LSE Creates a Spectacle at the Mardan Palace Hotel
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The end of May saw the spectacular opening ceremony of the five star Mardan Palace hotel take place in Antalya, Turkey drawing an illustrious international presence of celebrities and press. LSE, the Belgian based multi-media show company, worked with long-time collaborator Tara W Smith, the Australian Creative Director of Stargrace Ltd, to create an unforgettable visual experience for the opening.
The event, which took place over two days, was a high profile affair featuring presenters and performers including Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Paris Hilton, Monica Belluci, Tom Jones and Seal.
Two multi-media shows took place over the two days, the first at the Grand Inauguration on 23 May, the second the following day at the ‘Dance of the Scorpion’ Beach Party on the hotel’s Scorpion Pier.
For the Grand Inauguration, Smith wanted to celebrate the historical influences, modern technology and imagination which go into creating a hotel such as the Mardan Palace.
“I wanted to bring to the hotel launch a bit of soul, to breath life into the design processes and influences which bring the actual construction into being,” explains Smith.
The show also celebrated the idea of East meets West as represented in the architecture of the hotel itself. “One wing represented Anatolya which we depicted with giant video projection and aerial belly dancers, emphasising the passion of the orient with choreographed flames,” explains Smith.
“The second wing represented Europe which we visualized with a daring silk aerial act, high above the audience’s heads, and infused with a fountain ballet; the two were then linked by the middle section with a laser representation of the famous Bosphorus Bridge, representing Turkey.
Each section of the hotel was individually highlighted and ‘brought to life’ during the performance before reaching an explosive crescendo at the finale.
Wound into these themes was that of the imaginative process which a designer experiences during the art of creation. A kind of dream space was recreated using transparent floating balls on the central water feature and aerial performers lowered from the tops of the buildings to ‘paint’ the design of the hotel across its surface.
The evening’s events centred around the inner pool courtyard and used multi-media effects to illustrate these historical, technological and imaginative references. The building façade, roof tops, lighthouse tower, the pool itself and even the beach beyond, acted as projection surfaces, resulting in over 200m of video projection. More than 700 pyrotechnic firing points on the facade and in excess of 30 lasers, choreographed flames and fountains were also used, augmenting the performances of the aerial performers.
In all a total of 30 trailers and 150 crew were required to bring this spectacle to fruition.
“The evening was very well received,” states Smith. “We even had ladies in the audience crying with emotion over the Imagination scene, so we knew we were reaching our audience!”
LSE’s team for the Mardan Palace Spectacular was headed by Managing Director, Patrick Awouters and included Technical Director, Erik Lybeer,Lighting Director, Theo Cox and Project Coordinator Marc Agboton.
“I have worked with LSE for 9 years and really love doing these projects with them,” continues Smith. “Patrick has always put a lot of trust and faith in my work and believes whole heartedly in the team he has created. We all come together as a united force and the results we achieve are testiment to that teamwork.”
Previous collaborations between Tara W Smith and LSE have included the SEA Games in Vietnam, Moscow Sport Games and St Petersburg 300 years by Hiro Yamagata. Several more collaborative projects - on both a grand scale and for luxurious private functions - are scheduled for later this year.
iLED ColorBank H.O at Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony
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The 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony was held at the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest. Featuring more than 15,000 performers, the ceremony lasted over four hours and was watched by over 1 billion viewers – the largest live television audience in history!
One of the most complex segments of the ceremony was the arrival of the astronaut - depicting China's ambitions in space - and the 15 metre, 16 tonned sphere representing the Earth. 58 acrobats tumbled rightside up, sideways or upside down on its surface, while the globe was illuminated internally by 122 iLED ColorBank H.O fixtures.
The ColorBank H.O is a high powered wash fixture, suitable for use in multiple applications. This IP65 rated fixture is also suited for all weather outdoor use. Consisting of 108 1W LEDs – 36 Red, 36 Green, and 36 Blue - the LEDBank H.O features 15° optics and delivers a beam angle of 17° x 12°. On board automated programs can be operated via master/slave or DMX operation, and up to 28 units of this fixture can be daisy chained for ease of use.
High End Systems at Beijing Olympic Ceremonies
On 08/08/08, the eyes of the world focused on the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. The "One World One Dream" theme was illustrated in a spectacle from China's National Stadium, nicknamed the "Bird's Nest."
High End Systems (a new member of the Belgium-based Barco Group) not only played a starring role in the ceremonies, but helped set some records: for the largest quantity of media servers (110 HES Axons) in any live event, and for creating the largest high-def projection -- in this instance, one clip covered a screen encircling the stadium that measured 1,942' long by 45' high.
All effects were achieved in real time using the Axon media servers and projectors with 78 HES Orbital Heads. Four Wholehog 3 lighting consoles controlled the Axon media servers in the ceremonies, connected with 12 DP 2000s.
HES Axons created a number of nonstop visual effects in the show, from the projected visuals encircling a video ring--called the "membrane"--around the top of the stadium to the projections on the giant globe. The HES Orbital Heads were used to project images onto performers on the field.
