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Chauvet Professional Nexus Panels Provide Punch for Loserville the Musical
UK – For a recent run of Loserville the Musical at Cirencester’s Sundial Theatre, designer Joe Beardsmore turned to Enlightened Lighting to help create a scintillating backdrop incorporating fixtures from Chauvet Professional’s Nexus family of pixel-mapping displays.
Co-written by McBusted musician James Bourne, Loserville is about high school nerds in 1970s America, and the beginning of computer connectivity. To illuminate the performance, Bearsdsmore wanted to create an industrial warehouse/computer geek look yet have the very latest lighting technology and visual effects at his fingertips.
To create the desired effect, a combination of 20 Nexus Aq 5x5 and 15 Nexus Aw 7x7 LED panels was selected, all provided via theatrical and event equipment hire firm Enlightened Lighting. These versatile systems are capable of projecting narrow beams of light, providing washes and displaying impactful text and vivid animated graphics. The panels were hung in groups of between two and six panels, arrayed so the word “Loserville” could be displayed across the stage at various intervals.
“Taking panels typically used for live band and dance events into a stage musical environment is not conventional,” said Beardsmore. “I was impressed with how easy they were to incorporate into the overall design and they made an incredibly flexible platform for all the effects I wanted.
“I needed 14 overlapping grids to control the Nexus panels to the level of detail required, 11 for each set of panels, a master each for the 5x5 and 7x7 panels, and finally one with all the panels in. This meant I could quickly create effects covering only the area of stage being used for a scene, or create effects spanning out across the whole stage. It worked so easily, and looked brilliant!
“Having seen a demo of the fixtures at the BPM show in the Chauvet Professional Arena, I knew they would be perfect for my idea,” he continued. “What I didn’t realise at the time is how incredibly bright they are. For a lot of the show the panels never went above 10% brightness, but as a designer it was great to have such punch of colour and beam available when required.”
The entire Chauvet Professional Nexus range offers flexible control options with intuitive individual pixel-mapping possibilities using Kling-Net, Art-Net and DMX.
“The show ended up being 15 universes of DMX alongside automated fixtures in the rig. Some of the Nexus panels were controlled via Art-Net, but whichever way they were set up they ran effectively and reliably,” said Beardsmore.
The actors and crew consisted of students from Cirencester College’s Performing Arts Course. Duncan Walthew, course director, was impressed by the set. “When the actors started rehearsals on the actual stage set they were knocked out by the lighting and sound design and they really upped their game and gave it 110%,” he said.
The audience too was blown away with the professional quality of the show, to quote one member: “they may be amateurs but that performance was like a professional West End show”.
“The tech crew was also thrilled with the ease of assembly of the Nexus panels,” concluded Beardsmore, “they made the de-rig a dream!”
3rd February 2015
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