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‘De Battle’ supported by Painting with Light
Painting with Light (PWL), working for television producers Dedsit, supplied lighting and video content design, creation and control for ‘De Battle’ - a co-production between Belgium’s SBS and Netherlands broadcaster RTL - which was recorded at the Pop Up Theatre in Puurs.
Studio 100’s Pop Up Theatre was chosen as one of the largest and most flexible studio/performance spaces in the country which comes complete with production facilities including eight moving seating tribunes to fit 1600 people and eight remote-controlled LED screens which can be moved into any position and configuration. These large moving assets enabled the production team to build the multiple locations needed within the venue to stage the different challenges.
PWL’s creative director Luc Peumans designed lighting for each different scenario, utilising the substantial ‘house’ lighting rig in the Pop Up Theatre (also home of the 40-45 musical spectacular) as a base, and adding around 140 moving lights.
Series director Kevin Houben initially produced a mood board for each act/challenge and location. The series logo, which was prominent in the video artwork, was originated and styled by the creative team at SBS. Luc Peumans took these two elements as his starting points and started the lighting process and briefed the video content creators accordingly.
PWL pre-visualised all the lighting and video content and did this in relation to the different camera and audience positions. The screen shots from WYSIWYG were shared with the whole production team so tweaks could be discussed and implemented at this stage.
The additional lighting fixtures were 125 x Icon Stage hybrid beam/spot/wash luminaires from PRG Belgium who also supply the venue house rig, plus 96 x GLP Impression X4s and XL LED washes. The vast majority of these were deployed on the floor, on the screen wagons, on the bleacher seating, etc., only 24 extra lights were hung in the grid.
Peumans utilised six PRG Best Boys as follow spots, operated remotely via a ground control system. A GrandMA full size console was used for lighting control - running with fully redundant backup - and a third mobile console which was used to position fixtures in other areas whilst programming continued for the current area. Programming was co-ordinated by PWL regular Niels Huybrechts. The positional pre-programming was done by Céline Cuypers.
Co-ordinating visuals and running PWL’s 10 x D3 video servers on site was Tommie Kidjemet, with all the advance video programming undertaken by PWL’s Katleen Selleslagh. PWL commissioned Bart Tauwenberg from New Solid to produce the video content under Luc Peumans’ direction.
Over the course of the two-week shoot period, all the venue’s remote moving LED video screens were used. These each measure 7 metres high and 4.5 metres wide and each has its own onboard D3 server (which are networked). Different quantities of screens were used in different formats for each of the show challenges.
Tommie Kidjemet used the Christie Pandora’s Box Widget Designer in combination with the D3 to insert live video effects at certain points in specific scenes. As well as playback video related to the challenges/tasks, inserts of the contestants training for some of these were shown at specific times, synched to audio, and some of the lighting cues - related to win/lose moments - were executed by the GrandMA MIDI triggered from content on the D3s.
(Photos: Louise Stickland)
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