Follow-Spot’s Made Easy at WE Day

WE Day is an event that brings young people together and celebrates the actions they have taken towards changing the world. The event spans multiple countries in a variety of venues including arenas, schools and more.

Lighting Designer and co-owner of Electric Aura Project Inc, Jason McKinnon has a long history working as the lighting designer for WE Day tour each year.

Often arenas in North America are limited to having the house follow-spots positioned in the corners, not the center of the venue. To light one person, two follow-spots are usually required due to the side angle. These lights often hit the truss and caused shadows on the performers and stage, deeming them ineffective. Jason would have to compromise the look of the show by using stage washes a lot more often than he wanted to.  It was also impractical to hang their own chairs as follow-spot operators are not able to stay in the truss for the 14-hour rehearsals and duration of the show. Finding breaks for follow-spot operators to climb up and down has always been a challenge and distraction to the show programming.

“Follow-Me’s Remote Follow-Spot Control Software has been the ideal solution.” comments Jason McKinnon. “Not only does this product keep the follow-spot operators on the ground, but it also provides them with the freedom they need to take breaks.  That covers the logistics but the real advantage is with the creative side, I can put a light almost anywhere from any angle and height and track someone with it.”

“Follow-Me Remote Follow-Spot Control has many advantages over traditional follow-spots. We can choose any of the moving lights to use as follow-spots. Operators work from the front of house instead of in the truss and can operate numerous lights at a time, I often had 6 MAC 3’s as key lights and 12 axioms from the rear on a single person and controlled by one operator. This provides us with much more flexibility during the event and ideal coverage of the person on stage.”

“After using Follow-Me for a year, the biggest advantage I have found is that I am no longer limited by the lowest common denominator with the house follow-spots, whether it be old bulbs, wrong gels, unfortunate angles and positions or operator styles.” remarks Jason. “I also love how little I have to talk during the show, the operator just keeps their crosshairs on the target and I decide everything else from the console.  While watching the camera cut live, I am fading in and out lights from different angles to try and make the camera shots on the artist as complimentary and artistic as possible.”

Products Used:

  • Follow-Me, Remote Follow Spot Control System