USA - Lighting designer David Grill has returned to GLP’s lighting portfolio to stage a new production of Michael Pink’s 1996 ballet Dracula, a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s horror classic story, at the Civic Centre Music Hall in Oklahoma City. This was presented by the Oklahoma City Ballet.
“The production is rented to ballet companies throughout the world, and at each venue I lay out the line sets and adapt the show to whatever I find there,” says the LD, explaining the background. “[GLP impression X4s] are among fixtures that remain constant and the rest change depending on venue.” He believes that the production plays better in theatres where the architecture is either more ornate or with darker woods, rather than the light grey ones that pull focus from the stage.
However, with the latest transfer, fixture availability forced him to replace the eight X4 devices generally deployed in the production with the same number of GLP’s larger X4 XL, which the Ballet sourced from local company, Toucan Productions. Containing 55 high power RGBW LEDs (each rated at 15W), coupled with 7°-50° zoom range, the output is intense.
The fact that the X4 XL uses the same optics featured in the impression X4 to deliver a similar well-defined beam, was the main reason Grill opted for an identical number of units. “Because they have a specific ‘focus’, cutting down the quantity was not an option,” he says.
While the designer was able to maintain the feel of the impression X4 in the darker scenes, both colour and levels needed to b
USA - Alcons Audio gave the LR24 mid-size line array system its official introduction to the US touring market at Post 43, the Hollywood base of the American Legion. Inviting an array of top mixing talent to ‘test-drive’ the LR24 system and experience WYMIWYG - What You Mix Is What You Get - the system drew widespread praise.
Described by its veterans as “that much more showbiz” than any other American Legion post, Post 43 was an appropriate location for the LR24 event. Two years ago, the completion of a comprehensive restoration transformed it into a 500-seat movie theatre and live venue, complete with an Alcons pro-ribbon sound system. According to Levi Joos, proprietor of installer Stay On Screen, it transformed Post 43 into “one of the best-sounding rooms in town”.
The two-day LR24 event featured a system comprising eight units per side, with six BC543 very high output cardioid subwoofers, powered and controlled by AST armoured Sentinel racks, with three Alcons Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers in each.
The event was attended by some of the highest profile US Front of House engineers, some of whom had already used Alcons pro-ribbon systems and others who were mixing through Alcons technology for the first time.
“I tried a mix with tracks by an artist I’ve mixed probably 125 shows with, and the first thing that happened was I pulled everything off the vocal,” says Brad Madix (Rush, Florence & the Machine). “You do not need to be jacking around, pulling out frequencies in the top end, which really says a l
South Africa - Lighting designer Marius Coetzee was asked by Johannesburg -based technical production company AV and Beyond to create a vibrant visual ambience for the 2019 FNB (First National Bank) Innovators Awards, staged in Hall 5 of the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Over 100 Robe moving lights helped him produce spectacular lighting including AV and Beyond’s new Esprite LED Profiles, the first in South Africa, which arrived on site just in time to be added to the rig.
The event recognises and celebrates the efforts, contributions and ideas of the innovators within the company. All recipients work for FNB Bank and received awards based on multiple elements, including flair, imagination and ability to think creatively and out-of-the-box in formulating solutions and instigating good working practices.
With the focus on ‘innovation’, it was a highly appropriate first event for the Esprites in South Africa, to the delight of Marius together with AV and Beyond’s owner/directors Warren Freidin and Katlego Pitse.
AV and Beyond designed and built the slick, stylish set to the client’s brief. It featured a central (in-the-round) presentation stage and four individually themed satellite stages, one in each corner of the room, each with their own distinctive set and screen elements.
The lighting challenge was ensuring that all parts of the large room and all the different performance and presentation areas were covered with general light as well as with their own specials that distinguished and set them apart
Belgium - After decades of civic campaigning, the residents of Deinze near Ghent recently achieved a long- awaited dream when the €10m Leietheater opened. Located in the town centre, the theatre creates an immediate impression from the outside with its minimalist architecture. Inside, its multifaceted, modern productions are supported by a collection of Chauvet Professional Ovation fixtures specified by the theatre itself, and supplied by Sotesa.
The task of fitting a modern lighting rig for the 500-capacity theatre fell to the theatre's head of technology, Jef Donné. Having previously used Chauvet Professional fixtures in the live event sector, Donné was well aware of the advantages that the Ovation fixtures.
