France's Raphael Tours with Martin MAC III Profile™

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In November and December French singer Raphael played several gigs across France beneath an Andi Watson (Radiohead, Dido) designed MAC rig that included Martin Professional's new 1500 watt MAC III Profileâ„¢. Lighting supplier for the tour was Arpège Son Lumière (www.arpege-son-lumiere.com) who, together with Watson, is the first in the world to put MAC III Profile production fixtures on a tour. Arpège purchased 14 of the new generation MAC fixtures via Martin France just in time for the tour's start. “Although load in started November 1st we didn't receive the fixtures on site until November 4th with a first show on November 7th at the Zénith in Nantes,” stated Jan Lambrecht of Arpège. “We purchased the MAC III Profiles because Arpège plays a big role in the touring market in France and across Europe and the fixtures will be useful on tours in early spring 2009. They will also be great for television and events, two other important markets for us. The MAC III Profiles are great next to the MAC 2000 Wash XB, have a powerful output and are technically very easy to maintain.” Watson has previously worked with Raphael on the artist's 'Caravane' tour as well as a series of special acoustic shows. He commented, “My role on this tour is production designer although with no video on the show it has mainly been about the lighting and the set. With regards the MAC III in particular I am delighted that they were available for the tour as I feel the quality of the light from the fixture, its reliability and features have added hugely to the production.”

Industrial look

In contrast to the last tour where video projection and a lot of fabric were used, this time Raphael wanted a more stripped down and 'naked' feel to the stage. Watson explains, “My solution was to create a stage environment reminiscent of a derelict warehouse or old industrial building, hence the lack of borders on the trusses, the very metallic look, the use of genuine last century industrial lamps and chains, etc. “As a result the lighting system in its entirety becomes a huge part of the stage set. I knew I wanted to use 5k Fresnel lamps with color scrollers and also MAC 2000 Wash fixtures and needed a hard edge fixture which would be able to cut through 50k of wash lighting. As I also knew that I wanted to have an animation wheel to create directional lighting effects, the MAC III Profile was the perfect choice.” Watson used the MAC III Profiles, outfitted with custom gobos, in conjunction with a number of Martin MAC 2000 Performance units. “I chose the MAC III for the brightness and quality of the beam as well as the animation wheel which I adore,” he says. “The zoom range proved to be an absolute winner and of course the fixture's ability to create red from the color mixing system is a real novelty and a welcome one at that!” Watson placed six MAC III Profile units on the front truss for front key lighting and for texture washes of both the band and the set. The remaining six fixtures were mounted on the highest of the rear trusses and used for rear band lighting and aerial beam texturing.

No teething troubles

Launched earlier this fall, the MAC III Profile has been successfully field tested on tours (James Blunt, Staind), and has been used on several television productions. Featuring a new design and superior feature list, its super bright, fat beam adds a welcome, new dimension to shows. “The reliability of the units has been wonderful and in fact the only issues we have had are a few sticking dimmers that have come good after a reset,” Watson says. “Having worked with several launch fixtures in the past from various manufacturers I had prepared myself for a period of 'teething troubles' but that just hasn't happened. The fixtures have worked really, really well and I am very impressed with them. I can't wait to use the MAC III Profile on my next tour and explore more of its features and possibilities.”

More MAC

As far as the other Martin gear on the show, 13 MAC 2000 Performances were placed on the rear sub hung trusses also doing rear band work with the remainder on the floor backlighting the low chiffon backdrop. Six MAC 2000 Washes were used on the front truss for band and set lighting and the remainder were on the floor lighting the band from the side, the chiffon backdrop and uplighting the trussing and industrial lamps. Watson made a special point of praising the “fantastic and hardworking lighting, set, rigging and production team who were so great to work with” and also “Jan Lambrecht from Arpege who was wonderfully helpful and understanding.”

Production Manager: Vincent Pitras

Production Company: TS3 (directed by Thierry Suc)

TS3 manager on tour: Bernard Désage, Julie Cheron (Assistant)

Lighting Designer, Production Designer: Andi Watson

Lighting Supplier: Arpège Son Lumière

Crew Chief & Lighting Operator: Florian Camus

Automated Lighting Tech: Jérôme Prévost

Lighting Tech & Network Specialist: Pascal Vittoz

Lighting Tech & Dimmers: Martial Blond

Lighting Tech & Followspot Operator: Ronan Garnier

Set Carpenter & Jielde Manipulator: Jean Schteyer

Riggers: Jonathan Ketterer, Tahar Rahmani

Photos: Allan Toft; Zenith, St. Etienne, France; Nov. 25, 2008

Martin Professional

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin Professional is a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors. Martin lighting solutions are industry standard on top tours and events, grace prestigious theatres, energize nightclubs, and decorate major television studios around the globe. Other important areas of application are indoor and outdoor architecture and commercial applications where Martin products are increasingly being used to transform spaces through dynamic light. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke Machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin generates yearly revenue of approximately EUR 160 million and employs 1250 highly skilled workers worldwide. The company operates the industry's most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. For more information please visit www.martin.com

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