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Tech Notes: 2020 iHeart Radio Music Festival

Director/ EP: Michael Dempsey
Set Designer: Tamlyn Wright
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Lighting Director: Mark Butts
Gaffer: Mike Beckman
Best Boy: Gern Trowbridge

Lighting rental provided by: Volt Lites



12 – Clay Paky Alpha Spots 1500
8 – Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1500
8 – Clay Paky Aleda K10
10  – Clay Paky Sharpy
9  – Clay Paky Sharpy Wash
8 – Martin Vipers
32 – Artyon Magic Panel
77 – GLP Impression Fr1
2 – Robe T1 Profile Followspot
33 – GLP Atoms
10 – PRG Best Boy 4000

2 – GrandMA2 Full
1 – GrandMA3 Compact
3 – GrandMA2 NPU
32 – ETC Gateways
5 – Swisson 8 Port nodes

Artist Specific

48 GLP FR10 Bars

24 Astera Titan Tubes
3 Clay Paky Stormys

-Alicia Keys-
Arri Skypanel s-360 with Octodome
8 – Clay Paky Sharpy, chrome

The High Note – Tech Notes

DP: Jason McCormick
PD: Theresa Guleserian
LD: Matt Ardine
Gaffer: Manny Tapia
Rigging Gaffer: Adam Harrison
Dmx Tech: Ryan Babroff
Dmx Tech: Jeff Siljenberg
Programmer: David Kane
Programmer: Derek Hoffman
Programmer: Erik Androvich
Key Grip: Ray Garcia
Rigging Key Grip: Matt Floyd

Lighting Provided by: Volt Lites
LED Neon Sign by: Cush Lights

We worked with the crew to design the lighting for three of the concert sets for The High Note. Below is a breakdown of the concert montage, record release, and finale concert.

Concert Montage

The concert montage sequence was filmed in the Orpheum in Los Angeles over the course of two days. The goals of this sequence was to create a set for the song “Stop for a Minute” that showed that Grace Davis is a timeless pop-star. This one location had to work for several different locations across the country. Just as important as creating a memorable stage design was creating varied looks for the audience as many of the shots have the audience and the performers filling the frame.

Gear List:

28 -Clay Paky Mythos
15 – Clay Paky Scenius Profile
2 – Robe BMFL Followspot
34 – Colorforce II 72
4 – Colorforce II 48
120 – GLP Atoms
40 – ETC Source 4 Lustres
13 – Sunstrips
5 – Chauvet Strike 4

I previz’ed for 2 days at Volt Lites in Burbank with the lighting programmer, David Kane. This allowed us to be locked to time code so that every take and every shot looks exactly the same which is vital when cutting the sequence together. Ryan Babroff and Adam Harrison worked with their teams to prep all of the lighting at Volt Lites because at the location we had a 1 day load in followed by one rehearsal day.


Record Release

Lighting Programmer: Derek Hoffman

Gear List:

9 – Aryton Mistrals
8 – Colorforce II 72
4 – Colorforce II 48
10 – GLP X4 Bar 20
4 – SGM P1
Balloon light

Finale Concert

Lighting Programmer: Eric Androvich

Gear List:

Ford Theater rep plot
6 – Clay Paky Mythos
15 – Sunstrip
2 – SGM P10

Tech Notes: Hyundai VENUE : Urban Vibes

Director: John Park
Production Designer: Vincent Reynaud
Lighting Designer (plane interior): Matt Ardine

Cinematographer: MacGregor
Gaffer: Nizar Najm

Lighting Gear provided by:

Controllable Lighting Solutions
Volt Lites

Burger King – 12 Days of Cheesemas (TECH NOTES)


Director: Evan Silver
Producer: Ryan Ennis
Production Designer: Dan Butts
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Programmer: David Kane
LD Gaffer: Ken Wales
Cinematographer: Tristan Nyby
DP Gaffer: Chris Tonkovich
Data Tech: Paul Sartain
Best Boy: John Gorman

Lighting Gear provided by:

Controllable Lighting Solutions
Volt Lites
Holiday Coro
Kite & Key

This massive feet of over 10,000 individually placed lights was pulled off in 5 days. Over 39,000 DMX channels were sent out from the GrandMA2 and PRG MBOX. We put all the pixels and lights into Vectorworks as their own fixtures. Then addressed every one after they were plotted. This allowed us to do a direct export from Vectorworks to MA2 using the plugin. No need to place lights or patch anything in MA2. This made us ready for previz with GrandMA 3D. Programmer, David Kane, spent a day in previz at Volt Lites programming the sequence to timecode. Rigging gaffer, Ken Wales, and Data Tech, Paul Sartain, had 3 days in prep at Volt to create the plots and spreadsheets necessary for the install. Ken’s crew also built all of the signs from individually placed pixel LED’s.



