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Nick Chang enlists Elation Artiste to lift Church of the City Christmas services

Nick Chang enlists Elation Artiste to lift Church of the City Christmas services
Nick Chang enlists Elation Artiste to lift Church of the City Christmas services

USA – Lighting director Nick Chang is one of the dedicated ones. Not only has he been on the road with the Kane Brown tour for the last four months, handling lighting on shows across America on the country-pop stars “Blessed and Free Tour,” the touring schedule allows him to travel back to his home town of Nashville where he oversees lighting for services and other events at Church of the City.

On staff at the church since March of 2021, Nick was called on to light Church of the City’s 2021 Christmas services and specified a rig of Elation Artiste Mondrian and Artiste Monet LED moving heads, as well as Platinum Seven wash fixtures, all rented through Elite Multimedia.

Nick has been contracting with Church of the City since 2020 and handled a Christmas project for them that year. This year, the church held five Christmas services: two on 23 December and three on 24 December in the 3,000-seat auditorium at the main campus in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. Nick co-designed lighting for the services with Church of the City production manager Jori Johnson. Nick also handled the lighting programming.

Nick says that the goal was to be entertaining and engaging in the early segments of the service, then to slow it down to focus on the message. “We like to have fun and engage with the crowd for the first 13 minutes of the service with five or six songs then move into slower moments with worship songs before moving into the sermon,” he explains. “At the end is a beautiful Silent Night moment with a nativity scene, candle lighting, and kids in angel outfits. I utilised the rig we had to make it feel as though you were outside and it was nighttime with stars in the sky. It’s a touching way to end the service.”

At Nick’s disposal were 20 Artiste Mondrian moving heads, an LED profile FX luminaire with full design package, SpectraColor color mixing system, large 226mm lens, and over 51,000 lumens of power. Ten fixtures worked from an upstage truss with ten positioned downstage.

“I wanted the intensity with beams and gobos but I also wanted to be able to use them at five or ten per cent to get nice eye candy looks on stage from that big lens,” Nick said. “I could use the upstage fixtures as a wash zoomed out to cover the stage in a red or blue or white, and use the downstage fixtures as a profile with gobos, or vice versa. They were really versatile. I found that they did all roles very well.”

Nick used the Mondrians throughout the service and describes two impactful but very different looks to illustrate their flexibility. “There is one moment, a drum breakdown, where I put them all at a three-degree beam shooting throughout the room and at 51,000 lumens that was pretty powerful. At another moment, I used two fixtures to downlight in white a cello and vocalist for an intimate acoustic part of the experience while the other 18 fixtures washed the stage.” In another stirring scene, he used four Mondrians to silhouette from above the manger as a bright light coming from the sky with star gobo used at just ten per cent intensity.

Working with the Mondrians from a floor position were 18 Artiste Monets, Elation’s award-winning 45,000-lumen LED Profile with SpectraColor and complete FX system. “I used them for everything from a wash to a profile and really used every feature of them that I could. What was nice about having the Mondrians and Monets together, because they’re so bright with zoom I could use them for everything from slow wash moments to beams everywhere to profile looks with a spinning gobo.”

Nick says he also enjoyed the SpectraColor color mixing, a proprietary seven-flag system that combines CMY with seamlessly adjustable RGB flags and variable CTO that is found in both fixtures. “I was very impressed with the saturated blues and reds we got out of them. With a lot of fixtures you’ll lose some of that colour after 40 or 50 feet but I could shoot a saturated red with the Mondrians from the stage to the back of the house and up to the balcony and it stayed consistent all the way through. One of my favourite looks was opening up to a lavender blue, a saturated dark colour on the stage. I normally use a lot of intensity on that but with these, I didn’t have to and our cameras picked it up nicely for the live stream.”

According to Nick, video director Ryan Smith enjoyed having the Mondrian’s on the stage as well. “A lot of time they’re not only looking for white on the stage but are looking for other eye candy that the camera can pick up visually,” he says. “Ryan commented that with the fat lens on stage and being able to see the gobo on the lens, with the fixture running at five to ten per cent, it added a lot to the live stream.”

Additional to the package were eight Platinum Seven LED wash fixtures, seven on each side of the stage that Nick used for sidelight, eye candy and occasional fat beam looks. “I wanted something I could do pixel looks with using the different rings of pixels without having to spend a lot of time laying it out and programming,” he said. “It was super simple to use the preprogrammed pixel macros while adding the effects that we wanted. Also, the eye candy looks looked great with that big face.” Besides adding to the big wash moments, Nick would sometimes use the single pixel in the middle of the fixture as a shooting star across the stage.

Nick reports that the church was thrilled with the services and that church personnel, including show producer Sarah Bible, were blown away with how everything looked. “I was blown away as well,” he confirms. “Based on the ability to use them as a wash, beam or profile, these are some of my new favourite fixtures.”

All of the Elation gear for the Church of the City Christmas services was supplied and supported by Elite Multimedia Productions of Nashville with account management by Kenny Mason. “Kenny made sure we were taken care of and we felt very supported the entire time.” Elite also provided Andrew Hunt as a lighting technician.

Nick Chang is looking forward to wrapping up the “Blessed and Free Tour” and moving towards planning Church of the City’s Easter Services to continue a busy year.

photos: Christin Wurst

www.elationlighting.com

Nick Chang enlists Elation Artiste to lift Church of the City Christmas services Nick Chang enlists Elation Artiste to lift Church of the City Christmas services

17th January 2022

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