Testa Craves the Zoom from VL3000 Fixtures
Published Monday, November 8, 2004

At a recent corporate event for Ocean Spray, one of Rich Testa's challenges was to light several 60-foot-long fabric pieces hanging down the left and right sides of the stage with abstract patterns and texture. For Testa, only one automated fixture could accomplish the task - the VARI*LITE® VL3000™ Spot luminaire.

Testa was well familiar with the incredible 10 to 60 degree zoom range of the VL3000 Spot units, having previously used 16 of them to light the 200 feet wide by 80 feet high Boston Public Library. Because there was a relatively tight budget for the Ocean Spray event, Testa knew the VL3000 fixtures would allow him to create the effects he wanted and the atmosphere the client requested.

"Since there weren't many fixtures in the hall, I wanted to maximize the use of the automated fixtures as much as possible," said Testa, principal designer for Boston-based Testa Lighting Design (www.testalighting.com). "I like the intensity I can get from the VL3000 fixtures, and the zoom range is just incredible. The wider the zoom, the more area I could cover with fewer lights."

High Output (www.highoutput.com), in Canton, Mass. provided 10 VL3000 Spot luminaires and four VL3000 Wash units (www.vari-lite.com) for the event, which was held at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Mass. Williams/Gerard Productions was the production company.

The Hall, which is shaped much like a hockey rink, has balcony-type seating around the space with a stage at one end. Because the venue is a historic auditorium, it was impossible to hang a truss from the ceiling. Testa positioned three truss "goalposts" on each side of the stage, from which he hung the automated fixtures.

Although the majority of the two-day event was primarily a sales function featuring numerous speakers, including the company president, the automated fixtures were used throughout the affair. Playing on Ocean Spray's "ocean wave" logo and "Crave the Wave" motto, Testa created looks designed to mimic ocean waves and give the feeling of movement on the fabric panels as well as on some of the set pieces behind the speakers.

"We also did a couple of classic ballyhoo looks when people walked on stage or when new presenters were introduced," Testa explained. "The primary function of the VARI*LITE fixtures was to create various patterns and texture and add kinetic excitement to the room."

Ocean Spray is the number-one brand of canned and bottled juice drinks in the U.S.


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