As which has become tradition, every year ReDDs Media provides a full stage re-design at Alive Church in Norwich, and this year was no exception and perhaps brought about our biggest re-design yet for Alive Church.
The brief this year was fresh. Alive wanted a radical new stage look, with very few similarities to previous designs. During talks with their resident lighting designer, Chris Nicholas, we discovered they were looking for more variety in lighting, allowing Chris to design vastly different stage looks with the lighting, depending on the feel he is trying to get across.
Previously, Alive Church's stage featured 3 massive 150" 16x9 projection screens, but this year, they requested just one. They wanted to simplify what content they show on stage in order to maximize engagement and focus worshippers, removing distraction. It became instantly clear to us that a single 16x9 conventional screen wouldn't be the best use of space, and so we designed a radical new screen to fit their space. Based on the ultra-wide 32:9 aspect ratio, we took this shape to the next level by bringing in the bottom corners to maximize space and add wow factor to their custom created content.
This new screen was custom fabricated by us to match the design created by our design team and is an impressive 6m wide.
In order to achieve the brief from Alive Church's lighting design looking for more variety in movement, we added 6 of our High End Systems StudioSpot 575w moving heads on permanent loan, mounted above the stage to compliment the 6 Robe ColorSpot 575 moving heads they already had placed on the stage floor. These new moving fixtures give Chris the ability to create stunning looks through wide beams and big gobos, or tight pin spot beams. In special occasions when needing to back light special objects or talent on stage, Chris has been able to employ these new moving fixtures as fantastic and versatile back lighting. Truly a multi-use fixture.
To fit the limited budget provided by the client, we wanted to create a stunning visual centrepiece that didn't take too much away from the budget. Alive had mentioned wanted a traditional looking fixture, similar to a Robe Patt 2013, but these fixtures were vastly out of their budget. To deliver something similar, our fabrication team created 6 custom designed round fixtures, based on an IKEA design that use a 150w reflect Edison lamp, which can be dimmed using their existing dimmer rack off stage. These custom lights stand on their own upright stand, which becomes invisible on the lit stage and gives the illusion of the lights floating.
The effect lighting setup also features 8x 1m Showtec LED Bars placed on the floor which adds colour wash in the haze, allowing Chris to vastly change the colour of the stage with just one type of fixture. To compliment these, we mounted 10 of their existing I-PIX Satellites to a custom fabricated curved bar which hangs below the projection screen. Perhaps the corner stone of this whole design though is our Look Solutions Unique 2.1 Hazer, on permanent loan to Alive Church. The airy lightness of the haze from this hazer removes clouds and other smokey effects that cheaper hazers can often suffer from. It was great to hear that one member of the congregation didn't even realise there was any haze! To finish it off, our fabrication team created a custom floor stand to hold 3 traditional 1000w PAR 64's with gel frames. This modern take on a older light allows Chris to just these lights in short bursts to create a blinder feel with large splashes of colour.
To facilitate the 2 new moving heads, custom fabricated light bar and humongous 6m projection screen, we rigged 3 lots of 3m Milos Structural trusses above the stage. Each truss holds 2 moving fixtures as well as holding the new light bar and projection screen. To help bring this whole project in on budget, Alive Church already had this truss sitting in their backstage storage, unused. It was surplus from our original install during their building renovation in 2016.
To accommodate for the new placement of the projection screen, we also moved the rigging for their Front of House speakers further back towards the stage and further apart to protect sight-lines of the congregation. These speakers were previously rigged on 1m long Milos truss. We removed the truss and rigged the speakers directly to simplify the look and remove un-necessary distraction.
This project was indeed an exciting one. We were able to employ some new design and fabrication techniques and push the boundaries and limitations ordinarily placed on a project thanks to Alive Church's wiliness to allow us to create whatever we imagined. It has been a pleasure to work with Alive yet again and we look forward to more projects with them in the future. To find out more about Alive Church and the brilliant work of their Production Team and lead Lighting Designer Chris, visit them at www.alivechur.ch.