Elation sets the scene on Pat McGann special
Thursday, 27 August 2020
pat-mcgannphoto-by-andris-kasparovics77Pat McGann is a fast rising stand-up comedian from Chicago (photo: Andris Kasparovics)
USA - As a light-hearted escape from the tribulations that mark everyday life at present, online comedy shows are experiencing a resurgence of popularity. Comedian Pat McGann’s recently released special, Sebastian Maniscalco Presents Pat McGann: When’s Mom Gonna Be Home? is testament to that upsurge with large viewer numbers since premiering on streaming services at the end of July.
Pat McGann is a fast rising stand-up comedian from Chicago whose sarcastic charm and wit have endeared him to fans across North America. In his first Comedy Dynamics original special, McGann offers his take on family life and marriage. Shot last September at the 1000-seat Vic Theatre in Chicago, Andris Kasparovics lit two sold-out evenings using a combination of Elation Artiste Van Gogh and Elation Dartz 360 LED luminaires.
Head of creative and principal designer for Sight Unseen Studios, Kasparovics has been doing shows with Comedy Dynamics since 2012. For the Pat McGann special, he worked with Chicago-based production company JRLX to secure the Elation fixtures and was one of the first to get his hands on the Artiste Van Gogh. “I have known Jason Reberski at JRLX for years; this was a great opportunity to finally work with him on his own turf in Chicago,” Kasparovics said. “Knowing that he was a big supplier of Elation gear, I wanted to try out a couple of the new products so both he and my Elation rep Jean Lariviere were super helpful in getting me the Artiste Van Gogh ahead of their production run.”
Kasparovics explains that he has been aiming to get away from the traditional practice of using followspots as key lighting on stand-up comedy specials, a method that goes way back to the early days of stand up. “It’s a good traditional look for live shows but TV is much less forgiving, and you need a precision that takes extra time we often do not have,” he says. “Frequently we shoot in venues that do not have ideal spot positions, stage depth, or other physical constraints that make it difficult to implement a followspot correctly. What I like to do then is to use a static key lighting position that allows for the most flexibility.”
Working with lighting programmer Robb Jibson, Kasparovics was able to use the Artiste Van Gogh wash luminaires to get a nice even wash across the stage. “As a moving head wash fixture for camera, I really was impressed how consistent they appeared between fixtures; they all blended really well and the color temperature was dead on,” he states.
Another fixture the LD says he wanted to find a project for, especially a television show, was the Dartz 360 LED beam/spot moving head. “As a visual effect, I like using multiples of the same fixture type in an array or grouping to get a fuller aerial look,” the designer shares. “What I really liked about the Dartz was that they were so bright for an LED fixture, so small, and have a beautiful range of colors you can mix and modulate. The low power consumption and tiny size also made it really easy to use as many as we wanted.”
Kasparovics placed 18 Dartz lined against the upstage scenic wall to project aerial beams over the comedian, a cohesive look that made for a beautiful backdrop during his set. “Having the compact package so you can put a lot of them on stage in view and not be in the way visually was nice,” he said.
The Sebastian Maniscalco Presents Pat McGann: When’s Mom Gonna Be Home? comedy special can be viewed on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Dish, DirecTV, ITunes and many other streaming services.

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