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Bandit Lights Up Flash of Nash in Downtown Nashville

USA – Music City’s most famous streets got in on the city’s entertainment as a free, five-minute nightly light show encompassed Fifth + Broadway every 30 minutes for two hours. Bandit Lites supplied the lighting system for Flash of Nash, the artistic music and light show inspired and designed by local Nashville artists and students to create an inviting experience and bring people to the new building complex.

“The main focus of the project was the large format projection we were displaying on the side of a parking garage, so the lighting had to help mimic that imagery and carry the energy across the half city block of surrounding stores and attached businesses,” explained lighting designer Emily Bornt. “Knowing we had such a large footprint to cover outdoors and not a lot of power available for the rig, IP-rated LED pars seemed like the obvious solution.”

“Emily Bornt, Drew Poley and Sean Cagney first met with us in February while our industry was still in full lock down,” said Bandit Lites vice president Mike Golden. “The area we were to light was still under construction. As the buildings took shape and we were able to do a site survey, the design team as well as myself and project manager Gene Brian all worked together to adjust the gear and schedule to execute the job.”

The design team worked with the architects and building engineers to create power drops, find cable paths, and engineer what could and could not be done on roofs. When it came to gear selection, the lighting entirely outdoor and exposed to the elements, meaning it had to be bright, hardy and feature smooth colour changing.

“We initially designed everything with LED pars in mind, and Bandit was the only local vendor with 150+ IP rated fixtures readily available, so we used the Elation Sixpar 100 from their stock,” said Bornt. “With a robust output and smooth colour mixing system, this was a solid choice that gave us the ability to create a variety of looks without overwhelming the shoppers below.”

“Once the movers were brought it, having the brightness that they provided helped to let our Emily create a fun atmosphere,” said Andrew Poley of Wide Angle Group / Don’t Wonder Productions, “and knowing that they were able to put up with the outdoor weather patterns of a Nashville summer was great.”

Ten Ayrton IP-rated Dominos provided by ACT Entertainment were spread down the length of the install, providing remarkable coverage while still supplying a clean output.

“The variety of gobos helped add some texture on top of the colour gradients of the pars, and occasionally added some movement to the space,” said Bornt. “Everyone’s favourite gobo was the “Death Star” gobo. You’ll know it when you see it; and the gobo shake was perfect. I’m one of those weirdos who loves using gobo shake whenever it fits, and the shake rate on this fixture is a dream. Most fixtures are obnoxiously fast, but this one offers a jaunty gobo dance.”

The team took special care to be mindful of the space itself, a populous shopping center, making sure the light avoided spilling into the streets and distracting drivers as well as not shining lights into residencies and the parking garage.

“Since it was a space open to the public, we also had to keep in mind some people may be photosensitive,” said Bornt, “We kept strobing and quick lighting changes to a minimum while still trying to be energetic and fun.”

“The design of lighting the space, which had to be cued to music, was generated via camera mapping a video texture across a 3D lighting rig in Cinema 4D,” explained Sean Cagney, CEO of Amazing Industries Inc. “So of course having video textures blend through light beams is wildly unrealistic, and blasting light into all of the store front/restaurant windows wasn't going to work, but the light reflected up. The Dominos really bridged the gap between a very animated textured design that was impossible and created a very dynamic show.”

Bandit’s staff weighed on the proper placement for fixtures, working with Bornt to create drawings that helped explain to the clients how the lighting would work within the experience.

“There were not a lot of conventional hang positions available, so Bandit helped find some very smart and safe solutions to put lighting gear in the places we needed it,” said Bornt. “They coordinated with the building and its management to create rigging points for the safe tie off of gear as well as the technicians working. We had some challenges from the space, and had limited hours we could work, since it was both a residential space as well as a commercial space open to the public.”

“Emily did a killer job converting my shotgun array of impossible virtual lighting fixtures into a coherent design, and her and Bandit did an amazing job fine tuning that into a very sleek, elegant installation,” said Cagney. “And they worked tirelessly with heavy black steel in broad daylight during a heatwave.”

“Emily was instrumental in the success of Flash of Nash due to the insane amount of time she spent building the model for the 'venue', and then determining the fixture choice and placement to achieve her looks,” said Golden. “Drew devised a fantastic production schedule and filled all of our labour and machinery needs, and Sean Cagney was an equal delight as the show Programmer. I must also compliment Bandit’s project manager Gene Brian for his total focus, attention to detail and delivery of the job; this was a total team effort and we are very proud to have been a part of it.”

Poley shared Bandit’s expertise was crucial in the success of the installation, noting its proximity to downtown Nashville offered a smooth load in, but Cagney shared while the gear was great, “the Bandit guys were amazing.”

“From me personally, the Bandit experience was unbelievable,” said Poley. “The attention to detail was just amazing to work with. Gene Brian and Michael Golden paid so much attention to detail to come up with smooth load in and load out plans that we actually came in under budget and quicker than expected. The paperwork that was created and distributed to the staff and crew also contributed to such a smooth experience. Also, the crew leads were top notch, everybody knew their job and executed it to perfection!”

“I was really pleased with Bandit’s work on this project, from beginning to end,” added Bornt. “Everyone involved with the project was very knowledgeable and professional, and there was never a moment that I was concerned. They always had timely solutions within our budget, and their crew did an amazing job getting all the gear in safely with time to spare. Our project manager and crew chief were able to see issues before they came up and have a variety of solutions available, working proactively to ensure a smooth load in and load out. I look forward to being able to use them as my vendor on any upcoming projects because I know they will deliver beyond my expectations.”

18th August 2021

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