On the slopes of Chamonix

France - Things do not always go as planned with outdoor affairs, and the Kandahar, Chamonix FIS World Ski Cup was no exception. Unseasonably warm weather caused the cancelation of the widely anticipated downhill competition that was scheduled to take place over the first two days of the three-day event.

However, not all was lost. Those who stayed for the entire three-days got to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this resort, located at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps. They also enjoyed a breathtaking bit of skiing history, at the La Verte des Houches slope, as Switzerland’s Daniel Yule became the first FIS Alpine skier ever to win a slalom race after staring out in 30th (last) position.

Another thing that generated excitement and raised spirits at this famed resort (the first Winter Olympics took place here in 1924), was the vivid and colourful lighting design throughout the space by Valentin Pariat.

Incorporating Chauvet Professional Maverick and STRIKE fixtures supplied by A+ Events into his creation, Pariat added an extra dash of colour, panache and style to the event.

Playing a key role in helping him work his magic were 10 Maverick Force S Spot projectors. Pariat flew six of the 350-watt moving fixtures in the air and positioned the remaining four units on the ground around the event’s stage. Relying on the Maverick’s seamless colour mixing, rapid movements, wide zoom range (4° to 43°), and custom gobos, he devised richly varied visuals that remained compelling throughout the event without the repetition of looks.

Pariat followed Kandahar, Chamonix’s basic colour scheme, while accenting different points in the event by changing the positioned and gobo projections of his Maverick Force S projectors. He used three different panels of Mavericks in the juggling-fire-acrobatic segments, one panel for the parade, one panel for the BIB presentations, and one for the jingle.

“As far as the Mavericks were concerned, the idea was to have machines that would allow me to do gobo dressing and tight-beam animation,” explained Pariat. “The Force S met our needs perfectly.”

Of particular interest to Pariat were the Maverick Force S Spot’s gobos, which were custom created by leading designers to expand their visual range. “The choice of gobos is interesting. I really liked the ‘Bar/G1’ and ‘Beam/G2’ gobos. The former enabled me to light with the two central machines of the counter pole the whole aisle that the competitors took in the middle of the pit to reach the stage.

“Playing with focus and zoom, I had a semblance of a cut-out area approximately 4m wide by 25m long!” continued Pariat. “The ‘Beam’ gobo, was very good for reducing the beam without losing intensity for my jingles.”

Also adding an extra element of dimensionality and intensity to Pariat’s design for the event were the eight STRIKE Array 2 blinders in his rig. He spread the high output units on either side of the proscenium/catwalk to cover its face in light.

Pariat credits Magali Chevalier of the Club des Sports de Chamonix, and her team, along with Julien Terrier, managing director of A+ Events and project manager, for their contributions to the success of this event, which though it may have been hampered by weather conditions, nevertheless still shined brightly on and off the slopes.

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