120 – Holiday Coro bullet strands
5 – Pixel PSU
60 – Holiday Coro C9 Strands, 50 pixels
4 – Clay Paky Sharpys
3 – Arri Skypanel S-60
8 – Digital Sputnik Ds3 Kits
8 – Astera Titan Tubes


1 – GrandMA3 Lite in MA2 mode
1 – GrandMA2 Command Wing
1 – GrandMA2 3D Computer
1 – PRG Mbox Studio V4
5 – GrandMA2 NPU
3 – MA Switches
4 – 24 port Netgear Unmanaged Switches
1 – WDMX 2 Universe Transmitter
4 – Ratpack PDB10
2 – Ratpack 12×1.2 dimmers
2 – Leprecon 6 channel dimmer w/ WDMX

Transparent Musical Finale – Tech Notes

Director: Jill Solloway
Production Designer: Cat Smith
Cinematographer: Jim Frohna
Choreographer: Ryan Heffington
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Gaffer: Jeremy Laundis
Rigging Gaffer: Duncan Sobel

Lighting and LED video: Volt Lites

Gear List:

Roe CB8 Video Tiles – 80’x32′
4K Led Processor

29  – Clay Paky Scenius Profile
2 – High End Solaframe Theaters
2 – Robe Robospots
20 – Source 4 LED lustre
24 – GLP Atoms
4 – Arri Skypanel s-60 w/ chimeras
18 – Parbars

1 – GrandMA2 Command Wing
1 – GrandMA2 NPU
1 – PRG MBOX Studio
3 – Swisson DMX Nodes
5 – Ratpac 24×1.2 dimmers

Kia “Light Up the Holidays” TECH NOTES

Director: Damian Kulash
Producer: Kelli Abraham
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Production Designer: Brian Branstetter
Cinematographer: Chris Soos

Programmers: Michelle Sarrat, Cat West, Matt Ardine
Gaffer: Danny Golzalez
Data Tech: Paul Sartain
LED Tech: Dustin Gardner
Car Light Tech: Mike Beckman

Lighting Equipment provided by:

Volt Lites
RGB Lights, Chicago
Controllable Lighting Solutions

A Kia dealership is transformed into a large scale lighting display set to “CHRISTMAS EVE IN SARAJEVO” BY THE TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA.  We see the headlights of the cars light up. Behind the cars, the dealership, and the lot, also being to come to life with lights. Suddenly, we interrupt into a rocking visual of holiday lights.




280 – Color Kinetics iColor Flex LMX
31 – Color Kinetics PDS-60 PSU
14 – Clay Paky Mythos
10 – Arri Skypanel S-60
28 – SGM P1
60 – Pixel Strands, 50 per strands
8 – Sparkulators
28 – Litegear 6×6 12v Dimmers and PSU’s
7 – RGB Geysers


2 – GrandMA2 Full
1 – GrandMA2 Command Wing
1 – GrandMA2 3D Computer
4 – PRG Mbox Studio V4
6 – GrandMA2 NPU
4 – TMB Proplex EZLan Switches
4 – 24 port Netgear Unmanaged Switches
1 – WDMX 2 Universe Transmitter
2 – Innovative Dimmers PDB10
4 – Optisplitters
1 – Leprecon 6 channel dimmer w/ WDMX

We did  previz in GrandMA2 3D at the Volt Lites Previz suites. We created 2 versions of the :30 commercial and one version of a :72. The previz videos are below. I used 2 MBOX’s to pixel map the lights on the walls and the bushes then sent that data into GrandMA2 to do a HTP merge so that we can visualize on the model of the building that I created in Vectorworks. Matt Ardine programmed the first :30, Cat West programmed the second :30 and Michelle Sarrat pulled a 27 hour programming session to pull off the massive :72.

MBOX is unique in that it can send Kinet2 straight out of it. Using this simple protocol, instead of sACN, it made addressing and setting up much faster in prep. With Kinet2, you only need an IP address and a port number instead of IP address, Universe, DMX address, and port number.  This allowed Paul Sartain to create easy to read charts and plots with simplified numbers on them for the install. After the prep and the previz, the install took 3 days on site lead by Gaffer, Danny Gonzalez. Mike Beckman did tests early on with the Litegear 6×6 dimmers to check if we can use them to control the headlights, directionals, and daytime running lights through DMX control. We realized that they pull a total of 30 amps and that we would need large power supplies to accomplish the 84 channels of dimmers required for the whole row of cars.

During the first and second day of the install, Michelle Sarrat, was still in previz, hammering away on the :72. It has thousands of cues in the timecode file. In the previz suite, we had a GrandMA2 full, 2 MBOX’s and a GrandMA2 3D computer. On the location, we had a duplicate system plus a command wing and 6 NPU’s to unlock parameters and distribute DMX.

