To provide Spring Studios with versatile, high-output lighting for a myriad of events and productions, IMCD Lighting selected and installed Martin MAC Ultra Performance fixtures, provided by Christie Lites.
With studios in both New York City and London, Spring is a 360 agency that provides a variety of communications services for fashion, lifestyle and luxury brands. The New York studio is a multi-level space with a comprehensive backend for photoshoots, video productions and live events, attracting a diverse range of clients – including the Wall Street Journal, New York Fashion Week and the WNBA among others. When the studio required new light fixtures with modern features and brightness that could compete with the sunlight from the studio’s massive windows, the Martin MAC Ultra Performance was a natural choice.
“At Spring Studios, we do anything from high-end corporate meetings like Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Google to standard galas, parties, product releases and big weddings,” said Joe Hodge, designer, IMCD Lighting. “Having western-facing windows, the sun is always a major player in the space; flexibility, intensity, and consistency was always an issue with the stage lighting. Previously, we used Martin MAC Vipers followed by MAC Encores, but we wanted something with greater intensity to compete against the natural light. When I first saw the Ultra, I knew it would work perfectly in my venue.”
With up to 46,500 lumens in projection, a 1:7 zoom-range and an extensive feature package, the MAC Ultra Performance offers the output and dexterity needed to accommodate a wide range of events. Additionally, the fixture’s advanced colour mixing capabilities allow for washes, beams and more that easily fit the visual aesthetics of Spring Studios’ diverse client list. These features were enough to convince Hodge to rent 24 MAC Ultra Performances from Christie Lites after visiting the Martin Roadshow in early 2021, making Spring one of the first studios in New York City to utilise the fixtures.
“I had only looked at a demo and never actually used the lights when I pulled the trigger on it,” explained Hodge. “I was pleasantly surprised with how intense and versatile they were. In the past, we would have 12 fixtures at a 45-degree beam layered for a front wash. All of that came out to about 350 footcandles, which was not bad for a stage. But I recently had six Ultras doing the same thing at 45 degree zoom, and I had 750 footcandles. I more than doubled the output with half of the lights, which is huge for balancing your camera with the sun.”
Along with the high output and extensive colour range, the MAC Ultra Performance’s innovative Extending Framing System proved especially useful for Hodge and the lighting crew. Highly responsive and easily programmable, the shutters are capable of tilting from one end of the beam to another, allowing for precise framing as well as full-curtain blocking.
“If you’re doing something like a 30-30 or 45-45 coming from two sides for the front light, you have to turn a lot of the shutter assemblies on other fixtures,” said Hodge. “With the Ultras, we only had to adjust two shutter assemblies. The single shutters themselves could make the turn and could be at the bottom, like a square stage coming at an angle. We didn’t have to really mess with the shutter assembly and rotating; we were able to just place the shutter and not worry about it kicking out. So the shutters have been a huge time saver since they operate so cleanly and consistently.”
Spring Studios have already implemented MAC Ultra Performance fixtures in a number of events and productions, including the WNBA Draft, the WSJ Future of Everything Festival and the CNN Citizen Conference. Hodge praised the fixtures’ consistent performance and adaptability, and noted his continued interest in utilising Martin solutions for future projects.
“We recently got Sceptrons last fall and tried the Martin P3 System Controller for the first time,” said Hodge. “Brad Schiller and the Martin team are great because they always connect us with the person who actually understands what we need. They are a huge supporter in what we do and we feel a lot more comfortable using these new solutions with their help”.