Saturday Showdown for grandMA3
Wednesday, 27 July 2022
saturday-showdownThe show was recorded at Urban Brew Studio 10 in Johannesburg, and produced by Red Pepper Productions (photo: Annie Goetzsche)
South Africa - Lighting designer Ryan Lombard decided that South Africa’s newest DSTV games show The Saturday Showdown was prime time for him to make the switch to an all grandMA3 – hardware and software – solution to run lighting and video graphical content!
The show was recorded at Urban Brew Studio 10 in Johannesburg, and produced by Red Pepper Productions for broadcaster Mzansi Magic, and designed as an action-packed sport-themed entertainment game show to keep fans enthralled on Saturday nights while the Local and Premier Leagues take their break.
Ryan specified a grandMA3 light as the main console for graphics and lighting, coupled with grandMA3 onPC running on a dedicated computer on the network accessed via a grandMA3 onPC command wing which was used to trigger all the reactive LX and AV cues as different sections of the games were played.
Two MA Network Switches and one grandMA3 processing unit were also part of the package delivered by lighting and LED vendor, Blond Productions, creating a complete grandMA3 system.
In the Showdown five teams faced off in the knock-out competition, competing in five rounds of games that tested both their general knowledge and physical coordination.
The set – designed by Michael Gill Designs and built by SDS – was divided into two areas, the Arena or Field, where the action took place, and the commentator / studio setup where the competitors were also seated for the relevant segments.
Fifty-two moving lights were on the rig and used for effects and precision lighting around and the Field with 60 x Sceptron LED pixel battens (and their own controller) utilised as set eye candy also being run from the grandMA3.
Substantial quantities of LED strip were part of the set ‘practicals’ as well and there were 62 LED fixtures for set specials, keys and arena lights with another 120 x LED PARs for ‘stadium lights’, up lighters, and truss warmers – an eclectic mix which were skilfully combined to produce a slick and stylish look.
Eight individual video feeds controlling digital content appearing on the multiple LED surfaces around the studio were received from a Hippotizer Boreal+ Mk 2 media server into the grandMA3 system.
“I thought this was an ideal scenario to make the transition to grandMA3 and stay current and using the latest and most powerful control technology,” commented Ryan who was very keen to see the grandMA3’s capabilities, having been an MA advocate, user, and programmer for many years.
Ryan tapped into multiple systems for this show running a multi-user session for the main lighting console and the games console, together with MA-Net3 for the lights plus Art-Net and HippoNet for the media server to access and control the graphical systems.
The support from local MA distributor DWR was “brilliant as always” confirmed Ryan. It was their expertise and experience that assisted him in such an accelerated learning process and getting competent on the console very quickly, after just one day of training with DWR’s Jaques Pretorius and Bruce Riley.

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