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Alton Towers Fireworks with ChamSys
Olly Suckling has lit the famed fireworks display at Alton Towers Resort. “Given the nature of this show, the first time everything is seen working together is on the opening night,” he says. “It simply isn’t possible to have a rehearsal with all the fireworks and other special effects being set off due to the sheer cost of such a large display. This means that the creatives from each department have to work together closely to plan how the show will look, without fully seeing the final product.”
From a lighting designer’s perspective, working on the fireworks show also requires the ability to very quickly update programming and make critical changes. This was something Suckling was able to accomplish in his 8-universe 156-fixture show by using his ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 console.
“I was able to fully program offline using a laptop, while still being able to use external time code,” he explains. “The ability to build and patch the rig in Capture, and then have all of the data transferred automatically into my ChamSys show file, was a massive time saver. I also used MagicQ’s time code tracks feature to program repetitive stabs quickly.”
The lightshow, accompanied by music, supported the 27-minute fireworks display. Suckling used his ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 and a ChamSys MQ500 to run through an ever-changing variety of looks, choosing colors that coordinated with the fireworks themselves. The consoles were run entirely from time code as a main and backup system.
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