Scharff Weisberg Lighting supported lighting designer Stan Crocker (Department of Light and Shadow) for Carly Simon’s new DVD, A Moonlight Serenade On The Queen Mary 2, as the ship sailed from New York City to Southampton, England.
On the DVD, directed by veteran concert filmmaker Jim Gable and released by Columbia Records on November 22, Simon performs many songs from her latest hit release, Moonlight Serenade, as well as tunes from her catalog of hits. A one-hour PBS special, which aired during the December membership pledge drive was also created.
“Carly and Jim Gable were looking for old-world elegance and romance as the backdrop to the performance. The ship’s Queen’s Room has elements of a 1940s ballroom, which scenic designer Bruce Rodgers from Tribe Inc. turned into a venue you’d expect to find on the high seas during that era,” explains Crocker. “This was only my second project with Scharff Weisberg Lighting. I can’t imagine a better test for a vendor than a TV shoot on an ocean liner as it crosses the Atlantic. They passed the test with flying colors. All of the gear was there and all of it in top condition. There was no room for error and there was none.”
Scharff Weisberg provided an extensive complement of equipment for the shoot, which posed numerous challenges. Not the least of which involved rigging the lights. The French plaster on the ceiling of the Queen’s Room could not be touched and using ground support instead of overhead rigging was not an option given the roll of the ship at sea. Scharff Weisberg, through Stone Pro Rigging, located truss that was small enough to fit into a 12” gap in the plaster dome, which was the only possible rigging point yet strong enough to position the lights where they were needed. “Gaffer Michael Scricca worked it into position with a perfect combination of brute strength and a velvet glove,” Crocker recalls.
Although the show concept gave a nod to the elegance of a time gone by, an allowance was made for motorized pan-and-tilt moves unknown in the ’40s. To enable the technique, Scharff Weisberg provided VARI*LITE VL3000 Wash Kits and VL3000 Spot Kits plus Martin MAC 250 Entour Kits and MAC 250 Spot Kits.
Scharff Weisberg also supplied ETC Source Four ellipsoidal 26-degree kits, 19-degree kits, and 36-degree kits; a selection of Chimeras; Arrilite 650 kits, an Arrilite 100/4 heavy-duty kit and Arri 650 Fresnel kits as well as a pair of G300 Hazer/Foggers. Two Flying Pig Systems Wholehog 2 consoles with an expansion wing kit provided lighting control.
“The biggest concern going into this event was the timing of the departure,” notes Crocker. “Usually when you’re doing a load-in for a production you are the most important activity of the day, but when you’re loading in on an ocean liner you’re dealing with some significant logistics that have nothing to do with your project. Three thousand passengers disembarked to be replaced by 3,000 more outbound. And strict security measures were in place."