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Junior ESC mit TurboRays von High End Systems
Bei der 17. Ausgabe des Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) im vergangenen Jahr kamen TurboRay-Scheinwerfer von High End Systems zum Einsatz. Der in der Arena von Gliwice, Polen, ausgetragene Musik-Wettbewerb mit neunzehn Teilnehmern im Alter zwischen neun und vierzehn Jahren wurde live im Fernsehen übertragen.
Die von Giorgos Stylianou-Matsis entworfene Bühne bot ein Design mit einem an einen schwebenden Kinderdrachen erinnernden LED-Bandelement. Insgesamt 26 TurboRays sorgten für die Lichteffekte auf der Bühne.
„Ich wollte einen Scheinwerfer, der das Dekor auf der Bühne akzentuiert“, erklärt Lichtchef Adam Tyska von TVP SA. „Für diese spezielle Produktion mit noch eher kleinen Künstlerinnen und Künstlern musste man andere Kameraeinstellungen wählen. Die TurboRay-Scheinwerfer passten in diesen Rahmen.“ Die 26 TurboRays wurden von Heli Showequipment aus Bodenheim für den JESC geliefert.
Innovative Show Design’s Elation rig at College Football Awards on ESPN
On December 12, college football’s most talented student-athletes were recognized at the 2019 Home Depot College Football Awards presented live on ESPN from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
Justin Garrone and production design firm Innovative Show Design (ISD) have been involved in the show since 2012 and again produced visuals for the 2019 edition, employing a setup that featured 90% Elation Professional products, comprising 58 x Rayzor 760, 23 x Satura Profile, 44 x Platinum Beam 5R Extreme, 24 x Design Wash LED 60, 16 x ACL 360i, 44 x SixPar 100, 7 x CuePix Panel, 3 x Colour Chorus 72, and 261 x EVLED 1024 SMD 20 mm LED panels.
This was Innovative Show Design’s 8th year doing the College Football Awards and 5th year since it moved to the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. ISD served as a one-stop-shop for ESPN for the production, handling every aspect of the show from the first truck’s arrival to the last truck’s departure.
ISD created and managed all lighting, scenic and graphics, handled complete fabrication and installation of the set and was also responsible for all logistics involved with the production inclusive of project management.
Asked by ESPN to update the design and modernize it scenically, as well as help with the reverse shots into the audience, ISD changed the sets configuration, and added 36 linear light boxes to accommodate the request. Lighting supply for the event was by CYM Lighting Services of Thousand Palms, CA, a company that ISD has worked with for years.
The Awards show took place in a long yet narrow windowed room in the Hall of Fame, a turfed area scaled to nearly the size of half a football field and used by visitors to throw and kick footballs. “The most important task for the rig was to be functional and flexible for multi-point/multi source TV light,” says Garrone.
Lining the tunnel entrance and main staircase of the stage, the Rayzor 760s projected a team color with a sparkle effect rotating around the fixtures. Garrone also created custom pixel chases for the team wins.
Used for main key lights both front and back, audience specials, as well as main key lights for talent standups were Elation Satura Profile LED movers while Platinum Beam 5R Extreme moving heads provided beam lights for air effects and team win ballyhoos.
Elation’s ACL 360i single beam effect lights were incorporated as background lights with SixPar 100 LED Par lights used for architectural lighting highlights. CuePix Panels were used to cap the end of trusses that were in camera shots. A 60’ wide x 19.7’ tall LED wall covering the room’s glass windows was made up of 261 Elation EVLED 1024 SMD 20 mm LED panels.
Justin Garrone worked with lighting programmer Andrew Giffin, lighting/rigging TD Kevin Swank, red carpet lighting director John Lotz, artistic director Chris Runnells (ISD), creative director Nate Mitchell (ISD), and lead fabricator/scenic installer David Barber (ISD). The electricians were Ignacio Sanchez, Tony Mora, Mikey Pacilio, Max Vigil, Anthony Miller, David Ruiz, and Leo Garcia, with Chris Wagner and Greg Hays being the master electricians.
Garrone would also like to take the opportunity to bring attention to Kevin and Colleen Swank of CYM Lighting who are dedicated to the AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) charity event, whose aim is to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.
“From May 31st through June 6th, they both will be riding their bikes with their Desert Roadrunners team 545 miles on a life-changing ride, not race, from San Francisco to Los Angeles to support and raise awareness to end the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and honor those who have passed from AIDS-related causes,” he says. Information can be found at www.aidslifecycle.org.
Robe sponsors Signal Festival of Digital Arts
Robe was a sponsor of the 2019 Signal Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, a multi-platform event celebrating the fusion of digital arts and technology. A series of lighting and video installations turned a series of sites, areas and buildings across the Czech Republic’s capital into temporary gallery spaces for four days - created with multiple lightsources, video mapping, large format laser projections, moving light performances, etc.
London-based visual artist and creative technologist Memo Akten utilised 32 x Robe MegaPointes to create an installation called ‘Simple Harmonic Motion for Lights at the Czech Museum of Music’, a fluid and reflective work in the main hall of the Czech Museum of Music in Prague’s Mala Strana. The building, formerly the Baroque church of St. Mary Magdalene, was built in the 17th century.
While the MegaPointes were at the heart of the artwork, the airy interior was low-lit with 8 x Robe Divine 160 RGBW LED wash lights and 14 x RobeStrobes. The cathedral-like environs provided the setting for Akten’s large-scale project which was specially commissioned for this festival. It was the first time he’s combined the mediums of video projection and lighting together in an installation.
