Touring with Gerry Cinnamon – Interview with Pete Hutchison, Lighting & Show Designer Behind the Tour

Touring with Gerry Cinnamon – Interview with Pete Hutchison, Lighting & Show Designer Behind the Tour

Touring with Gerry Cinnamon – Interview with Pete Hutchison, Lighting & Show Designer Behind the Tour

Having taken the UK by a colourful storm and vibrant crowds chanting his name to the tune of KC & Sunshine Band’s ‘Give It Up’, Gerry Cinnamon continues his rise to folk hero status with Adlib as his Video & Lighting supplier of choice.

With a tour of UK & Ireland academies as well as a few European dates under his belt, Gerry’s next few months look especially busy so we’ve decided to catch up with Pete Hutchison, Lighting and Show Designer behind the tour, to discuss how the production team found the experience of working with Adlib so far and what influenced Pete to choose the kit he did.

Adlib Gerry Cinnamon @ Victoria Warehouse-50

Pete Hutchison behind grandMA3

How did you find out about Adlib?

I first found Adlib when I was looking for a full video and lighting package when doing an arena show 3 years ago for a Scottish Wrestling show ICW and have been working with them ever since.

What challenges or needs did you face that made you decide to choose Adlib?

As lighting and video are heavily tied to one another on this run, I needed a company who could provide an all in one solution so that the different aspects of the show weren’t treading over each other which was perfectly handled by the team I was provided.

Since we started working together, what problems developed and how did we help you solve these problems?

Touch wood, we haven’t had any major problems, however we have had the odd issue such as the initial weight of this design on the originally spec’d Unilumin LED panels was greater than the available loading capacity at the venues we were visiting. Dave and Rich from Adlib were so keen on making this design work that they sorted me out with the higher spec Absen panels at half the weight so that it fitted in every venue.

Describe your selection process and what you found most attractive about Adlib and its services?

In choosing who to go for, I need to make sure I use someone who is consistent, reliable and able to solve a problem at no notice, and Adlib have that reputation.

Adlib Gerry Cinnamon @ Victoria Warehouse-1

Gerry Cinnamon Live @ O2 Victoria Warehouse

What was the design process? Sharing of role between operator/designer? What was the inspiration behind the design?

The design process was to take some geometric shapes and linear lines, then overlaying them to find something that looked good, but also looked a bit different which is how we ended up with the winged screen arrangement.

As I am the designer and operator I also had to look at what was going to be scalable across the different academy venues we were playing to keep the same over-arching theme no matter the scale.

As Gerry is just one man on a vast stage, I had to create something that looked very grand, to compliment his massive stage presence. I also needed something that wrapped around him so he didn’t feel as though he was on the stage by himself, hence the staggered decking of lighting that wraps around his stage centre position.

What kit is on the job and why/how that suits the design?

This designs main fixture is the Mac Aura XB. I chose this as I needed a punchy fixture that wasn’t going to get lost amongst a large volume of video wall with a high light output. They are fast, nimble and the colours they produce are second to none.

I also chose the GLP X-4 Bar 20 as they create an amazing curtain of light that envelopes Gerry both from the stage and from above which for some of his larger crowd involved songs create a great theatrical look.

I also used a lot of 2-cell Molefays as they are great for running effects over, but also the amazing the crowd response you get off an up-tempo blinder chase that matches his thundering kick pedal.

Lastly, I spec’d the MAC Viper profile as my spot on this job which again was fantastic. It was key to be able to have great punchy gobos for his slower songs, then a punchy clear spot for bigger moments and stabs as well as a great beam for his faster songs.

Adlib Gerry Cinnamon @ Victoria Warehouse-45

Gerry Cinnamon Live @ O2 Victoria Warehouse

How did the prep/packaging improve your life on this tour?

Dave and Rob, my techs for this run, did a fantastic job on the prep. All the looms were made with scalability in mind, and made for a quick in and out every day. Every detail of the build and de-rig was thought about by the guys and it meant for a smooth day every show without issue anywhere.

What have you been most impressed with?

I have been most impressed with the grandMA3 console that I spec’d for this run. Although it is still running the 2 software, I have found the workflow to be great, and I love the feel of the new buttons and encoders. I will greatly struggle to feel as comfortable on a 2 console as I have with the 3.

How did our team help you throughout the duration of this tour/project?

They adapted to every change I made, they provided all the information I needed to form a solid advance with all venues and my project handler Chris has been at the end of the phone every time I have needed anything. I had Dave and Rob with me every day of the tour who nailed everything I needed from them. They happily went above and beyond what was required of them every day and made some very long trying days smooth and easy.

What’s the relationship with the Adlib team at the office/on the road been like?

I’ve always had quite a good relationship with Adlib, but as this show has very quickly grown arms and legs and grown at an exponential rate I have been introduced to many new members and departments of the Adlib team who have all been very keen to help.

The office staff have all been superb in providing help and support, and the guys on the road have been adopted into Gerry’s very tight knit group that he works with, so that’s been amazing and very crucial to the show.

What three words would you use to describe your experience working with Adlib and why would you recommend our services to others?

Reliable, efficient and friendly. These three elements are really important to every designer. You need to know that the kit you’re putting out every day is reliable, you need to know the team are efficient so that it goes in and out on time and meets a rigorous touring schedule, and you need a friendly team who are going to be helpful and make the process smooth. I would highly recommend Adlib to any of my industry colleagues.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would just like to say a massive thank you to Rich Rowley, John Hughes, Dave Eldridge and Jordan Willis who have all been massively supportive of this tour. They have taken the time to familiarise themselves with the show and have done all they can to make it fit into every venue.

I’d also like to say thank you to Chris Neary, my Project Manager, who has put up with about 100 versions of this plot and has never once grumbled or complained, but has instead always answered every change with a cheery ‘no problem’ and sorted it for me.

Lastly and by no means least, Dave Smith and Rob Bickerstaff have been a crucial element in this gig. Without their help and support on this run I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the final product that I have been so tremendously happy with.

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