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grandMA Goes To the Movies with Key Role In “Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”

Fans of the family comedy “Night at the Museum” are eagerly anticipating next spring’s release of the sequel, “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” which is now in production with a grandMA and grandMA Light on hand. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the grandMA in North America.

“For the past five years the grandMA has been our primary console,” reports rigging gaffer Keith Woods citing movie credits for “The Chronicles of Riddick,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “A Tale of Two Sisters” and “The Santa Claus II.” “We’ve used all models from the grandMA to the grandMA Light and even the Ultra Light.”

Tasked with making movie lighting systems work for DOP John Schwartzman and Gaffer Drew Davidson, Woods is currently working on a set for “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” which replicates the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. Ben Stiller reprises his role as Larry the security guard in the sequel to the hit film which finds the Museum of Natural History closed for renovations and its exhibits in storage at the Smithsonian in Washington.

“grandMA is used to control the movie’s conventional and moving lights and do some cueing,” Woods explains. “Our rental house, Christie Lites, uses the grandMA, and once again we were in the position to need its fixture capabilities and touchscreens.”

Woods has tapped the grandMA “pretty exclusively” since “The Chronicles of Riddick” to control large conventional dimming systems. For that film, one of his Best Boy/Console Operator/Programmers designed a fixture patch for spacelights and KinoFlo Image 80s that enabled the grandMA to control them via the touchscreen.

“We have six circuits of dimming for the spacelights and eight circuits of data for KinoFlo Image 80s, which we can operate from the touchscreen rather than keying in by hand,” he notes. “Thanks to the touchscreen and fixture-patch capabilities we can do everything much faster. We can make changes quickly and don’t need channel numbers.”

As the grandMA continues to compile feature-film credits it’s clear that Woods is a fan of the system. “We like it. It’s been pretty consistent,” he says. “We first used the grandMA for additional universes, then we saw how easy to use it could be. So grandMAs are back in the movies again.”

“I continue to be amazed at where grandMAs are being used. Movie lighting has really come a long way in regards to lighting control, and we are so proud to be involved. Of course, I will look at the movie in a very different way, and I cannot wait to see it,” comments A.C.T Lighting president and CEO Bob Gordon.

On “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” Todd Martin was the grandMA console operator with Jason McKinnon, Phil Klapwyk and Sean Oxenbury the programmers.

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients. For more information call 818-707-0884 or visit www.actlighting.com.

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