Akten needed a high-ceilinged building with the right spatial dimensions in which to stage the piece. As it is also essentially a musical work - the soundscape is created by an algorithm based on computational maths - he thought it an appropriate location. He has developed the custom software used to generate the soundscape and control/trigger the lighting and the projected video content from open source code.
Memo Akten’s ‘Simple Harmonic Motion…’ (SHM) is a series of site-specific installations that started in 2011 with a combined audio/video installation including live performance by 16 drummers. This Signal Festival presentation was the eighth version of a constantly evolving idea.
The MegaPointes were rigged on a central truss supported by a 4-legged ground support, 11 metres high and 18 metres long. While most of the lighting looks were in variations of white, a few blips into other colours were effective, so having a unit with CMY colour mixing helped these transitions.
Prompted by the algorithm, the light beams swung around the hall like giant pendulums, all slightly out of sync and running at different speeds and trajectories - but every five minutes the algorithmic timing was tuned to sync all 32 MegaPointes, bringing them into unison for a split-second.
At that point, the RobeStrobes and Divine 160s grazing up the walls momentarily emitted a strobe-like flash highlighting the whole interior. The first visual element seen by the audience on walk-in was the liquid fractal geometry and patterns made by the video projection onto a screen in an elevated altar-like position on the wall opposite.
Robe also supplied six BMFLs, Divine 160s and haze and fog machines to another Signal 2019 project - an AV performance piece involving organ and synthesised music, ‘Signal Soundscape: Inner Land Study 1’ by Czech artists Tereza Bartunkova, Stepan Hejzlar, Oliver Torr and Ondrej Merta, staged at the Kostel U Salvátora in the Old Town.
(Photos: Tomas Slavik/Dusan Vondra/Jan Hromadko/Jiri Sebek)
Painting with Light supports Wintergloed event in Bruges
Painting with Light (PWL) created a 2-kilometre walk-through lighting and visual ‘experience’ in the centre of Belgian city Bruges - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - to add atmosphere and luminosity for the festive ‘Wintergloed’ (Winter Glow) season.
Commissioned by Bruges Plus, the organisation responsible for the town’s cultural events, PWL’s winning pitch was led by Peter van den Bosch (business unit manager for leisure and entertainment) and lighting expert Iiris Rousku who designed the various lighting artworks with their team.
It comprised a series of different lighting and projection-mapped installations, located in six different areas. Different approaches were taken for each work - some could be observed, some could be touched and interacted with and others were fully immersive.
This, the first edition of Wintergloed included the lighting of pathways, waterways, streets, buildings and monuments, trees and foliage, bridges and numerous other spaces and objects along the route, plus a special custom construction - The Cathedral - built in the Station Square, which was lit and projection-mapped.
One goal of the overall scheme was enabling visitors to view each piece of art from different angles. Part of the brief involved encouraging people to walk via Minnewater (Lake of Love) into the city rather than along the street directly from the station.
Projection mapping was involved in two of the installations, the Station Square and the 19 metre high Poertoren Tower. An enormous moon was projected onto the tower using a Panasonic RZ projector linked to a Christie Coolux media server. This projection showcased the cycle of the moon over a 12-minute timeframe.
The Station Square installation was very prominent. The Cathedral is built from a combined wooden/tented structure comprising four arched ends which are 10 metres square and 11 metres high. PWL chose the structure for its aesthetics and as a practical solution to house the video projection system. The team designed the custom print on the outer skins.
The full ceiling expanse and all the walls above 4 metres were filled with projections from five Panasonic PT-RQ32 machines rigged inside the structure, crossing over to project on the opposite walls, with the fifth one beaming up into the vaulted roof.
Video content was stored on one of PWL’s Disguise D3 4x4 media servers and included drawings and artwork collected from local schoolchildren based on the topic of ‘magical winter animals’. These were coordinated by PWL and Bruges Plus who liaised with local schools. Over 294 kids participated and could see their drawings “fall” from the sky inside the Cathedral ceiling, and selected images were highlighted each day.
In the evening, content transformed into a ‘dynamic galaxy’ created by the motion captured movement of people walking inside and outside the tent caught by a motion Kinekt sensor positioned on top of the tent. This galaxy was displayed each day between 7 p.m. and midnight - when the installations were powered off for the night. The projection elements were installed by Vidi-Square and this part of the Wintergloed 2019 was sponsored by Panasonic.
The cathedral was lit using Chauvet Colordash Batten-Quad 12 LED battens positioned all around in a curtain of light effect. Robe iPointes were rigged outside the structure to accentuate its central position and draw visitors from other points around the city.
A major part of the initial Wintergloed concept was to involve local artists and talent in dynamic and engaging ways. PWL and Bruges Plus also invited selected local street artists to express their creativity using the Cathedral as a canvas - but instead of painting with aerosol cans they were doing it with light and via VR.
The artists painted in the VR environment (The Cathedral) wearing the goggles and their artwork was projected on the ceiling and walls in real-time so the audience could see the process. PWL created special ‘light’ brushes with different colours and textures the artists could use in the VR world, and as the results were being projected (which is a light source) it was literally painting with light.
“The Bridge” was a light art installation created using 400 x SGM LT-200 3D LED pixel tubes each measuring 2 metres. These IP65 rated products were rigged in a specially fabricated roof structure rig supported by a double right-angled goalpost trussing structure stood in a pond in Bruges’ King Albert I park.
