ADG Perspective

July-August 2021

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I N T H E H E I G H T S | P E R S P E C T I V E 8 9 I When the Sun Goes Down Jon's concept for "When the Sun Goes Down" was an amazing idea that needed testing to see if the execution of the visuals would feel emotionally integrated into the number. The sequence starts on Nina's fi re escape overlooking the GWB, then the couple eventually dances up the side of Nina's apartment building, as they experience love defying gravity. Though the concept is in some ways a throwback to the Hollywood classic Royal Wedding, its execution would be completely diff erent. Instead of dancing inside a rotating rectangular space, with a rotating camera, the challenge was creating weightlessness on the outside of a building, and provide ultimate fl exibility for the camera, lighting and choreography. I scoured the streets for pre-war buildings with interesting elements, and double-wide sash window confi gurations for the "dance fl oor." Elements from four Washington Heights buildings led to the development of the set—reconfi gured and re-proportioned to fi t choreographic needs. As the design developed, full-scale printouts of windows and details were taken to dance rehearsals for notes on every dimension. An approximately 55-foot x 55-foot dancing wall set was built 4-feet above and parallel to the stage fl oor to allow for rigging below. A two- story 26-foot x 26-foot section of the building incorporating four double hung windows, and two fi re escape baskets and ladders was built to connect to a hydraulic rig fabricated by special eff ects coordinator Jeff Brink. That programmable section could move from vertical to horizontal in fi ve seconds, operate at variable speed, and could stop at any point, allowing for ultimate fl exibility. That wall section was then programmed to coordinate with the Technocrane, moving light rigs and choreography. G. DANCE WALL ELEVATION STUDY. H. DANCE WALL ELEVATION PROCESS DRAWING. I. DANCE WALL HYDRAULIC SECTION ON STAGE. SET PHOTO. G H

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