Following its hugely successful run on Broadway, Rodgers+Hammerstein's Cinderella has also taken to the road, launching a new production that is now touring the USA.
To refine the lighting rig to the practicalities of touring, budgets and equipment availability, lighting designer Kenneth Posner and associate lighting designer John Viesta made some changes to the New York design for the road, switching the side ladder moving lights from Martin Mac2000s to Vari-Lite VL3500s and replacing the overhead VL2500 Wash lights with LED par cans.
As ever with changes like this, the lighting data in the console show file no longer produced the correct lighting on stage, since each fixture type responds differently to the same DMX data. In this situation what is needed is clear, precise, accurate information about what the lights did in each preset focus and in each cue in the original production, to allow the new fixture types to be manually matched to that look as closely as possible and the console data updated.
Clear, precise, accurate information of this type is exactly what FocusTrack provides - and with the Broadway production of Cinderella already documented in FocusTrack, the lighting team - Posner, Viesta, programmer Hillary Knox and production electrician Ron Schwier - were able to re-create the show's lighting with the new rig quickly and accurately.
"FocusTrack was critical in making the Cinderella rig transfer possible," comments John Viesta, "providing us with a precise record of each element of the show in New York that we could match the lights in the touring rig to. The photos of each lighting cue FocusTrack takes were also instrumental in ensuring the overall composition, tone and mood of the show translated in addition to the separate data for each light."
"FocusTrack is a powerful tool," Viesta adds, "which I'll be using again on another show, Beautiful, for both the upcoming London and touring productions because the NYC documentation is so precise and has proven to be very helpful."
"Knowledge is key when it comes to re-creating lighting, particularly when you have to change elements of the rig," comments FocusTrack's Rob Halliday. "FocusTrack gives you knowledge, letting you easily answer questions like 'what was that light doing in that cue' or 'which colours did I actually use in those scrolls.' It makes dealing with the kind of changes to the rig that Cinderella encountered - and many other shows also encounter - simple."
As well as Cinderella, FocusTrack is in action on many other new London, New York and international productions, ranging from Shakespeare in Love and Beautiful - The Carole King Musical to the new Dutch production of Billy Elliot.
Further information about the software, including a downloadable demo version, can be found at www.FocusTrack.co.uk.
Paige Faure and the Cast of the National Tour of Rogers+Hammerstein's Cinderella. Photo (c) Carol Rosegg.