Patterns flowing through the tubes were activated by video content fed from a Christie Coolux media server and could be triggered by passers-by putting their hands inside a podium fitted with a sensor. Colours and patterns could be shifted by their hand movements.
“The Gate” was inspired by gates in the city and along the Wintergloed route. This piece featured ten partial gates made from custom-made LED pixel profiles arranged to play with perspective and create a tunnel effect along the narrow lane in which they were located. PWL commissioned Belgian company Epix to fabricate the custom gates clad in LED pixels which were controlled via three networked Invent Design Digidot C4 Extended pixel controllers.
There were many other eye-catching works in this extravaganza of light including “The Source”, a geometric work comprising 30 x LED strings each with 150 pixels spanning an 18 x 23 metre gap across the Minnewater lake between the city’s ice-skating rink and winter terrace.
Iiris Rousku and Peter van den Bosch were joined for two weeks on site by Ashwin Coelho, Katleen Selleslagh, Arthur Claesen, Jos Claesen, Martijn Smolders and Dorian Stevens from PWL. The technical production manager was Sam Van Maele from EVM who came onboard as soon as the scheme was green-lighted by the City. They worked alongside crew from several different rental companies involved in supplying and installing the equipment including Panasonic, John & Jane, EVM, 71 Rentals, Epix Invent Design and Screenit.
(Photos: Kris Van De Sande)
Barco projectors and Modulo Pi media servers create New Year’s Eve show in Paris
On December 31, 2019, more than 400.000 people gathered on the Champs-Elysées avenue in Paris to celebrate New Year’s Eve. For the 6th year in a row, this avenue shone brightly for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
After winning the tender launched by the city of Paris, Cookies Production produced a sound and light show using fifteen of Barco’s video-projectors and four Modulo Player media servers by Modulo Pi. The show - projected on the Arc de Triomphe - included music, video mapping, and pyrotechnics.
Cookies Production worked with Magnum for the technical production, and the creative studios Holymage and Spectre Lab for the artistic direction and production.
In terms of technical set-up, fifteen Barco UDX video-projectors were used for the show. “We reached about 470.000 lumens, and more than 300 lux per square meter. This was a first for the Arc de Triomphe,” comments Christophe Gillier, CEO of Cookies Production.
The video-projectors were fed by four Modulo Player Pro media servers which were used for video mapping and show playback. The Modulo Player Pros were equipped to receive timecode: “Modulo Player’s capability to work with timecode is essential in a show that must strictly follow the countdown. It also ensures the synchronization of the video, light, firework, and laser effects,” states Baptiste Jazé, media server operator on the show.
In addition, Modulo Player’s LED mapping function allowed to convert video content into DMX. This way, the creative studios could work on the lights located underneath the Arc de Triomphe’s vault at the same time as video effects, ensuring video and light were synced.
The show - including the countdown to 2020, marked by a firework with 2.700 shots - was filmed by six cameras and displayed live on four giant screens placed along the Champs Elysées avenue.
(Photos: Serge Decoster/Barco/Modulo Pi)
Ayrton Perseo supports Castle of Light in Edinburgh
Through November and December 2019, the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, was treated to the inaugural Castle of Light, a celebratory visualisation of Edinburgh’s history portrayed by a combination of mapping, projection, lighting and audio. As part of the lighting design, nine of Ayrton’s Perseo-S fixtures were used, in particular during the finale of the promenade performance.
NL Productions (NLP) were part of a consortium that created the Castle of Light and Phil O’Halloran, MD of NLP and Technical Production Manager for the event, explains why the Perseo-S was the fixture of choice: “The Castle of Light show was a huge event for the city; the historical narrative was told through extensive mapping and video effects, culminating in the finale piece in the Castle’s Crown Square where we mapped the entire front façade of the Royal Palace.
“Five Perseo-S units were to be rigged on the Palace roof with two more on the left and right PA towers at ground level. We had a very limited amount of power available in such an inaccessible location so the LED engine was a must.”
Together with the other members of the production consortium - War Productions, Double Take Projections and Andy McGregor Design - and with support from Ambersphere Solutions and Impact Production Services (IPS), NLP went through a shoot-out process to judge which luminaire would be best suited to this application and Perseo-S came out on top.
(Photos: Adam Robertson)
Lightswitch, 4Wall and Elation team up at LA Auto Show
Design group Lightswitch first turned to Elation Professional’s Fuze Wash 575 LED white light luminaire in 2017 and again utilized the auto show-optimized moving head to light three auto manufacturer booths at the 2019 edition of the LA Auto Show.
“The Fuze Wash 575 is one of a very small number of automated LED fixtures that we use extensively in the auto show market,” states Chris Medvitz, Partner and Principal at Lightswitch.
Held November 22-December 1 at the LA Convention Center, Lightswitch used the Fuze Wash 575 on the Subaru, Nissan and Infiniti booths. Medvitz designed the booth lighting working with booth designers George P. Johnson on the Nissan and Infiniti booths, and designers EWI Worldwide/Hansen Productions on the Subaru booth.
Some 775 Elation Fuze Wash 575 and 75 Elation Artiste Picasso fixtures were used on the show, supplied by 4Wall Entertainment. Other booths lit using the Fuze Wash 575 include Honda, Volkswagen and Acura with the latter also utilizing the Artiste Picasso.
