Lighting designer, Matt Mills wanted to have more control over the follow-spots in his designs, and increased confidence in the consistency of their operation. Not happy with the varying levels of the follow-spots available at different venues, as well as with the inconsistency in experience of spot operators, Mills looked at the Follow-Me remote follow-spot control system by A.C. Lighting Inc.. Finding it to be the solution he hoped, he has deployed it not only on his projects but made it available to his rental clients.
Mills, a partner and lighting designer with Touch Light & Media, Inc., has an extensive resume as a lighting designer, lighting director, and programmer. His work covers a range of projects including concert touring, corporate clients, and live events globally.
"I was introduced to the Follow-Me System at the beginning of 2017," says Mills. "Just seeing it, seeing how it was used, and how it integrated into the MA Lighting grandMA control system convinced me to look more into it. From the ease of operation to the affordability of it, I find it to be a really good system. There are other systems out there, but they are very expensive, and some do a lot more than I needed. There are many LDs out there, myself included, that don't want to rely on house follow-spots."
"While I had the system on tour I was able to thoroughly test it out. I knew that it worked great for me and I wanted to really dive into it because I wanted to buy some systems for rentals," says Mills. "I am pleased I took the system on; I'm really happy with it." Mills has a system for himself and then rents additional systems to other designers and projects.
The Follow-Me system is an independent Art-Net based software application that only requires one Apple MAC computer and the software itself. Supporting multiple targeting mice for each operator, it works with an SDI camera that gives the operators a view of the stage and allows users to attach unlimited fixtures, from any manufacturer, in any orientation, to multiple targets from one operating system. AC Lighting Inc. is the distributor for the Follow-Me system in North America.
Mills concludes by noting that if he were speaking to another lighting designer, he would highlight, "it really lets you control the spot cues. You control all of the lights; they can all dim out at the same time and they're all going to change color at the same time. All the follow-spot operators have to do is point and follow the target. I know that is very appealing to a lot of LDs, especially the ones who have to call spots on a continuous basis. Don't get me wrong, there are some cities that have fantastic spot operators that still look at it as an art form; that's great, but it's becoming few and far between in some locations. I have found the Follow-Me system is the solution to having consistency, control, and it is cost-effective."