Mike Wood Presents: A Theatrical Previs Competition4 min read

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Hi there! My name is Mike Wood, and I’m a lighting designer, lighting director, and educator based in Nashville, TN. I primarily work in the theatrical market at theatres all over the United States, including a long-term residency as the Resident LD at City Springs Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA. In addition to my professional work, I’ve also served on the faculties of several educational institutions all over the country as well as presented guest lectures, workshops, and more for schools, companies, and various arts organizations.

Over the past couple months of COVID-19, I’ve been working hard to put a lot of my content into online/digital formats, engaging directly with young professionals, students, and seasoned vets alike. Today, I’m here to chat a little bit about my Theatrical Previs Competition!

I started noticing that lots of companies were presenting competitions for previsualization – but all of them were focused on the live music world. Nothing for those of us who primarily work in theatre. In the past, that made sense. Previs was always something that seemed like it was special to the event and music worlds, but didn’t really have much of a place in the theatre. 

I’ve found that in the last 2-3 years, I’ve been using this technology more and more in my live theatre work as the quality has kept getting better and better.

My team and I have been using Capture on our shows on a regular basis now – we’re able to get a lot of the building blocks done from the comfort of our office while load in is happening in the theatre. Now, instead of spending a few hours making presets and palettes in the theatre with everyone waiting for us, we can spend that time being creative. 

I started to think about how much I’ve started to rely on previs. About a month or so ago, I reached out to several companies to see if they were onboard to help me host a friendly competition for theatre folks like me. Just about everyone I reached out to came back to me with a resounding “YES!”

The contest is relatively simple:

  • Pick a song from the musical theatre genre
  • Download a pre-made Capture Presentation File & Patch Information
  • Program your song on the Eos-Family software
  • Upload your song
  • Win prizes!

Right now, we have an exciting pool of grand prizes including a Capture 2020 Solo Edition License, an ETC Nomad Kit including A Gadget II & 2-universe output dongle, and a City Theatrical DMX-Cat, courtesy of our friends over at 4Wall Entertainment. 

In addition to visualizing your lighting, you also get to flex some of your scenic design skills. There are all kinds of DMX-controlled objects and goodies hidden in the capture file – everything from portals to trees to actors… and even a bus. 

Today, I’m excited to start rolling out a new set of prizes – Honorable Mention awards!

Over the next two weeks (nearly every business day from now until the contest ends,) I’ll be announcing 10 additional prizes that contestants can win, all sponsored by various companies from all facets of the industry. You can follow me on Instagram to see the announcements, as well as to see lots of photos of my cats. 

Today’s announcement: 

“Best Song Choice” – Presented by MAGNUM! 

This prize will be awarded to the submission with the song that our judges love the most! The winner will receive a swag package filled with goodies from our friends at MAGNUM. 

The honorable mention award winners will be announced on June 15th over on my Instagram, on the contest website, and in an email blast

If you’d like to participate in the contest, head over to the website to read all the details and to get the stuff you need to start working on your entry! 

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

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