Some 96 of the Fuze Wash 575 units were used on the Subaru booth for launch of the new 2020 Subaru Outback, an immersive National Park-themed environment that Lightswitch helped design.
Robe illuminates Transmission Prague
In 2019, dance music fans returned to the O2 Arena in Prague for the ‘Transmission’ trance party. Lighting designer Bas Kemper’s spec featured over 100 Robe moving lights, with 72 x MegaPointes, 19 x BMFL Blades and 48 x LEDBeam 150s incorporated into the rig.
Kemper works closely with a diverse team - including Ondrej Bylok and visual artists Vision Impossible who develop the show narrative and create all the screen content - to bring the production alive, uniting all the technical disciplines of lighting, lasers, video and staging.
This show’s concept featured a semi-circular stage design - which Kemper had conceived earlier in the year - and a storyboard based around the universe, space travel and exploration - a theme that emanated from the physical stage design.
Lighting, LED screens and lasers for the show were delivered by Slovakian rental company Ministry Rental Service, owned and managed by Rudo Tucek. The event was production managed by United Music’s Anco van der Kolk - also Transmission’s founder - and production manager Cyril Horanek.
Five prominent portrait-orientated LED screens followed the convex arc of the stage that gave Bas Kemper the starting points for his lighting layout. The main goal, in addition to creating the most trancey atmosphere, was to ensure that everyone around the 270-degree viewing angle created by the stage had a good view, and could see and experience the effects from all around the O2.
Seventy-two of the MegaPointes were rigged in between the screens in 12 vertical rows of six.The 48 x LEDBeam 150s were all rigged in four long trusses that traversed the sides of the stage. They were arranged in square-shaped arrays of four.
As well as lighting the stage and the audience, for this event Bas Kemper specifically had lights rigged on top of the four long house trusses which could be pointed to the roof and work in the ceiling void.
In addition to all the Robes, Kemper utilised around 400 other lighting fixtures - some more moving lights, strobes, blinders, LED floods and some active Sunstrips together with shed loads of MDG haze.
The fixtures were operated by Kemper’s regular FOH lighting team of Zis Ankone and Martijn Deenen. Xavier from AVM co-ordinated all the SFX, while Rado and Adam from Ministry looked after the lasering.
Transmission’s live show sound is designed by Czech DJ Driftmoon (Juraj Klicka) who also composed last year’s Transmission anthem, together with Giuseppe Otiviani. At the O2 they used a Funktion One system supplied by Audio Plus.
(Photos: Louise Stickland)
Ayrton’s MagicPanel-FX and Khamsin-S light stadium concert in Warsaw
When production, lighting and multimedia designer Pawel ‘Spider’ Pajak, and Percepto Lab - the team responsible for creative visual production - were approached by production company East Eventz to design and deliver creative solutions for a one-off concert, they chose Ayrton MagicPanel-FX and Khamsin-S fixtures for this special evening.
The two-artist concert featured singer Dawid Podsiadlo and rapper Taco Hemingway and was the first sold-out gig for Polish artists in the history of Warsaw’s PGE Narodowy Stadium, attracting an attendance of 60,000 people.
The lighting was supplied by Transcolor and included 64 MagicPanel-FX and 44 Khamsin-S fixtures. “The MagicPanel-FXs were hung in four groups of 16 pieces each on separate truss structures run by Kinesys motors,” Pajak explains. “Each structure consists of three trusses joined together as one structure, corresponding with the whole stage and multimedia design.
“The MagicPanel-FX were used for various truss looks, both as lighting effects and in combination with the video content as low-res screens. The Khamsin-S fixtures were rigged on four straight trusses above the stage and also powered by Kinesys motors. Each truss consists of 8 Khamsin-S which were used to produce numerous beam and stage lighting looks based on different truss positions above stage.
“Another 12 Khamsin-S fixtures were positioned on the upstage floor to create key looks from behind the band and with the effects being highly visible throughout the show. They also produced some beautiful silhouettes.”
(Photos: Percepto Lab/H. Karapuda)
Aitana on tour with Elation Rayzor 760 wash/effect lights
Spanish singer Aitana, who first gained recognition in 2017 as runner-up of the Spanish reality TV music talent competition ‘Operación Triunfo’, released her debut album ‘Spoiler’ in 2019, then launched her ‘Play Tour’ with lighting design by SomosLuz, a Barcelona-based design studio who worked with Brutal Events on the creative process.
SomosLuz turned to the Elation Rayzor 760 LED moving head to create a special design element for the show - four upstage Play buttons used for dynamic beams, eye candy looks and other special effects.
The central element of the design was an inverted pyramidal LED screen with a staircase, which was used as a podium for choreography and entrances of the artist. It was surrounded by four totems with Rayzor 760s mounted in the shape of the digital Play button.
The Rayzor 760 wasn’t the only Elation luminaire in the Aitana ‘Play Tour’ rig - Elation Chorus Line 16 RGBW pixel bars with zoom and tilt movement were used for added color. Seville-based rental company Ilusovi supplied the lighting, video and audio for the tour.
The SomosLuz crew included Ezequiel Gómez (Lighting Designer), Sergi Prat (Lighting Programmer, Lucas Averbuj (Video Content Director, Elzine Aristide (Video Art Director) and Felipe Ruiz (Video Content Editor).
