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Elf Takes the Stage at Paper Mill with 4Wall New York

By on Mar 5, 2015
Posted in Press Releases

Millburn, NJ- Paper Mill Playhouse recently turned to 4Wall New York for the lighting gear necessary to bring Elf- a production based on the Will Ferrell movie of the same name- to the stage this winter season.

A quick load-in schedule is typical at Paper Mill.  Master Electrician Drew Kawczynski spoke of the challenges inherent.

“We start with two days for an electrics pre-hang, followed by a three day load in for scenery.  Next comes two days of focus.  Then we have a week and a half of 15 hour days for work calls, dry tech, and rehearsals.”

Lighting Designer Charlie Morrison, known for his takes on Grease and The Little Mermaid, brought an elaborate lighting plot to Elf.  With the script calling for a “snow globe” space at one point in the show, Morrison turned to three VL4000 Spots and custom snowflake gobos to fill the space perfectly.  A little rotation of the gobos gave the appearance of the snow globe being shaken.

Twelve more VL4000 units were hung over the stage, where the use of animation discs and a bit of cyan created motion on the deck for a particularly tricky dance number that had originally called for dry ice machines. 

“During one of the first rehearsals, an actor slipped and fell due to the dry ice machines making the stage damp,” said Kawczynski.  “Cutting the machines and replacing them with the VL4000 effects turned out to be a big hit with the design team.”

The versatile VL4000s were a hit with the lighting crew as well, including Kawczynski. “The Vari*Lite fixtures were solid.  They survived eight weeks of torture, including being hung under the snow machines, with minimal maintenance.  But I know that even if we would have had to swap out fixtures, I know from past experiences that the support from 4Wall is second to none!”

Selected Gear List, Elf at Paper Mill Playhouse

18  Vari*Lite VL4000 Spots
 8   Chroma-Q Color Force 72 LED Battens
 6   CITC Little Blizzard Snow Machines
 5   Martin AF-1 Jem Fans

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