High Dimension

grandMA3 used for Hillsong Event: “A lot of very practical advances in the software”

grandMA3 used for Hillsong Event: “A lot of very practical advances in the software”

grandMA3 used for Hillsong Event:

Australia – Jarrad Donovan of Juxta Design selected a complete grandMA3 lighting control system for Hillsong Church’s recent ‘Simply Christmas’ special production which was staged at the Hillsong Convention Center in Norwest, Sydney.

The slick and dynamic event was slightly different from Hillsong’s usual “Christmas Spectacular” show, both to reflect “the vibe of the moment” and to comply with current Covid protocols, resulting in a smaller cast and a tighter construction time. and repetitions. That said, the goal of achieving the same exceptionally high standards and complex production values ​​was always the goal of the entire team involved in creating a dynamic and memorable event that wowed live audiences and in streaming.

The six 90-minute shows took place over two days and were action-packed with a lively mix of 15 different back-to-back musical performances plus MC slots, a schedule that also accommodated the regular Sunday morning church service. This was the third time Jarrad relied on the grandMA3.

He completed a tour as a lighting designer with popular children’s entertainment group The Wiggles earlier in the year and had also programmed a pilot TV show using grandMA3. Based on these positive experiences, he also specified two grandMA3 lights – main and backup – for these seasonal Hillsong shows.

Realizing the importance of keeping abreast of technological advancements, Jarrad has been keen to dive into grandMA3 for some time, particularly with talks of some Australian shows moving to the grandMA3 platform. “This show was great for continuing to familiarize myself with the new workflow and what I need to relearn/navigate to get my mind translating through the grandMA3 to release.”

The production design featured a few different stage locations as well as various other areas that needed to be lit, including a nativity scene that moved through the audience. The Hills Campus site is large, so Jarrad took advantage of this spatial element, with the lighting design also incorporating IMAG side screens and other onstage LED elements to accentuate the overall image. This provided plenty of depth and dimension for the cameras, keeping the online audience in mind.

Show producer Josh Bonett’s mandate was to keep the lighting flexible and give each performer an individual aesthetic, so Jarrad programmed layered lighting treatments that could be applied, mixed and matched or used in standalone settings. .

“When you see the B-Stage for the fourth or fifth time, it had to look fresh, new and completely different,” he commented, a task accomplished using more than 200 moving lights and a few light fixtures. pixels, all provided by Chameleon Touring Systems.

Jarrad started programming this show while working on another project in Dubai, using grandMA3 onPC command wing XT with just a grandMA3 viewing stick. With the unlocking parameters of the grandMA3 visualization key in Depence2, he could program during downtime in his hotel room with only the onPC and without any processing unit for the parameters.

“Phasers are getting more and more powerful than grandMA2 effects, and Grid Selections and MAtricks are changing my workflow for the better,” he commented.

He also thinks that being able to send/receive and embed OSC commands is a really useful grandMA3 feature, and that these key new features generally provide access to “faster and more versatile programming”. He cites the Magic Blade FX fixtures as an example for this Hillsong show. These were rigged into a grid and programmed to produce a range of fluid and lively looks. Experimenting with Phasers, Grid Selection and MAtricks made this process “creative and fast”.

“There are a lot of really handy advancements in the grandMA3 software, and I’m definitely starting to miss them if I ever have to go back to grandMA2 for a show,” he said. Jarrad has used MVR to export out of Vectorworks and into Depence2 and grandMA3 for a show file and thinks being able to update in the design and push it to multiple locations and software platforms is a ‘game changer’ that will greatly improve pre-production.

He also likes the grandMA3 hardware. While the new button layout took some getting used to, he thinks the console’s overall ergonomics “are stunning,” from the multitouch screens to the feel and press of the buttons.

As a general observation from grandMA he is super impressed with the level of support available, knowing he can call Vince Haddad from Show Technology, MA Lighting’s Australian distributor, or Paul Collison – one of the lead designers Australian international lighting designers and Jarrad’s mentor – at any time, and they will have a solution.

Jarrad has worked for Hillsong in several different roles since 2014, and Church has been a regular client since he established Juxta Design in 2018.

He has been a grandMA user for many years and enjoys the constant learning process and the fact that his programming and operating skills are ultimately transferable and developed over the course of his career. He now works on many projects ranging from international tours to conferences, from business events to television productions.

He is also reassured that wherever he is in the world, he can always find a grandMA console! “That and the fact that the capabilities of the console are constantly being pushed forward is fantastic! I’m very excited to be a part of this, reaping the benefits and advancing my programming and shows through this platform.

Show Technology Australia Pty Ltd. is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in Australia.

Photos: Hillsong Photography Team

grandMA3 used for Hillsong Event: grandMA3 used for Hillsong Event:

February 2, 2022