ETC makes the news at Fox Studios
The Los Angeles Bureau of the Fox News Channel has seen its share of rising and falling news personalities but a constant star is ETC.
The small studio in Culver City serves as the Left Coast broadcast centre for several prominent US TV presenters, including Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera. In the late 80s and early 90s it was the home of the late-night talk show, The Pat Sajak Show. In 2017, the stage underwent a complete overhaul – out with the wood-panelled look in favour of a Plexiglas and stainless steel design with a curtain track backdrop that can switch from night to day faster than you can say “breaking news.” With its unusually high ceiling and excellent acoustics, the stage is now home to The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton Sunday night broadcast.
The revamped set design came with a much-needed new lighting package provided by 4Wall Lighting’s Los Angeles office. Lighting Director Eric Reinig and his counterparts in New York specified a mostly ETC LED system. “It only made sense to go LED, for the flexibility and the reduction of heat onstage and the running costs,” says Reinig. “The old rig of standard 1K and 2K fixtures and old Strand gear was well past its prime.”
The new rig features 32 ETC Source Four LED Series 2 fixtures with Lustr arrays and a range of lenses (19, 26 and 36 degrees), serving as the new key lights for the talent and colour washes on the scenic panels. A few classic Source Fours are used as specials, powered by an ETC 24-channel Sensor3 dimmer pack. “Even though we have to colour correct them to 4300 degrees, the conventional fixtures give me a softer look. But you can’t beat the Lustrs for flat field and coolness to the touch.”
Describing the change in lighting control, Reinig jokes: “We went from a ‘baby starter’ two-scene, preset to an ETC Ion 1500 with a 2×20 Universal Fader Wing.” The learning curve more than paid off in the ability to set up pre-programmed looks for Fox shows and any incoming rentals. The nearby Fox Sports One/Fox Deportes studio, where Reinig is also an LD, uses an Ion console.
Reinig’s career path was equally transformative. While he worked in construction, he maintained an interest in photography and operated a DJ company with several DJs and mobile systems for private parties and nightclubs. When he was injured on a construction job, he went back to school – first to Moorpark College, followed by a degree in cinematography at California State University, Northridge. “I was lucky to have a friend at Fox who let me play with equipment and learn the gear – I also was also an apprentice with cinematographer Bill Bennett (a member of ASC) and fell in love with lighting.”
Today Reinig uses studio down time to experiment with new lighting looks and get deeper into the workings of the Ion. Pointing out the extremely long top hats on the Lustr fixtures around the news desk, he explains, “Our host Steve Hilton is bald and we use this technique to reduce hot spots on his head. I am guessing other shows have faced the same challenges in controlling multiple points of light off of the top of their host – it’s a great trick.”
Looking ahead, Reinig already sees a need for 12 more Lustr fixtures and 12 spares, as the studio may expand into more of an entertainment stage. “Every time I go to LDI, my mind starts racing with the possibility of new gear. It’s an exciting time in lighting.”
ETC takes balloon museum to new heights
The Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque showcases the beauty, ingenuity and history of lighter-than-air flight in a building that has become a beloved landmark in its hometown. Thanks to new control products from ETC they were able to modernise their lighting control, offering a dynamic lighting environment that was also more energy efficient.
The museum doesn’t just house balloons, it also is meant to look like one. Its striking facade is the silhouette of a hot air balloon, with the top of the building a dome – newly washed with colour-changing LED fixtures. The museum wanted to take advantage of capabilities of the LED fixtures and reinforce the iconic nature of the building. The solution was an ETC Paradigm system. Lighting looks were programmed into the system and now the museum staff can choose custom colours for different themes or special events.
“Because we are used a lot and we do a lot of activities all year round in the very early morning or late at night, it gives us a way to add an element of beauty to the building,” says Paul D. Garver, manager of the museum. He has plans to let the lights react to weather conditions like temperature, wind speed and more, and when he’s ready to do that ETC’s system will be able to accommodate that as well. As it is, the lights are still a big hit. “They’re a living, breathing part of what’s going on and it’s a big benefit to us.”
The Paradigm system is also a hit inside. The Museum’s event spaces are now easily changeable thanks to Paradigm control and the 7-inch Touchscreen station. Positioned near the ballrooms, the museum can easily shift preset looks in the ballrooms, showcasing the flexibility of the space.
“We use the Touchscreen and its ease of use as a selling point to potential clients,” says Garver. “Everyone is really impressed.
“Museums are educational and engaging venues. We’re always looking for creative ways to get people involved and connected to us, lighting is one way to do that.”
Now, thanks to ETC, it’s easier than ever for the museum to take its patrons to new heights.