The Olympic Ceremonies lighting designer is Sha Xiao Lin. Dennis Gardner is the chief lighting programmer and digital lighting/video programmer. Gardner says, "The show was the largest I have ever done. Normally I have worked with about 6-8 media servers and this was just huge at 110! This was my first time to use Axon and I found it very easy to use and very flexible. For the scale of the show, it was ideal!"
"The Globe was projected on from eight projectors, external to the globe, set up in four groups approximately 90 degrees from one another," Gardner explains. "We had no Orbital Heads for this one as we needed a much bigger image and more brightness. We used Axons and their blending feature to help achieve this effect. We had the globe recovered with white material to get the best from the projection; the original was dark grey."
Gardner describes the Wholehog 3 console setup: "We programmed the show on one Wholehog 3 network running version 2.6 software. We had the network set up as one server console that was never touched and just used as the server; two client consoles at FOH for myself and (my programming assistant) Steve Kellaway; and one console as a roamer for programming around the stadium to get better viewpoints. I have been using the Wholehog 3 console since its birth and I feel it's the best tool for the job. The ease at programming lots of media servers and being able to link to time code was a joy. The show was run on LTC time code, which came from the music. The whole system was rock solid."
HES distributor Leifull in China purchased and installed the HES equipment, and also created the media server room specifically for the Axons. HES sent four product specialists to help with set up, with Zach Peletz from Austin serving as product support on the scene from May until the closing ceremonies, to be televised August 24 on NBC-TV. The closing ceremonies will use the same equipment but in a different design, described by Gardner as having a "bit more party feel."
Another Wholehog 3 worked in the TV broadcast booth in Beijing's International Broadcast Center. Broadcast lighting director John Pappas used the console to control a media server for Seven Network Australia's broadcasting.
Martin Lights Beijing Summer Olympic Games: LD Sha Xiao Lan Interview
n what has been universally praised as the most visually spectacular Olympic Opening Ceremony of all time, and arguably one of the most remarkable events ever produced, China celebrated its emergence onto the world stage in grand fashion by hosting the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games at Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.
On 08-08-2008 at 8:00 pm that stage was lit by over 1,100 automated luminaires from Martin Professional.
The workhorse of the massive automated lighting system, the largest single automated lighting system ever assembled for a single event, and the largest Martin rig ever, was Martin’s MAC 2000 Wash™ and new MAC 2000 Wash XB™ moving head luminaires.
A multimedia, three-dimensional display created by director Zhang Yimou, some 22,000 people took part in the gala, in which 15,000 costumes were used. Martin is the largest automated lighting manufacturer represented at the Beijing Olympic Ceremonies with more Martin MAC 2000 Wash luminaires in use than any other single fixture in the lighting system.
Lighting personnel began initial installation of the fixtures already in March with most of the MAC luminaires rigged in the roof of the stadium and several hundred lining an upper balcony. Main lighting supply for the Ceremonies is by China Central Television (CCTV) with several lighting sub-suppliers also contributing. The Martin fixtures will remain in place for the Games’ Closing Ceremony on August 24th and subsequent Paralympic Games to be held from September 6-17.
Lighting Designer Sha Xiao Lan
Long before the Opening Ceremony took place, people started to speculate who the lighting designer in charge of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies would be. Now we know him as Chinese LD Sha Xiao Lan who no doubt deserves the honor. As the world watched the Opening and was awed by the brilliance of the show, we were eager to know Sha Xiao Lan’s thoughts on lighting the world’s most watched event.
Sha Xiao Lan: “After knowing I would be the chief LD of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games, I spent a lot of time conceiving the lighting design. The Olympics is not only for the Chinese people but for people all over the world, so we had to satisfy not only the Chinese but people from all countries. The problem is that people from different places have different tastes in aesthetics. To be specific, Westerners prefer elegant pastel colors, Chinese are fond of strong highly-saturated color, and this was the major part to be considered.
“We did research on the Athens and Sydney Olympic Games and in order to emphasize the technological factor of the Beijing Olympics we decided to utilize the most advanced technologies and products to actualize the Opening and Closing Ceremony design.
“You know that the Beijing Olympics gained nationwide support from the very beginning. However, the budget for the lighting design was less than that of the Doha Asian Games. Yet many well-known manufacturers and suppliers promised they would do whatever they could to provide whatever we needed and I was deeply touched by their gratitude.
“After we knew about the Bird’s Nest’s 14-meter high by 500-meter long brim, which is perfect for positioning fixtures, we adjusted our plan accordingly.
“The Beijing Olympics is being transmitted in a high-resolution digital signal, so we needed the lighting fixtures to be highly uniform in color temperature. According to our plan, we needed approximately 2,700 moving lights, which is unprecedented. Martin, Vari*Lite and many other well-known brands attended the bid and we had to choose the most suitable ones. Even as the head LD, I didn’t have the authority to decide which brand would be used in the Ceremony, though my opinion was important.
“The Martin MAC 2000 Wash was eventually chosen because it’s the most stable fixture with the most uniform color wash I’ve ever known. We used about 1,200 MAC 2000 Washes in the Opening Ceremony, which is also unprecedented. No event has ever used so many units under the same brand before as far as I know. About 90% of the Washes were used to wash the performance area, the ceiling of the stadium and the audience. We also used 110 Washes to add backlighting for the audience.
