YC3 Lighting Design

by Thomas S. Friedman • in
  • Designer Profile
  • May 2018
• Created: May 14, 2018

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Lighting designer Yamil Charif founded YC3 Lighting Design in 2014 with a mission to provide world-class lighting design that was also earth friendly. “Greening up” our often wasteful and power-hungry industry is an admirable goal, and with technological advances, one might assume it’s a straightforward one. But along with specifying fixtures with LED light sources in place of traditional lamps, Charif works to reduce costs, emissions and waste by streamlining workflow, reducing air miles, opening strategically located offices and establishing clear communication and close collaborations — as well as investing in the right gear.

Yamil Charif, founder of YC3 Lighting Design

At the core of the company is family, with Charif’s brothers Elian, Khalil and their father, Daniel — all established LDs — making up the core of the team. A host of other LDs and programmers also work directly with the company or are long-time collaborators: these include Richard Vicens, Juan Fernandez, Rafael Imitola, Gabriel Carvajal, Christopher Penso, Santiago Sharry, Emmanuel Guerrero and others.

‡‡         Three Locations = Less Travel

YC3’s three key locations — Miami, Puerto Rico and Buenos Aires, Argentina — serve its mainly Latin American market. “We have kit and people with the right skills in all of our offices, which means that together we have people on the ground, strategically placed, minimizing long-haul travel and our carbon footprint,” says Charif. “It’s all about employing a network of programmers and designers at the epicenters of our major markets. What’s important to me is to know and trust the people we are collaborating with. If we’re working closely together from day one, we all feel very involved, communicate better and share the passion, which fuels creativity.

Stunning media content was supplied by YC3

“Clients want you to be in control of the screens, lights and synchronization,” Charif continues. “The key right now in the show lighting business is having one company or one person in charge of that, but also having the right team in the right place to deliver.”

The YC3 ethos has struck a chord. The response from the industry has been positive, and projects are plentiful. In March 2018, YC3 was working on no fewer than three shows with major artists — Puerto Rican rapper Residente, Argentinian singer/songwriter Ricardo Montaner and Miami-based Latin pop ensemble Bacilos.

The FOH view of Ricardo Montaner’s show and the media servers.

‡‡         Preferred Gear Solutions

YC3’s focus on workflow starts with their investment in gear. Charif has chosen consoles and servers that are intuitive and lend themselves to plug-and-play, network-ready operation. A recent addition to the inventory was Avolites’ Ai media servers. YC3 now owns two R8 media servers, two RX8s and another two custom-built servers with Miami licenses. The company has also invested in a number of Ai Miami, Bondi and Anjuna licenses, providing degrees of access to the power of Ai as required.

“Ai and Titan presents a user-friendly and intuitive way to program and control, even initially on a laptop, saving us time and keeping us greener,” says Charif, who purchased their first Ai servers in 2014 when founding YC3. They went straight out on tour with Ricardo Montaner, and two Ai R8s are out on Montaner’s current tour.

Video I-Mag for Ricardo Montaner’s show.

“Avolites has always been very popular in Latin America,” Charif says. “I would say they’re the preferred console in Argentina, Colombia and in Mexico. I think it’s a combination of price, availability and the fact that they are powerful. If there’s a festival, there’s a big possibility that they’re going to be using an Avolites console. The Ai interface is so powerful and intuitive, saving us lots of time and helping us streamline our workflow, keeping us greener. I believe Ai will continue to grow globally as Avolites continues to integrate lighting and video.”

Ricardo Montaner features extensive video production. Photo by Elliot La Mer

Charif says he first used an Avolites console — his father’s Rolacue Pearl 2000 — when he was just 14. “I’m lucky to know Ruben Laine at Group One, and we’ve become close friends,” says Charif. “The support from Avo and Group One is accessible 24/7 on the phone and online. However, there are plenty of users around the globe that master the consoles — including my brother — who are able to help through any problems or hiccups. The three tours I’m running now, either Elian, Richard, Rafael or myself will be there representing us, and I couldn’t be luckier than having them around. To me, having that kind of support from your team and clients is priceless.”

For more information on YC3 Lighting Design, please visit www.yc3lightingdesign.com.

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