"Being able to create our rig from scratch allowed us to harness the advantages associated with the Ovation's LED technology, which essentially gave us the ability to future proof the theatre right from the get-go,” comments Donné. "The collection of 36 Ovation E-930 VW, 20 Ovation F-915VW, 20 Ovation F-915FC, 20 Ovation P56 VW and 20 Ovation P56 FC units gave us a mix of profiles, Fresnels and pars with which to secure a full spectrum of looks for a wide range of performances.”
With 12 Ovation E-930VW fixtures positioned on centrally mounted trussing for general front and key light, Donné was able to create the conditions for punchy and intensely bright stage illumination. The remainder of the Ovation fixtures were positioned to induce a number of scenarios for side and fill illumination, with the smooth dimming curve of the fixtur
Switzerland - An Allen & Heath dLive mixing system set the rink alight for ice-skating gala, Art on Ice, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this month with a series of shows taking place across Zurich, Lausanne, Basel and Davos.
Combining live performances from internationally acclaimed artists, world-class dancers and figure-skaters, including the 2018 Gold Olympic medallist Alina Zagitova, Art on Ice offers “a unique and immersive storytelling experience”.
Produced by Swiss AV production company, Habegger AG (and with Session Pro helping to supply gear), the full setup featured a dLive S7000 paired with a DM64 MixRack, fitted with a superMADI card for multi-track recording and a Waves V3 card for external plugins.
Operated by long-time A&H user and FOH engineer, Sascha Kohl, dLive was used to handle all sources including the musicians, vocalists, presenter and playback. The nature of the venues presented some challenges, as Kohl explains, “As the main part of the hall is a very large, highly reflective sheet of ice, I was never able to get into a really good listening position, which made getting the mix perfect a little tricky at times. As the PA was set up for the crowd, having the possibility to do the VSC on my laptop, via dLive Director, and walk around the venue was absolutely essential.”
Kohl is also quick to praise dLive’s easy scene management, including the simple to use ‘relative’ and ‘absolute’ update functions, and the MCA control introduced in firmware V1.8, which allowed Kohl to easi
UK - Wicked, winner of multiple Tony, Drama Desk and Grammy awards, has become a Broadway staple, poised to celebrate its 17th year on the Great White Way in October at its home at the Gershwin Theatre. The show’s nearly half-dozen licensed touring versions have drawn almost as many award accolades.
The latest touring edition of the show is scheduled to hit 15 cities, from Baltimore to Vancouver. These shows put the musical’s songs through a new DiGiCo Quantum 7T console. Purchased through Milwaukee-based Clearwing Productions, the compact audio desk features DiGiCo’s sophisticated theatre software, a package designed specifically to meet the demands of theatrical workflows, with features such as an auto update system, aliases, the players tool and a VCA programming map.
“We spent the better part of two years planning the upgrade for the touring show, and the DiGiCo was the obvious winner,” says Zach Williamson, current associate sound designer for the Broadway and touring productions of Wicked. “We were looking for the console that will take us for the next 10 to 15 years on the road, and the Quantum 7T is it.”
The Broadway show continues to use the same analogue console it has since day one, nearly 7,000 performances ago, but the touring version needed the kind of power and small footprint that the DiGiCo desk affords users. “The Quantum 7T is light to travel with and load in, and its reliability is exceptional, which is critical for a touring console,” says Williamson. Both he and Wicked sound designer Tony
Slovakia - The Slovak Volleyball Federation recently contracted laser specialists, Kvant, to provide a spectacular multimedia show for the Superfinals of the Slovak Cup, at the Eurovia Arena in Bratislava.
The clients were looking for a high-quality ‘curtain raiser’ for the opening of the men’s and women’s finals, and to entertain the audience between the breaks. Following the finals, there was a live performance as the winners were announced. Helping to boost the extravaganza were 24 Aqua 580 Beam from PR Lighting.
The spectacular itself was designed by Martin Gabco, Kvant's show designer, with lighting, laser beam and graphics all operating to time-code. While Kvant fielded 10 of their ClubMax 10W lasers and four Spectrum 30W lasers, some of the PR Lighting pieces were set on the balconies around the hall, some combined in a floor package behind the LED perimeter, and some were rigged above the field of play, on local overhead catenaries as the coherent beams of the lasers weaved their magic.
