There were grandMAs behind the scenes at the recent Miss Florida USA 2012 pageant where beauty queen Karina Baez was selected to move on to the national Miss USA competition. Staged in Davie's Bailey Concert Hall at Broward College, the pageant was also telecast live in HD to fans across the Sunshine State. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of grandMA in North America.
Stefan DeWilde, who served as lighting and set designer for the show, also programmed the production and called cues from the television truck during the telecast. He was hired to add some pizzazz to a show that's been a fixture for 18 years and was so successful at amping up the show's glamour quotient that the producers have submitted the program for Emmy Award consideration in the lighting category.
"I always start with the console," says DeWilde. "The real foundation of this program is the consoles. I brought in a large package of movers and a grandMA full-size and grandMA light from PRG to handle them, and we saw an amazing improvement."
DeWilde, who designed the show for the first time this year, says, "the two main reasons I went with grandMA were efficiency and programming capability. I didn't have a lot of time, and the system must not fail. On a live television show you only get one chance to get things right, so I needed an extremely reliable console.
"Also, I only had eight hours to program the show. I needed a console that could easily work with five different types of automated lights, hundreds of conventional fixtures and an LED wall" to provide visual eye candy to viewers as well as illuminate the theater, architecture and audience.
DeWilde's lighting complement included a dozen each of VARI*LITE VL5A and 6C+ fixtures, 15 Martin TW1s, 12 Martin Mac 550s, 36 Sea Changers, more than 1,300 conventional fixtures plus two Lycian Super Arc 2K spots. Arkaos provided the VJ DMX media server and video wall.
"The grandMA is a great console for live changes," DeWilde reports. "I programmed the sequences and then called the show cues for my operator. When live changes were required, which happened often, having the flexibility to implement them in seconds was a huge advantage."
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