23 Sep 2013

ETC And Vari*Lite Dazzle At King Kong The Musical

Global Creature’s new multi-million dollar production of King Kong has taken Melbourne by storm. It’s an all-out spectacle, with fantastic lighting, sound, stagecraft, singing, costumes and dancing and an incredibly life-like six metre tall gorilla!

Peter Mumford’s stunning lighting design has just won him a Helpmann Award, a verdict that surprised no one. Pivotal to his design are eighty-six ETC Source Four LED Lustr+ profiles, fifty positioned out front at the Regent Theatre with another eight on the side balcony trusses and the rest in the gantry.

“I’ve been using ETC Source Four LED Lustr+ profiles quite a bit in London and I really do like them,” commented Peter. “Although they are generic in one sense, they also have internal colour mixing so they have a remote aspect to them in terms of colour changing.They are quite beautiful, you can do very subtle colour changes with them over five or ten minutes which I often do in productions. Although I haven’t done this in King Kong as the lighting is very much in your face.”


Peter notes that the Source Four LED’s are totally silent and is immensely pleased that he doesn’t have to deal with scroller noise or malfunction anymore. “Everyone on Kong was impressed by the Source Four LED’s particularly their very even ‘field’,” he said. “I tend to use them in King Kong as a generic back up with a bunch of them on the gantry and whilst they are obviously on a fixed focus, they provide a solid colour base. The same FOH where they provide a solid colour wash which I can change and work with to use as infill. I love that you can use the colour picker on screen just like you would with Photoshop.”

The show’s Production Electrician Ken Roach love the Source Four LEDs as they halve the dimmers and halve the cables! “You can daisy-chain seven lights together and run them off one cable, so instead of having a dimmer for each of the seven lights you have one circuit breaker,” he noted.

Eight ETC Selador Desire D60 Vivid Luminaires are located within the Empire State building solely for effect when Kong falls off said building. The show also utilises sixty-nine Vari-Lite VL3500 with the first three bars on stage packed with them as Peter favours a fairly steep front of house look. “The VL3500’s were chosen due to their power, zoom and colour changing ability – they do colour change very nicely,” Peter remarked. “The two gobo wheels are great as you can do a certain kind of morphing and mixing which you can’t do with other lights. They have a very good zoom on them which makes them rather versatile.”


Programmer and Associate Lighting Designer Victoria Brennan used an ETC EOS control console which is linked to the show control backbone for triggering some cues and positions. “The ETC console has been very good and done everything we have asked it to do which is quite a lot,” added Peter. “There are some quite complex sequences in King Kong which it has coped with very we


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