The X Factor New Zealand is based on the international X Factor production format owned by Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment. Paul Collison, along with Simon Garret, design and operate the weekly show from a temporary studio fitted out in a food storage warehouse in South Auckland.
Norwest Oceania Productions supplied the lighting, audio and rigging for the project, which include eight ETC Source Four Revolutions, purchased especially for The X Factor.
Garrett, Norwest Oceania’s General Manager, is delighted with his purchase which is essentially a high performance Source Four zoom profile spot equipped with motorized pan, tilt, zoom, on-board dimming, and colour scroll.
“I knew they would be good but I underestimated how much fixed lighting they would render obsolete,” Garrett remarked. “Being able to shift lights live when the talent misses a mark has revolutionised my life.”
“Lighting on the fly with a tungsten source, as new ‘last minute’ hosting positions are mooted, used to be a major hassle with us playing catch up rigging and focusing specials, often in our breaks. Frequently, we would then have further stress when a camera position shift against a background required a second focus update. We can now look at what is possible in real time and accommodate most with little compromise, quickly and simply.”
The ETC Source Four Revolution’s exclusive QuietDrive motor control is a huge benefit in a television studio with Garrett commenting that they have been quiet and accurate.
“The eight ETC Source Four Revolutions have been operating flawlessly for three months,” he said. “They are really punchy but the massive zoom range means, as with a Fresnel, one can zoom out to retain colour temperature and shutter heavily to get the control back.”
Revolutions two module bays accept any two of the four optional beam-control modules which insert without tools or fixture disassembly. All modules are auto-sensing and require no patching or internal configuration changes to the fixture. For the X Factor – New Zealand, the Shutter and Iris modules along with colour scroll, provide more than enough features for the simple job of lighting on-screen talent.
“Currently I have eight Revolutions but will be buying more as they are so versatile,” added Garrett.
Paul Collison concurs that last season’s X Factor was more difficult to light having no automated tungsten fixtures. “It makes a hard job harder when you can’t just swing a light around where you need it,” he said. “One minute you think you’ve lit all your positions and then suddenly a hosting position is added, or a vocalist is moved to a new spot.”
Paul describes the Revolution as reliable in these situations with responsive and accurate shutters.
“It’s a very easy fixture to use,” he added. “It just sits there and does its’ job without you having to think about it too much. They require little attention and are simple in what they do, but do it very well. They are definitely the backbone of the show now and allow us to react much more quickly to new hosting positions as well as many of the performance elements. When we need them to, they can even do a respectable job of washing the stage.”
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