French theme park Puy du Fou's Cinéscénie is a visually stunning night time spectacle: a show with effects worthy of Las Vegas but located in the heart of the Vendée region in Western France. As in years past, from June to September, the 14,000-capacity open-air amphitheater was sold out for each and every show this year.
Cinéscénie is an incredible feat of engineering, featuring a 23-hectare stage, 1,200 actors, 8,000 costumes and millions of spectators over the years, not to mention unforgettable special effects.
Once again, the park's production team decided to use Martin Professional lighting products to light up the Cinéscénie show and installed 6 MAC III Performance fixtures (complete with framing module) at the edge of the set. The fixtures were supplied by lighting services provider MES, based in Vertou.
The MAC III brings new projection options thanks to an interleaved framing system with full crossover of each blade and continuous rotation mechanism. The MAC IIIs were installed with the specific purpose of illuminating metallic scenery panels located on the set, which represent 6m wide by 4m high bayonets, from 90 meters away. Each panel had to be lit precisely without polluting the rest of the set. The six fixtures are distributed among three lighting towers, two per tower, with the highest positioned 33 meters above ground.
"At this distance it was important that the cables were concealed as much as possible so as not to affect the public's view," said Steven Barthélemy, lighting technician at the park.
As the person responsible for encoding and installing the system used at Cinéscénie, Barthélemy explains his choices: "The MAC III is still the only projector with a 1500 W HTI bulb which produces enough light to cover significant distances (sometimes more than 120m), together with a decent zoom range and above all a blade module which is essential for lighting our sets discreetly and effectively."
"The MAC III has enabled us to refine the show's overall lighting and to enhance certain sets," Barthélemy said. "Using a fully automatic projector like this allows us to harmonize seamlessly with the colors used in traditional lighting."
Alain Nail, business manager for MES, also speaks highly of the fixture which enabled "high quality lighting and gobo image projection from significant distances, as, on occasion, we were more than 300 meters away. I am keen to emphasize the work of the lighting designer and the Puy du Fou lighting team for Cinéscénie, who knew exactly how to use and optimize the performance of the MAC III. We are totally satisfied with the result and are looking forward to working on this show again with these moving head projectors."
The collaboration between MES and Puy du Fou dates back to 2006 when MES first supplied lights for Cinéscénie. Ever since, MES, in collaboration with Puy du Fou's technical management and lighting technicians, has continued to regularly test different Martin lighting products at the park itself, particularly the new high performance LED projectors.
Alain Nail explains why MAC 700 fixtures were chosen for the lighting rig at the Grand Carrousel, a 6,000 square meter theatre: "The MAC 700 was chosen following tests carried out with other moving head projectors. It was a case of gradually replacing the park's old fixtures, for which we were incurring significant maintenance costs. The MAC 700s have enhanced the lighting quality and gobo projection over the entire set with a variety of effects." Currently, twenty MAC 700 Profile and Wash fixtures are installed in this monumental show space.
The Grand Carrousel also recently replaced its aging fog generating system with two Jem Glaciator X-Stream low lying fog machines. The Jem Glaciator not only eliminates the mess of dry ice and CO2 (not to mention the cost), it is a simple ‘plug-and-play’ ground fog effect and a powerful self-contained heavy fogger.
Alain Nail of MES concludes, "This collaborative project between MES, Martin and Puy du Fou has led to an active exchange geared towards optimising existing equipment and has paved the way for new possibilities in light sources for attractions and public comfort."