Hog 4 Delivers The Goods On Santa Claus The Musical

LD Colin Wood has first outing with Hog 4
March 5, 2013

Lighting designer Colin Wood used his first outing with the High End Systems Hog 4 console to design the lighting for Santa Claus The Musical at the Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. The production ran from from December 14th through the end of the year. Wood's company, Pre Production Services, was the first to purchase a Hog 4 in the UK.

The rig at the Grand Theatre was the largest ever to be put into the space in terms of the sheer volume of fixtures. Almost 400 dimmers were required, with the generic rig comprised of nearly 300 ETC Source Four profiles and a large number of set practicals ranging from fibre optics in all of the show portals, to over 700 lamps in the finale set.

This was supplemented by a large number of VL and MAC wash and spot fixtures. Twenty-two of the Source Fours were fitted with Ocean Optics Seachanger units. There were also four Unique haze machines, four AF1 Fans and two Le Maitre Freezefog Pro units.

All of this was controlled by Wood's Hog 4 console; backup for the show was his Hog 4 PC with DP8000. Both systems outputted six universes of sACN into an A/B Network switch. The entire system was supplied by Arcus Lighting in Germany. Additionally, 3 x 19" touch screens were connected to the system, giving the designer a huge workspace and instant access to all information.

Before flying to Singapore, Wood spent two days in his visualization studio working with Capture Polar software. This not only allowed him to create the basic cue structure of the show but also gave time to explore the new features and adjust to the much improved look of the Hog 4. Wood comments, "Palette windows are now much more customizable, and with the increase in screen size the options for layouts are endless, so you can set things out exactly as you need them to be."

Having previously owned the Wholehog 3 console, Colin says moving to the Hog 4 was 'effortless'. "The additional encoder wheels, huge touchscreens and user keys were a joy to work with. Even such small details as the new pull out keyboard and dedicated backup button made a huge difference, and helped to speed the whole process up by keeping everything close and exactly where it should be."

Colin points out one very noticeable improvement from his Hog 3 setup is the introduction of OSC control. "My Production Electrician, Darran Curtis, was able to use his iPad as a remote using Touch OSC, which was connected to the backup system. This gave him his own independent programmer for testing purposes, which did not interfere with any of my programming for the show. I also had my own remote, connected to the Hog 4, which made focussing the vast quantity of generics much quicker."

In closing, the LD comments that "using the Hog 4 console was a fantastic experience, everything just worked exactly how it should and the new increased speed was very noticeable. The ease of use of the Hog 4 made it ideal for working in the pressurized environment of theatre, where time was very tight. I needed to be able to produce not only exciting effects quickly but also satisfy the more subtle requirements of this production and the Hog 4 delivered on every level."

The entire system worked flawlessly from start to finish, and Wood thanks the teams at both High End Systems and Arcus Lighting for their hard work and support.