Full service production company Stage Production Co. is supplying all the production for a new and unique multi-purpose event space in Birmingham (UK) called Crane and has turned to Elation Professional products to fulfill the lighting brief.
Crane, which opened on September 29th, is a huge space with a raw industrial feel in the heart of the Digbeth district of central Birmingham. Along with elevated ceilings, iron beams and exposed brick work, the space is defined by two 5-ton rolling cranes that span the width of the building and roll down its length on steel girders. The venue is run by The Rainbow Venues, which own a complex of other converted warehouse event and club spaces in the area, many of which Stage Productions has also been supplying production for over the last eight years.
Flexible lighting rig
Every week, a DJ or other artist performs at the 3500-capacity venue. Crane’s stage changes periodically to cater to special events but the main lighting, a rig of Elation Rayzor Q12™ LED moving heads, Platinum Beam 5R Extreme™ moving head beam lights, ACL 360 Matrix™ LED moving panels and Protron 3K™ LED strobes, stays the same. “We supply all production every day and every week for every event,” says Stage Production’s Jordan Lake, managing director at the Birmingham-based company that supplied all staging, lighting, LED screens, rigging, truss, sound, and crew for the venue. “The stage will change some weeks to meet the needs of particular events, but the main lighting rig remains the same on a semi-permanent basis.”
Production design for Crane was handled by Jordan Lake with lighting design by Ben Butler. Stage Production gave themselves the brief of “taking things to new levels,” which Lake says worked well in a venue which had two giant cranes. “Our design incorporates three LED screen squares, each larger than the other and layered across the stage,” he explains. “When viewed from the front it appears as one solid square screen, but as soon as you step off-center the whole structure appears to pull out of itself and the different levels become apparent. The lighting is extremely important in such a vast space. With clever visuals and using the Elation lighting effects we created some great optical illusions.”
With a number of different acts playing Crane’s stage weekly, the customizable characteristics of an intelligent lighting package really shine through. The compact RGBW Rayzor Q12 moving heads are arranged in a 4x4 grid across the back of the stage with the ACL 360 Matrix fixtures used in a row across the back of the stage as backlight. “The ACL’s are rigged at the back of the stage but at ground level,” Lake explains of the automated 5x5 matrix LED panels. “We wanted to make use of their bright chunky beam and fire it straight through the LED mesh screen panels and the truss structure. It works really well and gives the whole stage depth. It makes the screen structure appear very imposing and almost sinister. With a little bit of creative pixel-mapping we get some really nice mid-air effects.”
Lake says the Platinum Beam 5R Extreme beam lights were chosen for their power and are placed all the way down the venue on the steel girders to immerse the crowd in the show. “The Platinum Beam Extremes down the sides are so versatile because we can get the all-important beam look, which is crucial to the style of the venue, especially with the beam reduction gobo for a very narrow beam,” he says. “But when we add in the frost we get a nice wash, perfect for when the venue hosts corporate events and we need to throw color around.”
No super club is complete without lots of strobes so every beam light was coupled with a Protron 3K LED strobe. “When they all go off at once and chase down the venue the effect is astonishing!” Lake exclaims. “The Protron 3Ks all down the room are fantastic and we get some brilliant strobe chases. They are so bright, and when we put them on full blind mode and blast the CO2 jets the crowd just go wild.” The lighting rig, which offers an abundance of effects possibilities on its own, works with a host of other club staples, including CO2 jets, CO2 dumps, RGB lasers, confetti stadium shots, and confetti blasters (supplied by Dynamite FX), to create a truly customizable festive atmosphere.
24 x Elation Platinum Beam Extreme™
12 x Elation ACL 360 Matrix™
16 x Elation Protron 3K™ LED Strobes
16 x Elation Rayzor Q12™
DuraTruss 1m U-Frame