Lighting companies support Backstage Academy students

Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Lighting companies support Backstage Academy studentsThere are 52 students currently studying the training academy's16-month Foundation Degree in Live Events Production (photo: Nick Robinson)
UK - Students at Wakefield's Backstage Academy have gained hands-on experience with a variety of today's lighting technology thanks to the growing support from lighting professionals, manufacturers and rental companies.

There are 52 students currently studying the training academy's16-month Foundation Degree in Live Events Production, which was independently written in collaboration with industry practitioners, (validated by The University of Bolton) and places emphasis on practical experience.

The month-long Lighting Module teaches students about the theory and art of lighting, basic lighting design principles for different types of event, lighting equipment and systems, visualization and pre-programming, and includes WYSIWYG certification.

For the second annual degree course, Backstage Academy received more support from lighting manufacturers, resellers and rental companies, who carried out training sessions, masterclasses and loaned equipment for the final project in the module, where students set up four different types of lighting rigs in the LS-Live Studio, where studies and work experience take place.

Avolites and A.C. Entertainment Technology offered training sessions to the students for the second year running. Avolites' Emma Thompson spent a few days teaching groups of students how to use the Avolites Titan software and also provided an Expert Touch and Avo Power Cube for the duration of the module.

Said student Jason Fox, "I really liked using the Avolites Titan system. Most lighting consoles have so many options that it's like a science project, but the Avolites system is easy to adapt to and understand. There is a great visualiser that shows you exactly what you're doing when blending colours and experimenting. I went on to use the Avolites Titan system at Crooked Ways festival during some work experience so it's the one I've used the most!"

Emma Thompson, training manager at Avolites, commented, "It was good to return to Backstage Academy, as it's key that the students have access to industry standard equipment during their time learning. It was an intense week for the students, having four lighting consoles to learn in four days, but they did really well and effortlessly grasped the Avolites Titan system."

A.C. Entertainment Technologies returned to deliver their training sessions on the Jands Vista lighting and media control range. Students were trained on the Vista v2 software, which is standard across all Vista hardware models, using a collection of Vista S1 control surfaces connected to a PC or Mac. The technology reseller left some Robe moving lights and a suite of Vista consoles, including the flagship all-in-one Vista L5 console, for the students to create one of the rigs in the Studio at the end of the module.

Ambersphere's Phil Norfolk spent a day talking to the students about the evolution of moving light and ran a masterclass on lighting fixtures using Clay Paky products. These were then used by the students to design, programme and operate a lighting rig for the final project. Phil's colleague Chris West provided console training looking at the grandMA and allowed the students to keep a MA Command Wing to experiment with throughout the Module.

Ultimate Lights worked with the Academy once again to sponsor two of the mains stages for the end of the Lighting Module, providing a pre-rig Par Can rig with moving lights to give the students an understanding of a generic, heavy lighting rig.

Ultimate Lights also sponsors Rock 4 Youth, a project managed by the Barakel Charitable Trust that aims to provide hands-on experience and opportunities for young people in backstage, sound, lighting and video.

Through this initiative, the company arranged for two Backstage Academy students to do work experience at the Battle of the Bands final of Rock 4 Youth at Doncaster Dome, and at New Wine which took place at Newark County Show Ground, where they installed 13 stages

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