ATLANTA – The 24th annual Trumpet Awards celebrating Black Excellence featured a galaxy of star-studded power on stage. Lighting designer Mark Carver and lighting director Susan Rose supported this stellar group, which included hip-hop legends like MC Lyte, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, iconic comedian George Wallace and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, with an appropriately dynamic lighting design that included 14 Rogue RH1 Hybrids from CHAUVET Professional provided by Bandit Lites.
Carver and Rose didn’t stop there, however. Drawing on the versatility of their rig, they also used lighting to accent some of the distinctive architectural elements of the event’s venue: the $145 million Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta. “This is one of the most impressive venues for an event like the Trumpet Awards,” said Rose. “Fortunately, the versatility of the Rogue RH1s allowed us to highlight some of the outstanding features of the theatre to create a more complete and memorable impression for the live audience and TV viewers.”
Located at the heart of the Cobb Centre, the 2,500-seat theatre is a beguiling blend of deep reds and browns, along with brushed gold and silver metallic waves that sweep up toward to the ceiling to form a glittering cover over the audience. Capping it all off is a majestic purple curtain.
“We always had gobo and prism from the Rogues positioned on the balcony hitting different architectural elements of the Cobb Centre theatre,” said Rose. “When we hit these elements with beams or spots, it warmed up the whole visual presentation for the live and TV audience, in addition to complementing the activities on stage. It created a very special setting.”
Of course the focal point of this special setting always remained the performances and award proceedings on stage. In this regard, the Rogue RH1 fixtures excelled, allowing the lighting to change its entire character to fit performances by Salt-N-Pepa or Yo-Yo, as readily as an awards acceptance speech by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi or a comedy skit by the evenings co-hosts Terrence J of Think Like A Man fame and Nia (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) Long.
“What can I say about the Rogue RH1s?” remarked Rose. “If I had to pick three words, they would be incredibly versatile performance. I never used these lights before, but I was totally impressed with their versatility. I love the dual prism. You can make some really cool effects with them. I also love the frost and the zoom and focus. It just a very multi-functional light. Mark Carver and I were both very impressed with them.”
Carver and Rose positioned four of the Rogue RH1 Hybrids on the balcony rail, six on the floor for aerial effects and four upstage for backlighting, two of which were used for lighting the video screens. “I was really impressed with the dual prism capability, especially when we used it on the screen,” said Rose. “We used the dual prism to widen the coverage on the screen to create some great looks.”
The versatility of the Rogues was needed at the Trumpet Awards to reflect the diversity of talent and styles that were represented at the event. “We used the Rogues to create a wide range of looks, depending on who was on stage,” said Rose. “It was easy for us to go from gobos with prisms, to simple color spots, to hard edge looks — all from the same fixture. This kept the visual presentation varied for the live audience and the TV broadcast.”
Adding to this incredible variety on stage was the collection of architectural elements that were brought into the picture (or TV screen) with the help of the versatile Rogue fixtures. So in the end viewers, as well as the live audience, were able to enjoy a complete and memorable visual experience.