(Photos: Lucas Averbuj)
John Legend uses Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker array at BluesFest 2019
When John Legend and his 11-piece band performed at last year’s BluesFest for his only UK show of 2019, it was through a Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker array provided by Capital Sound at the O2 Arena.
Capital’s sound design was tested by the fact that the seating format of the O2 Arena excluded the Level 4 seats on the horseshoe, but not the two side wings, closest to the stage. Capital compensated for this by boosting their complement of outfills to 16 MLA Compact elements per side. “With these changes to the upper tier seating plan we focused the main hangs on the lower bowl and increased the size of the side hangs accordingly,” says Capital Sound account manager Martin Connolly.
Capital’s solution was to fly 11 x MLA and two MLD Downfill enclosures on each side as the main hang with 16 x MLX subs in a cardioid broadside array. Six of the DD12 Differential Dispersion boxes on each side of the stage provided infills/outfills while four further MLA Compacts acted as lip-fills, servicing the front rows. The stage was equipped with 10 x LE1500 stage wedges, which were used by support act Laville and his band.
The Capital crew included Ben Turnbull (system tech), Dave Preston (FOH tech), Tim Patterson (crew chief), Tom Gardner (monitor tech), Oliver Fallon and Chris Pearson (techs).
Chris Sealy chooses Chauvet for ‘Cats’
Chris Sealy lit the Taunton Amateur Operatic Society’s recent production of ‘Cats’ at the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, Somerset, UK. Helping Sealy accent the costumes and enhance the unfolding narrative on stage with light was a collection of six Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Profile fixtures supplied by Bright Production Services.
Hung on overhead electrics, the 440 W LED fixtures were used as as a primary light source. “Basically, all of the Maverick’s features came into play,” Sealy explains. “I created moods using them as back lights. I used their gobos to add texture to the stage one moment, then called on them to serve as beams the next.” Chris Sealy worked closely with sound technician Dan Hobbs and Joe Rockett of Bright Production Services.
(Photos: Clayton Jane Photography)
„Düsseldorf singt Weihnachtslieder“ debütiert mit Unterstützung von D.Live
Die bekanntesten Weihnachtslieder wurden am Abend des 23. Dezember 2019 von tausenden Stimmen in der Merkur Spielarena gesungen. Bei der ersten Auflage von „Düsseldorf singt Weihnachtslieder“ kamen rund 15.000 Menschen zusammen, um sich gemeinsam auf das Weihnachtsfest einzustimmen.
Musikalische Unterstützung für den Publikumschor gab es von Düsseldorfer Bands und Künstlern wie Enkelson, den Swinging Funfares und dem Orchester Michael Kuhl. Durch den Abend führte Fortuna-Stadionsprecher André Scheidt. Pro Eintrittsticket wurde ein Euro an die BürgerStiftung Düsseldorf gespendet. Zudem gab es für die Besucher die Möglichkeit, ein Charity-Ticket zu erwerben, wovon drei Euro gespendet wurden.
„Wir haben einen sehr schönen und besinnlichen Vorweihnachtsabend erlebt. Es war toll, die vielen Stimmen zu hören, die im großen Chor zusammen Weihnachtslieder sangen. Zudem freut es uns sehr, dass eine bedeutende Summe der BürgerStiftung Düsseldorf zugutekommt“, resümiert Hans-Jürgen Tüllmann, der die Veranstaltung zusammen mit D.Live und Stefan Kleinehr organisierte.
(Fotos: Anke Hesse)
Robert Juliat Cyrano used for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at Joburg Theatre
Few holiday traditions are more treasured in Joburg, South Africa, than the annual pantomime, held at The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein. Last year, the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ was brought to stage.
This pantomime was written and directed by Janice Honeyman, with choreography by Nicol Sheraton, musical direction by Dale-Ray Scheepers, lighting design by Graham McLusky and sound design by Akhona Bozo and was staged from 2 November to 22 December at the Joburg Theatre.
Graham McLusky’s design included four Robert Juliat Cyrano followspots, purchased by Joburg Theatre in August 2019 and supplied by local distributor DWR Distribution for an upgrade of the venue’s inventory. In addition to the Cyrano units, McLusky used two of the theatre’s older followspots.
(Photos: Joburg Theatre)
Jeff Croiter and Elation Artiste Van Gogh light ‘Cyrano’ in New York City
Lighting designer Jeff Croiter turned to Elation Professional’s Artiste Van Gogh LED wash moving head to light a new musical adaptation of ‘Cyrano’ starring Peter Dinklage at the Daryl Roth Theatre in New York.
The classic tale of unrequited love premiered in November 2019. Separated into five acts, Croiter says he uses the Artiste series fixtures to fulfill a different role in every scene of the play.
Croiter, who has over 25 years of Broadway and off Broadway lighting experience to his credit, used the Van Gogh fixtures from an upstage position as the backlight system, forgoing conventionals or fixed position LED backlight.
“There weren’t a lot of moving lights in the plot so I wanted something with flexibility to be able to move around to use either as wash lights to cover the whole stage or to pinpoint certain moments and as specials. They moved subtlety and either expanded or contracted the space,” he explains.
“‘Cyrano’ is a period piece and not a rock show so I didn’t want to call too much attention to the face of the light. But, all of the lights were exposed so the appearance was important to consider,” Croiter continues. “We used the Fresnel lens because it was essential to me that it look like a theatre light, like a Fresnel.”
