WHEN TOSHIBA WAS PLANNING ITS corporate meeting to take place in Miami last May, the directive the company sent down to the event design pros was simply a “sensory overload.” It's not surprising that the electronics giant wanted an atmosphere that would set attendees' tongues wagging since the members in this industry are used to having their senses teased. Add to the mix the Beach Boys and Terry Bradshaw and you needed a very flexible lighting design to cover all the bases.
“Our design objective was to create an immersive environment resulting in a sensory overload that would work in tandem with automated lighting,” says veteran LD Bill Strother who was called in to set the scene. To carry out his design, Strother selected six High End Systems DL.1 digital light fixtures and a Catalyst Pro Media Server, supplied by Zenith Lighting of Orlando.
“The set — provided by the client — was a vast array of different Spandex shapes,” Strother explains. “With that many differing surfaces for projection, we had to be able to hit as many as we could with only six projectors — knowing that it would be very difficult to gauge the throws, mask the shapes, position the images, dial in the contrasts and address the interactive needs of the presenters. Catalyst allowed us the most freedom and on-the-fly flexibility to overcome these challenges. I also created my media using a living litho look — all animation was moving in a field of black to blend with lighting on these surfaces — so we could build looks the same way an LD would use a moving hard-edge lighting fixture. The DL.1s exceeded my expectations, and that is saying a lot.”
Strother believes Catalyst and DL.1 are the wave of the future. “This is like an AV system that works in a lighting designer's world,” Strother says. “That is one of the great things about it. You aren't encumbered anymore by a certain number of gobos on a wheel. But you're still projecting images and patterns. You're still ‘moving light.’ This is really what moving light is all about.”