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Hillsong chooses grandMA3 for Simply Christmas event

Hillsong chooses grandMA3 for Simply Christmas event
Images courtesy of Hillsong Photography Team

Hillsong chooses grandMA3 for Simply Christmas event


Jarrad Donovan from Juxta Design has chosen a full grandMA3 lighting control system for Hillsong Church’s Simply Christmas special production which was staged at The Hillsong Convention Centre in Norwest, Sydney. Unfortunately, Covid protocols resulted in a smaller cast and a tighter timeframe for build and rehearsals. However, the goal of achieving the same high standards and complex production values was still the objective. The six 90-minute shows took place over two days and were packed with a lively mix of 15 different back-to-back musical performances plus MC slots, along with the regular Sunday morning church service.

It was Jarrad’s third time relying on a grandMA3. He has worked for Hillsong in several different roles since 2014 and the church has been a regular client since he established Juxta Design in 2018. “This show was ideal to continue getting my head around the new workflow and what I need to re-learn/navigate to get my mind translating through the grandMA3 to the output,” he said. The production design featured a few different stage locations along with other areas needing to be lit, including a nativity scene that moved through the audience. The Hills Campus venue is wide, so Donovan took advantage of this spatial element, with the lighting design also integrating the IMAG side screens and other LED elements onstage to accentuate the overall picture. This provided plenty of depth and dimension for cameras, keeping the online audience in mind.

Donovan started programming the show while working on another project in Dubai, using grandMA3 onPC command wing XT with just a grandMA3 viz-key. With grandMA3 viz-key unlocking parameters in Depence2, he could program from his hotel room with only the onPC and without any processing units for parameters.

He also thinks being able to send/receive and integrate OSC Commands is a really helpful grandMA3 feature, and that these new key features generally give access to “quicker and more versatile programming”. He cites the magic blade FX fixtures in particular as an example for the Hillsong show. These were rigged in a grid and programmed to produce a range of fluid, animated looks. Experimenting with Phasers, Grid Selection and MAtricks made this process “creative and speedy”.

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