Australia...Movers Advice

Hi all,

I attend a high school in Brisbane, Australia and we are looking to add some moving lights to our rig, rather than hiring them when we need them.

Does anybody have some recommendations on placement, and wash versus profile, and their placement?

We're looking entry-level to medium - I don't know what our budget is until I find some prices.

Which brings me to the final bit - how much do movers cost? :eek:



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I take it that the Queensland Education department treat school much more nicely than their NSW counterparts...

Cost of movers is entirely dependent on which movers they are :p
Best option is going to involve working out what you want (and I don't think I have the experience / knowledge/etc. to be able to offer advice here) and then get quotes.


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Prices in AU are going to be different than the U.S., which is what I know. For something of decent enough quality that you won't be cursing it a week after it's installed, plan on a minimum of $1,500 per unit. But depending on trim height, etc., you may need something with much more punch. Before you start shopping, make a priority list of features, and decide where you intent on installing these.

Some of the things I would insist on are:

1. remotely focusable
2. dimmable
3. if a profile, individually replacable gobos
4. if a wash, a frost feature
5. A zoom is very nice to have
6. 16 bit pan and tilt

Other features

1. if a profile, cmy filters and a color wheel
2. an animation wheel
3. 2 gobo wheels

And most importantly, remember that lamp wattage is no indication of output. Some 250 watt fixtures are much brighter than others, depending also on the quality of the optics.
Does anybody have a favourite brand/model they would like to recommend (+why)?

I'm thinking I'd like to go MAC something...a 250 for example. What's the difference between Krypton/Entour/etc?


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Something to remember with moving lights especially the Macs is the weight. I think a Mac 250 weighs nearly 20Kg. Can your lighting bars handle this weight?
The Macs are nice but costly.

With your holidays coming up I would do two things. 1) Go around to the theatrical lighting suppliers in Brisbane to get prices and their views. Remembering of course some of them only want to sell you certain products.

2) Go some of the big venues in Brisbane and ask the lighting guys their preferences. You may have to go back when they are not busy but most people will happily help out a student. This will also be hopefully less biased then someone wanting to sell you something. They can also tell you about what local service is like. You could buy some cheap American unit but if no-one in the state services them it becomes harder.

Doing this will give a range of options and opinons. You will then be able to write up a report for your school. The powers to be will more likely to take your suggestions seriously if they see a well thought out arguement.

When you are making your decision there other things to think about including:
The cost of replacement lamps. Is one lamp going to cost more then your whole lamp budget for the ordinary lights?
Also the cost of yearly or two yearly maintanence.
Will you need a DMX splitter box.
How much extra DMX cable will you need.

If you cover all this in your report it will make you look more professional. It also means that the school won't splash out money on the lights then have you come back again for more for bulbs etc. That's a sure way to get their backs up.

I am sorry if you have already covered everything I suggested.


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Agreeing with other posts and adding some information of my own to this one..

I agree that Mac's are relatively heavy. Dependant on what you want per bar (are you using bar on fly or trussing?) then weight may play a relatively important part of the decisions that you make haha.

I worked with Mac 250's last week, I had 6 Entours and 2 Kryptons. The Entours are slightly different to the K's but simply in what they posses. The Entours have dual gobo wheels with about 17 gobos in total, whereas the Kryptons have only 7 gobos. (whether the amount of gobos matter i'm not sure, it depends on what you want to do). If you want some more information, go here for the Entour or Krypton sections of the Martin website. They also have downloads of manuals if you want more detailed information.

When you are thinking about wash versus profile, think about the design elements you want to incorporate in your show by using your movers. A set of profiles can do a wash almost as well as a series of washes, but it will be alot harsher/sharper as most of them (as far as i know) dont have a frosting option, where as the washs do. So if you wanted to wash your stage in a particular colour, then grab a few washes, put them strategically on your grid and then position some profiles near by or in different locations - for specials or ambiance or whatever your design requires, this is all dependant of budget of course.

With placement, what i usually do is have a couple of washes on the forward LX bars, then have one or two on the end of the centre ones and a couple for back light. Then I have a couple in the centre of the first two LX, a couple mid range in the central overhead LX bars and then some at the back for backlight/cyc work. It depends on the design and what is required though, as i said before.

Len was heading down the right track with costs. Most new Macs are between $1000 and $3000 depending on the model of course. I think in some cases the Mac 2000 went up to almost $6000, but dont hold me to that.

I agree with 'catlunch' though. Head over to the Brisbane theatres of QPAC and ask the lighting guys there what they think. Give "Brisbane Production Companies" a google and see what their lighting guys think, as they would have experienced (i imagine) quite a few dealings with questions when they hire stuff out to school and touring productions.

Hope that helps. :)


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Martin, High End, and Vari-lite are definitely kings of this market. However, you can buy 5 Chauvet's for the cost of one Mac 2000, and have money left for cable and a few lamps. There are a lot of other companies out there who are working hard to create a quality product for a lot less money. So do your brand research. As someone else said, it's really important that you start with why you want them and what you want to use them for. If you just want some nifty spinning gobos with deep saturated colors for a concert you can get away with a lot less money than if you need color mixing. CMY color mixing takes it to a whole new price level.

Also pay attention to lamp life and lamp cost for your future. Here in the states, the lamps cost at least 5 times the price of a lamp that goes in a conventional fixture. Plus the life can be as little as 250 hours. So you can count on replacing all those lamps every year or two depending on your use.

Finally, you need to take a serious look at what your system can handle. Do you have an older board that will eat up all your circuits trying to run your new movers? Do you have non-dim power where you need it? DMX cable is expensive. How much will you need? Don't forget DMX terminators.

I'm currently working on my own shopping list for a new college theater so I've been doing all this research too. In my case I started out all gung-ho for Mac 700's but in my research I decided it's critical to have a tungesten lamp so that my movers blend well with the rest of the lights in my rig. That limits my decision down to essentially just the VL1000. Hopefully Martin will come out with a TP1 before I have to purchase but so far there are no acknowledgements from Martin that they are even thinking about it. Anyway, the point is, don't get caught up in having the best of everything. Decide what you need and then choose the right tool for the job.
Thankyou all.

I had to turn down doing sound at QPAC last month for the sake of my school work. It was a very hard decision. :(

So I shall just have to see where I can go and who I can talk to.

What companies are the best to get moving lights from in Brisbane?

I approached a few for prices and have had no replies.


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I did have a list of Australian Production Companies, including Brisbane, but I can't find it at the moment. I'll keep searching and post it when I find it. Maybe that will help your search



CB Mods
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If you can hold off, CX magazine is going to publish a production directory in the January edition, so you would then have a reasonably comprehensive listing of production companies in Brisbane or whereever else you so desire...


CB Mods
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Spare copy - um no. I do have a copy of it though (I subscribe) and if I had to I am sure that at lunchtime one day I could literally walk straight across the street and beg for a copy at the Juliusmedia office... There are some benefits to working at the production company across the street.


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You are indeed wise in the ways of CX Chris! I also remember reading that. They will definately have a good list of the companies and possibly the contact websites. Not to go off topic, but did anyone happen to grab an extra copy of the CX October/November Issue?



CB Mods
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I should have a look at the email they sent out. There is a copy at work. From the details they are asking for I figure we could work out what they are going to publish... If I recall, they had to be back to the JM office by about the 20th of this month... So in print in early Jan.

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