WORCESTER, MA – Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to lighting beauty pageants, getting things right means adhering to an exacting set of standards. So say Darren and Tyler Lussier, who speak from experience. Aside from lighting concerts and major league sporting events in New York and New England, their company, Image Production Services, has become a beauty pageant maven, illuminating no fewer than six state segments of Miss USA in 2014.
This year, the father-son team added a new twist to their pageant lighting when they replaced the fabric curtains they had been using on stage risers with MVP Ta8 Curve 8.33 mm pitch LED video panels from CHAUVET Professional. “The panels have taken us to a whole new world when lighting pageants,” said Tyler Lussier. “They give us much greater flexibility to change colors and scenes to match what’s happening on the stage and coordinate the risers with the moving light from the Chauvet Q-Wash 419Z-LED and Legend 412 fixtures that we use on the set for spot lighting and some strategically placed ballyhoos.”
The Lussiers use 66 of the MVP Ta8 Curve panels, which measure 23.6” x 23.6” (600 x 600 mm) on their beauty pageant stages. These panels are arranged in eight curved tiers that descend down to the middle of the stage. “Pageant contestants stand on these tiers during the event, so we want them to be colorful and elegant,” said Tyler Lussier. “The bright resolution and vivid colors of the panels are important in helping us achieve this goal. Of course, it’s also important that the MVP Ta8 is curved, so it can be used to create concave or convex facings. This allows us to configure the panels to fit the contours we want on our on-stage risers.”
Arkaos MediaMaster is used with a CHAUVET Professional VIP Driver to feed graphical images to the video panels. The Lussiers don’t use text on the MVP Ta8 Curve panels for this show, because “it would be hard to read,” given the tiered structure of the risers. Instead, they rely on using a variety of different graphical images to keep the appearance of the set “fresh and dynamic throughout the pageant.”
The brightly tiered LED video panels also create an attractive structural setting for the television cameras. “TV camera crews love the panels, because they make it easier to create good looking shots,” said Tyler Lussier. “The looping graphics that we run on the panels create a lot of nice movement for TV cameras, without them having to worry about shooting from different angles. They provide a great backdrop for the TV camera, without detracting from the main focus, which is the contestants.”
Television crews also like that there are now fewer fixtures on the beauty pageant set. The Lussiers say that using the LED panels has eliminated the need for some lighting fixtures, particularly the batten washes that were used to uplight the curtains. This makes the set less crowded for video crews.
Using fewer fixtures has also reduced the setup time Image Production Services needs at the beauty pageants. “The panels have definitely shaved an hour or two off setup time, which is good when you’re doing a lot of pageants,” said Tyler Lussier. “They’re going to be part of our pageant lineup for a long time.”
For information on Image Production Services visit: www.imageproductionservices.com