HES makes magic with Mindfreak in Vegas
Thursday, 18 April 2019
hes-crissangelsidelightshot-3Mindfreak runs for five years at Planet Hollywood Resort Casino
USA - Criss Angel’s Mindfreak at Planet Hollywood Resort Casino is a spectacle of sight and sound, featuring “mind-blowing illusions” in “the first immersive Las Vegas show”. As the creator, director and executive producer of the show, Angel spent years working on building a most technologically advanced show. For a production that’s running for at least five years, there can be no surprises when it comes to lighting - it has to be consistent.
That’s why lighting designer Josh Selander wanted to incorporate High End Systems’ line of LED automated luminaires and special effects into the more than 2,000 lights in the show. The rig contains 100 SolaHyBeam 1000s, 37 SolaHyBeam 2000s, and for special effects, 22 QUADs and 9 HEX, all supplied through Blue Planet Lighting in Las Vegas.
“Having an LED luminaire is important to help keep the show consistent and have the nightly production team worry less about the colour temperature, output or quality of light of a standard discharge lamp,” Selander says.
Says Angel, “Mindfreak undisputedly boasts the largest and most sophisticated lighting plot in theatre history and HES played an integral and competitive role - alongside the very best that lighting technology has to offer.”
“Having worked with Criss before, the LD understands how to light this all-new spectacle of 75 illusions and many special effects. To enhance that, Angel made it his goal for this production to be “the most immersive experience in Las Vegas – or the world, for that matter – with a lighting rig that would give us endless options.”
To supplement Angel’s massive personally-owned lighting inventory, Selander sought a fixture with a big beam and aperture, that was also quick and had shutters.
He found that with the SolaHyBeams - a hybrid wash, spot and animation fixture. He positioned the 37 SolaHyBeam 2000s mostly onstage, on over-stage trusses, ladders, towers and on the deck.
“The fat beams are ideal for visuals and accents throughout the show, especially considering the over half a billion pixels of video and projection content they shoot through,” Selander notes.
The additional 100 SolaHyBeam 1000 fixtures are on 300-foot “fingers” of LED video tile over the seats to make the audience a part of the show – not just spectators. “In some cases, these fixtures became key for front light; as Criss continued to add elements we had to alter positions I had originally intended to use for face lighting. Whether it was the 1000 or 2000, the SolaHyBeam proved to not only be a great beam but could also diffuse out to make a nice, even front wash.
“The QUADs are small, bright and fast,” he notes. “These fixtures can whip around faster than your eye can chase, which allowed us to make some club-style cues for a few moments.”
The show’s grand opening was in January, and it runs through 2023. Selander designed and programmed the show on an Eos TI console, operated by Brian Rush. Head electrician is Mike Pizzi. ETC lighting and automated rigging is found throughout the theatre and interactive lobby.
(Jim Evans)

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