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Apartments.com Makes a Splash with Licensing Expo Pool Party Featuring grandMA2 Lighting Control

Pool party! Apartments.com made a big splash when it invited 3,000 lucky guests to a poolside soiree at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas during Licensing Expo. David M. Schulman, who designed the lighting for the pool surround and the wave pool, used a pair of grandMA2 Light consoles for lighting control. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.

Licensing Expo connects the world's most influential entertainment, character, fashion, art, and corporate brand owners and agents with consumer goods manufacturers, licensees, and retailers. Encore Event Technologies produced the pool party where guests were treated to entertainment by headliners One Republic and opening act the Goo Goo Dolls.

"Apartments.com was one of the biggest companies at Licensing Expo. They rented the entire pool, which opened at 7pm for the party," says Schulman who served as lighting designer for a similar event last year. "I was there to support the stage lighting and create something interesting in the environment. I needed to highlight the action going on and design lighting appropriate to the event."

His team did a two-day load in, starting on Sunday, for the Tuesday evening show. The lighting package was obtained from 4Wall Lighting's Las Vegas office.

Schulman's grandMA2 light had six universes and ran v3.1 software. "grandMA has been my console of choice for a long time now," he reports. "I trained on series 1 about ten years ago and renewed my training with A.C.T when series 2 came out."

Schulman lit the three-story south convention center building, which formed a backdrop for the stage jutting into the pool. "I didn't want to take away from the lighting for the bands," he says. "I wanted to highlight the architecture and show how providing textures to the building could create looks that took guests by surprise."

The night before the party Schulman did three hours of programming for the grandMA2; a second console was on hand as a back up unit. "I needed to create enough looks to keep things fresh and interesting throughout the course of the evening," he explains. He also riffed on apartments.com's signature green and orange colors.

The consoles were located in an front-of-house position at the pool. Schulman positioned 26 moving heads on the roof of the south convention center. "That required a boom lift and a team from Encore working in 115-degree weather," he recalls. Extensive DMX cable runs were necessary; without line of sight wireless DMX was not an option.

He used the lighting fixtures to highlight the 16 columns of the fa├žade. "Thanks to the shuttering capabilities of the console it was easy to create presets," he says.

"The console performed exactly as I've come to expect from the grandMA2 series," Schulman reports. "A.C.T has always been amazing to me; their support is second to none in every way."

For Encore, the director at Mandalay Bay was Christopher Pawlowski and the head of lighting was Bob Hickstein. Sean M. McGrath was the master electrician; David "Angry Dave" Verbeck, Christopher "Topher" Escher, Matt Burns, and Amron Kelly were the assistant electricians.


(10 August 2015)

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