Elite Multimedia back out with Alan Jackson
Thursday, 1 June 2017
alan-jacksonAlan Jackson is still hard at work touring the nation for his dedicated fans (photo: Thomas Newton)
USA - With 16 studio albums and nearly 60m records sold worldwide, the multi-platinum recording artist Alan Jackson has solidified himself as one of country music’s leading talents. In a career that spans over three decades, Jackson is still hard at work touring the nation for his dedicated fans. Needing a new production design to support the current Honk Tonk Highway Tour, the management team once again enlisted the creativity of Craig Rutherford, Blueshift Design, who in turn called upon Nashville-based tour provider Elite Multimedia.
“Since we have had such a long relationship with Alan, he is sort of ‘hands off’ when it comes to the designing of the production for his tours,” began Rutherford. “I typically start the process by reviewing the designs from previous tours, and then finding new ways to change it up to keep the tour fresh. Afterwards, I then speak with Elite Multimedia to select the gear needed within the specified budget, and I submit the plan to the production manager for final approval. This team has been together for a while now and Alan really trusts everyone to provide him with the best designs possible for his tours and that is really what we all try to do
“I am always looking for ways to make the show look bigger and more visually interesting,” continued Rutherford. “For the last couple of years, we used our wash fixtures on the downstage truss and we had a lot of top light in the air above the band. This year, we moved all those fixtures upstage and added verticality to create a wall of light that worked in conjunction with the upstage LED video wall giving us a beautiful canvas behind the band to bring additional energy and emotion.”
Now needing to select the fixtures to fill the redesigned rig, Rutherford got to work with Elite Multimedia to finalise the lighting production design. Once finished, the new lighting design for the Honky Tonk Highway Tour included Philips Vari-Lite VL3015LT Spots, Martin MAC 700 and 301 Wash, Chauvet Colordash Par Hex 7, Chauvet Ovation E-190 WW Profiles for front light on the band, ProCan 4 Lite blinder luminaires, and Elation CUEPIX Blinder WW4 fixtures with a GrandMA 2 Lite console for control.
“We have actually reduced the total fixture type count this year by one, but we have taken out a lot more hard-edged spots,” added Rutherford. “Since we now had the wall of light behind the band, I wanted to have a diverse, multiplicity of gobos and aerial looks we could achieve. We had pleasant surprise this year with the VL3015LT Spots being available and they really helped give us those looks we wanted in the design.”
Rutherford explained further, “One of the video challenges is that Alan has a tremendous catalogue of classic hits and the music video content for those will never change. Nonetheless, I still have to find ways to keep the video elements of the design fresh.
“Last year we started experimenting with a video capture card where I could grab shots from our brilliant video director Robby Luttrell, so this year we decided to implement even more live IMAG into the video design. With the performance capabilities of the FLEXCurtain HD 12.5mm LED video screen, we have a lot more flexibility to frame the live shots creatively and the high-resolution playback shows it all in great detail.”
(Jim Evans)

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