There were a total of 65,000 DMX channels that had to be pushed over the network. One MBOX had the 2 main pixel maps. One map was for the perimeters of the building and the other was for the insides of the walls. Both of these output sACN during previz and Kinet2 on site. The second MBOX had a map of the hedge that sent out sACN to the Holiday Couro controllers. The second MBOX was also used to convert sACN to Kinet2 to get data to the strands on the pillars, since the MA2 FX engine would be much easier than pixel mapping for the spirals. The MA2 output sACN directly to the trees, bushes, snowflakes, and wreath.  We used MANet2 and NPU’s to get DMX to all the other non-pixel lights and FX units. We opted to keep the MANet2 and the sACN separate from the Kinet2 traffic. To do so, each MBOX had 2 network cards. One for the control from GrandMA2 via sACN, and one to output to Kinet2. We used the TMB Proplex EZLan switches to allow us to create a VLAN for each but have the capability to only run 1 trunk lines for the various segments.

Kia :72 previz from Matthew Ardine on Vimeo.

Kia :30 previz, Version 2 from Matthew Ardine on Vimeo.

Nike – Roll Bounce – Tech Lighting Notes

Production Company: Doomsday
Director: Hiro Murai
Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Lighting Console Programmer: Eric Androvich
Rigging Gaffer: Ted Barnes
DMX Tech: Paul Sartain

Lighting gear provided by: Volt Lites
Electrical Gear Provided by: Blackline Rigging and Lighting
Lighting Balloons Provided: One Light Balloons



8 – 20k balloons, 20’x8′
145 – Martin Rushpars
50 – Colorado Tripars
75 – Sunstrips
10 – Clay Paky Scenius
30 – Clay Paky Sharpys
12 – Arri Skypanel S-60
4 – ETC Source 4 Lustre
2 – Brite Box Flame follow spot
2- Arrimax 18k


2 – GrandMA2 Full
4 – GrandMA2 NPU
4 – TMB Proplex Fiber Switches
4 – 750′ Fiber
1 – WDMX 2 Universe Transmitter
8 – Innovative Dimmers Cinetennas
8 – Optisplitters

Lighting Plot PDF

Lighting Patch

IP Spreadsheet


Desperados – Bass Drop – Tech Notes


Click here to play the commercial

Director: Ralf Scherenberg
Producer: Melissa Murphy
Producer: Ben Schneider
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Best Boy Electric: Harold Lacuesta
LED Tech: Michael Beckman

Lighting gear provided by: Volt Lites



Desperados created a commercial in zero gravity to find the ultimate Bass Drop. This commercial featured a light show on the Zero G airplane that had to withstand the G forces associated with this famous plane. The plane does maneuvers that allow the passengers to have 24 seconds of no gravity.  Each flight has 15 of these moments.

A design using pixel tape was chosen for it’s low power, low weight, and small size.  Everything had to be safe for the dancers to bounce into. We scouted the plane 4 months before the shoot day because every plan of equipment selection, equipment securing, cabling, and power had to be approved in advance by the FAA. Previz videos were created using GrandMA2 3D so that everyone could approve the programming before we in flight.  The load in to the plane had to be done in 6 hours with a small crew. We did 4 flights over the course of 2 days and the results of a lighting show in a space that had no up or down was transcending.

All 48 strands of pixel tape in the ceiling were pixel mapped in the v4 of PRG Mbox.  The Mbox was controlled by GrandMA2.  The DJ booth had 8 strands of pixel tape that were controlled directly by GrandMA2 using fixture control and the new bitmap engine.  Also in the booth were a white light strip to light the logo and a RGB pad to light the DJ’s face. The console was operated live to the music by Matt Ardine with the console and Matt strapped to bolts in the floor.



48 – GLP Pixel Tape 60/meter (in ceiling)
8 – GLP Pixel Tape 60/meter (in DJ booth)
1 – Litegear RGB x6 pad
1 – Litegear Literibbon x1 3200
1 – Litepanel 1×1 Bicolor


1 – GrandMA2 Command Wing
1 – PRG Mbox V4
4 – GLP Scenex PP16
2 – Ratpac Cinetenna RX
1 – LumenRadio Transmitter
1 – 24 port gigabit switch


Network Diagram

Network Diagram



DJ Booth

Clinique – Tech Notes

Director: Hiro Murai

Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple
Lighting Director: Matt Ardine
Best Boy Electric: Derek Hofman

Automated lights provided by: Volt Lites
Conventionals and distro provided by: Cinelease
Control Equipment provided by: Controllable Lighting Solutions

Clinique created this interactive commercial/music video to show off their new line of lipstick. In this piece, Zara Larsson created 4 versions of her song, Lush Life. The genres are acoustic, dance, pop, and country. For each version of the song, we used the same set with different dressing and the camera did the same exact moves on the Milo motion control rig.  Larkin and I created 4 distinct looks to go with the different genres.

