VARI*LITE Teams Up For An MVP Performance
For the 2006 NHL Awards color temperature plays a big role
Published Wednesday, August 9, 2006
by Bryan Matthews

On June 22, 2006, at the Centre in Vancouver, the National Hockey League Awards, produced by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, aired on live television. The annual awards ceremony celebrates the greatest individual achievements during the previous NHL season. To accentuate the live broadcast, lighting designer Brad Dickson enlisted the help of VARI*LITE® automated luminaires, and together they pulled off their own MVP performance.

"The main focal point of the set was a large 3-D ‘burrito’ drape," began Dickson. "This type of drop takes on light very well, and so it all boils down to color temperature. A lot of arc light sources are used in this case to boost the color temperature."

As a four year veteran, Dickson was undaunted by the 2-hour evening ceremony, which consisted of performances by musical artists Tim Cochran and 5440 intertwined within the award presentations.

"My main decision is whether I will be using the arc sources on faces, and how will it look on camera," Dickson continued. "I like being able to get into the lighter ranges of the color temperature. With color rendering on camera sometimes you look at the colors and ask ‘Is it lavender or is it blue?’ You have to be able to make the stage look nice for the presentations, and then be able to rock out on the two performances."

In order to complete his design, and achieve the color temperatures needed, Dickson looked to Q1 Productions to fill his lighting rig. In the rig, Dickson used 70 VL3000™ Spot luminaires, 28 VL2500™ Wash luminaires, 12 VL2500™ Spot luminaires, and 12 VL1000™ TS luminaires.

Dickson stated, "We used VARI*LITE luminaires in 2004 and fell in love with their color range and the 
subtleties of the VL3000 Spot. So this year, I wanted to use them again and put in color corrected PARs and follow spots to match the intensity of the VL3000 Spots."

In his intricate design, Dickson had a specific task for each VARI*LITE luminaire. He knew that each luminaire had its own strengths that when matched together would achieve exactly what he had in mind.

"I used the VL3000 Spot fixtures as front of house aerials and sidelights for the variable CTO, plus they give such a large zoom range that can cover the entire area. Then we used the VL2500 Spots as overhead aerial specials. Next, I used the VL2500 Wash lights for texture on the backdrop and for sweeps into the audience for a little punch. Then on top of all that, we used the VL1000 TS luminaires for a blanket stage wash to shutter off the set and as backup for the VL3000 spots with color correction. With this rig, I had the best of all worlds."

After the last award had been presented, and the last camera had broadcast its feed, Dickson took a moment to step back and take it all in. "In the end, it was a very straight-line set concept with the organic ‘burrito’ drape. The entirety of the set, and the looks on camera, were accented perfectly by the VARI*LITE luminaires. The Vari-Lite product line is a know entity, and there is one thing we say in TV, ‘If the producers are happy, then everybody’s happy’. The producers were ecstatic, and that’s what we work for."

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