Chauvet Ovations light Wildwood Grove Tree
Tuesday, 3 March 2020
dolly-chauvetA collection of 650 pixel mapped and illuminated butterflies animate the venerable tree’s branches
USA - A majestic ‘magical’ 50ft tree is at the heart of the Wildwood Grove Tree Experience, a multi-media creation from LifeFormations and The Imagination House at Dollywood in the The Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.
A collection of 650 pixel-mapped and illuminated butterflies controlled by Weigel software animate the 50ft wide expanse of the venerable tree’s branches, while music by Mike Avila and an alluring story narrated by the park’s cofounder, Dolly Parton, add to the enchantment. Accentuating the entire scene is a vividly coloured Susan Rose lighting design that features 16 Chauvet Professional Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidal fixtures supplied by Bandit Lites.
Deftly mixing colours, light angles and slightly off focus gobo patterns, Rose creates a captivating vista that adds depth to the tree and its rocky surroundings, giving them a dreamy edge that conveys endless possibilities. Her lighting seamlessly changes colours, intensity levels, and orientation during the show to create a flowing stream of engaging looks.
“Lighting gives an extra dimension to the impact of the Wildwood Grove Tree Experience,” said Rose. “The layers of colour and shadows that we create help make the tree pop and gave people another level to engage with the show.”
Key to helping Rose create these looks are the Ovation E-910FC fixtures, she hung four apiece on four poles located 50 to 75ft from the tree. Using lens that range from 14 to 19 degrees, she relies on the RGBA-Lime ellipsoidals to hit the tree with a wide range of coloured light from different angles.
“My Ovations are constantly on at varying intensities and colours throughout the experience,” said Rose. “In between the experience shows, I leave the Ovation fixtures on to create a static look. I love the intensity and optics of these fixtures. They are definitely bright enough for long throws, and they create a spectacular base layer of colours.”
Drawing on the colour and gobo rendering capabilities of the Ovation units, Rose uses the fixtures to create distinct looks on different parts of the tree area. “The gobos from the Ovation fixtures are focused on the rock base and tree trunk,” she says. “I frame them meticulously around each to achieve isolated colour on the trunk independent of the rock. The optics of the fixtures are great. They allow me to achieve the sharpness of light and out of focus gobos that I wanted.”
The Wildwood Grove Tree Experience story tells the tale of a lost little girl who, separated from her family while exploring the mountains, is drawn to the tree by the lighted butterflies.
(Jim Evans)

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