Martin Professional celebrated Carnival in a big way this year when lighting designer Eddie Reyes used an all-Martin rig for a free outdoor concert on March 7 at the AT&T Amphitheater in downtown Miami's Bayfront Park, as part of the annual Calle Ocho street fair. The concert, which drew an estimated audience of 15,000, was also broadcast on the Telemundo television network. The roster of all-star Latin artists included Celia Cruz and La India.
Reyes used a rig with 92 Martin MAC 600s, 71 Martin MAC 500s, eight Martin PAL 1200s, and two Case P2 control consoles. There were also eight Reel EFX DF-50 diffusion hazers and three Jem Roadie smoke machines, as well as pyrotechnics provided by Beyond Belief Productions. "I used an all-Martin rig since they are here in Miami and the technical support was great," says Reyes, a lighting director for Telemundo. While Magnum served as the lighting vendor for the concert, additional Martin units were pulled from Vanco Lighting Services and SEAL. They were all prepped in the Martin shop on their way to the concert. "We only had to replace two before the show," says Reyes.
One set remained in place for the entire show, with building facades recreating the look of South Beach onstage. "The set had a colorful, cartoonish look, with narrow bottoms and wide tops to the buildings. There were also a lot of windows where we used backlight," says Reyes. "The buildings got smaller as they moved upstage to create a sense of depth and perspective." His job was to give the set as many different looks as possible, and effectively light both the stage and the audience.
"I was thinking color," Reyes notes. "The belief is that Latin audiences like lots of bright color. With Martin's color-mixing I was able to pick and choose. I think I used every color in the spectrum." One of his base colors was a "congo" blue, made by mixing cyan and magenta. He used the MAC 600s as washlights and to add layers of color on the set. The MAC 500s provided hard-edged patterns with prisms to multiply the effects. "I used rotating patterns out in the audience for the cameras to pick up, but not on the stage floor," he says.
Reyes and programmer Jorge Valdez worked for five nights before the concert. "Since it was outdoors we had to work at night, from 7pm until about three in the morning." Once the show was programmed, Reyes and Valdez adjusted some of the intensities and colors for the camera.
"There was a camera rehearsal the night before the concert," Reyes explains. "We asked them to leave a wide shot with the iris set at 2.8. That's how we metered the light." They then went through the 600 or so cues to see what the camera saw. "With just the naked eye you don't have to worry about hot spots," Reyes says. "But with digital cameras you have to watch light levels and make sure you light the talent correctly."