Tuesday, 14th December 2021 10:00
Blue Parrot takes the UK’s first delivery of Ayrton Perseo Beam
Edinburgh-based production services and dry hire company, Blue Parrot, has become the first company in the UK to take stock of one of Ayrton’s latest products, Perseo Beam, having purchased 10 of the brand new fixtures from Ambersphere Solutions, Ayrton’s exclusive distributor in the UK.
Released in July, Perseo Beam is the first compact, waterproof multi-function beam effect LED luminaire and the latest in Ayrton’s family of IP65 rated fixtures. Well-suited for use indoors as well as outdoors, the fixture is equipped with an ultra-intensive 2° beam and 21x zoom ratio, making it an extraordinary tool that will help achieve some incredible effects.
“We are extremely excited to add Perseo Beam to our line up alongside our pre-existing stock of Ayrton Perseo Profile,” says Blue Parrot managing director, Rebecca Clough, who explained that the reasons for selecting Perseo Beam were the same as for their first investment in 2019. “They were everything we were looking for: LED-sourced, IP65-rated and compact enough to use indoors as well as out. They have SO many gobos we haven’t had the chance to use them all yet, but its most impressive feature is the intensity of the 2° beam – outstanding from an LED source – and the zoom that allows you to change from a beam to a profile. It has a flexibility unmatched by anything else.
“I’d been contemplating beam fixtures when I saw Ayrton was bringing out the Perseo Beam. I contacted Ian Green at Ambersphere to ask to see them as soon as they were available. We have trust in the Ayrton brand from having good experience with the Perseo Profile units, so I only had to look at them for a matter of minutes before I decided we would buy them!”
Blue Parrot’s Perseo Beams were immediately put to use on a Halloween event at Lochore in Fife, where they illuminated the Horr’Ore night walk.
Based on popular horror movies, this 20-minute themed walk through the forest saw brave souls separated into small groups with timed starts to increase their sense of isolation. The walkways between action sites were deliberately kept very dark and populated by live performers whose purpose was to frighten the passers-by.
Blue Parrot was tasked to light the route in such a way that it was safe enough to walk through the trees in the dark, but using as little light as possible until each group triggered lightshows as they moved into the live action areas.
Perseo Beam fitted into this scenario very well: “We took advantage of that tremendous beam by siting three Perseo Beams at the walk entrance where they shot their beams into the sky,” says Clough. “People reported being able to see them from the Firth of Forth bridge, some 12-13 miles distance. But Perseo Beam is more of a hybrid fixture and capable of much more. It was great to be able to switch between beam and profile functions and even use it as a wash in places too.”
For one installation - a tunnel with very loud, pulsating music and disorientating lighting - Clough used them as a combination of a standard spot with gobos to texture the light and add to the confusion before the walkers were jumped by an actor. “We used more Perseo Beams for a backlight wash at another site, triggered by the approach of the group to create a massive burst of dramatic red light. With most lights you lose much of the intensity when you add red, but the red in the Perseo Beam is really punchy and provided some great red beams as backlight for the man with the chainsaw!
“None of us at Blue Parrot really like horror movies - our production manager, Rhys Turner, had a very nervous time doing the preshow walk around! However, one of the most satisfying part of the event was standing in the forest on the trail and hearing people screaming their heads off all around you! We knew then we made something that worked!”
Perseo Beam’s IP65 rating was also put to extreme test for the event: “We had horrendous weather with the first night cancelled due to torrential rain but we had no concerns about the Perseo Beams. The units were getting pounded with water but I had full faith from our experience with Perseo Profile that they would be absolutely fine – which they were. They were filthy and very muddy when they returned to the warehouse but we just hosed them down and they were ready to go again!”
“We are delighted that Blue Parrot was so impressed with its original Perseo Profile fixtures that they decided to invest in Perseo Beam,” says Amberphere Solution’s Ian Green. “It’s fair to say the weather here in Scotland can be a little challenging at times, even in the summer! The Blue Parrot team works on a wide variety of creative events and I can see these new Ayrton fixtures are destined for an interesting and demanding life – which is exactly what they were designed for.”