‘Cyrano’ played out on a set that was essentially a long rectangle, approximately 40 feet wide but shallow at only 12 feet deep, a space that necessitated the designer to employ the Van Gogh’s framing shutters. “We often had to do both upstage and downstage shutters to frame the light. We wanted the width but framed the light out of the audience and off the set,” he says.
Kept busy throughout the performance, the Van Gogh units were used anywhere from mimicking work lights, daylight through a window, and moonlight through trees to music and dance scenes. In Act 4’s pre-battle scene the were used “all over from specials to dress the scene in a cold, slightly blue austere hue to specials in a dance sequence to pinpoint moments that we wanted to pull out of the scene,” Croiter explains. “They expanded and contracted from full stage backlight and then zoomed small to do a special on someone fighting or dying.” In the play’s final act, a churchyard scene, the fixtures created the amber and gold of a fall sunset.
(Photos: Monique Carboni)
‘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)
Ryan Lombard chooses Robe for ‘Noot vir Noot’
Robe moving lights were all over the rig designed by Ryan Lombard, HOD of show lighting for lighting suppliers Blond Productions, for the latest series of the Afrikaans language music quiz ‘Noot vir Noot’ which is broadcast on South Africa’s SABC2 channel.
It’s the longest continually-running TV game show in the country, first broadcast in 1991. Ryan Lombard and Blond Productions, who delivered lighting, audio and LED screen, had already clocked up at least ten years on the series.
Lombard started as a follow spot operator in 2008/09, with 12 x Robe ColorSpot 250s and six ColorWash 700E ATs in the mix. “The production has just continued growing organically with more lighting each series,” he comments.
For this series, the producers wanted a complete revamp for the show that was recorded at the Urban Brew Studios in Randburg. Blond Productions’ owner and founder Christiaan Ballot and Ryan Lombard designed a new set concept. Lombard integrated 72 Robes in the design - 24 x LEDWash 300s, 12 x MiniPointes, 12 x CycFX 4s, 12 x MMX Spots and 12 x Robe 600E Beams.
The LEDWash 300s were located all around the studio at the back, and used as primary rear lighting on the band - the shows also all included live performance - and on the contestants, of which there were four per episode. A live DJ was also present in the studio. Positioned as they were, the LEDWashes could also illuminate the audience.
The MMXs Spots were ensconced in the set walls and used for beam work and some gobo texturing and gobo looks. The MiniPointes were also rigged towards the back of the set playing to the front with beams and effects.
The CycFX 4s were in the roof above the set panels just behind the contestant booths and the 600E Beams were also in the roof, supporting the MMX Spots and MiniPointes with more beams and colourful effects. There were no lights on the floor, which was a departure from the previous series where floor lighting was very prominent.
Ryan Lombard worked in conjunction with Alistair Richards who took care of all the white light elements. Lombard ran the show on a GrandMA2 light console while Richards ran the white lights on an onPC.
For strategic moments - e.g. as contestants answered questions - the LED changed colour, and specific lighting cues were also triggered via a MIDI signal sent to both Lombard’s GrandMA light and Richards’ onPC. Sitting on the same network was a VPU for graphics to the LED screens.
Pictured (left to right): Riaan Rademan (Senior RF/Sound Technician), Christiaan Ballot (Blond Productions owner), Donavon Blomerus (Technical Assistant), Ryan Lombardt (Lighting & AV Designer/Operator). (Photos: Mike Schmucker/Studio88 Photography)
Robe MiniPointes selected for Andres Cepeda’s Bogota shows
His long term lighting designer Nestor Gaitan - universally known as “Carinosito” (which roughly translates to Care Bear in English) - lit the show and used the theatre’s 12 x Robe MiniPointe moving lights which are part of the house lighting rig.
These were rigged on four vertical stands on tank trap bases, positioned two (stands) either side of a prominent central LED screen. The MiniPointes were used extensively throughout the show.
Cepeda’s large band for this series of shows was enriched with the sounds of a brass section. The musicians and backing vocalists were split between a raised deck above the LED screen and on the stage floor with Cepeda.
Gaitan programmed and controlled the MiniPointes plus all the other lights in the ‘top’ house rig, using the venue’s GrandMA2 console. He has worked for the artist for the last five years, touring frequently around Colombia and other Latam countries. Their standard touring rider contains only Robe moving lights.
The lighting is evolved working closely with video content producer Jonathan Ricardo Garcia who coordinates all the video elements including the playback run from a Resolume server.
(Photos: Louise Stickland)
Painting with Light creates lighting and video design for ‘Nachtwacht’ musical
Genk, Belgium-based design studio Painting with Light (PWL) was asked to create the lighting and video design for the first musical theatre production of Studio 100’s ‘Nachtwacht’ (Nightwatch) TV series, which is playing a 3-shows-a-day schedule during weekends across Belgium in 1500 and 2000 capacity theatres and arenas. Lighting was designed by PWL’s Jeroen Opsteyn.
The overall style of the lighting is moody and dark as most of the action takes place at night. The lighting kit was supplied by Phlippo. The production is using 16 of Phlippo’s proprietary URC 201 LED wash moving lights together with 22 x CLF Orion hybrid spot/beam fixtures. They are used for all the general washes, effects and specials.
They have also been hooking in to house lighting rigs at each venue, especially to get conventional front light, which is augmented with three of the Orions for key lighting the three main characters. The Orions are fitted with custom gobos.
