The Futuroscope theme park is known for innovative multimedia and cutting-edge technology. For "Moonlight," a luminous tube leads visitors through a snail shell-shaped area filled with a giant underwater backdrop and huge, abstract mechanical representations of jellyfish, dolphins, an octopus and a ray. These animatronic creatures are suspended from the ceiling; 5-meter high algae grows out of the floor. When the music begins, the creatures start to move - the dolphins dive gracefully, the ray floats, the octopus stretches his legs. They are lit from within, changing colors and flashing lights to the music as bubbling lights glow around them and islands of light illuminate the floor.
Frank Ruisch, Sound Designer and Programmer with AV Syncworks in Paris, composed and mixed the soundtrack for "Moonlight" and created the lighting triggers for all the DMX programming. He also assisted in the extensive DMX programming and performed the show control programming and system design.
"This was my first experience with LightCue Pro, although I have used dozens, if not hundreds, of regular lighting controllers," says Ruisch. "I worked on a daily basis with the system and couldn't have done my job without it."
Ruisch relied on the LightCue Pro DMX recorder to provide multiple sync AV channels and timecode support; "Moonlight" requires four DMX universes running in sync on SMPTE timecode. "There is simply no other embedded product out there that could handle this with the same reliability as LightCue Pro," he says.
LightCue Pro controls the motion of the animatronics as well as their lighting effects. A large complement of RGB LED lighting fills the pre-show environment, including 480 RGB LED LagoDots to create the six swirling islands, 105 RGB LED balls of varying sizes for the bubbles, high-output RGB strips inside the animals, four Martin MAC 250 moving heads and numerous LED PARs. Ten Martin Pro 400 spotlights illuminate the banner backdrop. Wireless DMX was required for the animatronic animals.
A V4 Pro acts as the main show controller. A Video Binloop with six reproducer slots controls two Sabine Navigator 8802s plus 10 Crown XTI 1000 amps for the tunnel and animatronics and 20 JBL Control 25 amps for background music.
Netherlands-based Nightlife Productions was the installer of the pre-show with Boaz Borggreve the programmer. JoraVision, also in the Netherlands, provided the creative concept, did the build out and constructed the animatronics under the leadership of Alexander Goethals.
"The Alcorn McBride system is indestructible," Ruisch reports. "Also, Alcorn's Joy Burke has been great with customer support."
About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry's best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company's products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.