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dbn Lighting Resurrects Monster In City Of Culture

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Manchester based dbn Lighting has been involved in raising an ancient legend to life for the UK’s first ever City of Culture, Derry/Londonderry.
dbn designed and supplied rigging and lighting for a recreation of the famed Loch Ness Monster, which starred in the Showdown on the Foyle finale to the weekend-long celebrations entitled 'The Return of Colmcille'.
The show was a specially commissioned public performance written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, created by Walk The Plank and played out over 30 hours on the streets of the UK's City of Culture.
The showdown saw Colmcille, a key figure in Derry's history and old enemy of the monster, lead his townsfolk in a thrilling confrontation with the 70-metre long, 18-metre high, technicolour beast; all set against the backdrop of Derry~Londonderry’s famous Peace Bridge, which physically and symbolically unites both sides of the River Foyle.
dbn's brief was twofold - to design and build a rigging structure aboard 'The Argus'; a 70 metre long sand dredger made available to the production by the Port Authority, on which the Monster could be built and operated; and to light both the Monster itself and the rest of the performance across the vast site.
The boat carrying Nessie travelled up the river, towards the Peace Bridge where it was met by Colmcille who vanquished the beast in a scene replete with pyro, special effects and fireworks.
Stephen Page drew WYSIWYG models of the Monster's lighting rig beforehand and maintained enough flexibility in his scheme to be able to make final adjustments and fixture placements once they were actually on site and the Monster was installed. Approaching it any other way would have been impossible.
Fixtures included SGM Palco 3 LED floods, Atomic Colours and 12 of dbn's brand new Clay Paky Sharpy Washes, which arrived just in time for the event.
These were all placed where they could be fitted around the boat, which had a generator on board to supply power.
In particular, two Sharpy Washes in custom dbn domes were used to backlight the Monster's eyes.
A Jands Vista S1 programmed by Pete Isherwood under Page’s supervision was utilised to run all Nessie's lights, triggered by timecode broadcast site-wide from the audio track.
On the quayside, a row of 24 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s positioned right on the edges of the water skimmed the area and shot beams up into the night sky, all controlled by Page from a Jands Vista S3 console.
The Peace Bridge was illuminated with 48 x CP Sharpies attached to special brackets designed by dbn to conceal them under the bridge as discreetly as possible.
Their careful positioning also gave a degree of weather protection. The lighting effect accentuated the steely elegance of the Bridge bringing a final touch of magic to the environment as the tale unfolded to the delight of the throngs of onlookers.
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