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Okulus takes Ayrton MagicBlade-R to PVRIS on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Okulus takes Ayrton MagicBlade-R to PVRIS on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Okulus takes Ayrton MagicBlade-R to PVRIS on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

USA – UK-based production design company, Okulus, chose a bank of 40 Ayrton MagicBlade-R fixtures to back the up-and-coming American rock band, PVRIS, on their first-ever televised appearance. The band appeared in January on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show, the longest-running late night chat show on America’s ABC television network, where they were watched by over two million viewers.

PVRIS may still be in its infancy, but the band recognised the significance of this prime exposure, and were keen to invest time in ensuring their appearance was memorable. They turned to Okulus’ lighting designers and programmers, James Scott and Louis Oliver, to bring their ideas to life.

Scott and Oliver decided the unique appearance and reliability of Ayrton’s MagicBlade-R fixtures were a sure-fire way to achieve this and used them as a dynamic backdrop to the band’s equally dynamic performance.

“We wanted to give the band a look that would have an impact on this, their first televised appearance, and that in front of an audience of one- to two-million viewers on this prime time American TV show,” says Oliver. “Knowing the size of the audience, and the social media and online coverage that would follow, we wanted to be sure to present the band in a strong, signature way, and provide them with a solid piece of footage that emphasised the look and brand of the band.”

Scott and Oliver used the MagicBlade-R units to create a matrix of light around the band, and programmed them to create some strong looks and dramatic sweeps that looked great on camera.

The MagicBlade-R units were rigged vertically on ten 8ft poles behind the band in a four-high by ten-wide configuration to fit within the restricted space of the Kimmel studios. “The ‘Lobby’ performance area has a low trim and an angled upstage wall which meant we had to keep things simple,” says Scott. “We needed a fixture that was compact and full of features. We aren’t using any colour in the campaign, so we are really only playing with intensity and movement. The MagicBlade-R was perfect as it’s one fixture with many light sources.”

“The band themselves have a strong black and white look which we were keen to emphasise,” continues Oliver. “Under their direction we kept the colour palette deliberately monotone and chose to use the MagicBlades only in white, with one minor exception of a pale blue, CTB tint. We were able to create lots of subtle effects amid the sweeps, altering the angle of the fixtures to create symmetrical patterns across the back wall and taking full advantage of the control over individual emitters to run vertical and horizontal chases over the grid.”

Scott and Oliver programmed the show in advance using cast WYSIWYG software. “This gave us the chance to experiment with the MagicBlade and get the most out of it, and to play with the structure of the visuals they produced in the grid.”

Oliver and Scott chose to programme each MagicBlade-R manually without using any of the onboard features. “We wanted to make a truly bespoke look for the band and take advantage of the versatility of the units to achieve this. We knew what we wanted to achieve and the fixtures are easy to programme, so the whole operation went very smoothly.”

The programming took place at the offices of Ayrton’s exclusive UK distributor, Ambersphere, in London. “The team at Ambersphere were helpful as always, supplying us with space, and a console to work on,” says Oliver. The show was then set up and operated by Sooner Routhier during the broadcast, triggered by timecode and driven from a grandMA2 Light console.

“The MagicBlades were great and we will continue to use them on PVRIS dates this year,” concludes Oliver. “Now we can’t wait to get our hands on Ayrton’s new DreamPanel-Twin to see what we can do with that!”

The Jimmy Kimmel Live! performance came ahead of a US tour in which PVRIS will support Fall Out Boy, before embarking on a UK headline tour in the spring which will return to the US later this year. Okulus, with the aid of Ayrton, will be supporting them all the way.

photos: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

16th February 2016

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