“Martin fixtures have the highest value for money and are quite stable with a low dysfunction rate. The nominal dysfunction rate is 2% according to the information from the manufacturer, but the actual dysfunction rate is lower than that. Plus the uniformity of color is perfect, which can not be reached using other fixtures. Besides the foresaid merits, I am very impressed by the MAC 2000 Wash’s speed and accuracy in movement and positioning. In the Opening Ceremony we used wash light to position, that’s rare, and the Martin fixtures’ performance is excellent; this is widely acknowledged by my colleagues.
“These fixtures were indispensable in achieving the goal of satisfying everyone. Without these fixtures none of our ideas would have been possible.
“Even when using the white color, we needed it to be tasteful. If you watched carefully enough you noticed that the white color in the Chinese Landscape Painting scene was different from the white color in the Movable Typography scene. In the Road of Silk scene we used the amber color to simulate the atmosphere of deserts and in the Rites and Music scene we used the royal golden hue to create an atmosphere of the Imperial Palace. During the Tai Chi and Zheng He Fleet scene we used highly saturated deep blue. I dare say without the Martin MAC 2000 Wash, none of the above would have been possible. The wash effect of the MAC 2000 was so perfectly uniform; light from the 1,200 units was just like light from one single unit. And the saturation of the MAC 2000 was fantastic as well. Remember when Lang Lang and the little girl began to play piano together? The colorful light was just like an impressionistic painting.
“I believe through the Opening Ceremony we successfully showcased the lighting design ability of China. All factors including organization, back-stage, control, and lighting design are quite satisfying and we have gained the praise from the Western media.”
The Most Watched Television Event in History
With over 90,000 spectators in attendance for the Opening Ceremony and most of the world glued to their TV screens, the event was perhaps the most watched television event in history. The man responsible for ensuring that the broadcast lighting aspect for the Opening and Closing is optimal is Australian Paul Collison, a veteran lighting specialist who brings experience from several large sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games, Gulf Cup, Asian Games and Rugby World Cup.
Paul comments, “Lighting for television on an event like this can be quite a challenge. The performance area is huge and when you add the audience in as a background you have almost a full square kilometer of surface area to light. Even though the show, at times, is orientated to one side, the cameras can be pointing in any direction. We are very aware that every area of the stadium is a part of the show.
“The MAC 2000 XB’s have been great. They are bright. Really bright. They sit in perfectly well with the other 900+ standard MAC 2000 Washes. We have used them out wide on the level 3 balcony position to get some extra kick in from the sides when the performances are orientated towards the VIP/on camera side. They also have a slightly longer throw to the center of the field from that position.
“All of the Martin fixtures have performed well under trying conditions. High humidity and high temperatures are hard on lighting fixtures. Not to mention the huge amount of dust that we encountered through the final stages of the construction of the Bird’s Nest. I’m sure these fixtures have seen more dust over the last four months than most vacuum cleaners see in a lifetime! Despite this the fixtures are still working well. We have a much lower fault rate with the Martin fixtures than any others in the system. Martin’s commitment and support has been exceptional and certainly helped to make this project run smoothly.
“Personally, this has been an amazing experience. Even though culturally China is very different from many other countries I have worked in, the level of knowledge and willingness to learn has been quite refreshing. Everyone I have come in contact with on this project has been friendly, caring and above all most professional. I’d come back to China in a heart beat to work on another project…if only for the fantastic food!”
Martin is providing on site support from several individuals including Mark Ravenhill, Vice President of Television & Theatre Lighting, as well as Søren Storm, Managing Director of Martin Singapore who was instrumental in securing Martin’s participation in these Olympic Games. On-site technical support is headed by Martin’s Product & Application Specialist Claus Jensen.
Christian Engsted, Martin Professional CEO, had this to say, “We are honored to again play an integral role in the staging of the world’s most prestigious sporting event. The MAC 2000 Wash’s extremely high output and long throw capability coupled with its proven reliability make it ideal for such a large scale event. Martin’s position as an industry leader with an extensive global reach allows us to deliver in these record breaking quantities while our support network provides 100% on-site backing throughout the course of the event.”
Martin Lighting at Other Sites
Martin lighting is also employed in several other areas including 800 Martin fixtures used for an Opening Ceremony at an alternate site in Tsingtao (Qingdao), home to sailing events. Several on-location TV studios are also using Martin gear including US television network NBC on the “Today” show and Mexican TV network Televisa.
MA Lighting grandMA at Beijing Olympics
With the slogan “One World, One Dream” all nations were invited by the People's Republic of China to the Summer Olympics 2008, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. The Opening Ceremony has been held in the Beijing National Stadium, - the "Bird's Nest” - which can seat as many as 91,000 spectators. More than 2,300 DMX controlled fixtures and 45,000 parameters transformed the stadium into a never before seen sea of lights. 3 x grandMA full-size plus 3 x grandMA full-size as backup, 2 x grandMA light as well as 46 x MA NSPs controlled the highly sophisticated lighting network during the Opening Ceremony.