ETC Eos delivers dynamic looks for The Dream of Gerontius
As part of its summer programme, English National Opera appeared at the Royal Festival Hall for a captivating production of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. Multi-award winning lighting designer Lucy Carter used light – controlled with ETC Eos® Ti and RPU3 – to create an additional layer of emotion and energy to support and reflect the music.
Widely regarded as Elgar’s finest choral work, The Dream of Gerontius relates the journey of a pious man’s soul from his deathbed to his judgment before God and settling into Purgatory. To evoke an otherworldly feel, Carter opted for simple staging with abstract lighting energies that combined with the music to create an ethereal quality.
“When I was researching this production and arrived at my eventual design decisions, I knew that in order to create the complex and detailed environments to match the expansive and evocative music and themes of the libretto, I would need an immense amount of flexibility from my rig,” says Carter. “I chose to work almost exclusively with the GLP impression X4 Bars and Eos pixel mapping, and to use video files to populate the designed structure of the lights with energies and light textures.”
Supplied by PRG, the rig consisted primarily of 163 GLP impression X4 Bars, arranged into six concentric triangles positioned over the orchestra, and three rows over the chorus. Lighting of the choir and orchestra was delivered by 12 Martin Mac Aura XBs, with the soloists and conductor lit by a combination of ETC Source Four® LED Series 2 Lustr and Vari-Lite VL1000 AS fixtures. The rig required in excess of 40 universes of DMX, delivered via 14 ETC DMX/RDM Four-Port Gateways mounted locally on the trusses by production electrician Martin Chisnall.
To deliver the dynamic range of looks required, Carter worked closely with lighting programmer Jenny Kershaw, with programming support from Andi Davis, on behalf of ETC. “Jenny and I have been working with these ideas for a few years, and the ETC desks are an essential tool for our design work,” says Carter. “I want the lighting textures to feel organic and not mathematically produced and Jenny is able to manipulate the effects tools to create the dancing light textures I want. These are not repetitive effects, but seemingly evolving and dynamic.”
“The Eos Ti’s ability to deliver pixel mapping via the on-board Virtual Media Server, along with its conventional channel-based control, meant it was the perfect solution for this project,” adds Kershaw. “The content was generated on-board via effect layers, allowing for fast and convenient creation and editing of the looks required.”
The demands of this project saw ETC further expand the capabilities of its celebrated Eos software by adding extensions to the existing Eos Family Virtual Media Server feature. The pixel map size limits have been enhanced, allowing for control of up to 16,000 pixels. Additionally, Virtual Effect Layers have been modified to enable generation and manipulation of content for much larger pixel maps, and a variable server smoothing feature has been added.
“Thanks to the fantastic support we received from ETC and Andi Davis, we managed to achieve the complexities I was looking for,” says Carter. “With almost 500 cues and effects and numerous cue lists running simultaneously, Eos never let us down.”
Sustainable lighting solution for the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
Situated at the heart of The University of Manchester’s campus, the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama recently underwent a significant refit, including the installation of a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient production lighting package, featuring a control desk, LED luminaires and power controls from ETC, and auditorium lighting from GDS, all supplied and installed by Stage Electrics.
An important arts venue for north-west England, the Martin Harris Centre offers students a fantastic space in which to study and perform, as well as hosting many professional musicians, performers and prize-winning authors. It provides an excellent space for contemporary and classic theatre, music and comedy events, and holds a reading series that has in the past featured such literary luminaries as Martin Amis, Will Self, John Banville and Clive James.
The project, which was made possible due to significant funding from the Faculty of Humanities, is part of a campus-wide initiative that supports the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability and saw a complete overhaul of the lighting in the venue’s Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall and John Thaw Studio Theatre.
Longstanding supplier to the University, Stage Electrics was appointed to design, specify and install a complete lighting system for the two multipurpose facilities. Karl Spencer, the venue’s technical services manager, worked closely with Stage Electrics’ Rob Beamer and Karl Formstone to ensure the right solution was selected and installed.
“Energy efficiency was a driving factor in this project, but there were other points to consider too, like flexibility,” says Rob Beamer.
“The venue hosts a lot of classical concerts where maximum light levels are critical, whereas colour rendering and colour mixing capability is important for lighting dramatic performances, for example. For power controls, space was at a premium, so we had to bear that in mind too.”
The comprehensive solution, specified following extensive demonstrations between Stage Electrics and the University, includes an Ion® console with two fader wings; a Unison Paradigm® power control system; Sensor® dimmers with ThruPower modules; and an array of ColorSource® PAR, Source Four® LED Series 2 Lustr® and Daylight HD fixtures and a comprehensive state-of-the-art house lighting system from GDS.
Rob Beamer adds: “We put a lot of time into getting it right. The challenge was to deliver a versatile, energy-efficient lighting solution to maximise the experience for both performer and audience, without compromising on quality. And I think we have succeeded.”
