Selecon luminaires help create Christmas magic at Myers

 

Storefront windows at Christmas radiate magical, intriguing and enticing visions which sometime raise the question of "how did they do that?" from those who have been compelled to stop and stare for a while.

The 2005 festive presentation celebrated the 50th presentation for the Myer Melbourne department store. The Bourke Street Institutional Christmas Window displays were created in stunning style for the 12th consecutive season by Stage One Promotions P/L led by: John Kerr, Creative Director proudly using the following Selecon stock: 30x Acclaim 650W Fresnels, 30x Acclaim 650W 24°-44° Zoomspots, 14x 1kW Compact Fresnels with the main special effect fixtures being 12x Pacific 90° 1kW Fixed Beams fitted with DHA gobo rotators.

"When these arrived on the market, my prayers were answered," said John. "Building on top of the basic work horse rig, are an arsenal of "specials" or better known as "my expensive toys", from flame lights, fibre optics, LED fixtures, moving mirrors, water effects, DHA wheels, gobo rotators, candle effects etc."

All of this equipment (combined with other luminaires) is used predominantly for the windows - they are stored for 9 months a year and then called upon for a demanding 18 hours a day for 8 weeks straight schedule.

"The Selecon Pacific 90° Fixed Beams were a great investment, as we swap from metal halide bases utilized for trans seasonal windows to incandescent bases for full dimmer control for the Christmas institutional windows. In the past we have hired narrow lens trays from Clearlight Shows Pty Ltd when tight dramatic downlight has been required for launches of fashion seasons etc.

>I must admit, the Selecon workshop I attended last year was invaluable, for refining the art of focusing a Pacific luminaire".

The Myer windows create a fantasy 3D environment within a confined space, and the tools to create this need to be masked from the audience. The sightlines are extreme and must be accounted for, as there is a moving audience; from a standing 4 year old through to a 4 year old sitting on the shoulders of an adult, so from the initial design of set; scenery, lighting plots are developed in unison. "I love combining technology with aesthetics - combining these mediums from the very conception of the idea successfully in order to achieve my dream."

The windows were lit theatrically, similar to dance/ballet techniques, utilizing low cross light and lots of overhead projected gobo textures and effect wheels as there is no "front of house" opportunity. Colour is always an issue, as the traditional saturated colours are lost during the daylight hours and gel replacement daily becomes extremely tedious especially within the confines of a crowded window.

Some people are surprised that entertainment equipment is employed within a display window environment, however with daylight pouring in from outside, only theatrical lighting tools can offer the high lumen output, the shaping and control demanded to achieve the magic.

Although Stage One maintains a moving light inventory, their use is dictated by the seasonal theme."I won't use a mover just for the sake of it - I still prefer the art of focusing a profile and the magic that a controlled beam, a texture break up and some split colour gel can create," John said. "I find that too much moving light and associated effects can actually distract and camouflage the actual crafted animated movements within the windows."

The Myer Melbourne and Brisbane windows are manufactured annually in Melbourne by a team of over 40 artisans over an intense 7 month production season.

So, now you know.

Photographs: courtesy of John Kerr, Stage One Promotions P/L.


Credits

Client Myers Department Store
Creative Director John Kerr
Design Firm Stage One Promotions P/L

Products used

30 x Acclaim 6°-60° Fresnel
14 x Rama 7°-50° Standard Fresnel
12 x Pacific 90° Fixed Beam

Related stories