Jake Paul defeated Nate Diaz in a fiercely contested cruiserweight professional crossover boxing match billed as ‘Ready 4 War’. To build tension and excitement within the arena, more that 50 ADJ beam-moving head fixtures were deployed across multiple trusses, while the intense aerial effects they created were enhanced by four of ADJ’s touring-grade Entourage haze generators.
In addition to the capacity crowd in the arena itself, the headline match clocked up 450,000 pay-per-view buys, through streaming service DAZN. This meant it was essential that the event’s lighting highlighted the scale of the venue, as well as ensuring the fighters were clearly visible, both for the in-house audience and those watching at home. The responsibility for this fell to Lighting Designer Jason Eible, whose company, Event Illuminations Inc., was the primary lighting supplier to the event. In turn, Jason brought in local vendor, Midnight Lighting based just outside Austin in Cedar Creek, TX, to supply equipment and techs.
“This show was part of a tour of boxing events, which goes all over the country,” explained Jason. “So, we tend to rent in the gear from preferred lighting companies in each area that we have relationships with. Midnight Lighting is one of the best local companies that we use, they always come with a great attitude and support us really well. They are also fans of boxing, which is an added bonus!”
The primary beam fixture utilised for the production was ADJ’s Vizi Beam 12RX. Harnessing the power of a 260W Philips Platinum 12R LL lamp, the luminaire generated an exceptionally potent and sharp 2-degree beam. It offers a versatile collection of onboard beam-shaping tools, which allow for a vast variety of different looks to be achieved. These include 15 colours, 17 GOBOs, motorized focus, rotating 24-facet circular and 6-facet linear prisms, and a frost filter.
“My first experience of the Vizi Beam 12RX was at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas where Christie Lights supplied them for a show,” explained Jason. “We used to specify another beam fixture which was a little bulkier, a little heavier, and also a little more expensive! So, when the Vizi Beams came out the guys at Christie suggested I check them out. After that they sent us out a couple to try out and compare to the previous fixture we’d been using and we were blown away by their brightness. We were also happy with the feature set they offer, so started to spec them for all of our boxing as well as MMA events.”
“We’ve supplied the Vizi Beams to a wide variety of events over the past couple of years, including high profile shows like the ACL Music Festival 2023 – on both the Miller Lite Stage and Tito’s Stage, and I’ve never known an LD to have any complaints about them,” added Midnight Lighting’s Phil Arciniega. “They are solid fixtures and people are often pretty shocked about how well they cut through. Here at Midnight Lighting, we’ve been really pleased with our investment in the Vizi Beams, they have been a good purchase for us. And, in today’s market, it seems like however many beams you have in your inventory you always need more, so we’ve really been stocking up on them.”
At Ready 4 War, six Vizi Beam 12RXs were rigged to a large square truss flown above the ring. Positioned in clusters of three, flanking an LED ‘ticker’ screen, on the side of the truss structure facing the ‘Camera 1’ position, the beams were primarily for the benefit of viewers at home. To create atmosphere in the arena itself and emphasise its scale on camera, eight additional trusses were hung higher up in the venue’s ceiling – four parallel to each side of the central square and four running out on a diagonal from each corner. Each truss was loaded with six fixtures, allowing for the whole arena to be filled with piercing beams.
While the majority of the fixtures used were the Vizi Beam 12RX model, for inventory and logistical reasons two of the trusses were filled with IP-rated Hydro Beam X12 units. This IP65-rated beam fixture can be used almost interchangeably with the Vizi Beam 12RX for indoor applications. “Both in the arena and on camera there was no noticeable difference, they blended in seamlessly with the rest of the rig,” confirmed Phil.
Accounting for the mixed rig at Ready 4 War, Jason explained, “I also have a local shop here in Greenville, South Caroline, which I’m trying to grow, looking to serve productions within a 150-mile radius. I was so impressed with the Vizi Beams that I decided to invest in ADJ, but for my company I want to go for all IP65-rated fixtures for added versatility, so chose the Hydro Beam X12s. Some of them had been out on another production as a floor package and were coming back via Midnight Lighting, so it made sense for them to be used on this event. They are great units too; I don’t know of any other comparable IP-rated fixture that offers that level of speed and output. The fixture’s intense brightness means that you can throw in a color and still get a really nice aerial effect, with other beam units when you add color you really lose the punch. And, while I don’t want to cheapen the ADJ brand name in any way, price is naturally a consideration for a small company. These fixtures offer excellent value for money, which I can then pass on to clients by providing more fixtures for their budget which really makes a dynamic impact on their shows. I’ve been really happy with these lights, in fact I’m just about to put in an order for six more units!”
Midnight Lighting also supplied four of ADJ’s touring grade Entourage ‘faze’ machines for the event. Offering a hybrid between a conventional fog machine and a haze machine. The Entourage is built inside a robust road case. It is fitted with a heat vent, allowing the machine to run safely from within its protective shell. It is also fitted with rubber feet, allowing it to stand directly on a stage without slipping or scratching the surface.
“Four Entourages were enough for the whole arena,” enthused Phil, “they really made the beams look great, both for the crowd watching in person and for the cameras. We ran them at around 50% during the undercard, ramped up to 75% when the pay-per-view started, and then took them to 100% when we hit the main event, which really made the beams pop. The Entourage is a great machine that really kicks out a lot of haze. I love the fact that it’s built into a solid road case and also that it’s relatively compact, so we could hide them away in the corners of the arena. I don’t know of another hazer of that size that pushes out as much haze.”