Continued from April 2013 CTI Newsletter
A Custom Effect For Lucky Guy On Broadway
When Jules Fisher calls, we snap to attention to get him what he needs. We've done dozens of shows with Jules over the years and besides being one of the top Broadway lighting designers ever, he has a great sense of gadgets and accessories and how to craft them to support his designs. Jules, and his lighting partner, Peggy Eisenhauer often call us for special projects while they are in the theatre at the lighting desk, and of course, time is of the essence. We sometimes joke at City Theatrical that we have a "drive through window" for custom work and that customers can pull up to the window, order, and drive away with a unique lighting accessory moments later. Well. . . . it's not quite that quick but we often turn these high profile jobs around in just a day or two.
For Lucky Guy, Jules and Peggy needed a flickering image of a train passing. Jules, and his associate designer Vivien Leone, and his production electrician Jon Lawson, worked to modify a VLM moving mirror device to produce a flicker. It worked, but needed more movement, so they crafted a square box covered with silver mylar around it to prove the concept. That did work better, but still needed more movement.
That's when we received the call from the theatre asking for our assistance, and a quick sketch and a few brief phone calls pointed us in the right direction. We crafted a hexagonal sheet metal design that could be screwed together in the theatre and attached to the VLM. Since we have a full sheet metal shop and skilled designers it took only hours to build the design and send it to the theatre. That spinning hexagonal design provided all the movement that the show needed and the effect plays a small but important part in this hit show.
We always enjoy working with Broadway's top designers and helping them achieve their artistic vision.
This is the prototype that was built in the theatre to prove the concept. This is a foam core rig wrapped around the VLM's mirror, covered with silver mylar, and taped together. It proved that a flickering effect could be made by projecting another fixture into the mirror and bouncing it to the floor.
This is the finished rig for the show. It was built from a hexagon of aluminum sheet, screwed together and covered with silver mylar. It is sized to grip the VLM's mirror. The additional two surfaces created more kinetic movement of light, and fulfilled the needs of the show's design.