Taking advantage of the explosion in performers wanting to livestream their artistry, Chicago, USA-based Charles Ford and his business partner Brandon Clark from Creative Live Control have developed a professional streaming production service – lighting, audio, cameras and broadcast – that meets all the social distancing requirements, can be installed and run by the two of them, and produces a cool, streamlined result.
While the challenges of producing special high impact lighting for community lighting projects like Chicago Unite at Night have been stimulating and fun, Ford and Clark also need to generate some business as all their touring work has currently been cancelled, so they hit on the idea of the professional live streaming service.
The living room of Ford’ condo has been transformed into a pop-up studio space and after a couple of test runs, there is a queue of local artists lined up to visit and use the facilities. Clark completed all the networking, internet and broadcast elements and lighting – using six Robe Pointe multipurpose moving lights from locally-based rental company JRLX, while Ford programmed and created visual content.
“Basically, it was as much kit as we knew we could safely run in a set up like this with limited power. Pointes offer a massive amount of options and in a small space we only use a fraction of their intensity, but their presence makes a huge difference in the quality and look of the stream.”
During the broadcasts, Clark runs the streaming and lighting from one laptop and an MA Lighting grandMA 2 light and Ford takes care of audio on another laptop, cutting the cameras via an M-BOX media server and a grandMA 2 onPC Command Wing. “Two of us can handle the whole production extremely well and even with artists in the room, social distancing is easily achievable!” states Charles, who is also thankful for his tolerant neighbours!”
The first three live sessions featured DJ Josh One who needed a cool and vibrant lightshow, R’n’B singer Joe Viba whose visual treatment was starker and more contrasting, and Chicago pop singer Sa’rayah whose powerful and dramatic voice demanded lighting to match. “With the six Pointes, I have absolutely no problem in achieving a wide variety of looks.”
Since the pandemic started, Ford has also been busy giving online lectures and holding seminars with lighting design students at Pace University in New York, one of many educational establishments that have shifted to remote learning for the immediate future.