October 2011 CTI Newsletter
Andrea Bocelli in NYC's Central Park
With SHoW DMX
It was hard to miss Andrea Bocelli's concert in New York City's Central
Park with over 60,000 attendees on the Great Lawn. This was a perfect
application for wireless DMX and the design and electrics team chose City
Theatrical's SHoW DMX to solve one of their big challenges: How to get
DMX to remote lighting positions out in the crowd. City
regulations prohibited running cable through the crowd, so wireless DMX
became the solution to this problem.
We talked with Richard Beck and Matt Geneczko
to hear how they did it.
CTI: Who was on the technical team on the show?
RB &MG: The
Bob Barnhart and Ted Wells, Gaffer Richard Beck, Asst Elect. RJ
Styles and Chris Szabo, Project
Manager Matt Geneczko,
Light Tech Meg Flanagan.
was the rental shop and Chris Conti was on site as their rep.
Directors: Matt Firestone, Victor Seastone, Harry Sangmeister
CTI: What were the general
parameters and design needs for the project (what did you need to do)?
RB &MG: This was the Andrea Bocelli concert in Central
Park for PBS. We had a main stage
and six ball fields with lighting.
These fields were in the audience areas and needed to be controlled by
wireless DMX. There
where 6 Towers (one for each ball field) and each Tower had 1@ 7k xenon and 1@
dimmer rack. The furthest point away after the ball fields was at the far end
of the Great Lawn and that area had 5 xenons. So 11 @ 7ks total, 6 dimmer
racks controlled wirelessly. The gear was 2 Transmitters, 5 Receivers, 7 @
60deg antennas, and necessary hardware to hang. Furthest point away was 2000
Were there specific design, budget, time, or physical constraints that you had
to work within?
RB & MG: We had a short amount of
time to load this in due to the rules of Central Park.
That is why we did two shifts, a night shift and a day shift.
The night shift had to unload trucks and the day shift had to complete
Cat Power had generators located at each tower for power but the distance
between the towers was large and would be full of people. It would have taken
a lot of control cable running between towers IF Central Park allowed the
cable to run where we needed it. They may or may not and we had to adjust our
load-in according to their rules and if they changed their minds on a
previously agreed plan, that was too bad and we had to figure out a new
course. Wireless control seemed a good option.
City Theatrical products or services did you use, and why did you decide on
CTI products or services?
RB & MG: Robert Barnhart in the
first meeting said we needed to do wireless for the ball fields.
That is when we decided on CTI wireless control which we got from PRG.
It was used on the last U2 tour. Matt Geneczko went to CTI for a demo and
lesson on using wireless.
CTI: Did you do any preliminary testing?
RB & MG: Only in
CTI: How did you set up the
equipment? Was there anything
special, unique, or difficult about the installation?
RB & MG: The
receivers were set up on top of the 25’ high trusses.
We were trying to get the best and clear sight lines.
The ball fields were about 300’ apart from each other.
Chris Conti from PRG was a big help in the install.
Everything worked the first time.
One issue we had was rain.
We covered the wireless DMX with bags so as not to get soaked in the rain.
They worked great even with the bags on.
CTI: What was your overall experience in working
with City Theatrical equipment on your production?
RB & MG:
(RB): It was great.
It saved so much time because we didn’t have all that cable to run.
Great. First went to CTI to get a lesson and advice on best way to use
equipment. Andrew Nikel and Larry Dunn gave advice and told us to set up a test. Chris
Conti at PRG also helped me to figure out best placement of the transmitters
and receivers based on where and how to get DMX to the
Transmitters. Chris also came out to place the equipment and set up. He
configured it once and we never touched it again until strike. It just worked
for what we required.
CTI: Would you have done anything
differently in hindsight?
RB & MG: No
Xenotech spots light the sky, controlled by SHoW DMX
Bocelli on stage.
crowd at sunset.
lighting location, showing why wireless DMX was chosen.
example of good antenna placement. This is a focussed panel antenna
placed high above the heads of the crowd with line of sight to the
Close up of a SHoW DMX Receiver with a panel antenna.