Volt Lites Founders, Matthew Shimamoto, Harrison Lippman and Lulu Creative Director, Michael Zinman of Zinman Company have launched the 3by3 Space on the premises of entertainment production services company Volt Lites in Burbank.
The three partners have created a safe stage for the COVID-19 era that’s equipped with a trio of lighting, video and xR capabilities, as well as 64 active Claypaky Mini-B LED moving lights to comprise the workhorse fixtures for space.
“We wanted to create a safe space that would allow people to get back to work and stimulate them to think out of the box,” said Shimamoto. The 3by3 Space has already been used by rock band Bush to shoot Quicksand with Augmented Reality, the Black Eyed Peas shooting Feel the Beat for Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, the iconic Temptations reprising their greatest hits for PBS’s A Capitol Fourth broadcast, and the product launch of LiteGear’s Spectrum OS2 lighting control system.
The 3by3 Space is outfitted with a large upstage LED video wall and LED floor from LED partner NEP Screenworks. Four lighting towers flank each side of the stage, and a horizontal truss is suspended above the space. Claypaky Mini-Bs are mounted on the towers and four rows of the truss.
Weighing a little over 15 pounds, Mini-B is the smallest LED moving light made by Claypaky for the professional market. It features a wide zoom, ranging from 4° to 55° for extremely versatile performance. At the narrow-angle, the beam is very solid and concentrated, superb for aerial effects. At full aperture, the Mini-B becomes an excellent wash light replacing much heavier and bulkier equipment. The Mini-B’s central LED may be controlled separately from the external ring of LEDs, making it ideal for graphic lighting effects, too.
“The versatility, size and output of the Mini-B fit well within the scale of the 3by3 Space,” said Shimamoto. “We have a limited trim height so proportions are everything. The Mini-B’s wider zoom range and shorter throw are very helpful, and the fixtures are very fast. Everything about them made them the right fit for this space. The Mini-Bs form the perfect backbone for the lighting design of the 3by3 Space.”
Volt Lites originally acquired Claypaky Mini-B fixtures after working with them at LDI 2019 when the company served as one of the lighting integrators for Claypaky’s booth at the show. “When we got home Harrison and I talked about what nice, punchy little lights the Mini-Bs were. So we add the fixtures we’d used at LDI to our lighting inventory. The Mini-Bs ticked all the boxes in terms of versatility for our clients: It was not a one-hit-wonder.”
Volt Lites immediately began using the new fixtures on broadcast TV shows, including NBC’s Little Big Shots, as well as commercials. “The Mini-B’s size, ease of use and range of flicker adjustment make it an attractive fixture for cameras,” Shimamoto noted.
The launch of the new 3by3 Space has further capitalized on the Mini-B’s versatility. The first clients on the stage have utilised the fixtures in quite different ways. Lighting Designer, Rob Bedford joined Lighting Director, Manuel Conde for the performance. Bush’s live stream of Quicksand, with AR content, took advantage of the “punch, beams and movement of the Mini-Bs,” Shimamoto reported.
For the Black Eyed Peas’ Feel the Beat, the Mini-Bs “played heavily off the graphical content on set,” noted Shimamoto. Lighting Designer, Matt Firestone added “a little more edgy look with a bank of Claypaky Sharpys on the floor to bring out more of the third dimension for the camera.”
Lighting Director, Peter Radice joined forces with Lighting Designer, Bob Barnhart to tap the Claypaky Mini-Bs for the Temptations PBS shoot creating a “bright, full look with a nice twinkle towards the camera,” Shimamoto said. The new 3by3 Space also includes 16 Claypaky Mythos 2 fixtures in the rig to provide additional beam effects for artists.
Claypaky Strategic Marketing Manager, George Masek concluded: “One of the rare positives from this pandemic is seeing how our customers pivot creatively to address the vast changes we are all facing. I was so excited to hear how Volt created a useful space and vital service with the creation of 3by3. Of course, we’re very proud that the Claypaky fixtures are a useful element of their newest endeavour.