This year’s D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards–the video game industry’s most prestigious annual honors–were recently staged at The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s 4,000-seat concert showroom in Las Vegas. To properly celebrate an industry of eye-popping, high-tech visuals, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lighting Designer Joshua Schultz manned the controls of an Avolites Sapphire Touch console for the 18th annual event’s lighting control.
Produced by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, this year’s D.I.C.E. Awards gave Schultz the opportunity to call upon his favorite lighting console, the Sapphire Touch. “I always wanted to use Avo here,” said Schultz, who first came through the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino three years ago while working as the lighting designer for Kid Cudi using the Sapphire Touch.
Prior to taking an in-house position at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino last fall, Schultz served as a touring lighting director working with numerous A-list music acts, including R. Kelly and Kid Cudi. Since joining what he calls “the best house in Vegas,” Schultz is now busy with a never-ending lineup of different major acts coming through the venue year-round.
“Any time I can use Avo, I do; it’s my go-to console,” he said, citing the board’s “versatility on the go.” Schultz adds that he’s been using Avolites for 15 years, honing his craft on the company’s TITAN software and Pearl Expert Pro desk with Touch Wing, later seamlessly making the transition to the Sapphire Touch.
Following a show design created by Chris Wu from Hatch IM, Schultz handled the 2015 D.I.C.E. Awards’ lighting programming and operation, as well as stage lighting. In addition to the set’s LEDs, which Schultz says looked like a “melody of ribbons,” The Joint’s house lights were also used for the ceremony.
“It was a content-heavy show,” he pointed out, noting that the production called for each nominee’s trailer in categories such as best direction, best design, best fantasy and more to be played. The video, which was also streamed live on the Internet, ran through the rig’s Mbox and back to the live feed truck.
The Sapphire performed flawlessly during the two days of rehearsals, and the event itself came off without any hiccups or challenges. “It was easy going with absolutely no problems, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Avo,” Schultz noted.