Vail Mountain School specialise in: fine art, music, and performing arts, putting on their own productions in a 384-seat theatre. In 2017, VMS replaced its standard conventional lighting rig of discharge-based fixtures with an automated Elation Professional LED-based rig of intelligent spot, wash and batten luminaires.
Media production company THD Productions Inc, completed the install while freelance lighting designer Matt Phillips specified the fixtures. President of THD Productions, Todd Howe said: “The school chose an Elation lighting package for its value and the feature set of each luminaire.
“The cost savings and environmental benefits from LED-based fixtures were important as well,” Todd said. Adding product support was also an important factor, including the quality of the product demonstration at the school, by Elation Professional rep Jay Cid of PSLP (Professional Sound and Lighting Products).
The new lighting at VMS is made up of Elation Professional’s Artiste DaVinci LED moving spot, using Fuze Wash Z350 PAR moving heads and Colour Chorus 48 LED batten fixtures. The intelligent rig allows for a greater variety of custom looks, opening up a host of new design possibilities. Six Elation Professional Artiste DaVinci fixtures play a primary role in designs for a wide variety of school productions. Todd commented: “Of primary importance are the gobo wheels and prism effects in addition to the zoom and colour mixing capability. The brightness is a great match for the VMS stage, and they pair very nicely with the Fuze Wash Z350’s.”
Lighting Designer Matt Phillips, added: “The DaVinci’s have been a workhorse and are pretty much the centrepiece of every cue. I like the two variations of prism, which have both come in handy for separate uses. The animation wheel looks great, and what I think is most impressive is how smoothly the fixtures school through gobos and get in and out of prisms and animation wheels. In addition to the smoothness, they are also precise when they hit a gobo or point on a prism or animation wheel.”
Graphical projections – from the Elation Professional DaVinci fixtures – work together with colour from four Fuze Wash Z350’s, combining Elation’s single source PAR moving head with 350W RGBW COB LED, featuring a 10° to 55° zoom and a lens face that appears as one colour instead of individual LED diodes.
Todd said: “The extremely wide zoom on these fixtures plus the excellent colour saturation have given a major upgrade to the use of colour in the school productions”, adding, that the fixtures are used as high side wash fixtures from a position on the off-stage ends of electrics. Todd added, “Paired with the DaVinci’s, the Fuze washes do an excellent job of providing background colour coverage underneath the many gobo options in the DaVinci’s.”
Also in the rig are four Elation Professional Colour Chorus 48’s, LED batten wash lights used primarily as cyc backdrop fixtures and upstage washes or blinders. The 4ft RGBA fixtures that deliver a bright and even colour wash across the backdrop cyc, from a position on the third electric, are used primarily when the school’s Panasonic DLP projector isn’t providing backdrop video.