PWL is supplying one of their Disguise D3 4x2 video servers to the tour for the video content, and commissioned Bart Tauwenberg from New Solid to create and supply the content to PWL’s direction. This was then programmed onto the server by PWL’s video specialist Katleen Selleslagh. The content and the lighting are closely matched in colour and texturing, and the D3 timeline cues triggered by the GrandMA lighting console so they coincide with specific lighting cues.
The main setting of the musical is a library in which three of the bookcases are digital - on three 5.7 mm pitch LED screens - one upstage with two smaller ones flanking it slightly downstage, and in between are scenic bookcases. Video runs through the whole show. Looking after lighting and video on the road for PWL is Arjan Grootenhuis.
(Photos: Sina Sohn)
Capital Sound’s new Wavefront Precision debuts with Eddie Izzard
Martin Audio has announced the first sale of its new Wavefront Precision WPS array into the rental community. The 8” ultra-compact system - featuring scalable resolution optimisation technology - met the requirements of its premier partner Capital Sound and has gone out on Eddie Izzard’s UK and Ireland tour.
Izzard has toured with Martin Audio PAs on many occasions in the past, but it was his sound engineer Alan Behr, a fan of the Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) technology on which it is based, who had requested the brand.
However, looking at the tour itinerary, Capital realised that while some venues would require the comedian to play through existing house systems, in others the restricted rigging and loading points would preclude the hanging of heavy incoming rigs.
“We had to look at lighter options, and besides that, we had been wanting to replace our old W8LM for a while,” says Capital account manager Robin Conway. “The 10” MLA Compact would have been too big and the 6” MLA Mini too small, whereas the 8” WPS was light weight, flexible and used MLA technology which Alan liked, so it ticked all the boxes.”
He noted that some venue rigging points would only support a few hundred kilos but with each WPS weighing just 27kg, a 12-box hang each side could be accommodated. The rig is powered by Capital’s newly-acquired Martin Audio iKON iK42 amplifiers in the most efficient 1-box resolution. The WPS is supported by four Martin Audio SX218 subs, two per side, with six DD6 front fills and four XD12 balcony fills.
Chauvet fixtures used for La Nuit des Musées at Château de Pau
Once a year, the Château de Pau in France invites the public to enjoy its art and artifacts at no charge as part of La Nuit des Musées (Night of Museums). In 2019, the experience was enlivened by song and dance from local youth groups.
The lighting design, retained by producer Avant Scene de Pau for the event, featured a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures which were supplied by AG Lum S.A.
Creating a transcendent glow on the stone walls of the château were 70 IP65 rated Well Fit uplighting fixtures. Grégory Alain of AG Lum and his team positioned the RGBA LED projectors at the base of the historic building. Inside the building, in the area devoted to art exhibits, the AG Lum team positioned four Ovation E-260WW ellipsoidal fixtures.
Robe illuminates Mazowsze
Mazowsze, the Polish State Folk Group of Song and Dance, was featured in Pawel Pawlikowski’s movie ‘Cold War’ in 2018, and just before that, it had invested in some of Robe’s Tarrantula LED wash beams, which met a tender specification that was initiated by technical manager and lighting designer Lukas Rúzewilz.
Their rehearsal and performance facility on the outskirts of Warsaw has been open since 2009, and Rúzewilz has worked there for a year, before which he was the technical manager of the Dramatic Theatre in Warsaw.
Mazowsze’s 600 capacity venue is funded by the government and, in addition to being home to the company, it stages several other dance, music, theatre, comedy and ballet shows, amounting to around 250 a year. All Mazowsze’s own touring shows are produced there before going on the road.
When Rúzewilz joined the production and technical team, the venue’s existing moving light rig was ten years old and in need of an upgrade, so he started the ball rolling on this process. A tender for new moving lights was offered to selected companies, and the section to provide LED wash lights was won by Robe’s Polish distributor Prolight with the Tarrantulas. Prolight supplied 24 Tarrantulas as part of the new package.
Lukas Rúzewilz lights all the productions that appear onstage at the venue, and has often worked with Robes on previous shows, including LEDWash 1200s. Twelve of the Tarrantulas are installed almost permanently in the venue above the stage and work most of the time, while the other twelve are used as and when needed. They work as a complement to the profile fixtures that were also part of the lighting upgrade.
Mazowsze already has some other Robe fixtures including 7 x MegaPointes, 24 x Cyc FX 8s and 16 x LEDWash 800s. The CycFX 8s are often used to up light backdrops, legs, borders and other ‘soft’ items or drapage, and these are all used frequently for the music shows staged there. Some of the Robes also go on the road for their tours.
(Photos: Piotr Pasieczny/Fotobueno/PZLPiT Mazowsze)
Rundbogendach von Cast beim Seefest in Schliersee im Einsatz
Die Laut und Hell GmbH mit Sitz im Süden von München betreut seit über zehn Jahren das Schlierseer Seefest und liefert Licht, Ton sowie die Bühne. Seit 2016 nutzt Laut und Hell zwei Cast ArcStages II. Beide Bühnen messen 8 x 6 Meter, wobei sich daraus auch eine größere Bühne bauen lässt.
Beim letztjährigen Seefest in Schliersee kam das Rundbogendach in einem kompakten Design zum Einsatz. Eine transparente Dachplane gab den Blick auf das Voralpenpanorama rund um den Schliersee frei. Die Bayern-1-Band gab den Auftakt zum dreitägigen Bühnenprogramm, welches im Juli 2019 rund 5.000 Besucher anlockte.