Kvant favour the PR Aqua 580 Beam for its supreme power and waterproof rating, and as such they stock it exclusively in their rental inventory. The fixture itself is waterproof (IP66-rated) and produces a powerful output from a Philips 25R 550W engine which is calibrated at 7800K. Housing PR's patent optics and a tight 2-degree beam angle the fixture is packed with advanced features.
Projecting over a distance of approximately 50m, the PR Lighting pieces decorated and boosted the ambience around the hall - which was particularly effective since
Germany - Kings of Floyd are a Pink Floyd tribute band based in Germany. Led by Brit, Mark Gillespie, this assembly of international musicians has earned a reputation for presenting an accurate and atmospheric representation of the supergroup. The band regularly undertake national tours, playing popular theatre venues to sold out audiences. In order to replicate and do justice to the magic and majesty of Pink Floyd, Kings of Floyd and their experienced crew place audio quality high on their list of priorities.
FOH engineer Howard Heckers, notable for his work with Supertramp co-founder Roger Hodgson amongst others, is the band’s audio lynchpin and his work in helping to produce the authentic Floyd sound is essential. Central to his setup for Kings of Floyd is a DiGiGrid IOS unit, as he explains:
“I’ve been a DiGiGrid user for a while now, having started touring with the Waves LV1 around three years ago. In 200-plus shows during that time, DiGiGrid products have never let me down. I use the DiGiGrid IOS for front-of-house - it’s the best option available with eight inputs, eight outputs, two headphone outputs and AES. It’s ideal for PA feeds and some local inputs like talkback and playback from a video stream for the show. I love the preamps - very transparent and clear.”
Heckers, whose career credits also include Liza Minnelli, Melanie and Randy Newman, owns several DiGiGrid products: “I actually have three Waves LV1 setups for different tours. The Kings of Floyd gear stays in the truck but I use a similar setup for other tours. I
USA - RØDE Microphones has announced that the doors to the RØDE House have opened. The RØDE House is live music and performance space within the Momentary, a new contemporary art space in Bentonville, Arkansas which officially opened to the public on Saturday 22 February.
The Momentary was founded by the Walton Family, based on the vision of Tom, Olivia, and Steuart Walton. The Walton Family Foundation is supporting the project as a way to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. Occupying a decommissioned 63,000sq.ft cheese factory in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Momentary is a satellite to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Alice Walton.
The RØDE House is a multidisciplinary performance space within the old Milk Intake Room of the factory. In 2018, RØDE founder and chairman Peter Freedman became a founding funder of the Momentary alongside Walmart, Coca-Cola and The Tyson Family Foundation, and construction of the RØDE House began. The venue is a platform for Australian and international artists to perform for American audiences, and marks the beginning of a new cultural exchange between Australia and the US.
To commemorate the opening, a special ceremony took place on the site, with traditional custodians of the land on which the Momentary stands, the Osage Nation - represented by Chief Standing Bear and Cameron Pratt, curriculum specialist at the Osage Nation Immersion School - coming together with Australian First Nations representatives Leslie McLeod and Wesley Shaw.
“To witness this union of First Nation
Austria - When German car manufacturer Audi looked to draw attention to their first fully electric model car, Audi e-tron, at the Audi guest experience in Kitzbühel, lighting designer Chris Moylan of Optikalusion says the only option he really had was Elation’s Proteus Hybrid.
“It’s the only fixture that would have worked for this,” he says, explaining that he needed a powerful, IP65-rated lighting fixture he could place every few meters along very difficult terrain full of snow and ice, something that could tolerate the harsh environment of the Austrian Alps, including subfreezing temperatures. “The Proteus Hybrid is tough. It’s weatherproof, bright and reliable, the ideal fixture for this type of event.”
Produced by creative agency Dreinull and event lead agency Die Favoriten, Moylan handled lighting design for the event together with Dreinull, who came up with the lighting concept and initial design. According to the LD, the lighting brief was quite clear – a forest of beams that could react to cars as they drive along a narrow, winding mountainous road.
He explains: “The cars would drive past sensors which would then trigger a number of lights to move and pass their beams over the car. Pure cyan from the Proteus remained bright enough to show clear beams while giving the forest a magical, otherworldly look. Once the cars had passed, the lights would point back to the ground and await the next car.”
