If you’re talking about stage design, there’s one name known to everyone in the branch: Gunther Hecker. A lighting designer by trade, he has introduced a series of innovative new design elements that continue to surprise the field. Hecker has been working together with Germany’s hip-hop pioneers Die Fantastischen Vier (known as Fanta 4 to fans) for 22 years. For the band’s recently concluded ‘Record Tour’, marking the group’s 25th anniversary, he collaborated with lighting director and front of house system engineer Marc Lorenz to produce yet another set, light and video design from the very top drawer.
Innovative stage design with mixed-media elements
This set is based on a bare stage; wherever they happen to be playing, the far wall of the auditorium serves as the backdrop - at first. Then comes the big surprise. Halfway through the show, the stage transforms: three trusses and a Cyberhoist system seal off the back of the stage with walls of golden material. The wall of golden panels shimmers as lights play off it and videos are projected onto it. The effect is complemented by another onstage eye catcher: an LED video cube hanging above the middle of the stage, with screens playing on six of its 4m wide faces.
This ‘mixed-media’ lighting and video concept has come to be Hecker’s trademark. So it was during the Fanta 4 tour, with the visual impressions from reflective surfaces, LED screens, and lighting all carefully interwoven to create a dynamic and multi-layered visual environment for the band.
For the lighting, Hecker decided to use 50 of the new Robe Robin BMFL spots as well as a total of 180 Robe moving lights. These included 40 ROBIN Pointes, 60 ROBIN LEDWash 800s, 68 ColorWash 2500E ATs and 12 ColorSpot 2500E ATs. Regarding the ‘Bright Multi-Functional Luminaire’ spots, Hecker remarked: “I needed something bright and with a very fast shutter/dimmer to help me create a big picture. That was an absolute must for the design for this latest Fanta 4 tour.”
Picture sources: Louise Stickland