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Hillcrest Church colours Christmas with Chauvet Professional

Hillcrest Church colours Christmas with Chauvet Professional

Hillcrest Church colours Christmas with Chauvet Professional


Red and green may be the traditional holiday colours, but the true story and meaning of Christmas can often be better reflected with a broader and more varied palette. This was made evident at the 90-minute “Christmas at Hillcrest” concert, which took place at the church’s Nine Mile Campus, as purples and blues, along with a host of other inspiring hues took to the stage.

“As we listened to the songs that were to be featured in the production, we asked ourselves does this feel like a certain colour?” said the church’s production director Gavin Crane. “Different colours also have different biblical significance, so we tried to keep this in mind as well. For example, blues convey the calmness that comes with the hope and peace of Christmas. They also represent the clear moonlit night of the first Christmas. Throughout each song we varied our palette to reflect the different thoughts and feelings. So, we might start a song with the deep blue or purple, then as it built, we changed the colours to fit that moment. One song had 28 different colour changes.”

Helping Crane weave these changes through his show, all while maintaining key lighting during a production that featured roughly 200 performers on stage was a recently upgraded lighting rig that featured over 65 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Relevant AV Solutions.

“When I came on staff a few years ago, Hillcrest was in the middle of planning some renovations,” recalled Crane. “Lighting upgrades were part of that discussion as the church wanted to become more energy efficient. We did not have a catwalk at that point, so every time we had to replace a lamp, or move a fixture for any reason, we had to get a lift. There was also talk about updating the video cameras, but as with everything there were budgets to consider. I mentioned that with the correct update to the lighting, we could make our video look much better with the existing cameras. That original plan was two years old when I stepped in, so I reworked it with updated options. For example, we had four trusses installed all with motors for ease of maintenance. Two upstage and two out over the house.”

The capabilities of the new lighting system were very much in evidence during the Christmas production, not just through the rich array of vivid colours it produced, but also in the way it covered the stage and choir loft in smooth even fields of light. Crane discussed how the different fixtures in his rig contributed to the overall quality of his lighting.

‘For most of our key lighting we are using the Rogue R2X VW Wash,” he said. “I love those lights! Having a variable white moving fixture really has changed things for us. One thing I heard during the planning phase was about the need for ‘flexibility.’ This fixture gives us that, allowing us to get correct key lighting anywhere on our stage. Being able to zoom tight, for solos, then wide for a group to come in, is just great! It is also crazy bright. For video, I go between low and bright light. For the concert, the key lighting on orchestra stayed around 7% intensity. They often were not the feature, so this made them stand out, without making them the focal point.”

During the Christmas Concert, the Rogue R2X Wash helped Crane maintain proper key lighting throughout a crowded stage. “Our stage got pretty full at times, so creating a space that gave us some dimension by using different lighting angles, intensities, and colour temperatures was critical,” he said “l went with a zone wash style to keep the stage even. In each zone we have a light that is slightly direct, and another that is cross washing from the opposite side at a much sharper angle.

Crane has 12 Rogue R2X Wash fixtures in his rig, eight of which are positioned upstage and four flown over the house. Other fixtures in the rig include 16 Maverick Force S Spots, 10 of which are positioned upstage, two on the floor and four flown over the houses; eight Rogue R3X Washes upstage; four Rogue R3 Spots and four Rogue R3 washes, both on the floor; five Ovation Reve E3 multi-coloured ellipsoidals flown over the house; and three Ovation E-915 FC Fresnels used as a choir wash.

Crane added: “One of the biggest highlights for me was seeing how well the production team performed. These guys and girls are all volunteers, and several had no experience before joining the team. Watching their growth throughout the year has been great, and the level of quality they were able to bring to this production was excellent. There was about 20 that volunteered for our AVL needs.”

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