Rows of Proteus Hybrids lined the route with a line of fixtures perched atop a rock wall at the end of the road drawing
Indonesia - The Voices recently equipped the Karnaval SCTV stage with a JBL by Harman audio system to deliver powerful sound with balanced coverage for a variety of musical acts.
Karnaval SCTV is a popular variety show on Surya Citra Televisi (SCTV) that is broadcast live from several major cities throughout Indonesia each month. The shows feature a star-studded cast of celebrity guest appearances as well as live musical performances.
To commemorate the 18th anniversary of the city of Lubuklinggau, Karnaval SCTV broadcast live from Silampari Sports Park, welcoming a host of celebrities including musicians, television personalities and soap opera stars to the stage.
“The client required a powerful sound system that could reach every member of the audience,” comments Liauw Wu Shen, owner, The Voices. “The system had to be dynamic and adaptable to deliver spectacular performance for a variety of music genres and performances. The event commemorated the 18th anniversary of Lubuklinggau city and hosted a variety of eminent celebrities, so reliability was extremely important. After considering these factors, we decided that the versatile JBL VTX series systems would be best suited for the project.”
The Voices deployed JBL VTX A8 line array loudspeakers to deliver clear, detailed sound for a variety of musical performances. Paired with a JBL VTX B18 18-inch subwoofer, the system delivered powerful bass response with improved linearity and increased sensitivity. To power the system, Wu Shen selected a Crown VRack 4x3500H
Czech Republic - David Kachlir has delivered a lively lighting design for the current production of Mamma Mia!, which is playing on the 680-seat Musical Stage at Městské Divadlo (City Theatre) in Brno, Czech Republic.
At the heart of the Musical Stage lighting rig are some of Robe LED luminaires including new T1 Profiles and T1 Fresnels, DL7S Profiles and LEDBeam 150s, part of an investment process in the brand that started in 2015.
It’s the first time that David has lit the foot-tapping musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of Abba and set on a Greek island.
He has enjoyed the challenge, working alongside a strong creative team including director Petr Gazdik, also one of the Czech Republic’s best-known actors, and set designer Emil Konecny.
“Petr had some very clear ideas about lighting right at the start of the creative discussions,” explained David, saying that while he communicated these very lucidly, Petr also values working collaboratively, “so I also had the space to come up with suggestions”.
The 14 DLS Profiles, featuring the seven-colour engine specifically designed for theatre - are split into two positions - a row on one of the upstage LX bars for rear lighting, specials, gobos and texturing onto the floor, and a row of seven on one of the front advanced bars just about the first rows of the audience.
The rear DL7S Profiles provide atmospheric lighting for some of the solos as well as picking out the principles in the big production numbers with all the cast on
Albania - Tirana recently welcomed a new two-tier leisure venue, with the restaurant and night club Lost hosting live bands and DJs, and Tema Lounge - occupying a separate space in the same building - providing background music by day, notching up to foreground music after dark.
The sound in both venues (along with control and production lighting) is reinforced by a Martin Audio BlacklineX system, specified and installed by Prosound, the manufacturer’s Albanian distributor.
The company’s audio system installer, Armand Dosti, was entirely comfortable specifying Blackline, having earlier introduced other high-profile venues to the same solution. Furthermore, Prosound already had a relationship with Lost/Tema owner Filip Fermanis from earlier projects.
Surveying the two spaces - the former holding 200 people and the latter with a slightly reduced capacity - they recommended a system based around four Blackline X15, with a pair of X8 for in-fills and four X210 subwoofers for Lost, and four Blackline X10 and two X8 for Tema Lounge.
“From our point of view Blackline always represents the best choice in the Martin Audio speaker range regarding value for money,” stated Kliton Gjika, Prosound CEO, adding that the venue was measured and optimised using Smaart room analysis.
In terms of layout, clients enter the building via Tema Lounge, which is open every day from morning until late evening. This leads into Lost, which is generally a late-night venue, open Thursdays and weekends, with live music. “Lost has become a very popular night c
USA - grandMA3 consoles made their Super Bowl Halftime Show debut at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium where they joined a complement of grandMA2 consoles to control video elements, stage effects and the LED wristbands worn by approximately 65,000 spectators.
Super Bowl LIV featured one of the most talked about Pepsi Halftime Shows in years with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez turning up the heat with their high-energy, bilingual performances on the main stage.
