The show marked the debut of FocusTrack's new support for MA Lighting's grandMA2 console, which received its first beta test on the show and came through it with flying colours.
"Joel Silver, the associate lighting designer on the show, has just the worst timing - or perhaps a very pioneering spirit," comments FocusTrack's creator, Rob Halliday. "Back in 2007 he got in touch wanting to use FocusTrack with the Eos console on Young Frankenstein; the show became the first to use FocusTrack with an Eos. Now here he was again, asking to use FocusTrack with a grandMA2 - something we were in the process of doing, but certainly weren't done with."
Nonetheless, a definite deadline for a focus plotting session - during the week of the LDI show in Las Vegas - spurred on development, to the point where a beta test version of FocusTrack was ready to go in time for the Blue Man team. As always, the software processed Blue Man's showfile, generating a list of which lights were actually used in which presets in the show, as well as a cuelist and a list of conventional fixtures in the show indicating which were used.
The show's hectic production schedule meant that the only time available to document the focuses photographically were two short post-show, late night sessions. Here, FocusTrack proved the power of having the software be able to drive the console and trigger the camera during the focus plot session, allowing each focus of each light - almost 1400 pictures - to be captured comfortably in one session, with the second session used to capture 'reverse shots' of lights focused into the auditorium.
"Documenting the moving lights for this show would just not have been possible in the time made available to us without FocusTrack, " comments Joel Silver. "It was great that it was able to work with our grandMA2 console in time - and the support as we first tested it and then put it to use was fantastic."
"Thanks to all involved with the show - particularly Joel, programmer Benny Kirkham - who contributed some great suggestions for new functions, and Tabitha Rodman of Blue Man Group for picking FocusTrack, and then for their support as we worked out some of the inevitable grandMA2 import kinks," notes Rob Halliday. "The show looked fantastic; FocusTrack will help keep it looking fantastic through what will hopefully be a long and successful run. Now we just have to predict which kind of console Joel is going to use next so we can try to be there ready for him!"
GrandMA2 functionality in FocusTrack is now available to all in beta test form; FocusTrack continues to work with ETC Eos family, grandMA1 and Strand 500-series consoles as it has always done. Full details of getting show data from the grandMA2 into FocusTrack, as well as many more tips on using FocusTrack, can be found at http://www.FocusTrack.co.uk/tips/.
A complete, integrated solution for documenting show lighting - conventional as well as moving lights - FocusTrack has been used on countless productions round the world, including Nine To Five (another grandMA2-controlled show, lit by Ken Billington), Spring Awakening and Hair (also lit by Kevin Adams), the Tony Award-winning Once (lit by Natasha Katz), Cinderella (lit by Kenneth Posner), Evita (lit by Neil Austin), Billy Elliot (lit by Rick Fisher), Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera (both lit by Paule Constable), and many more. FocusTrack is also in use by companies including Cirque du Soleil, English National Opera, Glyndebourne and the National Theatre.
Further information about FocusTrack, as well as a downloadable demo version and the new FocusTrack blog, Making Tracks, can be found at www.FocusTrack.co.uk.
Performing nightly at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, Blue Man Group offers an experience never seen before. Blue Man Group provides audiences with a fully immersive audiovisual experience. Born of the creative urge to explore the unknown, the show is a combination of science, comedy, music and vibrant visual effects. The explosion of color, humor, music and technology comes to life every night inside the Blue Man Theater. It's the only show with a "smoking section," the only show with brains, the only show with balls and the only show that bursts out of the theater with a nightly procession of musical joy and luminescence 45 minutes prior to the first performance of the night.
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