branch of MediaPro International who also built the stage. The stage was built by The Planners’ in-house decor team.
In addition to the MegaPointes, there were 60 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams, 36 x Cyclops LED washes, 50 x Claypaky Mythos and 42 CP Scenius Unicos which were used to highlight cast positions from the sides and for illuminating specific parts of the projection areas.
Much of the general lighting came from the sides as front lighting was minimal - just four fixtures - so not to spill onto the holo-scrims. Claypaky Stormy LED strobes plus beam lights and a variety of other available fixtures all added up to over 500 light sources. Programming was done by Peumans’ associate LD Raphael Demonthy and lighting programmer Sebastian Huwig on site, using GrandMA2 consoles.
Due to the short turnaround time, once the initial design proposals were accepted, Peumans WYSIWYG’d the stage and lighting in PWL’s studio in Genk, Belgium. A site visit was not possible for Peumans in the timeframe, however, Ludo Vanstreels, Steven Martin and Jo Pauly from Visual Solutions all visited, and Martin’s team produced a complete mock-up and storyboard of the show with soundtrack.
The video elements were assembled, coordinated and controlled by Jo Pauly, the video content was created by Pix & Real and Prismax. Music was compiled by Tino Plettinck with the support of Universal Production Music. A team of about 40 performing talents and five show runners were flown in with the TCS team.
(Photos: The Cintamani Stone: Architect of Emotion - TCS-AOE)
‘Amélie the Musical’ lit with Robe T1 Profiles
Elliot Griggs chose Robe’s T1 Profiles to provide major key lighting for ‘Amélie the Musical’, a new production first staged at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, UK, which then undertook a nationwide UK and Irish tour and afterwards played at The Other Palace in London.
Griggs was asked to light the show, directed by Michael Fentiman and based on the 2001 French art-house romantic comedy film ‘Amélie’. The T1 Profiles - used in addition to the touring lighting rigs at each venue on the tour - were supplied by theatrical rental company White Light, investing in their first T1s for this production.
They were used as front light and usually positioned on the front-of-circle bar. In most venues, this meant they would be right above and in close proximity to the audience, so silent running was essential.
Many scenes took place on the Paris Metro, so this required Griggs to create video style projection effects to simulate passing trains, and again the T1 provided a solution. “The look was achieved using the shuttering in conjunction with the animation wheel,” says Griggs.
The fixtures also had to create some authentic full stage projections. The lead character (played by French Canadian actress Audrey Brisson) wore a lot of red so Griggs crafted several lighting colour schemes to be monochrome-based allowing the costumes to pop.
Initially, there were more Robes on the design, but some re-engineering was required to fit the budget. Griggs programmed the lighting on an ETC Eos console at the Watermill.
(Photos: Pamela Raith)
Corona: Uebel & Gefährlich sorgt mit Chauvet für Clubatmosphäre im Wohnzimmer
Bereits Mitte März 2020 startete in Berlin das Projekt United We Stream. In Zusammenarbeit mit Arte Concert entstand der größte virtuelle Club der Welt, der die Atmosphäre der Nacht in die Wohnzimmer der Zuschauer bringen und die jeweiligen Clubs, Künstler und Veranstalter unterstützen soll.
Anfang April ging United We Stream Global an den Start, wo sich weitere Städte und Regionen Deutschlands und Europas anschließen, um auch außerhalb Berlins auf lokale Funding-Kampagnen hinzuweisen.
Den Anfang der Expansion machte der Hamburger Club Uebel & Gefährlich, den der bundesweite Shut Down der gegenwärtigen Clubkultur auch getroffen hat. „Wie viele andere in unserer Branche ist auch die Hamburger Club- und Veranstalterszene durch diese Situation in ihrer Existenz und Vielfalt bedroht“, sagt Melina Koliofotos vom Uebel & Gefährlich. „Um ein Club- und Kultursterben unbekannten Ausmaßes zu verhindern, müssen wir jetzt handeln.“
Deswegen startete das Clubkombinat Hamburg in Kooperation mit der Stiftung zur Stärkung privater Musikbühnen Hamburg (Clubstiftung) eine Spendenaktion, für die der Zusammenschluss mit der Initiative United We Stream aufmerksam machen soll. Weitere Aktionen sollen folgen, laut Aussage der Veranstalter hat sich ein großer Zusammenhalt zwischen Clubs und Künstlern ergeben.
