Outdoor musical amphitheatre The MUNY (Municipal Opera Association of St. Louis) has acquired Robert Juliat followspots to complement seven distinct shows over eight weeks. The staff and crew at the outdoor musical venue (which seats approximately 11,000 people and has just completed its 90th season) wanted followspots with more punch than they had been getting for a 300 foot throw from front of booth to front of stage (60 feet deep and 90 feet wide).
After deliberation, negotiation and comparison, three Lancelot 4000w and two Victor 1800w followspots were chosen. States lighting designer Mitch Dana: "MUNY is a huge space so they need a lot more light onstage. The spots they'd been using didn't cut through."
He, along with fellow lighting designer David Lander, wanted to be able to have, for instance, a blue overlay and then a smaller spot in light pink. "If we put a color in a spot, we didn't have much light left. People in the back of the theatre can't determine who's speaking, or see lips move," explains Dana. "Followspots actually help give clues to, and tell, the story. And, given the size of the space, they're very important."
The Robert Juliat spots had first been pointed out by the crew, who'd seen the Lancelot and Victor at the LDI show and "fell in love," Dana attests. "We looked at them and agreed." Lander and Dana staged a shootout with the competition at PRG, and came to the conclusion that they liked the RJs the best.
The Robert Juliat Lancelot 4000w followspot is a top-quality, enhanced-definition modular long throw effects projector that incorporates innovative technology, an extremely flat beam and outstanding light output. It features a new, 6-lense optical train, 2/5 degree zoom and a double quartz condenser system. The unit enables creation of an infinite variety of colors or effects.
Robert Juliat's Victor 1800w followspot comes complete with a high-performance double condenser optical system, a 100% closing iris with backplate follower in a removable cassette, a 100% closing mechanical dimmer, and a 6-way color changer system equipped with removable filter frames.
According to Dana, the RJ Lancelot and Victor followspots delivered the best light, best field, and ease-of-maintenance. "The kicker," he says, "was how easy it was to replace the irises. At that distance, irises are in a lot. We'd had to replace irises in the old lights, sometimes, three times per year. That's complicated!" They've never had to do that with the Robert Juliats. Even if they'd had to, the unit, claims Dana, "comes out and goes back in minutes. We don't need to do anything with the optics."
About Robert Juliat
Robert Juliat is a three-generation, independent, family-run company dedicated to stage lighting. The current chairman's grandfather was, at the end of the 19th century, one of the pioneers in creating special effects for the fledgling motion picture industry in France. Robert Juliat lights are used by customers who include the Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, New York's Lincoln Center, LA's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Disney World, The Royal Shakespeare Company, the Comedie Francaise, the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games, soccer's World Cup in Japan and Germany, plus theatres, schools and public venues around the world.
R&D, production and the company headquarters are based in the village of Fresnoy-en-Thelle, 50 km north of Paris. Robert Juliat USA is located in Wallingford, Connecticut. For more information, visit www.robertjuliatamerica.com.