The Department of Theatre at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo has added 12 Claypaky Axcor Spot 300 moving LED fixtures to its inventory. The lights serve three theatres in the department’s complex as well as an additional performing space elsewhere on campus. The spots are making their debut during the 2018-19 theatre season.
The Axcor Spot 300s replace ageing moving lights, which are at the end of their life cycle. “I had been looking for LED-based fixtures capable of projecting patterns and with a varied range of colors,” says Matthew Knewtson, Professor of Theatre and Lighting Design. “I found the Axcor Spots in doing online research, and colleagues recommended the Claypaky fixtures as a viable option.”
The new Axcor 300 family of moving LED fixtures brings Claypaky’s no-compromise quality and performance to the broad mid-market. The Axcor Spot 300 has 17 gobos on two wheels, including seven high-quality dichroic rotating gobos. Weighing just 45 lbs and measuring a little over a foot and a half, the Axcor Spot 300 incorporates features that are not often found in models of this size, such as a rotating prism, a motorized iris, a soft edge filter, a 16-bit dimmer and a 8-40° zoom.
The Axcor Spot 300s were purchased from BMI Supply in Queensbury, New York. ACT Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Claypaky lighting in North America.
Professor Knewtson quickly deployed the fixtures on the fall production of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” a musical for which he provided the lighting design. “I used the Axcor Spot 300s to create the effect of a taxi moving thru the streets of Madrid. I also used them for a motion picture effect as well as more mundane uses such as pattern and color wash,” he explains.
Since then the theatre students have used the Axcor Spot 300s for an automated fixture workshop in which each student designs the automated lighting for a song of their choice. Their productions are presented in two live performances for the rest of the theatre and the dance departments.
“We also have a full slate of productions on tap for the new year,” says Knewtson. “I’m designing the lighting for ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ in February, and plan to use the Axcor spots for effects lighting, wash systems and more. We’re sure to use them on ‘The Dancing Granny’ in March, and the new spots will certainly be part of our last production of the season, ‘Guys & Dolls.’”
Investing in the Axcor Spot 300s represents “a real step forward for us,” says the professor. “We try to stay on the cutting edge with our equipment, and the new spots are the first LEDs we’ve had that generate a white light and color mix with filters.”