Für Laut-und-Hell-Geschäftsführer Florian Penzberger sei unter anderem das Abplansystem entscheidend bei der Wahl des Bühnendaches gewesen. Der bereits vorhandene Bestand an schwarzen Prolyte-H30V-Traversen, die zur Konstruktion des Bühnendaches herangezogen werden können, habe ebenfalls für die ArcStage II gesprochen. „Die Integration von Layher-Riegeln, Nivtec-Bühnenelementen und den Prolyte-Traversen funktioniert ideal mit diesem Bühnendach“, so Penzberger.
Genetic Productions chooses Elation for Morgan Wallen tour
Event production company Genetic Productions was out with Morgan Wallen as the country musician opened as direct support on Luke Combs’ ‘Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour,’ a North American stretch including shows at 20,000-capacity Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Genetic again supplied an Elation rig for the singer after having supplied Wallen’s inaugural headlining tour in the previous year. Genetic serveed as the lighting and video vendor for the outing, working closely with designer Zac Coren.
The lighting rig included Elation Dartz 360 LED moving heads. Zac Coren, who served as lead LD, chose the Dartz as the main focal point of his design. “The entire rig fits in a single trailer pulled behind a bus,” says Genetic Productions President Andrew Sparks. “The design consists of four separate set carts and each cart serves as both the show and transport location for the lighting and LED video.”
Each set cart holds six Elation Dartz 360, two Cuepix Blinder WW2 fixtures, two ACL 360 Bar LED battens, and one 2 m tall x 1 m wide AV4 LED video wall from Elation sister company ADJ. “The carts are designed to allow the top panels, along with the two ACL 360s, to fold back,” Sparks explains. “Two carts were set on either side of the center-positioned drum riser, allowing for a symmetrical look that allowed for a wide backdrop to Morgan’s set.”
Coren adds that each cart was configured with the ACL 360 Bars mounted towards the top, whereas “the WW2 blinders were mounted low on the cart to help complete the picture when I added them in with whatever moles I was given in the house rigs. Having the WW2s low also created some dynamic looks like being able to create silhouettes on stage. The AV4 panels were configured in a 2 wide x 4 high configuration and added a backdrop to the stage.” The complete rig was made up of 24 Dartz 360, 8 ACL 360 Bars, 8 Cuepix Blinder WW2s and 32 AV4 IP LED panels.
(Photos: David Lehr)
Spanish festival triplet lit with Robe
Lighting and show designer Eduardo Valverde from Madrid-based Pixelmap Studios was this year’s creative director of the ‘Love the 90’s’ festival, which was staged in Madrid, Seville and Valencia. Valverde’s brief included imagineering the stage layout, set architecture including LED screens and the lighting.
Prominent on his lighting plot were around 150 Robe moving lights including Pointes, MegaPointes, LEDBeam 150s and LEDWash 800s, complete with three RoboSpot systems run with BMFL Spots, all supplied by rental company Fluge. Due to the different venues, the rig design varied slightly for all of the shows.
This year the stage design took on a new dimension as Eduardo Valverde and his team created a near 360° experience with a 45 metre wide stage and a 30-meter runway thrusting out from the front that sliced the near-stage audience into two, with a circular B-stage at the end.
Flying above this B-Stage was a 9-metre diameter ‘disco ball’ made up of curved trussing, rigged with lights and a think ring of LED. For some acts, the DJ booth was located on the B-stage, putting the performers right in the middle of the fans.
This 360-degree concept - in which production ‘wrapped’ around 270 degrees of the stage - leaving room only for a small amount of backstage and technical space at the back, was the starting point for the lighting as it meant there were multiple viewing and camera angles which needed to be covered with lights.
There was also a vast amount of LED screen flown around the stage - 380 square metres in total - including several ‘lozenge’ shaped pieces of screen, and there were also some circular lighting trusses which further defined the architecture and maintained the ‘curvature’ of the production aesthetics.
In Madrid, the show was staged at the 17,000 capacity WiZink Centre, a venue with serious load capacities in the roof. For the Valencia and Seville editions, a 20-metre-high ground support was installed and all the major production and architectural elements - including the disco ball - were flown from this.
Lighting was divided into three zones. The first one was above the main stage and included an overall mothergrid in the roof, with sub-hung circular trusses providing additional lighting positions. This zone also included the lozenge shaped video screens.
The second zone covered the runway. Trusses were flown above to provide lighting positions to cover the catwalk itself and the audience areas both sides of it. The third lighting area was around the DJ booth on the B-stage and the trussing ball that mimicked the disco ball of the 1990s, which itself was rigged with 48 Robe LEDBeam 150s to create dynamic beam effects. In addition to the Robes there were around 50 x LED floods on the rig plus 400 or so LED battens.
The most challenging element of this project was controlling and running over 600 fixtures of which at least 400 were moving or ‘intelligent’. Apart from the environment being virtually 360°, from the operating position it was impossible to see what is happening on all sides, so the set-up, programming and tech periods were complex.
Joining Valverde on his FOH crew were lighting programmer and operator Juan Manuel Lázaro and project manager Carlos Fernández. The lighting crew chief was Bochi Piaggio, the production’s own video artist team - producing their bespoke content - comprised David Inlines, Sergio Puig and Carlos F. All of Fluge’s Robe stock has been supplied by San Sebastian-based Spanish distributor EES.
(Photos: Aarón Alborés)