Martin Rig Highlights Key Ford Premieres at 2009 Detroit Auto Show

April 30, 2009

The Detroit Auto Show always draws a huge crowd: car enthusiasts who have waited for a glimpse of the future in auto technology, environmentalists waiting for news about cleaner and greener cars and the journalists who flock there to report all about it.

With more exhibitors than the 2008 show, the 2009 NAIAS at the Cobo Center in Detroit featured the unveiling of 53 vehicles, including 34 worldwide and 19 North American debuts to approximately 650,000 people.

Auto reveals
Ford Motor Co. used the 2009 North American International Auto Show for the world premiere of the redesigned 2010 Ford Taurus and the 2010 Ford Mustang GT500, as well as to announce plans for electric vehicles.

Lighting the stage for Ford’s big event was a Martin rig of MAC 2000 Wash XB™, MAC 2000 Performance and MAC 700 Wash™ moving heads, working with Atomic™ strobes with Atomic Colors™ scrollers. Graphical elements onto Martin LC Series™ LED panels were driven from a Martin Maxedia™ media server with a Martin Maxxyz™ lighting console used for lighting control.

Back with Martin gear
Designer Olivier Ilisca of design and event management firm CenterStage Productions of Illinois explained his choice of Martin gear. “I have been designing this show for 11 years, and I am proud to say that I have had Martin products on it since the first year or just about,” he commented. “The MAC 2000 Wash XB adds real punch and in an arena with trims varying from 40’ to 60’ having that extra punch to light the cars is priceless. The MAC 700s are real workhorses and a slightly cheaper alternative to the MAC 2000. They work and work and I don’t think we replaced one of the units during the 10 days onsite.

“The MAC 2000 Performance is also a workhorse. The shutter system is well known for its reliability and accuracy. I use these machines on almost every show to highlight and texture scenic pieces without blowing everything else around.”

Ilisca incorporated Martin’s semi-transparent, modular system of LED panels, the LC Series, into the set as a dynamic backdrop element. “The LC panels are very easy to install and to insert into scenic units. Here, we attached them on tracks and used them as a split level door to reveal cars. Their brightness is also impressive and we usually have to dim them onsite as they end up being a bit brighter compared to the main screens,” Ilisca stated.

Driving the LC panels was a Martin Maxedia system, a user-friendly tool for media composing and playback. “I use the Maxedia in 99% of my events,” Ilisca says. “The ease of programming, the simplicity of importing and the flexibility of playback makes this server one of the best on the market. In addition, the pixel mapping is one of the best, simplest and most effective compared with other machines.

Successful launch
The event was a reported success and you can be certain that Ilisca and Martin will be back at next year’s show. “I look forward to many more years of trying and testing Martin products in this difficult environment, where changing a unit is mostly out of the question since it takes almost 45 min to bring a boom lift into the arena. Dependability is key in this instance, and of course it helps to have bright and accurate machines to work with.”

All Martin lighting equipment was supplied by Upstaging Inc. of Illinois. “Upstaging always does an amazing job with the gear and their guys and I want to thank Hud and Hosp for supporting me throughout the years,” Ilisca concludes. “Of course, I also want to thank my two programmers without whom this show would not be what it is. They have programmed for me for many years, and I truly appreciate their dedication, their vision and their sense of humor.”

Lighting Designer: Olivier Ilisca, CSP
Lighting Programmer Spot Lights and Servers: Troy Fujimura
Lighting Programmer Wash Lights: John Marovich
Assistant Lighting Designer: Charles Jolls
Producer: Bud Price, PWI
Set Design: Andy Warfel

Equipment List:
61 x Martin MAC 2000 XB™
48 x Martin MAC 700 Wash™
22 x Martin MAC 2000 Performance™
8 x Martin Atomic 3000 DMX™
8 x Martin Atomic Colors™
Martin LC Series™
2 x Martin Maxxyz™ (1 as backup)
2 x Martin Maxedia PRO™(1 as backup)