Robert Wertheimer of Spectacle Lighting Design has been lighting and programming the playoffs and opening games for the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena since 1995. Back in those days he would use an MA Scan Commander, sometimes with up to four extensions to handle the large numbers of moving lights required. This year, for the Stanley Cup finals, Wertheimer used the grandMA, also from MA Lighting, and distributed by A.C.T Lighting, Inc.
"The whole show, which was over 70 cues, was played back in a little under three minutes and locked to video using SMPTE time code," Wertheimer explains. "The graphical interface for the SMPTE triggers and the effects engine allowed me to create a fast-paced show in a short time."
The show, which was watched by 20,000 fans at the Joe Louis Arena and millions on live television, went from unloading the trucks to on-air in 27 hours. The rig, which included High End Systems Turbo Cyberlights, Studio Colors, and Coemar SuperCycs, numbered over 100 moving fixtures, and, other than some basic patching, the entire show was programmed on-site.
Wertheimer is kept busy all season, even when the team isn't there. "When the game is away, we have 'Joe Vision': Basically, people come to the arena to watch the game on the big screen," Wertheimer continues. "In addition, there are bands and giveaways that need to be lit. I've been using the grandMA for the last three playoff seasons and the opening games as well. With 60 executors, I can run all sorts of cues live with a single button press or move of a fader. I loved the Scan Commander but am so happy to have my grandMA."
Photos are from the halftime show at the Joe Louis Arena. Go to Spectacle Lighting Design's website to see more.