The 36th edition of the MTV Video Music Awards featured a vast creative stage set, designed by Stufish’s Ric Lipson, and illuminated by nearly 200 German Light Product fixtures.
194 new GLP JDC1 hybrid strobes were deployed by 22 Degrees’ Lighting Director Bob Barnhart, and supplied by PRG with the fixtures distributed among the overhead canopies, with 2 layers of outer rings, in the back of the arena and on the overhead main stage area.
“Mark came back to me the next day and indicated that the engineers thought it was possible and when he told me earlier this summer that the unit was shipping, I thought this would be a good show to try them out on,” Barnhart said.
Other fixtures from the GLP catalogue augmented the JDC1’s, including 12 of the X4 Bar 10’s and 42 X4 Bar 20s, as well as 8 GLP X4 atoms and 50 GT-1 hybrids.
Barnhart commented: “The goal was to change the Forum into an environment people had not seen before when coming to the Forum,” he said. “From a lighting standpoint, LED tape was the theme, with literally over 12,000 feet of LED RGBW tape, requiring more than a 400A 3-phase supply to power it. To my knowledge it is the only fixture that has a tilt capability, which is a great feature. It allows you to focus the attention of the fixture on certain areas just for a moment. It would also be a cool feature on an upstage wall or on the floor and use the movement as hypnotic undulation.”
Alongside him at the desk was long-time associate and Lighting Director Travis Hagenbuch, with the 2 men having collaborated on the MTV event since 2015. Other key members of the crew included: PRG’s Pete Radice and Patrick Boozer, who were also credited as Lighting Directors.
Hagenbuch also assisted with some of the product selection: “We both agreed that since the rig was large and needed to service so many stages while still feeling like one cohesive show, a simple approach would be best in terms of fixture choice. The wide spread of the colour LEDs has a lot of potential for being a short throw wash light in addition to a colour blinder and pixel surface, but we’re definitely interested in seeing optional lenses to make the beams tighter for longer throws like we had at The Forum.
“While it’s easy to miss the classic xenon-plus-reflector combination, there’s no question that LED strobes have taken over in many applications. Power savings and colour versatility were a great start toward moving to LEDs, and the JDC1’s hybrid approach brings some of the classic look back into play while still having a useful and versatile colour element, which is great,” he added.
Barnhart concluded: “Production had wanted an environment and a performance space the encompassed the entire arena, and I think that vision was fully delivered!”