HKIS MS Legally Blonde Jr production

The Hong Kong International School‘s Middle School Tech-Know-Wise crew once again have provided outstanding technical design, set-up, operation and de-rig of our largest technical achievement for the 2015-2016 school year.
The 8 member crew (below) supported the Middle School drama department’s Legally Blonde Jr production. Directed by Drama teacher / director  John Mulhall.
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Four afternoon performances spanning May 11 – 14 filled the Black Box Theatre to capacity and beyond.
The lighting team, with only one show experience, did a great job through the production. We had the 6 chain hoist lighting bars all loaded and connected together to accomplish our light unit placement requirements for the shows. Again a complex set up.
Below’s an image showing the temporary control platform we set up and worked on. The crew spent four weeks everyday after school working on the set up process.IMG_4380.JPG
Worryingly the lighting system encountered serious technical problems when both lighting mixers broke during later stage rehearsals. We managed to borrow the High School’s lighting mixer on the day of the first show.
I must say I felt a tad stressed at the time. I didn’t have much time to set up the mixer for the show. Nothing like a little pressure to make one focus – hard.
Below’s the casualty lighting boards:
ETC : Element 40 – our latest MS mixer. Presented a problem with intermittent and unpredictable power : turning its own power on and off randomly – not what we needed.. 😦
Leviton : Innovator 24 – 48 – our previous mixer that we held as standby – sadly didn’t help – whoops.FullSizeRender 41.jpg
We used enhanced projection through the show thanks to the brilliance of the QLab application and it’s support for Projection mapping. The image below shows QLab projection control on the right side of the technical operators.FullSizeRender 47.jpg
Below’s a few of the projected surfaces. The creative opportunities available through multiple surface projection are exciting.
We will go further with this in the future…
It took some time to generate all of images and get the students to use the QLab tools effectively and to run alongside and timed with light control. But they got there in the end.
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One of the other major achievements was the use and control of 23 wireless face microphones. Mixing these with music tracks played from QLab was a big task for a team of 2. The provision of mic cues from the director helped keep the operators on track. Regardless that students did brilliantly as they faced a complex technical process.FullSizeRender 30.jpg
In addition to the Lighting, sound and projection we ran a 3 camera live edit recording of the show. Below’s showing the editing platform. We are always a little frustrated with the quality of the outputted video. A good thing to drive towards improving as we move forward.
FullSizeRender 43.jpgHere’s a panning shot at a rehearsal:

And last but certainly not least the students worked to de-rig the systems that took ages to set up. FullSizeRender 39.jpgWithin two 60 minute sessions every thing was disconnected, tidied up and put away ready for another day.FullSizeRender 40.jpgOverall I have been impressed with the students dedication and technical knowledge and skill growth through this experience. Strangely it seems unusual for students to have to focus hard for a extended period of time – 90 minutes. This type of activity requires that and there’s not an option.
The kids met the challenge. I am proud of them and look forward to our next production experience.
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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jim Zahn says:

    Congratulations to you and your team, Dean.

  2. Ingrid Shbangabang says:

    Fanbloominfantabuloso !
    Well done you – on taking the risks which enabled them to grow !

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