“These are the Games of the records so is the Opening Ceremony”, states Mr. Sha, Lighting Designer of the Opening and Closing Ceremony. “And to control this never before seen rig of lights there was just one choice: the grandMA system from MA Lighting. In a show like this pure reliability and proven functionality are second to none”, he adds. “Combined with the outstanding network performance of the grandMA, this system is proving again its leading position in the market.”
Paul Collison, who was responsible for the control system and broadcast lighting, said of the preparation for the Opening Ceremony: “I was first contacted in December 2007. Mr. Sha Xiao Lan, the lighting designer for this auspicious event, who offered me the task to look after the lighting control system. We knew by this time that it would be an MA Lighting system as reliability and proven network power were key. We started patching and designing the network in February 2008. One session ran the wash lights in the roof, the second session ran all the other wash fixtures in the system and the third session ran all of the profile or spot fixtures.”
“Once we had decided on the partition it was down to the patching business. When dealing with a couple of thousand fixtures and having almost ten different fixture types, you need to be able to identify things fairly quickly”, continued Collison, “I started with trying to match the lamp model number with it’s ID. So for example, the Vari*Lite VL3000 spots start their fixture ID’s at 3001, the Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1200 at 1201 etc. Once this process was done it was time to assign DMX addresses.”
Collison further explains: “Power locations had already been decided however there were lots of them. Too many to take DMX to each one. We decided on six locations in the roof, two on level three, three on level two, two on the ground level and one in the pit. We started in the roof as this was the hardest. We simply broke down the roof into six sections. Once the roof was done, the rest was pretty easy. The balcony levels all neatly fitted in, as did the ground.”
It was important for the system to have redundancy. This was required throughout multiple aspects of the system, both in the software (for example, the Rapid Spanning Tree protocol) and other parts, like redundant power supplies in the switches, and the ability to pass information and data passively. The later point meant, that if an ethernet switch failed, the data would travel through the failed switch and on to the next one without fault. The final point was that the actual fibre optic cable itself needed to be of military grade.
“Afterwards, all of the fixtures needed to be given a position in the grandMA 3D world for the pre-programming sessions”, adds Collison, “This gave us the chance to use the wireframe visualiser in the grandMA as well as being ready for grandMA 3D to come online. Each session only had two user profiles. One was for the operator, the other for administration. Each session was named with reference to it’s colour as were the show files – red, green and blue.”
“We now had to set-up the pre-programming studio at the Beijing Olympic Committee Headquarters. This existed in various modes but the one I liked the best was each session with it’s visualiser on a plasma screen in front of them. This, combined with a projector fed from grandMA video, with each session blended in to form one picture worked a treat. It allowed the team to see their programming all at work. By beginning of May we started the transition from pre-programming to on-site. Fixture by fixture, truss by truss, the system came online. On June 12th, rehearsals began.” On August 8th the Opening Ceremony attracted the attention of millions.
Altogether 2,342 fixtures were used and controlled by grandMA for the show which consisted of, amongst others, 308 x Vari*Lite VL3500 spot, 316 x VL3000 spot, 180 x VL3500 wash, 112 x Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1200, 980 x Martin Mac 2000 Wash and 162 Martin Mac 2000 XB Wash.
The first session had 15,921 parameters with 14 MA NSPs and 834 fixtures, the second 13,503 parameters with 16 MA NSPs and 884 fixtures, the third session 15,987 parameters, with 16 MA NSP and 624 fixtures. HP Pro-Curve 2626 field switches, HP Pro-Curve 8212zl and kilometres of multi mode fiber optic cable were the backbone of the huge network.
The video system under the creative direction of media artist Andree Verleger from Germany included some 110 x Axon media servers, 86 x Christie Roadster Projectors with Orbital Heads and 63 x Cinema Christie Projectors. “I am absolutely excited about the professionalism and support I was getting also for “my” video part during all those month from MA Lighting and the entire lighting crew - although not controlled by the grandMA system”, states Verleeger. “This underlines how important it is that lighting and video are going hand in hand. This teamwork gave trust and an ongoing motivation to realize another record in this show: the world’s largest projection screen with around 600m.
Zhang Yimou was chosen as artistic director. Sha Xiao Lan was the lighting designer, Paul Collision in charge of the control system and the broadcast lighting. Feng Bin, Wu Guoquing and Huang Tao worked as grandMA programmers. Lighting assistants were Quan Xiaojie, Zhang Wei, Wang Zhiyi, Ma Jiebo and Wang Tong. As lighting production company worked CCTV – Central China Television in conjunction with Quan Jiang, Shang Hai Televison, Gong Ti, Bei Ao, and Feng Shang Shi Ji. ACE - Advanced Communication Equipment Co Ltd. was responsible for the technical realisation. ACE is MA Lighting’s distributor in China.
Singapore National Day Parade with MA
The National Day Parade (NDP) on August 9 in Singapore is held in commemoration of Singapore's independence from Malaysia. It was usually placed in the Padang or Singapore National Stadium, but this year the event was held for the first time in Marina Bay Stadium with the world’s largest floating stage. The celebrations of the national day include an amazing exhibit of fireworks that marks the pinnacle of the parade. It is accompanied by military parades, colourful demonstrations of different cultural groups, stunts by the Singapore Armed Forces parachutists and choirs by school children.
