FocusTrack Makes A New Friend - From Madison!
FocusTrack lighting documentation software completes its first show working alongside ETC's Eos
16th November 2007
Young Frankenstein, New York
FocusTrack, the production lighting documentation software already in use on a wide range of high-profile productions around the world, is delighted to announce that it has a new working companion: ETC’s acclaimed, award-winning Eos lighting console.

Though it can be used to manually track shows, one of the principal design goals of FocusTrack was to reduce the amount of manual data lookup and data entry work that lighting people have had to do to find out how their lights are used in their show. Since its launch, it has been able to import and process showfiles created on Strand 500-series consoles. Now it extends that capability to Eos.

The Eos import facility has already been put to use on a major new show, the Broadway production of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Having seen FocusTrack in use on other Broadway shows, including Mary Poppins and Les MisÚrables, the Frankenstein team of John Viesta, Joel Silver and Keri Thibodeau were very keen to use it to document the enormous number of moving light focuses required for Peter Kaczorowski’s detailed lighting design, programmed on an Eos console by Josh Weitzman.

“I had seen a write up for FocusTrack in one of the trade magazines, and thought it was interesting,” recalls the show’s Associate Lighting Designer, John Viesta. “We knew this was going to be a complex show, and we were trying to figure out the best way of documenting everything - ideally without having to spend days with the off-line editor combing through the showfile.”

“At the time of their enquiry, getting FocusTrack to read and process Eos showfiles was on the to-do list,” notes FocusTrack’s creator, Rob Halliday, “but John, Joel and Keri kept asking, and kept asking so nicely, that it seemed silly not to try to get it done for their early November opening. They became the perfect beta-test site - patient, enthusiastic, understanding of problems and delays, and a pleasure to work with.”

For their part, the Young Frankenstein team are very pleased with the new tool at their disposal, which has already proved its worth: two days before opening, the show’s crew had to swap out a moving light and FocusTrack allowed the team to check that the new unit was behaving exactly as its predecessor had.

“FocusTrack’s strength is its ability to quickly distil all of the show information into one place and attach photographs, comments and details to the moving light positions and conventional fixtures,” notes John Viesta. “It’s very helpful to both designers and technicians: the crew can see exactly when a light is used so its focus positions can quickly be updated. And designers can use the same database to help put the show together for a tour. It cuts out the questions of ‘what did that light do?’”

Commenting on FocusTrack’s ability to work with Eos, Anne Valentino, ETC’s Eos Product Line Manager, adds “FocusTrack is a natural extension of the Eos system, providing the sort of detailed data management that design teams need. ETC welcomes new tools that add to the versatility and richness of our products.”

The Eos version of FocusTrack is currently undergoing final tidy-ups based on feedback from the Young Frankenstein team. It will be available shortly after LDI. Anyone interested in seeing what FocusTrack can do in the meantime is invited to download the current demo version, with built in mini-show, from here.