G!theimagineers Create Comedy Narrative for Maxime Gasteuil with ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M

Sometimes traveling 587 kilometers can be like entering a new world. Popular French comedian Maxime Gasteuil is familiar with this feeling, having journeyed from by train from his smallvillage of Saint-Émilion in the south of France to seek the bright lights of Paris.

Gasteuil recounts this transition in a way that all thirty-somethings migrating to the French capital can relate to in “Arrive en Ville,” a show playing to sold out houses, and now the subject of an Amazon Prime program.


Witty, wry and insightful, the show is really more of a comedic narrative than a standup routine, as it contrasts Gasteuil’s life in his hometown, with its historic Romanesque churches and famous vineyards, to the fast pace of 21st century Paris, teeming with traffic, Starbucks coffee shops, nightclubs, and “rabbit cage apartments.”


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Helping this entertaining narrative unfold is a richly textured theatrically flavored lighting design by the G!theimagineers team of Vincent Rautureau and Andreas Monschauer that was powered by a ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M console.

Involving close to 300 fixtures and 50 universes when it debuted at Casino de Paris for nine sold out shows, which were recorded for the Amazon Prime, Arrive en Ville reflects the various situations, humorous and thought provoking, that Gasteuil finds himself in on his cultural odyssey. Monschauer, who ran the show on his ChamSys console, said that:


We started working on this show in July of last year and began preprogramming it in September for the January premiere in Paris. This was quite different from a typical concert, in the sense that it was more intimate and had to tell a narrative. Throughout the process we did a lot of 3D drawings to show to Maxime and his team.


A ChamSys user since 2010, Monschauer credits his MagicQ MQ 500 with making the complex show more manageable. “The Audio Timeline feature was extremely helpful", he said. “I sent audio from the console and timeline and programming in a timecode was extraordinarily fast".

“Using our rig, we had to create multiple atmospheres with light by doing things like using beams to simulate windows in Paris apartments and pixel mapping FX to create the feeling of Maxime being on a train”, continued Monschauer. “And of course, the Pixel Mapper feature was a big help in allowing me to make different looks in no time!”


Color played a big role in Rautureau and Monschauer’s design concept. They used warm colors to reflect the friendly, supportive environment that surrounded Gasteuil in his village, and cold colors to evoke the different kind of mood when he encountered among the “arrogant” Parisians.


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Arranging their fixtures in four rows that spanned almost the entire width of the stage, the two designers created a compelling sense of architecture. This not only served them well when creating urban looks for the Paris segments of the show, it also translated well for the Amazon Prime crew’s cameras. Throughout the production, they accentuated the different moods of the set with smoothly executed changes in lighting. Monschauer continued saying that:


As long time ChamSys user, I never really thought about Motorised Faders, but the MQ500M is really a timesaver in this regard. The ability to change banks from Playbacks to Masters with one button press is impressive. 


In addition to crediting powerful console, Monschauer praises the staff that worked with the lighting design team on this show, noting that the producers, Magali Faure and Benjamin Demay; director/writer Edouard Pluxieux, production manager Matthieu Tortosa, and technical manager David Morcet among others were instrumental in supporting their efforts.

“This was an ambitious project that told many different stories, so it required a bold lighting design”, said Monschauer. “Thankfully the producers and directors gave us the freedom and support we needed”.


That support was well founded. Like a youngster from the country journeying to Paris for the first time, these designers had a big vision – and thanks to their talent, inspiration and hard work, along with some help from a powerful console, they made it all come true.

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