To give this important event an adequate show lighting designer Paul Collison used not less than two grandMA full-size, one grandMA light, one grandMA ultra-light and 14 MA NSPs to control nearly 1,000 fixtures connected by a 1.2km optic-fibre network.
“I have used the MA system almost exclusively for the last few years so there really was never a question of what type of control system I was going to use,” explained Paul Collison. “My only real thoughts had to do with how I would break it down. As I had lots of time to program the show, I decided to operate the system myself with the aid of Addam Crawford as second operator/production manager. With almost 1,000 fixtures it was difficult to fit all the fixtures in to one session. We did and it worked. Over 31,400 parameters made up the first session with the second running some LED and dimmer channels. It was an awesome sense of power to be able to control so many moving lights with what seemed to be apparent ease. I can say no reservation that this show could not have been programmed on any other console as simply or as easily as it was on an MA.”
The impressive lighting rig consisted amongst others of 420 x Martin Mac 2000 washes, 256 DTS XR8 575 washes, 200 x LED Happy Tubes, 72 Vari*Lite VL3000 profiles, 64 x DTS XM1200 profiles, 48 x DTS 250 washes and 48 x Martin Mac 2000 profiles.
The technical director of the National Day Parade was Nick Eltis. Production manager and assistant programmer was Adam Crawford. As project manager for Showtec worked Leroy Mong, as project manager for Procon Simon Kayser. Showtec delivered the lighting equipment, Procon was sub-contract supporter.
Robe to light Eurovision 2007
Over 450 Robe moving lights will be utilised in a spectacular lighting design for the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki which is being created by LD Mikki Kunttu.
This follows on from the successful 2005 ESC production in Kiev, which featured 350 Robe fixtures. Once again, the show's technical production manager is Ola Melzig, and the production company is Spectra from Sweden. Lighting equipment for the event, staged in Helsinki's 12,000 capacity Hartwall Areena is being supplied by locally based Eastway Oy, and the Robe units will be delivered directly to the show from the Czech Republic.
The ESC deal was cut with Robe's International sales manager Harry von den Stemmen, who comments, "This is take two for Robe at Eurovision, and it is really very exciting to be working with Ola and the Spectra team again. I caught a glimpse of Mikki's ideas for the show, during a start-up meeting, and they were very exciting. I am sure that the final design will look absolutely amazing."
Kunttu, who is working closely with Finnish national TV channel YLE on the show is also very pleased to be working with Robe. His rig will contain 120 ColorSpot 2500E ATs, 90 ColorWash 1200ATs, 120 ColorSpot 1200 ATs, 80 of the new ColorSpot 700E ATs, 60 ColorWash 250 ATs and 8 specially customised Robe Media Spinners that have been modified to hold Studio Due CS4 bars.
For the Green Room, Robe is also supplying 48 of its new StageQube 324 LED panels which will be used for mood lighting and ambient effects. GrandMA consoles will be used as lighting control for the show, which will be run via Ethernet - the most expedient option given the size of the event and the number of fixtures involved.
The load in commences on 17 April and the final is 12 May. Head moving light technician will be Dick Welland from the UK. The Robe fixtures on the show have all been sold to companies in the area and will be delivered to their new owners once the final notes are sung and played, the winner is declared and the de-rig is complete.
Selecon Pacific Zoomspots in the Teatro Colon
“…exceptional luminaires with outstanding performance, optically and mechanically …” just one of the reasons behind the decision to specify and install Selecon Pacific Zoomspots in the Teatro Colon.
Named after Christopher Columbus and declared a National Historical Monument in 1989, this theatre is a significant example of cultural heritage in the City of Buenos Aires, and plays a key role in Argentina’s artistic industry, defining, promoting and projecting national identity throughout the world.
Located on de Julio, the widest street in the world the 2,367-seat Teatro Colon is the second largest performing arts theatre in the southern hemisphere, second only to Australia’s Sydney Opera House. The theatre opened on 25 May 1908 with a performance of Verdi’s Aida and during the twentieth century has deservedly earned the reputation of a world-renowned operatic centre possessing fantastic acoustics and hosting such famous names as Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti as well as other leading stars of opera, ballet and classical music.
On November 1st, 2006, the Teatro Colón closed its doors to the public to start the third and last stage of the US$25million renovations which will be undertaken with a “closed theatre”.
The Third Stage (2006-2007) of the Master Plan for the restoration of this national treasure called for new theatre lighting and following a thorough comparison of available products, Jose Luis Fiorruccio, Stage and Technical Director and Jorge Pérez, Lighting Chief, at the Teatro Colon chose Pacific 12º-28º and Pacific 14º-35º Zoomspot units to be added to the theatre’s lighting inventory. In total, 43 units have been supplied by Stage Tech SRL, the local Selecon distributor. Antonio Agra, Stage Tech SRL’s managing director explains the process and reasoning behind the Pacific’s successful selection for La Sala (the auditorium).
"To maintain the integrity of the restoration the Teatro’s technical people decided to add new luminaries to their inventory and after an evaluation process Selecon Pacific 12º-28º and 14º-35º Zoomspots were chosen proving themselves to be exceptional luminaries with outstanding performance, both optically and mechanically. Compact in size and lightweight, the Pacific is well designed, well constructed, and well suited to the needs of professional theatre lighting.