We only had one day to rig and prelight then 2 days to shoot all 4 versions.  So we had to come up with fixtures that could be versatile in being able to achieve all the looks and play them in spots that could serve multiple purposes.



6 – Arri Sky Panels
4 – Martin Viper Profiles
8 – Source 4 Lustr Series 2
16 – Pixel Tubes
4 – Mattypad 2’x4′ Hybrid LED pads
10 – GLP Impression X4 Bars
2 – Baby 10k
4 – Baby 5k
12 – Cineo HS
2 – Projectors, 4000 lumens, 1080p


1 – GrandMA2 Command Wing
1 – GrandMA2 NPU
1 – GrandMA2 OnPC acting as master
1 – PRG MBOX Studio
1 – WDMX Transmitter, 2 Univers
12 – Various WDMX receivers
2 – Leprecon 6 Channel Dimmer Packs
1 – Doug Fleenor 24 channel Dimmer Pack



The Pound Hole – Tech Notes

Click here to watch the 9 minute pilot
The pilot for Adult Swim’s Pound Hole had us take an empty warehouse and turn it into a night club. This was done in one day. The filming occurred over 3 days.

Directors: Daniels
Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple
Production Designer: Jason Kisvarday
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Best Boy Electric: Mike Beckman
Moving Light Tech: Harold LaCuesta
Electrics: Steve Brody & Koby Poulton



16 – Clay Paky Sharpy Beams
8 – Clay Paky K10 Wash
8 – ETC Source 4 Lustre Series 2
2 – ETC Source 4 Series 2 Tungsten
2 – ETC Source 4 Series 2 Daylight
12 – Rolls of RGB Tape
3 – Litegear RGB Litestixs, 1 Meter
1  – Octodome, Hybrid LED
4 – Litegear 2’x4′ LED Hybrid Panel
3  – 4000 Lumen 1080p Projectors
1 – Litepanel 1×1 Bicolor

2 – Chauvet Geyser RGB


1 – GrandMA2 Command Wing
1 – GrandMA2 OnPC computer
1 – GrandMA NPU
2 – Artnet Nodes
1 – Artnet Pixel Tube Controller
1 – MBOX Studio on a MacPro
1 – MBOX Studio on a MacBook Pro
1- MBOX Remote on a MacBook Pro
1 – 24 Port Gigabit Switch
1 – 8 Port Gigabit Switch
8 – Optosplitters

Pound Hole PlotPound Hole DJ Booth Plot

The main focus of the club is the DJ booth.  Behind him are 20 of the high definition pixel tubes.  They are being pixel mapped by an output on the MBOX then merged back into the console. See the picture below for the screen shot of the pixel map.  The data is sent out from the MBox as sACN universe 109 thru 113 then merged in the GrandMA2 into universes 9 thru 13 using HTP. This allows me to use the effects engine in the MA2 or pixel mapping from the MBOX. Then the data is sent out Artnet from the MA. The pixel tubes’ controller takes Artnet directly in, which is nice since they take up 4.5 universes. On the face of the DJ booth are 8 of the Eurolite pixel tubes, which are also part of the same pixel map.  I used the align rectangles effect to send one layer to the HD tubes and another layer to the Eurolite Tubes. On the truss behind him, there were 4 sharpies hanging behind him and 3 on the ground. He also had a source 4 lustre backlight and 3 litesitx RGB front lights on his desk.

In the club, there were sharpies around the building perimeter and K10’s around the dance floor perimeter. Over the center of the dance floor was the 5′ Octodome as downlight. Source 4 LED’s were downlights for the different tables and bars.  The bar had RGB ribbon installed in it.  There were pillars of iColor Accents in the background to provide a sense of space for the club.

There were 3 projection surfaces in the back of the club. They were each fed a discrete output. Both MBOX’s were in dual panoramic mode. On MBOX 1, output 1 went to projector 1 and output 2 went to projector 2. On MBOX 2, output 1 went to projector 3 and output 2 went to pixel mapping.  The media servers were left in dimmer beach while the console and a laptop running MBOX remote sat on my console cart and rolled around set for each shot.

In dimmer beach, there was a PC running the GrandMA2 OnPC software. It is acting as the master. This is nice because it allows the roaming console to disconnect, move and reconnect without the lights hiccuping. It’s also convenient because it allows the roaming console to only need 1 cat5 cable running to it instead of 2 (MANET2 and Artnet). The master in a MA2 Network is the only one that outputs Artnet and any other protocol besides MANET2.

MBox Remote Screenshot
Click here for the patch sheet