The Philadelphia Convention and Visitor Bureau's annual luncheon at the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the largest hospitality event of the year. With attendees ranging from the hotel industry to entertainment and performing arts venues to independent event producers, it provides an excellent opportunity for West Chester, PA-based Advanced Staging Productions to showcase its event-production abilities to the industry.

The lighting rig, which included 12 VL1000(TM)TS luminaires and two VL3000(TM) Spot luminaires, provided lighting designer Jason Showers with a great degree of flexibility and allowed him to overcome various venue/space obstacles with minimal effort. The flexibility of the automated rig also enabled Showers to light the program on budget, which always seems to make the client happy.

"The PCVB event is our chance to impress potential customers and show that we are a leading provider of sound, lighting and video systems for corporate and entertainment events in the Philadelphia area," Showers said. "It was a pleasure to design and produce. The final product was exactly what we strive for - an extremely satisfied client."

Ten of the VL1000 units were used for scenic lighting. The other two were used as FOH audience specials - key lighting for video. Using custom gobos in five of the VL1000TS fixtures, Showers projected theme words of the event onto five gray scenic flats that were placed on stage and acted a background for the main presentation area.

"One of the things the PCVB wanted was to be able to rotate the different key words and bring them up at different times, coinciding with certain moments during the presentations," Showers said. "The indexing was critical for all of the words to line up vertically which they did without fail. Also, the incredible zoom range made sizing the words evenly a simple task."

With the other five VL1000 units, Showers washed the scenic flats with various saturated colors to provide a cohesive look with what was happening on the cyc upstage.

"The shutters in the VL1000 fixtures enabled me to accurately frame the scenic pieces and not spill upstage," Showers explained. "This was a perfect application for the VL1000 luminaires, because we only had four feet or so from the back of the flats to the upstage cyc. Plus, the truss containing all of the VL1000 units had to be close enough to produce light on a steep enough angle to shoot over the heads of the people on stage and not interfere with the video lighting. The excellent zoom enabled me to cover the entire 12-foot flat from top to bottom with a very short, steep throw distance. I couldn't have accomplished such a clean look with any other fixture."

The cyc was lit from below with the three cell cyc units. The two VL3000 Spots luminaires were hung from a pipe just downstage of the flats. Despite having only a 9-foot throw, Showers was able to cover the upper part of the cyc with patterns and color using the VL3000 Spot units.

"The incredible zoom of the VL3000 fixtures made this a piece of cake," Showers said. "Anytime I need to cover a large area from a short distance and still have loads of intensity, the VL3000 Spot is the obvious choice."

In addition, Showers was also impressed with the variety of patterns and the ability of the VL3000 Spot luminaires to morph from gobo wheel to the other. Not only do the VL3000 Spot fixtures do color-mixing but also gobo-mixing. Even with three gobos in the field, the intensity of the 1200W VL3000 Spot units is excellent. This allowed Showers to get a number of different looks out of one preset cue, with no need to fade the light out or deal with live gobos changes to make pattern transitions.

"Other lights have the capability of multiple focal points, but putting more than one gobo in the field typically results in such a significant loss of intensity that the light becomes much less usable," Showers said. "The output of the VL3000 Spot luminaires overcomes these obstacles."

Show data:
Philadelphia Convention and Visitor Bureau Annual Luncheon
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center
Production Design/Management: Advanced Staging (www.advancedstaging.com)
Production Manager: Jason Cataldi
Lighting Director: Jason Showers
Asst Lighting Director: Robert Morbeck
Equipment from: Advanced Staging Productions/VLPS Lighting Services (www.vlps.com)
Equipment: (12) VL1000TS luminaires, (2) VL3000 Spot luminaires (www.vari-lite.com)

Photo: courtesy of Advanced Staging Productions