The modular design that lets the use of different lamps and the interchangeable lens tubes were also important advantages at the final decision.
This installation of Pacifics joins a growing number of prestigious theatres in Buenos Aires such as the Teatro Nacional Cervantes (60 units) and the Teatro El Nacional (170 units) which have all realised the unique modularity, performance and control features offered by this high quality Selecon range ."
Re-opening is scheduled to coincide with the celebration of the centenary of this majestic venue on May 25th, 2008, with most of the works expected to be completed. Meanwhile, the theatre’s activities will continue as programmed in other halls of the city.
Where no show has gone before
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Fireworks lit the sky, a gigantic video-wall a fantastic travel through space and time. To describe the 15th Asian Games Opening Ceremony at Khalifa Stadium Doha, Qatar, you have to use superlatives. With a budget of over 190 million dollar the ceremony was more then three times as expensive as the opening show of the Olympic Games in Athens. More than 40,000 people watched it live in the stadium, many more on television all over Asia. Four grandMA full-size, four grandMA light and 22 NSPs for the 44 DMX universes were the powerful workhorses with which lighting designers Fabrice Kebour and Andrew Doig, as well as their associate designer Steve Shipman, created the groundbreaking event – including pre-programming and backup.
45 nations competed during fourteen days to win gold, silver and bronze medals. Network and Console Technician Paul Collison and programmers Jim Beagley, Romain Labat, Roger Ray and Maran Persoons did their very best to give the competitions a good start. They divided the grandMA system into four sessions: 1. Alpha Spots and Conventionals, 2. VL3000 spots, Cameleon Lyre and TP6 projectors 3. Searchlights 4. Mac 2K Washes. Each grandMA console had an identical console as a backup which was also used for pre-programming. The Element Labs LED video-screen that towered over Khalifa Stadium was 165 metres wide along the curve, reaching 39 metres at its highest point. It was comprised of 20,000 individual Versa RAYs, which, if laid end to end, would span 58 kilometres. 762,000 individual LEDs were used, with a pixel pitch of 77 millimetres in both directions.
The lighting equipment consisted amongst others of 105x Alpha Spots 1200 HPE, 84x VL3000 spots, 10 Cameleon TP6M 6kW projectors, 32x Biglite 4.5kW, 382x Mac 2K Wash and 372 Par 64.
“Bytecraft suggested the use of the grandMA control system after it proved so reliable and robust for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne only eight months earlier,” explained Paul Collison.
Paul Rigby of Bytecraft and Philby Lewis of D.A.E. Lighting were Production Managers, the equipment was supplied by Procon, Germany. The event was produced by David Atkins Enterprises. Vince Haddad from Show Technology Australia delivered MA system design support.
Photos: Copyright – Ralph Larmann
Martin Strongly Represented at Eurovision 2006
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Europe's premiere song competition back with Martin with 500+ MAC's plus Maxedia effects
The 51st annual Eurovision Song Contest was a monster of a show, and we're not referring to Finnish winner Lordi and their rock anthem 'Hard Rock Hallelujah.'
We're talking about the 250+ MAC 2000 Washes, 200+ MAC 2000 Profiles and world first 20 Maxedia digital media system used to provide video content in and around the performance area. Whatever your take on the quality of the entertainment, one thing is for sure - the entertainment technology package was first rate.
This year's event took place at the Olympic Indoor Hall, part of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex in Greece, with the final broadcast live on May 20th over the Eurovision network to over 40 European countries and Australia. Greek broadcaster ERT partnered with German production company PROCON Multimedia AG to produce the 2006 event. PROCON served as the main technical contractor and supplied the huge Martin lighting package.
This year's stage design, by Ilias Ledakis, combined ancient Greek theatre with high technology. The main stage platform included a 13-meter-wide circle with hydraulic moving panels made with Barco O-Lite 510 modules. Surrounding the stage platform was a series of six hydraulic moving staircases for video imaging all lit by Barco ILite 6 XP LED tiles. The panels allowed individual backdrops to be projected, creating a custom atmosphere for each song. The entire LED system was controlled by 20 Martin Maxedia media servers.
Lighting Designer Ollie Olma
Lighting designer and directory of photography for Eurovision 2006, and one of Germany's top LD's through the years, was Ollie Olma. He was responsible for lighting the 37 country delegations, as well as several Greek show numbers and other looks.
"It was a mixture of a rock 'n' roll and theatrical system," Ollie states. "The truss set up was basically very simple. It was a matter of how much space we had to work with, how much weight we could put up, and what look the creatives wanted to achieve. I wanted a system that I could let completely disappear yet at the same time give me as much coverage possibilities at all angles, as well as at viewing angles for the cameras.
"With regards to creativity, when I got the song and video from each of the delegations I started to form my ideas about how to make the lighting most distinct and versatile for each delegation in order to make it most interesting for all. I really had no basic looks but created a different lighting design for each song."
