Before Katy Perry wowed viewers at the Super Bowl, another Halftime Show turned heads. It was north of the border at the 102nd Grey Cup where four grandMA2 consoles played key roles in a Halftime Show spotlighting the Grammy Award-winning American rock band Imagine Dragons. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of the MA Lighting in North America.
Production designer Robert Sondergaard and his Vancouver-based Electric Aura Projects returned for the fifth consecutive year to design the Halftime Show at the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup championship game, this time at BC Place in Vancouver.
Working within the venue’s parameters, which barred flying set pieces and sets over 18 feet high, he created a wedge-shaped set with tall walls for rigging the lighting and video. An xVision 10mm LED videowall was central; four pods equipped with 96 lighting fixtures flanked the videowall acting as wash lights and low-res screens displaying video content created by Turbine that matched the look and feel of the videowall.
Sondergaard deployed three grandMA2 light consoles and one grandMA2 ultra-light networked together for lighting and video control. “The grandMA’s robust networking capabilities were essential to a large production like this that required multiple operators and consoles in multiple locations,” he says. “We could have the two show consoles in the booth, a programming console on the field, and a back up console in the dimmer beach. The show was backed up and current on all the consoles all the time.”
Content for the Halftime Show was loaded into Arkaos media servers and triggered from the grandMA2 lights. One output from the media server was sent to the videowall while the other output used Arkaos LED Mapper to generate the color levels for the lighting fixtures. The levels were output via Art-Net and sent back to the grandMA2s through the Art-Net merge in eight universes, which enabled Sondergaard to maintain full control of the fixture for lighting programming while having complete sync of the beam portion of the output with the video.
Production designer Jason Bolger designed a DMX distribution system through 14 universes. “The ability to merge DMX/Art-Net into the console allowed for great new ways to control light while still allowing creative operation from one location,” Sondergaard says.
Something new he tried on the show was importing his Vectorworks file into the grandMA2, which proved to be a big time saver. “I had created the plot in 3D in Vectorworks for all of our working and presentation drawings, and we decided it would be a huge time saver to use this function for the show,” Sondergaard explains.
Christie Lites supplied the lighting gear. The show’s lighting director was Jason McKinnon and the programmer Shaun Forbes.
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