Jands Stage

News -

The Vista—a breath of fresh air

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) is one of the most prestigious theatre schools in the country, and recently chose the Vista T2 as their console. Why? Because they see it as the future of lighting control. After using the T2 to stage a recent production, ‘Once On This Island’, two of the students kindly took the time to write to us about their experiences with the console.

Blake Garner, Lighting Designer and Deidre Math, Lighting Operator, are both third year students at WAAPA. Deidre had this to say about the T2: “My experience on this console I can honestly say has been fantastic in terms of the ease and efficiency it gave me when programming our show.”
Despite finding the T2’s interface very different from the consoles she was used to, Deidre soon found that by applying her knowledge of computers, the Vista “became extremely easy and much more straightforward than I could have imagined!”
Faced with producing a show in fourteen hours that contained about 250 cues and about a hundred conventional and moving fixtures, Blake had about three minutes to program each cue: “Without the Vista we would never have achieved this and I would have had to simplify many of the complex cues that I had in mind.”
As well as faster, Blake found the process far more intuitive with the T2: “I stopped bothering with channel numbers and just asked for things like ‘the lavender wash’ or ‘the back blue in those areas’. Deidre could select and manipulate what I wanted by just dragging selection boxes around the fixtures; I never had to refer to a cheat sheet or even ask for groups.”
Deidre was also impressed by the speed: “The Vista was amazing because we were able to achieve so much within our deadline. We found that the console’s programming style opened up a whole new avenue of creativity in looks and effects.” Deidre’s conclusion? “The Vista was the perfect console for us. Once we’d spent the time understanding the different way in which it worked, we were able to achieve all that we wanted within the time. It really was a pleasure to program on the Vista.”
Blake also found the T2 to be much easier to use than other consoles: “When we created a palette, or stored something we’d built, the T2 popped up a plethora of options to filter parameters or entire channels. On other desks, you have to remember to knock out what you don’t want, or type in some long and complicated string. On the Vista, it’s just intuitive and easy to do.”
Blake also noted that the T2 provided all the flexibility they needed: “There was no need to muck around with time-consuming part cues. When I needed precision, I could explicitly specify the times I wanted, and when I only needed approximate timing, I could just drag stuff around on the timeline. It was great being able to move things around to what ‘looks right’ rather than trying to express what I wanted in exact numbers.”
Blake’s conclusion? “After my experience with the Vista, I’m convinced that a graphical user interface is the way to go. As long as you’re willing to adjust your calling style it is much faster, and much easier to work with. Faders and encoder wheels will always be important, but keystrokes for every task are a thing of the past; the freedom of copying and pasting graphically is enough by itself to make the change worthwhile. The Vista really is a breath of fresh air. Regardless of the complexity of the show, it’s a very fast desk to plot from and I would definitely use it in any show I could.”

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.