Für den Stream brachte das Team unter Leitung der Lichtdesignerin Sylvia „Koyo“ Tara ein Setup aus Scheinwerfern von Chauvet Professional zum Einsatz. Ein großes kreuzähnliches Konstrukt schwebte während der Streams hinter den auftretenden DJs.
Realisiert wurde diese Formation mit insgesamt zwölf Fixtures aus der Épix-Strip-IP-Reihe, angesteuert vom hauseigenen VJ Mateo über die Videosoftware Resolume. Durch die unterschiedliche Positionierung konnten - je nach Content - verschiedene Effekte erzeugt werden. „Zwar sind sie fest verbaute Fixtures, in dieser Positionierung wirkten sie aber für den Zuschauer sehr flexibel und beweglich“, so Tara.
Bei der Grundidee sei es der in Hamburg beheimateten Lichtkünstlerin darum gegangen, die Größe des Uebel & Gefährlich im leeren Zustand zu inszenieren. Ein großer Smiley diente als alleiniger Gast. „Natürlich ist es im ersten Moment sehr ungewohnt, das Licht für einen ‚leeren Raum‘ zu konzipieren“, erklärt Tara. „Ich musste viel mehr darauf achten, dass die Lichtstimmungen auch von der Kamera eingefangen werden können. Dafür hatte ich immer den Vorschaumonitor im Blick, um selbst zu sehen, was die Kamera gerade sieht. Letztere sollte und durfte für mich nicht ins Schwarze schauen, was gerade in dieser Anwendung komisch klingt. Schließlich ist es bei Technopartys eher umgekehrt. Da gilt ja: ‚Schwarz ist auch eine Farbe‘.“
Neben den Épix Strips (8x Épix Strip IP, 4x Épix Strip IP 50) dienten zwei Rogue R3 Spots und sechs Rogue R1 Beams zur Ausleuchtung und dazu, die Atmosphäre zu setzen. Zwei Maverick MK Pyxis kamen während der insgesamt vierstündigen Show ebenfalls zum Einsatz wie ein Épix Drive 2000 IP.
(Fotos: Dennis Poser)
Green Hippo drives visuals for Spotify’s Who We Be Live
Green Hippo’s Hippotizer Media Servers were chosen by video director Jay Baker of Creative Video Design to drive the visuals for Spotify Presents: Who We Be Live 2019. Performed live at the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, the Spotify show was part of its series of events featuring the UK and Ireland’s leading Rap, Grime, R&B and Afrobeat line-ups.
Creative design and production was by UK marketing agency Amplify, working closely with event promoter SJM Concerts. Creative Video Design was brought into the project by Production Box, led by Mike Oates.
While the venue’s exterior was used as a projection surface on which lighting designer Jon Trincas created some suitably grungy looks, the stage set inside was designed with a grunge/grime warehouse theme. “Our main challenge,” Baker explains, “was to create multiple different looks for the many artists performing, including mapping their own 16:9 format content to screens that were in no way 16:9.”
Baker used Hippotizer Karst+ Media Servers, supplied by 80Six Ltd, as the main playback and backup devices, with timecode playback rig provided by SFL. Baker had real-time access to parameters via Green Hippo’s ZooKeeper interface from front-of-house. “Before the event, we also made use of the Hippotizer Prep dongle at our studio,” says Baker, “which enabled us to prepare the pixelmap setup before we arrived on site.”
For the performance, Baker and his Karst+ delivered visuals designed in-house by Creative Video Design, as well as stings and ident content from Amplify, onto LED screens consisting of ROE Visual’s CB3 and semi-transparent Vanish V8 screen modules, also from 80Six Ltd.
“We were adding texture to the show, with three large chevron screens onstage and a scattered pattern of individual panels on the upstage scaffold structure,” says Baker. “We also created Imag effects for the chevron screens using the Hippo’s Notch integration.”
(Photo: Jay Baker)