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WWF’s Year of the Forest

A Jands Vista I3 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, was specified by renowned installation artist and lighting designer Fred Pommerehn to control the lighting for a specially commissioned work on display as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s “Deutschland wird Wald Meister 2011” (Year of the Forest) campaign in Berlin, Germany.

The Year of the Forest initiative is supported by prominent German celebrities, and the launch featured a media conference the day after the installation went live. The lit work became a local and international talking point, as well as a popular attraction enjoyed by press, public and passers by alike.

The temporary installation – which was in place on the steps of the famous Konzerthaus in Berlin‘s Gendarmenmarkt square – featured 26 fabulous tree sculptures measuring up to six metres in height, each carefully crafted by Fred using recycled cardboard materials, and diligently lit for the darkness hours.

Fred’s inventive set design, sculptural and installation work embraces many disciplines and frequently involves lighting as an integral element.

For the WWF event, Lichtblick Bühnentechnik supplied all the technical production – and also constructed the trees, project managed by Frederik Wehlmann.

Fred Pommerehn has worked with the Berlin based lighting rental company, Lichtblick Bühnentechnik GmbH for several years and always specifies Jands Vista to control any lighting on his projects. He explains that there are many reasons for this, including the flexibility of the system and the speed at which he can achieve his aims, as he is often working on projects where the timeframe is a significant factor.

It was the first event on which Lichtblick Bühnentechnik had used the I3 running on the Vista v2 software.

Using the Jands Vista allowed us to work very fast” says Fred, “Especially running with Vista v2. It really takes the complexity out of the process, and allows you to concentrate on getting creative visual results fast.” He reckons that within 45 minutes, they had a polished and refined lightshow that added the exquisite twist of magic that Fred wanted. The lightshow was run in 15 minute loops to a soundtrack throughout the evening.

The trees were lit by about 100 fixtures in total positioned at the sides of the steps for neat low level cross lighting, and a row along the top for backlighting. Three fog machines were also run through the Vista I3, operated manually as and when needed.

Lighting programmer Jonas Pruditsh, a keen Vista user since joining Lichtblick Bühnentechnik two years ago, loves the new v2 software platform. He particularly likes the new selection tools, and the powerful effects. “We had a very short time to programme the show once on site” he explains, echoing Fred‘s enthusiasm that by using Vista they were able to achieve all they wanted in under an hour.

Fred and Jörg Schildbach (managing director) from Lichtblick Bühnentechnik first made a plan to collaborate on projects – technically and creatively – about 15 years ago and have developed a very successful and innovative working relationship. “We are constantly discussing which kit to buy, and are delighted that we committed to Jands Vista.”

From a rental perspective, Jands Vista is proving a great investment for Lichtblick Bühnentechnik. They use the Vista I3 on all their larger shows, they also have Vista M1s and various channel DMX dongles in their inventory to cover all the smaller options. Their work covers a broad spectrum, including exhibitions, corporate and special events, theatre productions, museum/heritage shows and public and live art.

Vista v2 was designed from the ground up to give all levels of user the ability to get the most from whatever technology they have available, whether dimmers, moving lights, LEDs or media, so everyone can focus on creating a great looking show – or event – rather than on programming a desk.

Jands Europe‘s Neil Vann said “Fred is sure that using Jands Vista makes a difference to his creative process, and ultimately the success of the lighting in his work. It is unusual for a light artist to specify a control platform, often they don’t particularly mind as long as the lights are programmed to their specification, but Fred has realised that this choice can make a huge difference. It is great to see Vista v2 delivering again in yet another environment, and helping a designer get the most out of their design

All photos ©David Biene / WWF.

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