Scharff Weisberg Supplies Lighting For MTV's New Year's Eve Broadcast

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Times Square may have dropped the famous ball at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but Scharff Weisberg didn’t drop the ball when it helped MTV usher in a new year of music by providing a large inventory of lighting and control equipment for the network’s live New Year’s Eve event. Lighting Designer Christopher Landy of Vibrant Design and Production Designer Tom Lenz of 513 East 12th Street Design Associates worked closely to transform the MTV Times Square Studios into a Masquerade themed party for the live broadcast. Lenz crafted a Victorian inspired glossy black set punctured by a variety of light boxes allowing Landy to create unique looks for each of the 8 performances that included Kid Rock and Reverend Run, Mary J. Blige, Wycleff Jean, Good Charlotte, Boys Like Girls, Flo Rida, Paramore and Faboulous. . Scharff Weisberg supplied a variety of LED fixtures that were integrated into the set: Columns were lit by MX iCove, the floor by Color Kinetics’ ColorBlaze high-performance LED strips and the ceiling by iCove accents. The Hippotizer drove columns of MX LED fixtures. “Scharff Weisberg came in to patch our Green Hippo Hippotizer video server to all the column surrounds, and that looked great,� notes Landy. “They also helped max out the console to seven universes.� Scharff Weisberg supplied a package that included 2 Hog iPC with a playback wing, 2 IPC Super Widgets, 24 VL2500 Washes, 24 Mac 700 Spots, 2 HES Showguns, 12 Atomic 3000 Strobes with Scrollers, 8 HES Studio Beams, 36 Coemar LED pars, 36 Color Blast 12, 18 Color Blazes, 18 iColor Accents, 80 iCoves, Scharff Weisberg also supplied City Theatrical’s SHoW wireless DMX system to MTV exterior stage. It allowed for the control of outdoor moving lights from within the studio. The system was tasked with sending data to two High End System Showgun moving lights onstage in the middle of Times Square. City Theatrical and Scharff Weisberg configured and installed the system to optimize performance taking into account the heavy wireless traffic already present in both the MTV building where the transmitter was located and onstage. The system works in the wireless Ethernet 2.4 ghz spectrum shared with all the wireless networks employed by the various storefronts and businesses in the Times Square area. The Showguns created a constant ballyhoo for the event, which could be seen in the overhead shot prior to commercial breaks and, at one point, as the backdrop for an MTV teaser during the show. Landy, who has a long history with MTV Studios, was thrilled with the performance of City Theatrical’s SHoW wireless DMX system. “We were able to run the exterior stage wirelessly from the studio,� he says. "MTV produces so many events on the streets of Times Square, the SHoW wireless system is a valuable tool. " “The Showguns looked amazing on camera,� adds Lenz. “They had a skytracker look. It was great that Scharff Weisberg had them available.� “What I can rely on with Scharff Weisberg is not only service and reliability, but support, and this show was no exception.� notes Landy Art directors for MTV were Amy Gavin, Phil Vriend and Jordan Wagenseller. Matthew Piercy was Associate LD for Vibrant Design with Michael Appel as Moving Light Programmer. At Scharff Weisberg, John Healy was the project manager and Ron Brodeur was the wireless engineer. Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, firms with extensive histories in the presentation and staging markets, recently announced a co-ownership agreement. While continuing to operate independently the two companies work together strategically to provide clients with state of the art audio, video and lighting equipment and services. With a strong presence on both coasts Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications are able to deliver a large array of cost-effective services on a national level. For more information, call 718-610-1660 or visit our website at

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