Nearly all the MAC 2000 Profiles and Washes were located in a huge grid rig (alternating) with some MAC 2000 Washes positioned on the floor. Lighting control was from a GrandMA. "The MAC 2000 Wash and MAC 2000 Profile are the lamps that I use the most and I chose them out of PROCON's very reliable warehouse," Ollie commented. "I did not want to choose a large variety of fixtures so by choosing only two different moving lights out of one family, I could make the system much easier for everybody. I used the 2K's for the complete lighting - there was no tungsten or TV lighting - even all the key lighting was done with the 2K's. They are very reliable." Ollie also states that he had 5K's rigged for backup but never needed them.
Because of the large amount of OLite and ILite tiles built into the set, video and video delivery played a major role in the show. The 20 Maxedia's were distributed as such: one cue master Maxedia with backup located at FOH; a Maxedia and backup at each of the 6 staircases, all in HD; 3 Maxedia's with 1 backup for the round light floor and panels, all in HD; and 2 Maxedia's as content masters, one for the HD content and one for the SD content.
Jan Schroeder, who handled the video side of the show for PROCON, comments, "We had 9 active media servers that were in HD, which was one of the big challenges. We put the same content on each server which came out to be about 1100 files on each system (approx. 100 gigabytes on each Maxedia; 2 terabytes of video data total; Maxedia content provided by Mind & Bytes). We had 3 weeks of changing, overwriting, replacing and did a lot of on site engineering to make it all run more smoothly. We even got Maxedia updates from R&D International for new network functions and used extra Maxedia's for graphic designers to render files on site. There were no problems with Maxedia during the show."
The 1100 video files were not enough for the number of delegations however so the Maxedia's stock content was also used. "The request for more content from the delegation was always there," Jan says.
New Maxedia feature
PROCON requested an easy way to upload the Maxedia's with the massive amount of content needed for the show, along with easy manipulation when replacing and adding files. A new Maxedia feature - a network protocol in a Master/Slave configuration - was created just for this production.
"The decision to use Maxedia depended on whether we could get an intelligent network function," Jan explains. "With 20 Maxedia's you have 20 touchscreens which you of course cannot oversee at one time so the solution was a Master/Slave cue and content network at one station which was pushed through the entire network. The result was that workflow turned out to be quite smooth. Backstage media was uploaded to all systems while at FOH cues were adjusted and created simultaneously. People who have to deal with multiple media servers on a show will love this function."
Ollie adds, "We needed a server that could do a good amount of resolution and good playback and at the end of the day - once we had the modifications from R&D - it all worked to complete satisfaction. Those guys really worked hard."
To conclude, Ollie sums up the event, "My design philosophy is to have as much fun as I can with the budget that I am given whether it is a 5 Euro budget or 5 million and this was definitely a fun project. To me it is like a dream come true - like waking up every morning and going to a big toy store and playing. I attack everything with the same affection and seriousness. I think all the parties involved had fun. I hope we did a good show and I hope the audience liked what we did and that it came across nicely."
Set Designer: Ilias Ledakis
Lighting Designer: Ollie Olma
Creative Director: Fokas Evangelinos
Creative Director: Akis Stamatiadis
Project Manager/PROCON: Udo Willbuger
Source Martin media release
Robust Robe Chosen for Winter Olympics
Lighting designer Durham Marenghi is using 250 Robe ColorWash 1200 ATs in Torino’s Stadio Olympico for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics and the opening of the Paralympics.
One hundred and thirty of the fixtures are rigged in a ‘technical trough’ running all around the perimeter of the 200 x 60 metre performance/parade area on the floor of the stadium, sitting at approximately 1.5 metres off the ground.
The same trough arrangement continues around a large ‘tongue’ platform protruding from the front of the stage that’s used as the main performance area. These fixtures are used to throw wide angle light all around the stadium on up into the audience, including onto a 5-ringed (trussing) performance structure at the opposite end to the stage. This rose up from the ground during the show, representing the Olympic rings and featuring acrobats, aerial artists and various performers during the two and half hour opening extravaganza.
A further 80 Robe fixtures are rigged in the stage roof - overhead across four trusses - used for lighting performers and for general stage effects. Another 20 ColorWash 1200s are placed on a truss over the top of the 5 ring structure, down-lighting its performers.
Legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti was onstage for the opening ceremony, which also included a eulogy for peace by Yoko Ono. The high energy show incorporated the athletes parade in a colourful, spectacular blaze of lighting, plus pyrotechnic effects designed by the renowned Christophe Berthonneau and Groupe F. It was watched live by a capacity crowd of 35,000 and an estimated worldwide TV audience of 2.5 billion.
Marenghi and the event’s scenic/production designer Mark Fisher were initially approached to create a high impact visual scheme for the opening and closing Torino shows at the end of 2002 by Filmmaster who then formed production company K2006 to co-ordinate all the event’s technical and production aspects.
Marenghi’s final specification included Robe ColorWashes for several reasons.
Firstly he wanted a really powerful wide angle light-source guaranteed to be able to throw light everywhere it was needed. He particularly wanted plenty of lighting near the performers on the Olympic rings that would cut through potential environmental hazards like fog, and he also needed plenty of concentrated, flexible light for the stage action and to light the seating stands.
