Oklahoma, OK!: Part 2

A Firsthand Account Of The Sooner State’s Centennial Celebration Kickoff (continued from the January issue of Live Design)

As stated in the January feature in Live Design, the chosen method for broadcasting the necessary DMX information to each lighting site for the Oklahoma Centennial Extravaganza was Wireless Solutions DMX. The concern about obtaining enough transmitters and receivers to fulfill the needs of this event in the limited time available led Omni Lighting to the rental department at Creative Stage Lighting, the Wireless Solutions US office, to supply the additional units required.

A map showing the locations of the various media used during the event. The command center is at the corner of 9th and Boston, with a stage set up on the opposite side of the parking lot.

I was planning a sales trip in that area, so I dedicated this event to my final day there in order to lend support if needed. When I arrived around noon I found a well-oiled machine humming along nicely. The command center for the whole event was a temporary shed-type structure stationed in the corner of a parking lot, with a Plexiglas wall facing towards the center of the city. Inside, were 2 rows of tables, the front having the actual lighting console, along with a battery of computers and one large laser. This laser would later project images onto a nearby building, in time with the audio/video feed.

Civic groups and a local band performed before the sound system was turned over to the event’s audio feed.

Add all of this together, and you have a spectacular multimedia event that pictures describe better than words.

A view of the command center and stage from the roof of the Sun Oil building. Notice the W-DMX receiver in the bottom left corner of the picture, sitting on the edge of the roof.

The evening festivities started with Tulsa native, Toni Estes, singing the National Anthem from the roof of the Bernsen Center (Building #34 on the map). The American flags are projected onto two large screens that shared video feed with the giant building screens. To gain a better perspective, I climbed onto the roof of the 14-story Sun Oil building located at 9th and Detroit, which housed lighting and a large laser (15 watts). Here is one of the Syncrolites with the laser site in the background, behind the plywood, which replaced the original window.

My next stop, was a low, flat parking garage attached to building #31 on the map. Conventional PARs focused on building #31 and moving lights as well as one of the auxiliary lighting consoles covered a large part of the top floor.

Building #31 was a busy place with a sixth-floor window removed for a laser, fireworks on the roof, and the 187’x 104’ video screen attached. Seven video projectors were used to generate images, making it one of the largest video productions ever attempted in the US.

The fireworks and lasers fill the air, synched to the audio program. Here is the command center in action.
Photo credit: Joel M. Genung

Photo credit: Joel M. Genung

Photo credit: Joel M. Genung

Photo credit: Joel M. Genung

Photo credit: Joel M. Genung

The show went off without a hitch, to the roars of the huge crowd—truly an amazing spectacle!

Bill Koehler is the western regional sales manager for Creative Stage Lighting, in North Creek, NY. He can be reached at: BKoehler@Creativestagelighting.com

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