Clay Paky Sharpy and B-EYE K20 fixtures and grandMA2 consoles helped light up the New York City sky when “Nights by Absolut” launched on September 12 with a high-volume, high-energy twist on the club scene. Clay Paky and MA are both exclusively distributed in North America by A.C.T Lighting, Inc.
Vita Motus, the design studio of Heather Shaw, transformed the Pier 9 Container Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn into one of the most exciting clubs in the world for just one night. The iconic silhouette of the Absolut vodka bottle took center stage with the New York City skyline illuminated behind it. DJs Alvin Risk and Araabmuzik took command of the music on the stage below and built suspense for a surprise appearance by guest DJ Zedd.
The event, produced by VICE, was part of the innovative Absolut brand campaign, “Transform Today,” which launched last year. “Nights by Absolut” staged in Johannesburg, Berlin and Sao Paulo followed.
DMDS7tudios of North Miami Beach worked with Vita Motus and VT Pro Design to bring the custom-rigged, 85-foot tall Absolut silhouette to life with 84 Clay Paky B-EYE K20s and 72 Clay Paky Sharpys.
“The goal for the design team was to bring a very progressive brand like Absolut to the forefront of the technology movement, and there is no other effect or lighting fixture on the market currently that has so many options and so much power as the B-EYE,” says Scott Chmielewski, principal of DMDS7tudios, which was brought onto the project as programmers and technology consultants and integrators. The company was charged with programming and implementing the B-EYE lighting effects and pixel mapping the individual LED cells within the fixtures.
“There is literally nothing like the look of the B-EYE out there and, with the fixture’s latest software, options have expanded dramatically,” notes Chmielewski. “The ability of the B-EYE to change from a very powerful and bright wash light to an effects-filled fixture made it an obvious choice for this project.”
He calls the design of “Nights by Absolut” “nothing short of immersive in both its scale and use of technology. Using a well-scripted and choreographed escalation of the event, each element of the project came to life in dramatic steps showcasing a different use of technology and integrated design.”
To control the B-EYEs and the Avolites Media Ai media servers dedicated to mapping the LED pixels, DMDS7tudios employed the latest grandMA2 v. 18.104.22.168 with four active NPUs and a back up console.
“We controlled the Ai media servers, which handled all the media and pixel mapping, and the B-EYE cells, which were all seamlessly Art-Net merged directly into the grandMA2 allowing use of both DMX video as well as the built-in effects of the B-EYE,” says Chmielewski.
For DMDS7tudios, “the DMX mapping and merging were the most challenging elements,” he reports. “Having 12,000 channels of LED sent from both the console and media server over Art-Net sounds like a daunting task, but the capabilities of the grandMA2 platform made it a clear and intuitive process. Being able to create content, albeit in a very unique and low-res format, really helped bring the show’s concept to life. Having that much unique and detailed control over so many elements in such a demanding creative environment was only made possible by the console’s software development, which included the ability of grandMA 3D to previsualize all the elements of the project.”
Chmielewski says there were “no issues with any of the gear” during the pop-up club’s unforgettable one-night only event on Pier 9. “Every element of this show performed flawlessly.” For the grandMA2 that meant “the ability to preprogram in our studios, work with real-world and accurate models of both the fixtures and the environment, and [use] seamless methods for implementing creative nd technical changes that happen on every show.”
The lights were equally problem-free. “We were in an exposed outdoor environment with limited access to the fixtures once they were hung, so that’s one of the reasons the B-EYEs were chosen,” Chmielewski says. “So many options, so few moving parts.”
“Scott is such an innovative designer and this project was really impressive,” says A.C.T Lighting Vice President of Sales, Brian Dowd. “DMDS7tudios has been a great partner of ours and we look forward to many more projects of this caliber from them.”
About A.C.T Lighting
A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.
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