Karl Spencer, the Martin Harris Centre’s technical services manager said, “As part of this extensive lighting project, our spaces have been converted to energy-efficient LED, for both lighting performances and house lighting. The end result is excellent and our performers and audiences alike are already enjoying the improved lighting. The installation offers us a flexible, efficient and sustainable lighting solution which underpins the University’s environmental sustainability strategy.”
ETC exhibits at ISE 2017
Integrated Systems Europe, often referred to as ISE, is the largest AV systems integration show in the world. In 2017, the annual four-day event takes place from 7th February to the 10th February at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam.
ETC’s booth at ISE 2017 will be packed with lighting solutions designed to meet the diverse needs of any installation. ETC employees will be on hand to answer your questions, discuss your project requirements, and demonstrate a selection of equipment, including:
Designed as a new way of thinking about building control, ETC’s visionary Unison Paradigm® system fuses architectural lighting control advances with entertainment lighting-control technology. ETC brings its award-winning expertise in both areas together to give you the best of both worlds.
Paradigm delivers a new level of comprehensive control – sophisticated facility-lighting and building systems integration. And it does so with unprecedented flexibility and simplicity: a green-minded energy management system that capitalises on daylight-harvesting, occupancy sensing and time schedules for maximum electricity and budget savings, combined with a deep library of lighting fixtures (LEDs, moving lights, and more) for dynamic effects, plus the power to speak fluently to different devices from different manufacturers over the same control system.
The Unison Paradigm family of products includes powerful software, elegant touchscreens, wall stations, modular control electronics, dimming and control enclosures, and accessories to offer the most customisable and people-friendly control systems available. Paradigm addresses the whole space – bringing the beauty of well-controlled light in line with today’s environmental concerns and real-life needs. Restaurants, hotels, casinos, schools and universities, museums, houses of worship, office buildings, and conference centres – Paradigm scales to all.
Making its international debut at ISE is the new portable version of the popular Irideon FPZ luminaire. The fixture pairs the best of ETC’s popular Source Four® Mini LED platform with exceptional output, flexible zoom optics and a sleek industrial design to light your space with elegance and subtlety. Available for use with Eutrac® three-circuit track with data, the feature-rich design is perfect for museums, lobbies, and retail environments.
Irideon FPZ boasts its own set of enhancements such as lockable 3-plane shutters, zoom optics, and the ability to dim using either remote DMX control or a local dimming knob located on the track adapter. FPZ puts out over 800 field lumens, with a wide selection of colour temperatures. This luminaire is fully convection cooled for fan-less operation and is available is a variety of colours, including custom options.
FPZ gives you the versatility you need to create the beautiful light you want from an integrated, unassuming design that won’t dominate your space.
To assimilate all of the different devices that a lighting system requires, ETC offers a range of networking solutions that ensure problem-free installation and smooth operations.
ETC pioneered Ethernet-based networking in entertainment-lighting systems, with the power to transmit DMX, video and remote-focus data on a single wire. ETC’s Net3 suite, powered by ACN (Architecture for Control Networks), goes beyond that, providing an open network with the highest degree of reliability and streamlined system control for greater flexibility and efficiency. And with the company’s leadership in the development of the ANSI standard for ACN, it continues to innovate in entertainment and architectural control using Ethernet-based protocols.
The ColorSource family of products was developed for those with limited budgets who want a complete, high-quality LED lighting system with plug-and-play setup. The newest additions to the ColorSource family are the portable ColorSource control desks, which are available in two sizes with optional audio visual capability, and provide hands-on control with the ability to run effects, mix LED colours, control moving lights and play back cues – all with the flick of a fader. The ColorSource® Relay can wirelessly switch power and transmit DMX and RDM to hard-to-reach places. And the ColorSource® Spot, ColorSource® Linear and ColorSource® PAR luminaires can create bright light with the broadest colour gamut possible from a four-colour LED, thanks to their unique RGB-Lime emitter mix.
The Gio @5 lighting control console, brings the acclaimed, professional-grade control of the Eos Ti® and Gio® consoles within reach of users with tighter spaces – and tighter budgets.
This portable console packs all the control necessities into a compact footprint, so external monitors and accessories are optional. With an articulating, 17-inch, multi-touch LCD display, five definable and page-able motorised faders and a master fader pair, Gio @5 is the perfect step up for Ion® users who want expanded hands-on access to playbacks, colour control, touchscreen Magic Sheets and more.
The console features the same full-function, backlit keyboard as the Eos Programming Wing and Gio console, providing an easy transition for experienced Eos users looking for a smaller desk – and a good platform for new programmers looking to gain professional skills that scale up.
For further information about ETC at ISE 2017, visit etcconnect.com