Jason Rudolph, a lighting director for the halftime show for the last decade, was equipped with a pair of grandMA3 light consoles and four grandMA3 processing unit M to control all the video elements in the show as well as the LED lighting not from moving head fixtures.
“We pixelmapped the KNV LED cubes on media servers and fed that via Art-Net to the grandMA3, where I merged it so that I could control the cubes either via the console programming or via content,” Rudolph explains. “The media server were controlled via MA-Net, and we sent out sACN for data distribution to the system.”
Eric Marchwinski of Earlybird Visual, LLC programmed PixMob on a grandMA2 in session with Rudolph so the latter could trigger the crowd’s LED wristbands during the show. Montreal-based crowd lighting company PixMob helped spectators feel like part of the show with illuminated wristbands synchronized to the super-charged music.
Production designer Adam Biscow of Nashville’s Strictly FX, LLC used two grandMA2 light to control all of the stage effects. Twenty-two cryo units were mo
USA - Every week for the past seven years, Jimmy Fallon steps onstage in Studio 6B at Rockefeller Centre in midtown Manhattan and leads a viewing audience of over 2.4m through an hour of comedy, talk, and music, always opening and closing the show with Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, the show’s jazzy/funky theme song, composed and performed by The Roots, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’s Grammy Award-winning house band. Sound is managed through the show’s three DiGiCo SD7 consoles paired with five SD-Racks.
Artless Poole, Jr. has been with The Roots for 20 years, mixing the band’s live shows as their front-of-house engineer, and is there for them on The Tonight Show as the house mixer for the band, as well as the show’s diverse guest artists, and everything else that happens on that stage. It all goes through Poole’s SD7 console, supported by a DiGiCo EX-007 fader expansion unit.
“Mixing music on television has always been a goal of mine, and late-night talk shows have become more and more based around music, introducing new music and artists across every genre every day, and I love that I get to mix that,” says Poole, who has also mixed live shows for Santigold and D’Angelo, as well as several episodes of The Voice, and on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Queen Latifah Show. “It’s all I ever wanted to do.”
Poole oversees more than 200 inputs each night, and that channel load has become much easier to manage since the show upgraded his SD7 with a new Quantum engine. The upgrade tripled the numbe
Norway - Sound engineer Tom Meyer has built up a large collection of DPA microphones over the years and has always been very happy with the results they deliver. He is now spreading the word to artists he works with and has recently persuaded pop singer Lisa Skoglund to switch to one of the company’s new 2028 Vocal Microphones.
“As soon as the 2028 Vocal Microphone was released, I ordered one for Lisa and she is so happy with it that she takes it with her wherever she is singing,” Meyer says. “I take a selection of DPA microphones with me on every gig I do because they make my job much easier - and they are popular with my clients, as well.”
Based in Bardu in northern Norway, Tom Meyer has been tackling live sound engineering projects since 1990 and now runs his own company, TM Tour Production. He first became aware of DPA through the 4011 Cardioid Microphone and was very impressed with its sound, particularly when he used it to amplify large conferences or kick drums for touring bands.
“I felt that I could gain them much higher than anything else and they sounded so good,” he says. “When I moved north and started by my own company, I decided to get the best tools possible and gradually started buying DPA. I now have more than 30 of them.”
In recent months, TM Tour Production has been using its DPA microphones on a variety of projects, including live gigs with Hollow Hearts, a folk band from Tromsø.
“The first time I worked with Hollow Hearts, I put up a DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone for the band’s singer Ida Løv
UK - P&J Live at TECA, the North of Scotland’s new events venue, has invested in over 700 Prolights fixtures to provide in-house production services for events ranging from conferences to gala dinner dances.
P&J Live’s deputy operations manager technical, Steve Morrison needed a moving wash fixture to provide flexible, high-quality lighting during events. He specified 140 Prolights PixieWashXB units after being impressed by their versatility, size and quality of light output.
The additional 560 LED fixtures included RA2000 moving LED profiles, Eclipse HD LED ellipsoidals, Eclipse 1K and 2K LED Fresnels, StudioCob LED PARs, Lumipix 16H LED battens and SmartBat Plus battery uplighters.
Steve commented: “These little LED fixtures are really useful to create atmosphere and table lighting for a gala dining experience. Their flexibility is exactly what is required throughout the spaces. Using the Lumipix battens to under-light white scrims has created a more intimate look for dinner dances to great effect. Our production team is really pleased with the end result.”
