Interview with Wesley Dietz – Learn Stage Lighting .com

Interview with Wesley Dietz

Kari
By Kari / 4 weeks ago
Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode # 68

Today on the podcast I am excited to bring in Wesley Dietz, whom I grew up with back in my hometown. We’re both excited to catch up and talk about his position as a Church Lighting Director and the challenges that come with it.

Main Segment (1:27)

I’m really excited to share this interview with you and I hope you do get some great ideas from it. Wesley and I go into lighting, consoles, and so much more. So let’s get started!

David – What are you working with at the moment with your church?

Sure! Right now we’re working with a Hog for PC system with just 1 universe so nothing crazy. We also have 2 Rogue washes which I love.

When I started with the church (2500 members) I was the first lighting director they had ever had. They did have a faculty director that was handling everything before I came on board.

As I got started they had no color lights for their stage so I’ve been slowly introducing color to the stage and adding new lights to help with this.

I also started working with stage design and prepping for our Easter events. We used LED tape this year to help with the colors and stage design.

David – So you and I had discussed either going with pixels or LED tape so you decided to go with LEDs. I’m just curious how did you set up the control for these?

Well, setting it all up was a lot easier than I thought it would be, to be honest. I just went with a 10 channel decoder. I order over 200 feed of LEDs through Amazon and just connected it all.

David – Let’s talk about your new building, is it in progress yet?

This church has been around for about 20 years and they had an original building they started with and throughout the years they’ve been slowly adding on to it.

So technically, it’s always in progress but the latest venture that we’re working on is having a 1500 seating sanctuary added on. It’s a slow progress.

David – Well that’s exciting! So let’s dive into Pixel Mapping. What do you think about it and what ideas do you have for the future?

I’ve been working the LED (dumb) tape and didn’t want to invest too much with this stage design. I currently don’t have much experience it but I do want to work with it in the future.

David – The cool thing about pixels is once you get the tech part behind you they are easy to work with. A pixel only has 3 wires, data, power, and a ground wire.

With LED’s you power it at the beginning and then you risk not having enough power for it to work consistently through the rest of the LED tape. But with pixel tape, you don’t have to worry about it because at any point you can just add more power as needed.

You had a question about this new addition being built and what I thought about possibly using the Hog to run your pixels or running it on a separate system. Do you know how big your stage will be in this new addition?

I want to say the stage should be 80 feet wide and 40 feet deep.

David – Okay, my thoughts are that you don’t want to run your pixels on the Hog and here’s why. First, the RoadHog 4 has 8 universes of output unless you want to get more then you would need to upgrade.

At that point with only 8 universes and that many pixels, you will quickly run out of output. The built-in mapper on the Hog is good but you can only bring in the media and play that media.

You could do it either way but ideally, you would want a designated PC to run the pixels and use a program like ENTTEC’s Elm for the pixel mapping.

You were talking about consoles and I’m curious are you planning on sticking with the RoadHog or are you considering a different console?

Personally, I love the Hog system and I found out that ETC had recently purchased the rights to the Hog. I wasn’t sure at first what that had meant but there have been updates that helped improve the Hog system’s performance.

I have heard a lot about ONYX as well so I’m not sure exactly what direction I want to go yet. One of the new updates for the Hog is the magic sheet which allows your fixtures to perform and look more like a moving head.

David – From what I’ve heard ETC is a great place to work and their goal is to be a company that is around for hundreds of years. So with that they are investing in the products like Hog which is great thing.

In my opinion, the Hog is a good console and I’ve worked with it before. One of the things I dislike about it though is that the screen is at a really shallow angle.

You know that I love Onyx and I rave about it a lot. Not to mention they announced the pixel mapper. It hasn’t been released yet but it’s in the works. I would suggest at least checking it out and see if you like it before making a decision.

Between the Hog and Onyx, one of the biggest adjustments is working with effects. Once you get used to it you know what to look for. It just takes a minute for people to understand and grasp the different concepts.

I wanted to ask how do you find volunteers and how many do you normally have on the schedule for the weekends?

I have an announcement slide that I will put up in the services about looking for volunteers. Then people who are interested will come up and talk to me about it.

Between audio, lights, pro-presenter I’ll have around 10 volunteers on a given Sunday. I found that lighting, pro-presenter, and audio is easier to start new volunteers with. Then, I slowly train them in other areas.

David – Okay, I was just curious because normally I just ask my volunteers if they know of anyone and they always seem to find new people which is great!

Closing (28:12)

I really hope you enjoyed the interview today! If you have any thoughts on today’ show I would love to hear it. As you may have heard I am considering a few options for the future of the podcast and would like to know what my listener’s thoughts are.

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We will be back next week with our Q + A Tuesday, we will see you then!


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