Between the Pipes at the NHL Awards
Published Friday, June 25, 2004

Following the live broadcast of the National Hockey League's post-season awards show, CBC lighting designer Brad Dickson named his MVL (most valuable luminaire) of the event. The highest accolades went to the 24 VARI*LITE® VL3000™ Spot luminaires.

"The VL3000 Spot was the main light," Dickson said. "The main reason was because of its zoom range. In the set itself we had a bunch of headers, so we were tight for real estate. We needed fixtures that would give us as much spread possible in a short space. That's why the VL3000 luminaires were chosen."

Although the trim was 27 feet, the set height was just 20 feet, and the point of focus was only 10 to 15 feet away in some places. The 10-to-60-degree zoom range on the VL3000 Spot luminaires provided Dickson with the smooth, even beam spread he needed.

Because the show was televised live on CBC, Dickson also needed fixtures that would provide nice skintone colors. The ability of the VL3000 Spot luminaires to "get the green out" was another attribute that made it so valuable during the production.

"The variable CTO is nice, but in television, we also need that variable minus green," Dickson explained. "With most fixtures you can get close with color temperature, but you've got that green spike you want to get rid of. The real dealmaker is how much light magenta you can dial in to get the green out. The VL3000 fixtures allow you to do that. The VL3000 Spot is what the VL7™ was trying to be years ago."

Part of the design requested by the NHL was for Dickson and programmer Steve Plotkin to create a look so that the floor of the John Bassett Theatre looked like an ice skating rink with gashes where the skates had cut into the ice. The soft focus Glacier custom gobo in the Series 3000™ fixtures were used to create that effect.

In addition to the 24 VL3000 Spot fixtures, Dickson's automated lighting rig also included six VL2000™ Spot luminaires and six VL1000™TS fixtures. All of the VARI*LITE automated luminaires were provided by Q1 Production Technologies.


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