Eli McKinney and LD Don Morgan used 32 MAC 2000 Wash and 25 electronic ballast MAC 2000 Profile on the Essence awards show, held on June 6th at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The 16th anniversary show, which paid tribute to the achievements of pre-eminent African-Americans, aired on the FOX network on June 27th. California-based Production Lighting Systems (PLS) of the Fourth Phase/PRG lighting group, and specialists in television and televised award shows, supplied the MAC 2000 Wash and Profile for the event.

McKinney comments, “We were really happy with them, especially the wash unit. It's obvious that the profile has already been proven but the wash is a new fixture. We used a couple of wash units on last year's show, and after seeing them on other shows as well, we knew we wanted them to play a larger role in this year's show.


"The really nice thing about using both the wash and profile together is that the beam quality and color mixing are complimentary. When laying patterns over the wash we didn't have to worry about color or intensities--it's easy to balance the fixtures since they are based on the same optics. It really saves a lot of programming time because you don't have to work with a bunch of different color palettes trying to make the different unit types match. The color mixing and optics are the same and that made it much easier."

Don Morgan added, "The advantages with moving lights are fabulous. The timesavings are great. With lots of awards shows you have just under a week to get in, do the show and get out. That was the case with the Essence Awards. We were in on a Sunday, had rehearsals on Thursday and the show ran on Friday. With a show of this magnitude you couldn't do it without moving lights. Lots of other awards shows have three weeks or so--that's a luxury. We couldn't have done it without Eli and a great crew."

McKinney was also impressed with the MAC power, which has a savings factor of its own. "The MACs were killer as set piece units. The quality and intensity of light output saves on the number of fixtures you have to put in the air. For example, there were large panels that we projected color wash and patterns onto. Just one MAC 2000 Wash and one Profile unit were used to cover each panel, which is a great savings, both in time and resources.

"We also projected texture and color onto the floor. You don't have to worry about intensity with the MACs. For example, the patterns from the Profiles aren't going to be washed out. The output from the Wash units was so great on the floor that we used Congo blue on the neutral color floor and it showed up really well on camera. The color distribution on the floor was very even and seamless, and the intensity was great. We also used the Wash units as a 'lens buster', a cannon beam of light. We used them as a sort of searchlight by going to no diffusion and taking the frost out for more of a hardedge beam. They are really powerful and versatile fixtures."