Lighting designer Rohan Thornton will tell you that, in his opinion, the best moving light ever made was Jands' Vari-Lite VL5 and so when its updated relative the VL500 was released he had no hesitation in specifying the new Vari-lite fixture for one of Australia’s important live telecasts – the 2006 TV Week Logie Awards.
Despite never having seen a VL500 in the flesh, so to speak, Rohan had no qualms in ordering twenty-four of the 1200W/80V versions for a show that is broadcast live to an audience of 2.4 million.
In fact, this was the worldwide debut event for the hot off the production line VL500 80V fixture, performing reliably and impressively without any problems for the Channel 9 ratings-winner.
“I loved the VL5 and given the technology changes in the fifteen years since it was developed, I couldn’t possibly imagine that Vari-Lite would have taken a step backwards,” said Rohan. “Given the VL500’s history, it was a pretty easy trust.”
As a few VL5 fixtures were also used alongside the VL500’s, Rohan was able to accurately compare the models.
“Certainly the resolution, movement and colour fades of the VL500 are exceptionally better than the VL5’s,” he revealed.
“The VL500 is also a bit brighter. I guess they are a 20th century improvement on something that was already brilliant. They were totally reliable on this production, never missing a beat according to my crew chief. They were also very easy to rig.”
The Logies saw the welcome return of the warmth of a tungsten fixture to the stage courtesy of the VL500.