|Avolites in control at Rio Carnival|
|Entertainment News - International|
Brazil - Avolites Diamond 4 and Pearl consoles were used to control lighting for the 2005 Rio Carnival's main venue, the Sambodromo, which hosted five days of partying and celebrations for this year's event. Lighting designer Cesio Lima and rental company LPL supplied and installed all generic performance and audience lighting and designed the entire lighting plot.
The Sambodromo is a 1.5km 'avenue' complete with private boxes and stands, accommodating approximately 75,000 spectators. It's completely sold out months in advance for the whole duration of the event.
Avolites' Chris Steel came onboard as the show's programmer and principal operator, working closely with Bruno Lima and Rafael Auricchio. Steel specified the Avo Diamond 4 Elite console, used for the first time on this event, because he needed plenty of power, flexibility and speed to run this massive rig. He also used an Avo D4 Desk Top system for back up, and a Pearl 2004 for the audience lighting.
In the past, the main lighting control had been split across two Avo Pearls, which meant programming was restricted to the size of the console. The decision to go with the D4 Elite "Was a huge improvement" states Steel, adding that it "Enabled us to program each of the 36 School's shows individually, rather than having to use some programmes to light more than one school. A scaffold structure constructed above one side of the audience stands housed all the fixtures that side of the avenue, and on the other side, 32 towers erected on the roof of the VIP boxes were used for lighting positions. Under-hung on each tower were an Ireos Pro and two Rio Carnivals. The Focus and Rio Carnivals were used for front lighting, and the Ireos for a combination of front and rear lighting of the Schools as they paraded past.
The main lighting brief was to white light the Avenue for TV whilst the schools paraded up and down, and then during the long camera shots they could moved the Ireos and use them in the school's colours for the helicopter pick ups. The Ireos were all fitted with a frost filter to give the right light output for the TV. Steel made much use of the D4's 'Fixture overlap' function. "Most of the Schools have two main colours" he explained, "So we could program two step chases, add an 'overlap', and by setting the fixture order, get some great colour chases up and down the Avenue" This effect was extremely fast to program.
Having the onboard Visualiser (Avolites proprietary programming software) in the console meant 95% of the programming could be done during the day without the lights being turned on. Generator power was limited and they had only a few hours each day before the event started when they could work with the lights fired up. Once in full swing, lighting alone consumed 14 generators, which ran for 3-5 hours a day - so all savings on diesel and running costs were really helpful.
The show was produced by the New Agency Producoes Artisticas and production managed by Charles Nogueira and Audio was supplied by Gabisom.