Australian co's put on biggest ever MAC show
"We are very excited to be associated with such a high profile event and to work with such talented people," said Emmanuel Ziino, MD of Show Technology. "Show Technology's vision statement is 'Lighting Solutions with Imagination' and it was a thrill to have had the opportunity to prove it."
The Commonwealth production team boasted a wealth of industry experts, many with experience from the Athens and Sydney Olympics and Rugby World Cup. Lighting design was by Mark Hammer with Paul Collison as associate LD and programmer. Others included Rohan Thornton, LD (Broadcast); Philip Lethlean, LD (Yarra River); Nick Eltis, technical director; and Philby Lewis, production manager; among others. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were produced by Jack Morton Worldwide with executive production and creative direction by Andrew Walsh.
"Having to put together a lighting spec we wanted to come up with fixtures that would cut in a large arena," said associate LD Paul Collison. "At times we're trying to project at 100-140m, so choosing those kinds of fixtures it was pretty obvious where we had to head. The MAC 2000 Wash did such a sterling job on the Athens Olympic Opening and we had used it previously on the Rugby World Cup in 2003, so we went in knowing exactly what we were getting. It then turned into more of a question of what kind of numbers we could get a hold of in this country."
Those numbers turned out to be 314 MAC 2000 Profiles, 352 MAC 2000 Washes and 100 MAC 2000 Performances used in the stadium with an additional 46 MAC 500 profile spots, 40 MAC 2000 Profiles and 16 MAC 600 washlights located just outside the stadium at the Yarra River. Other Martin effects included 12 Atomic 3000 strobes and six Cyclo 03 fluorescent luminaires. Atmospheric effects were from seven Jem ZR33 Hi-Mass foggers and four Jem Glaciator X-Streams. Essentially the same rig was used for both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
"Having so many of the same fixtures from the same manufacturer and series was very beneficial," comments Technical Director for the Games, Nick Eltis. "We went to Denmark for a few days and went through the set-up and brainstormed any problems that might occur, but we never had to deal with any. The support of the manufacturer combined with knowing that the fixtures were reliable was great."
The two hour Opening Ceremony at the MCG on 15 March was attended by 81,000 spectators, with millions more watching across the globe. The parade included 4,500 athletes from 71 countries with a theme focused on Australia's cultural heritage. LD Mark Hammer's lighting brief came from producers Jack Morton with vision input from creative director Andrew Walsh and other ideas contributed from various segment directors. Lighting needs were twofold: to address the big picture - with a focus on TV lighting - while not losing sight of the details. "Everything comes and goes from what they call the 'million dollar shot,'" Mark explains, "that TV shot that works on an aerial where you can see the whole stadium, a media look that encompasses the audience, the main feature, pyro, etc. For some of the sequences we would start with the main look, or work into it and then out of it again.
"I used appropriate colours and lighting for the different segments and areas, whether it was a nighttime look, daytime look, indigenous segme