The iconic Colosseum in Rome comes to life in “Sangue e Arena: The Show,” an immersive multimedia production with lighting design by Simon Gauthier founder of Lumin-ART Productions who selected MA Lighting’s dot2 for lighting control. The production debuted in May and ran through October 2018. This will be an annual production at the coliseum. ACT Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting products in North America.
“Sangue e Arena” (Blood and the Arena) is based on the 100 days of events staged by the Emperor Titus in 80 AD to celebrate the new Colosseum. The nightly performance takes place directly on the amphitheater’s arena floor, the same spot where the gladiators engaged in combat. Multimedia images, virtual reconstructions and holograms projected onto a 17-meter canvas combine with lights, sound and music for a spectacular evocation of the era. It is the first show from the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum in collaboration with Graphis Emotions and Electa. More than one million people attended by the end of the show’s run.
“When we were approached to create the lighting design for the Colosseum we faced two main challenges,” says Lighting Designer Simon Gauthier. “First, it is such a huge monument and a wonder of the world. How do you design a show in that kind of place without using thousands of projectors? But by illuminating some of the architecture and by using the spill of the lights in the space I was able to show details and at same the time create animated shadows, which were synchronized with the video and the sound.”
Early on Gauthier consulted with ACT Lighting and told them he wanted to work with a MA console for its reliability and functionality. “They recommended dot2, answered all my questions and gave me the chance to test the console. Then they sent me a dot2 console very quickly afterwards. We had the time to pre-program the show in 3D in Montreal before we shipped the system to Rome.”
“When we can work with MA products it is a relief,” he says. “MA systems and I speak the same language, and they are solid products that we can really count on. Timecode was an important thing for us because the show had to be able to run by itself three times every night. In addition, the effects engine is amazing, modular and easy to work with.”
For the show, dot2 controlled a large number of outdoor LEDs, which illuminated the upper tiers of the Colosseum as well as the arena floor; and a full complement of strobe and moving lights, which were hung above the lower tier and the arena floor.
The lighting designer was “very impressed” by dot2. “It is very small, very easy to carry and do our programming at any time,” Gauthier reports. MA products are robust and ready for war! For us designers the console is like our best friend. We had no problems with dot2 at all.”