On Stage with Ross Productions

September 19, 2012

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I have to say, stage lighting is in our blood….it’s where most of us at Greenlight Creative got our start. Our team has lit the gamut; from rock tours to nightclubs. Dance and theatre to awards shows.

As the lead designer, my first “specialty” in the lighting world was live music (although decency demands that I not mention how long ago that was….suffice to say, my hair was a LOT spikier), and one of our still-sustaining clients is Ross Productions….the company that (among other things) is the creator of Oregon’s own platinum-record-winning artist “Quarterflash,” as well as the “The Trail Band,” who’s holiday shows and music from (and about) several of Oregon’s historical eras have become a staple for thousands of families in the Northwest for the past 20 years.

Over these years, we’ve settled into our own visual “language” for both Quarterflash and Trail Band. For The Trail Band, we’ve developed a dusty color palette with a vintage feel. Smokey ambers and golds, faded pink, steel blue, dusty lavender….among others. For the holiday shows, we like to include a full-width cyclorama behind the band, on which we project broad color washes or swaths, and loads of themed pattern projections, using metal and glass gobos and a host of ellipsoidals (for you theatre techies out there, the first electric and half of the second are FULL of pattern fixtures pointed at the cyc). This adds up to a dramatic and highly varied visual presentation, not an easy task for a band that could put on an amazing show even if they were just playing under a 75 watt frosted light bulb!

We take much of the same approach in lighting Quarterflash, but with a bigger emphasis on modernity—moving lights, saturated jewel tones, and lots of narrow beam play. And of course, our cues are much more rythmic with this act. Oh, and let me say: The band still rocks, or rather, ROCKS! Marv Ross and the “windmill guitar” are still one-and-the-same, and Rindy Ross’s voice is still amazing and sax playing better than ever.

When not producing live music, Marv is an award-winning playwrite. If you live in Oregon, you may be familiar with the remarkable musical he wrote and produced called “Ghosts of Celilo.” He is finishing up his third piece, which is based on the true story of the first African-American family to live in Wallowa County, Oregon. Janice Scroggins and the incomparable Linda Hornbuckle will be featured prominently in the music for this one!

Got a band you need to light? Theatrical presentation? Dance recital? We have the tools, the experience, and the LOVE to make this happen, and happen perfectly!

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