“I first saw the VL3015LT Spot via an online demo and once I saw it in person, there was no other light I was interested in,” began Leroux. “Early on in the process we allowed manufacturers to bring their lights in for demos, but there was nothing comparable to the VL3015LT Spot. We had a competing high-powered spot luminaire here for a couple of shows and their raw power really made them standout, but when you went to colors and gobos you lost the light. I needed an automated luminaire that was extremely bright but also gave me the most tools for creativity. The VL3015LT Spot gives me everything; power plus full performance capabilities with no loss of light.”
In the midst of a production schedule that encompasses everything from concert to theatre and comedy shows, Leroux and his production team must be able to create a number of varying looks and designs to highlight the energy and essence of each performance. To do this, he relies heavily upon the morphing capabilities of his lighting rig plus the complete range of capabilities from each of his lighting fixtures.
He explains further, “In my rig I have 22 moving trusses so we can make it look totally different from one show to the next. We have a lot of changeover from show to show and since some the acts don’t carry lighting directors anymore, I get to design and create the shows giving me a lot of opportunity to get the most out of our rig. When we start a design, I like to choose full configurations. For example, if it’s a comedy show it might be a more corporate configuration where we bring the stage size down with drapes and put a center screen up with the Caesars corporate branding. When it’s a rock show, we start by talking to the designer or the production manager and try to design the rig 2-3 days prior to the show on WYSIWYG, then shoot them the file where they can make changes if they wish and we go from there.”
Because the lighting rig at The Colosseum changes from show to show, the lighting instruments chosen to be the workhorses of the rig must be able to not only handle the tasks at hand, they must be able to stand out.
Leroux continued, “To me the lights that are most important are the ones you can clone because at that point you are just dealing with position presets, cues, and the varying heights of the trusses. This is why I love the VARI-LITE luminaires because they can do it all. In our rig we have 42 VL3500 Spots, six VL3500 Wash, and now 14 VL3015LT Spot luminaires. Sometimes we have groups that will show up with two tractor trailers full of lights not knowing the capabilities of our venue and within 15 minutes of arrival they will decide they don’t need to bring in any lighting fixtures. In fact, the VL3015LT Spots have been such a success we are in the process of purchasing a total of 42.”
Using the highly reliable 1500W Osram double-ended short arc lamp to produce 41,487 lumens of output, the VL3015LT Spot features 10:1 zoom optics, CYM color mixing, variable CTO wheel, two five-position color wheels, three gobo/effects wheels, a beam size iris, and separate dimmer and ultra-fast strobe mechanisms. While a standard palette of gobos, effects and colors are provided with the fixture, custom gobos, effects, and colors are also available. Additionally, the VL3015LT Spot contains an independent rotating and indexing 3-facet prism as well as an independent frost glass. The zoom range of 6° to 60° allows for use in a multitude of applications from stadiums to arenas or theatres.
“One of the things I love most about the VL3015LT is being able to bring the iris down to 90% to give us an extremely bright and tight beam of light. I have been lighting shows for over 30 years and I have never seen anything like the VL3015LT,” added Leroux. “We also do a lot of video for the productions and for one of our comedy shows we used the VL3015LT Spots to put six gobos on the front drape and they looked so crisp they actually looked like they were coming from a 12K video projector. It was incredible how crisp and sharp they were and the videos guys loved it.”
Having first used the VL3015LT Spots for The Tenors, Leroux has now had the opportunity to use them on a number of shows. And each time, no matter what the production calls for, or what a visiting designer might like to see, the VL3015LT Spots have not only met each challenge, they have exceeded all expectations.
Leroux concluded, “When I heard about and then saw the VL3015LT Spot with its lumen intensity, I knew it was the exact light we were looking for, but the way they move is absolutely amazing. You can put them at any speed and run them right-to-left, up-and-down, and they are as smooth as a 20-pound fixture. There is no hesitation in the light at all and it’s incredible how they move. We’ve had visiting lighting designers and technicians come through who were also blown away saying they had never seen anything like the VL3015LT Spot. Everyone loves the brightness of the lamp because you can put it in any color and it saturates, and you can put it with any gobo and it stays sharp. You simply can’t do that with any other light.”
As a leading designer and manufacturer of premiere automated lighting systems, Philips Vari-Lite provides equipment and services to the entertainment industry, serving such markets as concert touring, theatre, television, film, cruise lines, houses-of-worship, and corporate events. VARI-LITE automated lighting systems are available through a worldwide network of independent professional dealers. www.vari-lite.com.