Jason Hadjoglou, owner of Ages Events — the preferred entertainment company of the NY Jets, recently sold all his American DJ® Mega Bar fixtures and revamped his setup with wireless Freedom Strip Mini Quad-5 wash lights. Read on to understand why he made the switch and how he feels about his new uplighting system.
Why did you choose to add Freedom Strip Mini Quad-5 fixtures to your setup?
I was already impressed with the original Freedom series. When I heard about the launch of the new Freedom Strip Mini Quad-5 — with its higher output and quad-color (RGBA) LEDs — I knew I needed to revamp my uplighting system with these fixtures ASAP. The new Freedom Quad-5 series really steps up to the plate with 4-in-1 LEDs that provide a rich blend of infinite color combinations, and I have already seen over 18 hours of battery life using a single color. Also, the immediate availability of the Freedom Charge S and Freedom Charge P made my decision even easier.
In regards to being a mobile entertainer, what have you found to be the benefits of having fixtures with battery power and wireless DMX?
This past year, I ran into a situation where I needed additional uplighting for two jobs that were taking place at the same time so I ended up renting Freedom Strip Mini and Freedom Par wash lights from I DJ Now in Babylon, NY. Every weekend after that, I found myself renting the Freedom series to save myself the cost of an extra roadie/technician. I also saved myself at least an hour and a half in setup time — because I didn’t have to run power wires and signal —and an hour cleaning up. I realized the these fixtures saved me a lot of time and money, not to mention the stress factor and cost of taping. The overall look is also cleaner and more versatile — I was sold. I sold all my American DJ® Mega Bar fixtures and waited for the new Freedom Quad-5 series to hit the shelf.
How do you control the fixtures?
With the Freedom Strip Mini Quad-5 wash lights, I now have the ability to send as many units as possible to a job and give my tech the IR remote for simple point-and-shoot control. This is ideal for events where we are just doing uplighting and a huge setup with extensive programming isn’t necessary. During full shows, we use ShowXpress to seamlessly integrate all of our Chauvet fixtures. As a business owner and lighting designer, choosing the right controller for the right job makes my life easier and allows for a more cost effective business operation. Having the ability to be “free” with my lighting gives me the ability to quickly move fixtures on short notice and increase functionality. For example, if I have to light the ceremony area at the last minute, I can grab all the fixtures within minutes and relocate them to the main reception area — this was never even a possibility or thought with wired units.
Instead of showing potential clients photos of uplighting setups, have you ever brought these fixtures along to give a live demonstration?
This is funny by itself. I purchased a few Freedom Par wash lights and keep them in my office for two reasons: to create the client’s color scheme right before their eyes and to hand them the fixture and show there are no wires, tape or mess. This is important because most clients don’t want messy wires in the background of their photos. I’m sure photographers are more focused on capturing the moment instead of analyzing little things that might end up in the background, so I am sure they do their fair share of editing due to wired fixtures. It’s like the old saying goes, “until you have had better, you would never know.”