NEWS: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Launch New Theatrette With ETC and Vari-Lite

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The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) in Canberra has launched their new Theatrette located in the NFSA’s heritage-listed art deco building. The refurbishment included a larger stage, new seating design and new audiovisual technology. The 114 seat Theatrette is an intimate option for screenings, live performances, conferences, lectures, and break-out sessions. It will also allow the NFSA to stream HD content to any venue in the world.

Fredon was called upon to install a performance lighting system the rigging of which was a major challenge. However Allan Wade, Fredon’s ACT Manager for Audio Visual Solutions, describes the result as absolutely spectacular!

“The fact that we got it looking so good in such a challenging ceiling space is a work of art in itself,” he added. “Issues with the room meant it would be very difficult to get to the lighting rig once it was installed so we turned to an LED solution that offered long-life operation. We also installed more than the usual amount of lights so that it would not be necessary to re-rig the lights.”

With access to the lighting fixtures limited, fixture reliability was vital and consequently Fredon turned to a combined Vari-Lite and ETC solution.

“It’s important as the people at the coal face to know that we’re installing best of breed product with matched reliability and local support. So when the specification called for the use of ETC and Vari-Lite product, we were more than comfortable with confirming that selection,” remarked Allan. “Ultimately, we are the ones that need to support it. Our relationship with Jands has always been very good and I know that the product they supply is always reliable. The Jands Technical Resource Group was on hand to provide detailed production information and design guidance. Ultimately, this is a success story of today’s contracting – a consultant, integrator and vendor all working together to achieve a solution to meet the clients requirements.”

The lighting package comprised of ten ETC Desire D40, fourteen ETC Source Four CE LED Lustr+, four 42 inch ETC Selador Lustr and four Vari-Lite VLX LED wash-lights.

“The ETC fixtures have been great,” commented Allan. “Care had to be taken when positioning them as there is such a short distance between the actual fixture and the stage. We supplied them with a number of different zooms so that they could change the angle. The stage was very tricky as it had a particularly short throw to try get a tight pattern on stage but we managed to do that. The Vari-lite VLX fixtures were chosen to light live performances giving as much flexibility as possible.”

Trevor Anderson, Theatre Technical/Facilities Manager at NFSA, commented that the Vari-Lite VLX fixtures were also chosen to match the ETC fixtures in terms of colour functionality and to add movement to the room.

“The VLX have been fantastic and totally functional in the way we hoped they would be,” he said. “They certainly give the room a wow factor.”

The ETC Desire D40 fixtures were chosen to supply a broad colour wash to the stage and also to light the room.

“A couple are used to light the ceiling whilst the rest are in the rig to down light the stage,” added Trevor. “The ETC Source Four CE LED Lustr+ were chosen because not only did we want a real theatrical light we also need a light that would be useful for video production and video conferencing. The ETC Source Four CE LED Lustr+ can light people on the stage to specific colour temperatures so we can get good quality video reproduction. The Selador Lustr are basically used for wall wash eye candy and mood setting the room. The acoustic panels on the wall were chosen in a very neutral grey colour that can be easily lit in colour.”

An ETC SmartFade 24/48 was chosen for control with Trevor describing it as having an awesome interface, plus being very easy to learn and program.

A Jands DD8 DMX distribution unit runs individual feeds to each of the bar locations and stage, a simple solution to ensure that everything does what it is supposed to do.

For more information on ETC and Vari*Lite products visit www.jands.com.au

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