When Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas presented its annual “The Gift of Christmas” show in December 2017 design collaborators UVLD took control to a new level employing Claypaky Scenius Profiles and Mythos2 fixtures, Follow-Me software and grandMA2 consoles for the spectacular, 90-minute multimedia production. Claypaky and MA Lighting products are exclusively distributed in North America by ACT Lighting, Inc.
The production featured Santa and his workshop in Act One, a choral interlude in Act Two and a living nativity in Act Three. This season new music and a new script opened the show; two-thirds of the lighting cues occurred in Act One and five days were devoted to programming them.
“The show was the first time we decided to go with full MA-Net2 protocol for everything,” says David Seitz, Associate Lighting Designer and Programmer with UVLD, a lighting design and media services company headquartered in New York City. The production had an active full-size grandMA2 console with 4 NPUs and a backup grandMA2 light.
“We put the entire rig into MA 3D, which enabled us to take advantage of grandMA2’s gigabit network and to set up Follow-Me within the PSN network so we could pick and choose lights to act as follow spots and track the automation for the aerial performers,” he explains. “I’m not aware of any other console that integrates a PSN network natively on the console. The power of MA integration is that it’s all realtime. We had well over one thousand lighting cues, and grandMA gave us an extraordinary amount of power in a tight production schedule.”
“In the past we’ve had 10 or 12 dedicated follow spots to cover people flying and various audience activities,” says UVLD Lighting Designer Matt Webb. “We saw Follow-Me last fall at a trade show and decided to give it a shot.” Follow-Me is a cost-effective, network-based software package that allows users to utilize moving lights as follow spots.
“With Follow-Me we could designate four Scenius Profiles as our follow spots,” says Webb. “That allowed us to eliminate a bunch of seat-kills that tied up floor space with dedicated follow spots. And we could position the Scenius fixtures exactly where we wanted them – we weren’t stuck with any fixed points. If we needed two fixtures on one person we could assign that; we could configure them as needed.”
“Scenius blew everything else out of the water,” notes Seitz. “It had fantastic optics, was incredibly bright and looked fantastic. It was great to be able to utilize them as the primary follow spots on the show.”
Webb enjoyed “getting the full color mixing of Scenius in a follow spot. We used some texture, too. We got all the advantages of a moving light in a follow spot, which was a fun new experience for me as a lighting designer.”
He also tapped 50 Mythos2 fixtures for the show mounting 36 overhead and placing 14 on the floor for lighting effects and graphic motion.
“It was fun to see how all the tools worked together on the production – the Scenius units, Follow-Me and the extensive use of the PSN tracking in grandMA2,” says Webb. “Gemini Stage Lighting facilitated the use of Scenius, and Production Electrician Nick Deel played a huge role in making it all happen.”
Greg Norgeot was UVLD’s Technical Director. James Maddux was the Lighting Designer for Prestonwood Baptist Church.
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