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Robe shines a light on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

The series used 12 x Robe SuperSpikie moving lights as part of its lighting rig

The third season of Disney Plus’ High School Musical: The Musical: The Series opted to use 12 x Robe SuperSpikie moving lights as part of its lighting rig.

The moving lights were chosen by director of photography Hisham Abed to help provide flexible and efficient solutions for lighting ‘permanent’ sets in the studio as well as assorted locations in and around Los Angeles. 

“The lights needed to be quick and easy to set up and programme to help us keep pace with the hectic rehearsal and shoot schedule,” said Abed.

The production rented 12 units for the duration of the shooting period, which covered eight episodes. 

The fixtures were used for various studio sets, including the theatre / barn, and were part of approximately 80 fixtures in total utilised for each set.

Image courtesy Hishem Abed

The challenge for Abed was dealing with creating the diversity of looks needed whilst simultaneously prepping and rigging the next shots. Being a musical production as well as a TV show, actors and singers were constantly rehearsing, recording tracks and filming. 

“Luckily all of us on this production were adrenaline junkies who thrive when constantly working and finding answers to new daily and hourly challenges,” he explained.

“These SuperSpikies were another weapon in the arsenal and were perfect for all our needs.”

The theatre was the main set on which the SuperSpikies were used, which was right at the heart of the musical summer camp. The production also included a myriad of backstage shots and scenes in addition to the onstage performances which averaged two full production musical numbers per episode, so the lights were very often in shot for the final cut and had to look good onscreen.

“They were an invaluable visual resource that helped us keep the action going, perfect for boosting lighting quickly in a specific or a general area and hugely better and more practical than having someone climb up and down a ladder!” said Abed. “A fixture able to switch between classic light characteristics and more contemporary theatrical effects is a massive asset.”