By: Allan Reiss, product manager for CHAUVET
Ahh, the custom gobo. It’s probably the easiest upsell item for a DJ or mobile performer to employ when booking an event—especially a wedding. A bride and groom’s initials, the year of a graduating class or a corporate logo—the possibilities are nearly endless. Custom gobos are relatively inexpensive to make, easy to work with and some can be used over and over again (say that ‘Class of 2011′ gobo) which maximizes the revenue you can make on a single investment.
Gobos (which stands for goes before optics) are patterns, images, words, etc., that are projected onto a wall or other surface from a projector or light fixture—or between the light and the surface. Gobos are often included in gobo projectors and moving heads or you can have a custom gobo created. There are several online companies that create custom gobos or you can make your own using transparency film. The type of fixture you use, a moving head or a gobo projector, will determine which type of gobo to make and both types of fixtures can accommodate easy gobo changes. Once you purchase the custom gobo, you can sell it to your customer for more than what you paid, plus the use of the fixture, for an event.
Gobo projectors, and some moving heads, come with a selection of pre-designed gobos. Some of these are patterns and some are commonly used phrases like ‘Congratulations’. Consider using these existing gobos along with your custom gobos in your customization package. Your customer will not know that the fixture already came with one of the gobos and you can save on the expense of creating one.
For those of you who have never used a custom gobo, there are many ways it can be used throughout a single event. During a wedding, project a gobo of the couple’s initials on the dance floor as the guests enter the reception hall. Once people begin to dance, move the gobo projection to the wall behind the bride and groom’s table or when it’s time for the couple to cut the cake, position the gobo above the cake table. This way, the custom gobo design can be seen in all the photographs and video taken during the event. And if you can get a photo or two as well, you can show future couples how fantastic this custom look will make their special day.
You can also use a patterned gobo, say an array of stars, and project it onto the ceiling and adjacent wall. Then take some wash lights and uplight the wall in blue. These two elements combined produce a night sky effect you can use for almost any dance, prom or corporate party.
Also, consider using an LED-based gobo projector in your rig. It will have no duty cycle, unlike older lamp-based models, and can run during the entire event. (Or better yet, check out a projector that has a zoom feature for even more gobo projection use!) When your customer is paying for a four-hour event, they will see their customization the entire time instead of just half of it because of cool-down time.
Next time you’re looking for ways to improve your customer’s experience, think about custom gobos. It’s an easy way to add a personalized touch to any event.
Watch this video: How to make a custom gobo
Filed Under: Lighting
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