Philadelphia’s festivities for the 2016 Democratic National Convention extended well beyond the historic happenings at Wells Fargo Center to include the city’s many landmarks. Starlite Productions was tasked with creating a patriotic ambiance for two of them with the help of Claypaky Mythos lighting fixtures.
Starlite Productions of Moorestown, New Jersey provides entertainment lighting and AV for concerts, meetings and special events. The company was commissioned by The Lighting Practice to light 30th Street Station, Amtrak’s main railroad station in Philadelphia. The Lighting Practice and Center City District also commissioned Starlite to illuminate the iconic, clock tower perched atop City Hall, one of the largest municipal buildings in the world.
Starlite selected Claypaky Mythos fixtures for both locations because of the lights’ reliability and output, says vice president of show technology, Jason Danowitz. “We’ve had a lot of experience with Mythos: We send them out constantly on touring productions,” he reports. “Using them for the DNC in Philadelphia gave us a nice opportunity to utilize the Mythos feature set for a local project.”
He recalls that Starlite was first asked to light the large windows of 30th Street Station. Then the scope was expanded to include the east façade, focusing on the dramatic portico with the windows set behind it.
“They asked us to highlight the building in patriotic colors and themes keeping in mind the Democratic party’s branding,” says Danowitz. “We wanted to create something impactful yet dignified and on par with the magnitude of the event. Nothing too flashy – but we didn’t want a static look either. We brought a Mythos to the site to see what it could do, and we were impressed. The Lighting Practice produced a rendering, and Amtrak loved it.”
Starlite worked with a red, white and blue color palette and star gobos programming 10 Mythos fixtures to display a variety of scene changes on the façade throughout the evening. The Mythos were mounted on poles about 50 feet from the building and housed in Claypaky Igloos to protect them from inclement weather.
“The days were incredibly hot with some really intense thunderstorms,” Danowitz recalls. “We were concerned that we’d have issues, but there were no hiccups. The Mythos and Igloos performed flawlessly.”
Starlite “played off the architecture” of both the station and City Hall’s clock tower, but the station especially was lit in layers to “highlight the architecture and accentuate the depth and scale of the building,” Danowitz says.
The clock tower was given a similar red, white and blue treatment with patterns of stars, but the lighting had a more playful feel. “The clock tower was a bit more dynamic with more texture and faster speeds,” notes Danowitz. Three Mythos were mounted on the City Hall roof, more than 200 feet from the tower, in Igloo housings.
Danowitz says the Mythos’s performance “exceeded our expectations, and our clients were happy. Mythos fixtures have great output, which allowed us to cut through the ambient light. And they were very reliable.
“We were very excited to see all the buzz about Philadelphia during the convention,” he adds. “We were proud to be able to contribute in a small way to highlighting the city when the eyes of the country were watching.”
A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Claypaky.
Francesco Romagnoli, Claypaky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “This is another event of international importance that we’re very proud to be a part of. I’m glad to see that our lighting fixtures are relied upon to create the right mood for such events.”