Home > Jands’ Vista, Vari-Lite and ETC used for West Side Story

Jands’ Vista, Vari-Lite and ETC used for West Side Story

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Once again the lighting community’s favourite Barrister-at Law Peter Huntington has discarded his legal robes to follow his love of lighting.

Again he has managed to produce an amazing lighting design for Sydney’s private school Knox with the help of many in the industry and quite a few keen students.

A new production is that of West Side Story. With a cast and crew of sixty and an orchestra of fifty Peter certainly had his work cut out for him but he had help from Mark Hammer who consulted in relation to the moving light fixtures, programming and training the schoolboy technicians and operators. Graham Harper was once again the production electrician.

“This year we enjoyed, thanks to our relationship with Chameleon Touring Systems, what amounted to a corporate sponsorship from Jands who provided the new Vista console and Alex Mair for programming support,” commented Peter.

“The boys were all over the Vista. It is basically a PC operating system so anyone who can operate a PC can operate the Vista. At Knox, boys each have a laptop from year 5 which forms a substantial part of the boys learning environment. So with Marks help they were able to learn quickly how to operate the console.”

Peter also commented that the Vista’s timeline programming feature made the whole programming task easy to understand.

“Accessing the whole show, or segments thereof, through the user friendly touch screen and stylus pen is great,” he added. “These features are in addition to normal programming controls.

“This was the Vistas first theatrical use with release version software. While I won't say that Alex didn't take away some notes, we had a very successful show with the new console. Alex really went above and beyond the call of duty to support the show and everyone involved has come away with a high regard for his ability and commitment.”

As well as eight Vari-lite VL1000, Peter also had a couple of the ETC Revolutions with index shutters in his rig which he described as quiet, quick, accurate and bright.

”They are, in my humble opinion, a major step forward,” he stated. “We used them to light the upstage area between the proscenium, as roving specials and to pick characters up from a state covered by a VL1000. The extraordinary clarity of the output is a tribute to the optics. The way in which we were able to highlight actors already in a wash was a handy feature. Their high output and clarity at low intensity were impressive and their inbuilt scroller means that the right colour can be easily selected for each lighting task.

“Although there was a gel string change for the Revolutions in just about every scene, the scrollers were quick, very quite and never faltered or missed once. I feel that this is an important point when comparing the Revolution with other moving lights especially those that can do colour cross fades.”

Peter commented that the ETC Revolutions are priced well compared to other movers and he believes that, for the first time, the introduction of moving fixtures in the school drama syllabus is possible – especially when controlled by the soon to be released Vista software able to be loaded onto a PC.

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