VL4000 Spot Luminaires Create a Hybrid Design at the Pan American Games
Lighting designer Martin Labrecque uses 60 of the 1200W luminaires provided by Solotech
Published Wednesday, September 30, 2015
by Philips Vari-Lite

As the one of the world’s largest international multi-sport competitions, the 2015 Pan American Games hosted close to 7,000 athletes from across North America, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean. To inaugurate the opening of the games in Toronto, event organizers enlisted the assistance of 45 DEGREES who brought on Martin Labrecque to oversee the lighting design. Working with Solotech, Labrecque would be challenged to create a hybrid design between theatrical and rock-n-roll and he did so using 60 VL4000 Spot luminaires from Philips Vari-Lite.

“This was actually my first time working with the Pan American Games and my first time lighting a stadium event,” began Labrecque. “Knowing that the directors of the show wanted a cross between theatrical and rock-n-roll, I needed to bring in automated luminaires that could offer me a wide range of capabilities but also have the power to overcome the long throw distances. Using the VL4000 Spot luminaires was a great choice because their power is amazing and they had no problem carrying the full weight of their beam all the way onstage.”

The VL4000 Spot from Philips Vari-Lite includes all the tools needed to create dynamic and useful lighting as every aspect of the luminaire has been designed with performance in mind. The 1200W VL4000 Spot boasts 33,000 lumens as well as a quiet Studio mode which outputs 25,000 lumens. Its high resolution optics ensure remarkable center-to-edge focusing and an unprecedented contrast ratio while a 5:1 zoom covers an amazing 9 to 47 degrees without sacrificing output or clarity.

“Regardless of the size of the venue, my design process is always the same,” continued Labrecque. “After my initial design meetings with the artistic and show directors, we did two months of wysiwyg to outline all the cues so that when we came into the venue we were very close to having a final product. With only a week to load-in and program the lighting, I relied heavily on the VL4000 Spots because they really can do it all.”

Along with the mechanical iris of the VL4000 Spot, the beam can be further modified via the precise four-blade shutter system, independent prism with divergence control, and the variable frost. The Infinity Color Mix System offers CYM color mixing along with variable CTO color temperature correction and dual five-position color wheels. The VL4000 Spot luminaire also features dual rotating gobo wheels with a remarkable new collection of optimized gobo patterns for both aerial and projected imagery, and its dual animation wheels provide dynamic motion effects such as the chromatically tuned Dichro*Fusion effect.

“This was my first time using the VL4000 Spots and I think their development is a big step forward for Philips Vari-Lite,” added Labrecque. “To overcome the throw distances, I placed the VL4000 Spots on the 500 level of the stadium and used them to cut into the artists onstage from approximately 200 feet away. The uptake on the VL4000 Spot really is a notch higher than everything else on the market right now, and we used them for their gobo projections, their hard edge beams and also to light the audience on several occasions.”

Knowing he would rely heavily on the spot fixtures chosen for his design, Labrecque decided to take a deep look into which fixtures were available. With the assistance of Solotech, he did a product comparison with other fixtures on the market, but it was the VL4000 Spot that proved to be the best luminaire for this design.

“Before the show, I compared the VL4000 Spot to comparable fixtures and what struck me the most was its great optics,” concluded Labrecque. “It’s sort of a throw-back to the good old days of Vari-Lite that people always talk about and it’s a wonderful lighting tool for any type of design. With the shutters, gobos, animation wheels, frost, iris, color mixing, and more, the VL4000 Spot really is an all-in-one type of fixture with everything you need.”

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. For more information follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or watch us on YouTube.

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Photo Credits: Aaron Vincent Elkaim and Galit Rodan
Source: 45 DEGREES