Leading South African lighting designer Joshua Cutts from Visual Frontier used Astera Titan Tubes to light various segments of the final of The Voice South Africa 2019, which was staged at the Mosaïek Teatro in Fairlands, Johannesburg, and broadcast on M-Net Channel 101.
Josh has lit the series since it started in South Africa in 2016. For the finales, he is on the lookout for new, innovative and inventive lighting effects and potential visual eye-candy. This year, they came in the form of Titan Tubes … shortly after DWR Distribution had been announced as the exclusive South African distributor.
Josh decided to control the Titan Tubes through his grandMA lighting console.
His initial idea was to use eight of the wireless battery powered lighting fixtures to illuminate the dancers for different songs. Then, he and some other core production team members, including choreographer Michelle Oppenshaw, show director Darren Hayward and TV director Nadia White decided that they should also hand-hold them – light sabre style – and spin them around singer Craig Lucas (winner of series 2 in 2017), who made a special guest appearance in the 2019 Finale.
At one point the dancers – holding their Titan Tubes – formed a circle around Lucas and raised their Titan Tubes aloft so their luminescence became passing key light for some dramatic moments during that section of the show.
This move was a huge hit with everyone.
For some songs – the finale show featured 12 different contestant songs plus guest appearances – Josh employed the Tubes for other practical lighting tasks.
A 12-piece strings section was brought on to accompany the backing band for some songs, and he dotted the Tubes amongst them, some lying horizontally on the floor up-lighting their faces and others rigged vertically on the tidy little stands that come with them. In these positions, they highlighted the musicians and added a buzz with colourful and energizing chases.
For one of the other numbers, Josh moved the Titan Tubes to create a picket fence either side of the piano whilst finalists The PJ Twins performed Luther Vandross’s “Impossible Dream” with star Timothy Moloi.
The Titan Tubes again received an overwhelming thumbs up!
“Their brightness is great, they have excellent colour rendering for camera and a very dynamic RGB colour mixing engine, all making them ultimately adaptable and versatile,” he enthused, adding that he will be using them again!
Both Josh and Michelle had been wanting to use Titan Tubes for some time. When Josh heard that Duncan Riley and DWR Distribution had been appointed the distributor just before the finale was approaching, he called immediately “as I knew that we could utilize them in numerous ways for the show.”
Although it was the first time he’d used any Astera products, Josh had “absolute faith” that they would be ideal and work brilliantly for the treatments he had in mind.
“I loved them and hope to be specifying and using them a lot more in the future! There are sooooo many ways in which they can be applied to different elements of a performance show like this.”
Lighting, audio and video equipment was delivered by rental company Multi-Media with the set built by JDM sets (designed by Dewet Meyer), all other aspects of the technical production were coordinated and overseen by production manager Chris de Lancey.
The Voice South Africa was won by Tasché Burger from Cape Town, the first-ever female winner, who was coached by Francois van Coke.
Photos: Duncan Riley