Production designer Craig Rutherford works with the Nashville-based tour provider on a new design that draws everyone together on the “Still Keepin’ It Country Tour”
Nashville, 5/17/2016 – As a freelance lighting designer Craig Rutherford, Blueshift Design, enjoys finding new and creative ways to draw both the audience and the musicians on stage into the design experience. In his latest creation, he was asked by the team behind country music icon Alan Jackson to develop a dynamic production design for the “Still Keepin’ It Country Tour”. Wanting to use a full complement of lighting and video, Rutherford turned to Nashville-based Elite Multimedia to provide the touring support that could help him highlight one of country music’s most decorated artists.
“This is my second tour with Alan and in this design I really wanted to spread the lighting rig out to most advantageously utilize the complete lighting and video production package,” began Rutherford. “We also needed to be cognizant of arranging the physical layout of the rig to best give the show a compelling dimensionality from both the audience and the artist perspectives. When looking at a tour provider to help make this happen, there was really no question we were going to go with Elite Multimedia because we knew they had the right gear and expertise to make our design a success.”
As Rutherford began working with Elite Multimedia on the lighting elements, he wanted to make sure they could create a big, bold look, while also maintaining an eye-catching visual perspective for the IMAG video as well. To do this, he chose a lighting package that included Elation Platinum FLX, Chauvet COLORdash Par-Hex 7s, Martin MAC 700 and 301 Washes, Vari-Lite VL3000 Spots, Procan 4 Lite Blinders, and Chauvet Ovation E-190WW LED ellipsoidals; along with an ETC 24-Channel Sensor Rack and a GrandMA Lighting Console for control.
“To get the maximum impact of a bold country show, I placed the majority of the VL3000 Spot fixtures in the air to give us the big rock-n-roll beams and fans,” continued Rutherford. “In trying to obtain the maximum spread of the rig, we have Elation Platinum FLX luminaires both in the air and on the floor, and then we have four towers for side and back light on the band which I lined with Chauvet ColorDash Pars that give us our great looks from behind the band on the IMAG video.”
Turning his attention to the video portion of the production design, Rutherford knew that Elite Multimedia had an extensive inventory of LED video and projection technology, plus IMAG video camera capabilities. Wanting to incorporate all of these together, Elite Multimedia provided the tour with a video package that included PixelFLEX FLEXCurtain 20mm Panels, a Toshiba POV Camera, a Sony HDX Long Lens FOH Camera, two Sony HDX Handheld Cameras, plus Barco FLM-HD 20 Projectors, and a Panasonic 410 Director’s Rack.
“On tour, we have our main front-of-house camera with a long-throw lens, then a mobile IMAG camera on stage right, plus three additional cameras that cover the band members,” explained Rutherford. “We then have two side screens that are fed through rear-projections, and our main visual element center stage is the 20mm LED FLEXCurtain LED Wall. For the content, we use a combination of Alan’s music videos and live IMAG with a capture card installed on the media server that allows us to place it anywhere on the FLEXCurtain to really keep the show visually engaging. At any time, I can take the FLEXCurtain to full screen IMAG, or I can duplicate the IMAG anywhere across the screen, and the show never gets stale.”
With tour dates scheduled through November, the Alan Jackson “Still Keepin’ It Country Tour” will continue to pack houses nationwide with fans seeking to enjoy an evening with the multi Grammy, ACM and CMA Award-winner. Behind the scenes, Rutherford takes pride in knowing that when they do, the audience will have a unique experience that draws everyone together through the dynamic new tour design.
“From a design standpoint, I am very proud of the fact that we have so many elements working together beautifully and we have continued to evolve as a touring production,” concluded Rutherford. “With the full lighting and video package provided by Elite Multimedia, along with their outstanding crew, we are able to put on a really great show. Night after night everyone is really enjoying themselves, and in the end that’s all that truly matters.”
Elite Multimedia is a privately-owned, leading supplier of the most up-to-date audio, video and lighting technologies today. With a combined 85 years of industry experience, our team of dedicated professionals knows how to pair the right technology with your vision whether partnering with you in a rental, systems installation, or sales relationship. Through an unconditional desire to make your production or project a complete success, our passion and knowledge to innovate knows no bounds. For more information on how Elite Multimedia is the right partner for you, visit elitemultimedia.com, follow us on Twitter at @EliteMultimedia or find us on Facebook or Instagram.