USA - After debuting last year at The Strat in Las Vegas, Celestia, a Cirque du Soleil-type entertainment show, has emerged as one of the city’s top North Strip attractions. With a troupe of performers highlighted by ‘an otherworldly lighting design’ by Tom Sutherland of DX7 Design, the fast-moving circus-style production is a carnival of thrills.
The LD entered the project somewhat late as part of a creative team hired a relatively short time prior to opening night to ‘cast their eyes over the production’ and enhance the show’s look.
“They had brilliant acts and a state-of-the-art theatrical tent but there was no real glue or production value,” Sutherland states, explaining that the new creative team only had a few weeks to implement their ideas, which included an extra build and additional lighting fixtures. “We stripped out some rigging, put in some extra upstage positions and built a big semi-circle truss around the back, which is the centrepiece of the entire set really. I think we put it all together in under a month.”
Created by executive producer Brian Burke and live-production company Intrigue Shows, Celestia is a galactic journey filled with daring acrobatics, athletic dance, and aerial feats, all told through live music and cutting-edge technology that includes Elation Professional lighting effects.
As part of the improvements, DX7 Design purchased Elation Dartz 360 LED moving heads to mount on the semi-circle truss to wrap the stage in 180 degrees of lighting effect. Thirty-two Dartz 360 beam/spot units
USA - SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, has filled many roles since it opened in 2001. Not surprisingly, being in the heart of the state that holds the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, it has hosted rallies for virtually every candidate in this century who’s aspired to take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue not to mention sports, concerts, and conventions of every type.
On Wednesday 5 February, the spacious arena assumed a somewhat different appearance. Instead of swelling with crowds of 10,000 or more as it does for political rallies and concerts, it welcomed a more intimate gathering for a sales event for IT services provider Connection. Once inside the arena, the conference’s thousand or so guests were immersed in a welcoming environment that featured an Events United lighting, video, audio, and scenic design anchored by over 70 fixtures and 56 LED panels from Chauvet Professional.
“We worked with the venue staff to transform the SNHU Arena into a blank canvas by draping off 90% the side seating,” said Tim Messina, Events United owner. “This gave us the ability to work with a 90ft vertical trim height, but still have people feel that they were in a smaller space.
“Our goal was to make this event all-encompassing for the guests in attendance, as well as for those watching the live stream that was sent to Connection’s remote sites. Our team did this through the use of lighting, video, and scenic elements, from the lit banners on the sides that transitioned to the video wall on the stage, to the overhead moving
USA - Theatre lighting design specialist Tyler Micoleau recently collaborated with New York-based Public Theatre’s Public Works programme, lighting a production of the musical Hercules, a world-premiere presentation of a stage musical adaptation of the Disney film, developed in a collaboration between The Public Theatre and Disney Theatrical Productions.
To add poignancy, the venue chosen was the outdoor Delacorte Theatre in New York’s Central Park, and helping Tyler to achieve his objectives were 34 Fusion by GLP FP7 Par and 20 Fusion by GLP FS10 Stick battens, operating alongside the repertory house rig.
Tyler has a long history of working on productions with Lear deBessonet, founding director of Public Works, and has designed four productions for The Public Theatre at the Delacorte.
The LD said: “Musicals are not the typical production at the Delacorte Theatre and I needed additions to the repertory lighting package that could contribute the colour changing and dynamics more typical to musical theatrethan a straight play. While in recent summers, The Public Theatre has had some colour changing LEDs and a small inventory of moving lights, they haven’t had weather-resistant (IP65 or better) ratings.”
Both he and Alex Brandt (the lighting supervisor of The Public Theatre) had also been interested in seeing what kind of IP65-rated equipment was currently on the market as the latter was tired of having his electricians constantly swapping out gear due to wind and rain damage.
“In order to get the lights integrated into
UK - Marking the 15th year of Christie’s partnership with the National Film and Television School (NFTS), this year’s Christie prize for Most Promising Student was awarded to Michael Pearce, NFTS graduate in digital effects. Michael received a monetary prize, a certificate, and a crystal trophy to celebrate the win at the NFTS Graduation Ceremony. Already employed as a colourist, Michael has already gained vital experience having worked on numerous short films, music videos, commercials, documentaries and feature film credits.
