Aloe Blacc – Love is the Answer

Click here to watch the interactive video

Directors: Radical Friends
Director of Photography: Matthias Montero
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine

This interactive music video had the challenge of lighting 16 different sets of Park Plaza at once. Working with Director of Photography, Matthias Montero, we designed the lighting for 4 characters as they pass through the different rooms culminating in the dance finale in the main lobby. The main challenge on this project was getting all the sets up and programmed with short preproduction time.

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Director: Mark Romanek
Lighting Designer: Michael Keeling
Lighting Console Programmer: Matt Ardine
Lighting Console Programmer: Breckenridge Haggerty

Sonos has no actors, the animation of the lights is the only action happening in the commercial. The shifting colors are showing the shift in music from room to room. Lighting Designer, Michael Keeling, came to me to help him achieve this huge task. A 4000 square foot house was built on stage and we added over 350 lights to create the smooth lighting animations.

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Lonely Island – YOLO

Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine

A very ambitious music video with an even more ambitious schedule. Over the course of 2 days, we shot 20 different sets. The largest set is the arrow wall performance area which included hundreds of lightbulbs, several moving lights, and numerous LEDs creating a large softbox.

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Passion Pit – Cry Like a Ghost


Directors: Daniels
Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine

Cry Like a Ghost is the story of going through a woman’s life in fast forward and reverse. The whole video was filmed over the course of two nights in Griffith Park’s Cedar Grove. The lighting was used to change the forest into a bar, club, bedroom, and bus. For the bus scene, a media server was used to create some poor man effects with a projector.

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Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapons

Designer & Programmer: Matt Ardine 

This 3d Visualization was programmed on a GrandMA2 and Madrix media server. Used the GrandMA 3D to visualize the show. Then, I screen captured the vizualizer and edited in Final Cut Pro. The towers are pixelmapped by Madrix. The Madrix is controlled via sAcn then the pixelmapped values are sent back into the console via sAcn so that the lights can be visualized in MA3d.

2011 Sundance Opening “Light is Love”

Director: Mariana Blanco
Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple
LED Designer & Programmer: Matt Ardine

The treatment for this commercial asked for an LED wall that didn’t look like an LED wall. Mariana wanted to take stills of Sundance films and pixelmap them across the LED array. A bookcase-looking container was CNC’ed and 1,600 LED pixels were individually placed inside each hole. The result is a video display that doesn’t look like a video display.

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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

San Gabriel Death March

Myself, Aaron Flynn, and Andreas Attai completed the San Gabriel Death March in 22hours, 47 minutes on 11/14/18. It is a 47 mile loop route that hits up 5 large peaks in the Angeles Forest, mostly through a series of ridges. It involves 18,800 feet of climbing. Only about 2/3 on defined trails. I’m not sure who had the original idea of this loop but it’s been done a number of times but we might have been the first to do it under 24 hours

Strava File

Relive ‘Death March ☠️’

3:55am – Guffy Campground
6:22am – Baldy
9:00am – Iron Mountain
11:38am – Heaton Flats
2:38pm – Rattlesnake Peak
6:32pm – South Hawkins
9:33pm – Baden Powell
12:50am – Inspiration Point
2:42am – Guffy Campground

We decided to start at Guffy Campground and go clockwise. I wanted to make sure that we did the San Antonio ridge during the day and as much of Rattlesnake to South Hawkins in daylight as well. When we started the wind was howling and it was 28 degrees before windchill. We all packed pretty light, knowing that It would warm up soon. All 3 of us are ultra runners that have been getting into more difficult hiking the past few years. So we use small running packs, trail shoes, and try to keep it as light as possible while still being safe. Myself and Andreas use a Garmin in reach to message people our progress and in case we ever have to SOS.

From Guffy, it’s only a couple miles until you go off the PCT and start venturing toward Baldy. I’ve done this route once before when I thought it would be a good idea to start at the base of Baldy, run to Wrightwood for lunch then run back. You think “PCT is at 8300’ and Baldy is at 10,000’, how hard can that be?” But there are 2 summits in the middle, Pine at 9500’ then you dip to 9000’, Dawson at 9400’, then you dip to 8700’ before the climb to Baldy.

Baldy at Sunrise

Baldy at Sunrise


Then the fun part starts. You jump off of West Baldy down a really steep section before landing on a knife ridge that you follow for 5 miles. The most well know section of this traverse is called Gun Sight Notch and involves some mild rock climbing which would be super easy in your favorite rock gym but terribly frightening when you are in the middle of no where and the “boulder” is just a pile of rocks.

Gunsight Notch

Gunsight Notch

Then you climb up to Iron Mountain where you have a relentless 7 mile downhill where your toes are jammed against your toe box the whole time. I think each one of us fell 5 times coming down here. At the bottom is the East Fork river and the parking lot/party central, Heaton Flats. We parked my car here the day before and loaded it with water and food. So Aaron and I filled up then waited for Andreas to put on his lipstick for another 20 minutes. I don’t think this route is possible without a cache at Heaton, so I am glad we did that and also glad that my car didn’t get broken into.

Heaton Flats

Heaton Flats

So far, I had done every section previously on training runs as an isolated section. But this next part was new to all of us and started with an awful scramble up to Shoemaker Road where there was a LOT of cursing. The trail to Rattlesnake is steep but easy to follow. Very similar to Iron Mountain climb. But then you need to make it up to South Hawkins. It starts with drop down from Rattlesnake onto the ridge that is not easy to follow and very technical. Once on the ridge, it’s really overgrown with very spikey plants and hard to follow. But Aaron took the lead finding a great route. In the middle of this climb the sun set but luckily, we were out of the thick of the bushes and just pushed forward up the ridge towards South Hawkins.

Headed to South Hawkins

South Hawkins, after a couple miles meets the PCT which brings you to Baden Powell. Its a pretty steady grade on a well groomed PCT trail. It was really cold at this point and the wind was pretty crazy. I couldn’t muster the energy to take off my face cover to eat or drink anything, so I was going extremely slow. After an hour or me looking like I was going to fall over, Andreas made me eat caffeine and drink some of my water. Then he told me that he had an extra windbreaker in his pack the whole time, so I doubled up on windbreakers and felt like a new man. We reached the summit then ran the whole way down. I was amazed that we still had that energy to get down Baden Powell in just over an hour.

Baden Powell Summit

We had cached water at Vincent Gap on our drive to Guffy in the morning. So we filled up and headed along the rolling PCT trail like a pack of sleep-deprived Zombies. I was friggin’ toast by this point. I was so cold and tired. Aaron led the head of the pack with Andreas behind him and I would be in the back trying to muster the energy to keep up. But after 9 miles of up/down and twisty turny on the PCT we made it back to our car and had finished! We quickly drove back to our AirBnB in Wrightwood. After all the summits, and 18,000 ft of climbing I was finally doing what I had dreamed of all day; laying down in a bed inside a room with a heater.

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