Rob Halliday is a lighting designer with a mission: to properly document the lighting of every show. And since nothing existed to do so, he invented FocusTrack, which is now available in a new version that supports ETC and MA Lighting grandMA consoles, as well as the Philips Strand Lighting 500 series consoles.
“Previewed at USITT in March, and tested on a number of shows since, the new FocusTrack 2.000 is now— finally! —available,” says Halliday, who explains that the program was designed to simplify the task of comprehensively documenting production lighting, whether to maintain it over a long run, re-create it on tour, re-mount it in new productions, bring the show back into a rep, or create a portfolio.
What’s new, he notes, is “mainly that it can now (when running on a MAC) use the show data from, and control, the Eos/Ion and grandMA as well as the Strand 500-series, making it useful to a much wider range of shows. There's quite a long list of other new features, too, evolved over time and in response to user feedback, including the ability for FocusTrack to spot the difference between the patch in Lightwright and the patch in the console, so for those who want to keep using Lightwright, FocusTrack can help ensure it is up to date.”
FocusTrack has been used on several shows in the Donmar Warehouse's West End season, including Twelfth Night and Hamlet, “since they are expected to have a future life,” notes Halliday. “It's in use on the award-winning and Tony Best Musical Billy Elliot and the ongoing run of Mary Poppins in New York, and it helped on the operaI Puritani in Athens, and documented the recent revival of Equus in London and New York.
Halliday reports increased interest in the program: “There has been a jump in interest with V2, presumably because ETC and MA Lighting have done such good jobs of getting their consoles out into the world.”