A Night of Legends
Woodloch Pines Resort
by Chris Engel
Woodloch Pines is a family resort located in Northeast Pennsylvania. Each year since 1979, Woodloch has put on a theme show for its guests. The show runs twice a week from the end of December one year to the beginning of December the next in Woodloch’s 700 seat Heritage Club. In “A Night Of Legends,” the cast of 11 visit Billy The Kid, Elvis, Robin Hood, and more. The show uses canned music recorded by the house band, along with lots of video footage. Since we only have one person to operate audio and video, we decided to look into show control in order to make the show easier to run.
Putting the show together
We assembled all the video for the show on our editing system using Adobe Premiere, then transcoded the files to MPEG format using the Ligos LSX-MPG2 plugin. There are several places in the show where a video clip plays for only part of a song, so we decided to use the audio from the video files for these songs to ensure proper synchronization. The rest of these video files were filled with black. The files were then transferred to the show control computer for playback.
I set up one cue list each for audio, video, and lighting cues, plus a master list to control the other three. This way, my master cue list only needs to contain those cues that I will be firing manually. The cues can then be stamped with a timecode address using SFX’s Learn Timecode function. First, give each audio or video file an address. For convenience, I start a new ‘hour’ at the beginning of each audio or video file. The first song in the show happens at the address 01:00:00:02, the second song at 02:00:00:02, etc. Next, click on a cues window and press cntrl – L. Now, set the time code clock to the beginning of the ‘hour’ for the song you want to work with, i.e., 01:00:00:00. When you press the clock start button, the file will be played back when its address comes up on the timecode clock. While the song file plays back, you can stamp the cues in your list with timecode. Each time you press the "GO" button for that cue window, a cue is fired and stamped with timecode. Now, every time a cue’s timecode address comes up on the timecode clock, the cue will be triggered by SFX.
You can easily change the timecode address for any cue, either by disabling timecode in the individual cue’s properties and running the Learn Timecode function again or by typing a new address in manually. This is one of the coolest things about SFX. Because I am playing back cues rather than doing them manually during a busy show, the show is much more consistent and I can concentrate more on mixing the audio and firing the pyrotechnics safely.
We are using a 1.5 Ghz Pentium 4 machine with an Echo Gina audio card and a Sigma Designs Hollywood Plus MPEG decoder card to run all the audio and video cues for the show. A Midiman Midisport 2x2 USB to Midi interface allows the computer to cue the light board.