I have been looking into remote-operated followspots for high school level musicals. There are a lot of reasons that this may be better for our specific venue than sticking with the good old fashioned catwalk option, but I will skip that for now. Specifically, I am aware of some VERY high-end systems that are far beyond my budget from Robe (RoboSpot) and PRG (Ground Control) but also have found some relatively basic/affordable systems that use whatever existing moving lights a theatre already has (Spotrack and Follow-Me). They basically use a camera displayed on a computer and the operator drags the fixtures around stage with the mouse following the actor on camera. I am looking seriously at the one called Follow-Me, however, there is nobody around that has the system installed for me to play with to see what I think. Has anyone actually seen this (or similar) system in use? I would greatly appreciate specifically the CONS list (salespeople are good at the PROS side). I have several capable movers already, love the idea of still involving the students but getting them in the booth rather than the catwalk, and think it will be nice to add backlight followspots sometimes (this system can target multiple fixtures at a single moving point). The online videos make the motion look smooth and the accuracy is up to the operator in every case already. Convenient to be able to sync my blackout to these fixtures. In all, it sounds like a pretty good system...but it just makes me very nervous to commit a big chunk of money to a product that I have never been hands-on with.
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