John Rowe, head of digital effects at NFTS said of the win: “Michael has earned his reputation as a diligent and trustworthy ally, working tirelessly across every genre to help finish projects to the highest possible standards. His determination to succeed and his resourceful nature have resulted in him earning a full-time contract at world-leading postproduction house, Company 3. It can be no surprise that someone so universally liked and trusted has won this prestigious award. Michael has a positive approach to every aspect of life and fully deserves this accolade.”
“We’re once again delighted to recognise outstanding talent in the industry, and we’d like to congratulate Michael on his outstanding achievement,” commented Brant Eckett, marketing director (cinema) at Christie. “In our 15-year partnership with NFTS, we have seen the school continue to grow and enhance its offering, with courses such as digital effects, and it has been an honour to support an array of initiatives, including its shift from film to dig
UK - The Lastminute.com London Eye dazzled its vast visiting crowds this year with a first-of-its kind, eight-metre tall Christmas tree adjacent to the attraction. With plans to transform the tree every hour into an attention-grabbing light show to music, the Merlin Entertainments team turned to TLS Lighting, for a bespoke LED lighting solution that would fully pixel-map the tree’s surface.
Merlin Entertainment’s David Rigby explains: “We wanted large scale pixel-mapping and TLS Lighting created a custom-designed and manufactured lighting system in a conical shape that was supplied to us as plug and play. We know we can always trust TLS Lighting to create exactly what we need with the feature sets we are looking for. They don’t let us down.”
The tree twinkled with almost 4000 RGB LED light modules and was adorned with a total of 64 strings of lights, varying in length from two to eight metres in length to achieve what Rigby describes as the “perfect look across the whole tree”.
With each pixel individually controllable, the Merlin entertainments team had full command of the 11,520 control channels and programmed the coordinated light shows via a High End Systems Hog 4 lighting desk which streamed control to TLS Lighting PixNet controllers using ArtNET protocol.
Rigby adds: “We get a very good service from TLS Lighting. We work with technology that we will constantly push boundaries with. More pixels, more power, more brightness. Its very hard to find a company that will work with you at that level and support you. That’s the
World - For the current world tour by Charli XCX, lighting designer Elliott Mountford is enjoying the power and consistency of the VL2600 Profile luminaire from Vari-Lite.
The tour is in support of Charli XCX’s third studio album Charli. Having worked with Charli and creative director Jed Skrzypczak through the summer, Mountford knew what was required, but also the limitations. “Charli hates key light,” he says, “so most of my show is backlit, with a very silhouetted look. I love big, backlit looks in white, but they have to be super-wide for every audience member to see the effect.”
In achieving this, Mountford was impressed by the VL2600 Profile’s powerful output and wide zoom range. “I wanted great contrast between the lights and the rest of the rig - we had 100-plus strobes that they had to compete with,” says Mountford. “They cut through everything. My side-lights were workhorses for making sure Charli was illuminated, even during the brightest scenes. The brightness and the zoom are insane,” he explains.
Asked if the VL2600 Profiles had met his expectations, Mountford says: “Yes, they certainly met expectations. They went above and beyond to impress me each time I used them in the show. They totally out-performed any other similarly-sized spot that I’ve used.”
USA - Michael Brown is a lighting designer who loves to experiment and take some creative risks in the quest for imagining new and exciting performance environments and that’s exactly what he did for the US leg of Bon Iver’s recent tour, part of the campaign for new album i, i, where 49 x Robe MegaPointes and 25 x Kinetic Lights custom moving mirrors were at the core of his design combining the diverse visual disciplines of art, architecture and concert lighting.
Michael has worked with the band since 2012, following a chance backstage encounter a few years earlier with lead singer Justin Vernon. It’s been a fertile and stimulating partnership, for which they implicitly trust in his creative judgment.
He first encountered the Kinetic Lights winch system in 2017 while researching cool art projects for the Eaux Claires Festival in Wisconsin for which he was the creative director/ visual arts curator for all four years - 2015 to 2018 - that the event has run so far.
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner from The National are the main curators - for music and all aspects - of the entire festival.
Christopher Bauder and WHITEvoid - the company presenting the project side of his work – had a lot more experience of utilizing the kit, and both Justin Vernon and Bon Iver’s production manager James Dean were also onboard.
The 3D geometry that defined the band’s touring lighting rig was created by five identical overhead chevron trusses comprising 32ft long wings connected by a 90-degree corner block, which resembled a di