Scott Sainz is a Theatre major, specializing in Design and Production, who will graduate in December, 2019.
Title of your research project: Alternative Theatrical Lighting Control System
Describe your project: I am researching a lighting control system called GrandMA2. The GrandMA2 is mostly used to program lights for concerts and other live performances, rather than Theatre.
Who is your mentor(s) for your project?
My mentor for my project is Mr. Adam Mendelson, Lecturer in Lighting and Sound Design, Theatre. I have had classes with my mentor previously. I chose him, because he understands the technical aspects of lighting systems. He is also hands-on with his students and takes interest in their development and projects. I knew he would be committed to my project, inspire me, push me to work harder, and be able to give quality feedback on my progress.
How did you become interested in this project?
My interest for lighting has existed my entire life. In 5th grade I wrote to myself that "I want to do light shows for a living". I have been in pursuit of my childhood dream since. Once I found out about the GrandMA2 system, I knew I had to learn it to advance my dreams to the next stage.
What has been the hardest part about your research/what was the most unexpected thing about being a researcher?
I have had a lot trouble estimating how long things will take. By its nature research is doing something you have never done before. I would plan for something to take 2 hours, for example, but in reality, it would take 6. This would be difficult when I would try to plan my schedule. As a researcher, I did not expect the overwhelming support I would receive. Many times, I received support from people and companies, only through sharing that I am researcher. The best example was I shared with an usher at a Cirque Du Soleil that I am doing research on lighting and she moved my seat from the last row in the building, to the closest section.
What has been the most rewarding part?
My research took me to different places, one being a lighting conference in Las Vegas. At this conference I was able to sit in on presentations of professionals in the industry who are doing extremely innovative things. This sparked my inspiration and made me want to explore the boundaries of existing technology, and imagine what/ who will be the things/ones to break those boundaries. I also was able to see shows that feature the highest level of lighting design. These sparked my interest and were extremely rewarding to spectate.
How will you disseminate your research (URCAD presentation, conference, publication, etc?)
I will be sharing my research on February 15th. I am hosting a public light show, as well as programming lights for a live band. This exercises two different strengths this system has over others. The console has the ability to easily program to music in "timecode" while also being able to be used for live playback with a band "busking". After the show I am hosting a master class about my research and the GrandMA2 for other interested students, or members of the public.
What is your advice to other students about getting involved in research?
The best advice I could give to interested students is to just start. I will process information in my head for a long time, but it wasn't until I started to ask questions and find people who share my interests that my research began to take off. Everyone's research will be different in many ways, and in my case I had many challenges. Every obstacle has the potential to be another triumph, but you will never know unless you start. I found that setting deadlines would require me to get started on things promptly. I broke my research into many incremental deadlines, the times I stuck to the deadlines I was successful; the times I wasn't my research was less fruitful.
What are your career goals?
I plan to take the information I received from my research and apply it to my career. I now have a level of proficiency in a lighting system that is incredibly popular, but specialized. The skills I received from my research are in high demand and I have many different ways that I can use those skills in my future work.
** Come see Scott's light show on Friday, February 15th, 2019 Proscenium Theater in PAHB - Please no food/ drink in the Theater Doors will open at 6:50pm Light show will start promptly at 7:00pm with doors closing Fayo and The Rollup Collective will perform following the programmed light show.
All are welcome and invited to stay after; He will be hosting a master class about his research on the GrandMA2 lighting system concluding at 9:00pm. Tickets are not needed, and seating will be given on a first come first serve basis.
Here is the link to the public Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/396070837863911/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22dashboard%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22calendar_tab_event%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22dashboard_filter%5C%22%3A%5C%22upcoming%5C%22%7D%22%7D]%2C%22ref%22%3A2%2C%22source%22%3A2%7D