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.

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

Death Cab for Cutie – You Are A Tourist (Tech Notes)

The first live, scripted, one-take music video shoot. On April 5th, 2011, it aired live on several websites as the first event of its type. The lighting is some of the most technical and creative around. Utilizing LEDs to display video and wireless LED costumes, this video has a unique art-deco meets Tron look.

Director: Tim Nackashi
Lighting Designer: Matt Ardine
Lighting Console Programmer: David Kane
Stage: Line 204
14 – ETC Seledor 1ft & 6ft
4 – Varilite VL3500 Profile
96 – 2.4kw Dimmers
6 – 12kw dimmers
4 – Color Kinetics Color Blaze 72
20 – Color Kinetics iColor Flex String
24 – Color Kinetics Color Blasts
4 – illuminate LED Suits
40 – Source 4
2 – Mole 5k Babys w/ Chimeras
4 – Twinspins
2 – 4’ 4 Bank Kinos w/ DMXControlETC Eos
Madrix Media Server
2 – ETC Gateways
ETC Show Control Gateway
Wireless Router
Netgear 8 Port Gigabit Switch, Unmanaged
Tablet PC & iPhones as Remotes

The whole music video is live switched and live to air. In the design of the control network, I knew that there needed to be backups. We used an ETC Eos as the main console and an ETC Ion as the backup. The DMX was output from two seperate gateways. There were five universes of lights programmed from the console. The console was also controlling the Madrix media server using Artnet. Madrix was pixelmapping 16 universes of iColor Flex pixel strings for the cloud tunnel in the opening shot. The Color Kinetics Powersupply was controlled via ethernet from the Madrix using the KiNet protocol.

The console used LTC timecode to stay insync with projection and sound. Sound playback gave us an XLR feed that was input into an ETC show control gateway and sent through ETCNet3 into the console.

DCFC Network Diagram

Childish Gambino – 3005 – Woodies Performance – Tech Notes

LED Designer: Matt Ardine
Costume Designer: Elise Valasco
LED & Battery Supplier: USLEDsupply
Wireless Control: RC4 Wireless
RC4 did a showcase on this project. Click Here
Lighting Gear
900 – 12V LED RGB Digital Pixel Light Square
18 – WS2801 DMX Decoders
36 – 1800ma Battery Pack
24 – RC4Magic DMXio data transceivers
2 – DMX2dim 2-Channel Wireless Dimmer
2 – Cool white LED strips
1 – GrandMA2 Command Wing
1 – GrandMA2 NPU
There were a number of difficult technical decisions that had to be made. Which LEDs should be used and how many per person? What minimally sized battery will run these for enough time and how many spares should there be? What wireless solution can transmit such a large number of channels?
For LEDs, I knew I wanted medium sized pixels that were 12 volts. USLEDSupply has a great product that can put 50 LEDs on a single string. It also used the WS2801 protocol which is a much higher resolution of dimming that other protocols.
I told USLEDSupply the run time I needed for the strings of 50 LEDs and they recommended their slim, 1800ma battery pack. We also had a spare battery for each primary battery so that one could always be on charge and ready to swap. During testing, the batteries lasted around 5 hours.
With 900 RGB LEDs that needed data (2700 DMX channels), I needed a reliable wireless data system. The receivers also needed to be very small to fit in the belt packs that were created to house the batteries, decoders, and receivers. After speaking with Sean Dane at RC4 Wireless, I determined that their system is the best for this application. For each universe, there was a transmitter linked with 3 receivers. There were 6 universes total, so this allowed for 6 transmitters DMXio acting as transmitters and 18 acting as receivers. The receivers, being 12v, were able to run off the same batteries as the LED decoders. Last minute, we added LED ribbon to the shoes. Litegear, in Burbank, CA supplied us with 2 RC4 Wireless DMX2dim 2-Channel Wireless Dimmers that were cut into the heel of the shoe along with a flat battery.
For testing, I used a GrandMA2 Command Wing, but quickly realized I was above the parameter count. I realized the virtual dimmer takes from the parameter pool. So Matt Shimamoto, at Volt Lites, was able to get a NPU to me on a Sunday. With the NPU, i was able to do distance range tests with all the suits up and running. The costumes were shipped to Austin where a local crew and programmer did the programming for the show.
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