Vh1 Hip Hop Honors 2009
2009 MTV Video Music Awards
Light Designer: Tom Kenny
Lighting Contractor: Atomic Lighting
Coemar lighting fixtures lent an elegant, theatrical look to the "VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2009," a sophisticated yet fun event that's been called the Kennedy Center Honors for the hip hop industry. Lighting designer Tom Kenny employed an array of Coemar Infinity Wash XLS and Infinity ACL S moving heads as well as ParLite LEDs, supplied by Atomic Lighting, to showcase hip hop's biggest luminaries.
The sixth annual "Hip Hop Honors" was taped at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Howard Gilman Opera House where Tracy Morgan hosted for the third consecutive year sharing the stage with Eminem, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, Method Man, Public Enemy, Ja Rule, DMX, Redman, and Ashanti. The show marked the first time "Hip Hop Honors" saluted a record label, Def Jam Recordings, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as the vehicle behind some of the biggest names in music history. It aired on VH1 October 13.
As lighting designer Kenny was charged with "making hip hop elegant without losing the dynamics of the music," he explains. "I wanted to give hip hop a beautiful and grand look befitting the opulence of the opera house location. The Coemars fit perfectly with the artistic direction I was given."
Kenny hung 98 Coemar Infinity Wash XLs as a "massive wall of lights" upstage where they serve as a backdrop for the performers.
With so much more than just superior brightness to their name, Coemar Infinity Wash XL lights sport a groundbreaking new color mix system able to achieve CMY and RGB colors (CMY patent pending). There's also an effects wheel for creating texture and aerial effects with wash light (patent pending) as well as a beam shaper rotating and indexing at 360 degrees (patent pending).
He used 24 Infinity ACL S units to give a shape to the stage and pit. "They graphically drew the whole stage out into the audience and gave it that classic beam look," Kenny explains.
The Infinity ACL S is renowned for its superior brightness, offering more brightness than a 1200W fixture in a 250W package. Other key features include variable beam size and beam control with rotating aerial effects; moon flower effect; split color beam effects; and CMY color mixing.
Coemar's ParLite LED, with standard lens 12Âº, is an ideal digital substitute for the analog PAR can. It provides a 75-82 percent energy savings compared to traditional technology at the same brightness and is lightweight, quiet and flicker-free. It offers RGB color mixing and electronic strobe plus synchronized, random and pulse effects.
Lee Rolontz executive produced "Hip Hop Honors" for VH1 with Jac Benson of Blacjac Entertainment. Nelson George and Fab 5 Freddie were co-executive producers; Louis J. Horvitz directed.