Secondly the fixtures in the exposed trough needed to be robust enough - even though encased in plastic domes - to survive sub-zero temperatures, snow (up to 80 cm a night) and rain. They also had to contend with the trough becoming a gutter collecting all types of extraneous materials during the shows, when the lights were showered with anything from dirt, confetti and the minute quartz crystals scattered onstage for improved grip, to pyro fall-out zone debris. Marenghi was convinced from the outset that Robe was up to the job.
With average temperatures just below freezing, dropping to minus10 at times, Marenghi reports that the Robe’s are “Really excellent” all round – they are fulfilling all needs in terms of getting lighting to where it’s wanted and have not flinched at all in the extreme temperatures.
The majority of the Robe fixtures were supplied by L’Aquilla based lighting company Agora, a main lighting contractor for the opening/closing events, with Robe Italia co-ordinating the sourcing of additional fixtures.
Marenghi’s team of programmers includes Ross Williams, Pryderi Baskerville, Emiliano Morgia and Mark Payne, with his company Lumitect also employing lighting managers Eneas Mackintosh, Nick Jones and David Bartlett, PA Jennie Marenghi and HDTV consultant Chris Bretnall. The shows are operated via four WholeHog 3 consoles from High End Systems.
Opening Ceremony of the 20th Winter Olympics with Coemar
An unprecedented spectacle had two billion viewers glued to their TV sets for the Opening Ceremony of the 20th Winter Olympics. At the Olympic Stadium the athletes parade with their flags and their colours, while “Italian style and creativity was on display through the unique stage settings, massive choreography, amazing light effects and the memorable sound-track”. That is how the official website of the Olympic Games presented the highlights of the ceremony. Andrea Varnier (TOROC Image and Events Director) and Marco Balich (Executive Producer Ceremonies) enlisted world-famous choreographers, stage directors and costume designers who are at the top of their professions. Nothing in an event on this scale was left to chance or to improvisation: that is why technicians and engineers associated with Coemar (Light Contractor: Vittorio De Amicis for Agorà, L'Aquila; Light designer: Durham Marenghi) worked for several months to ensure that the opening ceremony got the spectacular lighting choreography support that its world-wide TV audience deserves. It’s was a remarkable challenge: 4,000 square metres of specially designed stage, an enormous structure and the requirement to accompany and enhance the large-scale, highly dynamic choreography representing Rhythm, Speed and Passion, the themes running through the whole show. Lighting was provided mainly by Coemar products: 124 - iSpot eXtreme, 64 - ProWash 250LX, 370 - iWash 575 MB.
D-Mix Pro integrates Visuals for UB40
Lighting designer Dan Hardiman upped the creative ante on the UK arena section of UB40's current ongoing world tour by also taking on the role of video director, directing and mixing a full manned-camera IMAG system and a substantial lighting rig ..... all via the lighting desk.
The piece of kit that enabled him to do this was D-Tek Industries' ingenious D-Mix Pro - a small 1U 'black box' device offering huge flexibility, plug-and-play simplicity and easy setup and operation.
The D-Mix Pro opens up new opportunities for small-to-medium sized tours to incorporate video very cost-effectively into their show, with no extra crew required. The operator can programme and sequence video mixes via any DMX user-interface, just as they would a moving light or other intelligent device. D-Mix Pro offers a truly integrated show control option, for one creative director to produce seamless visuals across both mediums, says the company.
Hardiman also produced all his own playback video sources for the show, and designed the set in addition to the lighting and video. He says: "I've always believed in total artistic control. Having one person totally responsible for all the show visuals is the only way I believe it can be done properly."
Before the tour commenced, he approached Dan Cook of D-Tek Industries, inventor of the D Mix Pro, one of a range of video integration products produced by the company, to explore the range of possibilities. He also consulted Phil Mercer and Des Fallon at XL Video, suppliers of the tour's production video. Collectively they came up with the solution of utilising the D-Mix Pro.
It was only once immersed in production rehearsals that Hardiman realised exactly how much brainspace was needed for him to process live camera direction plus operating lighting cues! This is where the programmability of the D-Mix Pro was invaluable, enabling him to pre-programme some basic camera mix building blocks, and work live 'on top' during the show.
The D-Mix Pro has four video inputs, each of which can be sent to up to four outputs via a matrix. It works with all video systems worldwide and has less frame-lag than a digital media server. It's also an extremely keenly priced option compared to other solutions and the hardware is rock solid, guaranteeing reliable operation and involving no software with crash potential, says the company.
Hardiman says of the D-Mix: "I like the 'anything-anywhere-anyplace' facility and the fact that it's a one box solution enabling me to run my M-Box playback footage and four live cameras through the WholeHog 3. DMX is finally giving me the huge potential, power and flexibility I need to focus simultaneously on the show's creative aspects."
The stage featured a large 34ft wide by 18ft tall 15mm pixel pitch Sony LED screen. This was supported by two customised ovular soft screens either side of stage, fed with Barco projectors. The cameras were three of XL's operated Sony D50s, two in the pit and one at FOH, plus a remote controlled hot head over-stage. These were run through the D-Mix Pro, along with the M-Box media server playback sources. The D-Mix effectively performs the functions of both a mixer and a switcher device.
The lighting desk and all the FOH gear is supplied by Hardiman's own company t-h-c. XL Video built him a bespoke camera monitoring system for FOH, so he can view up to 16 sources in a variety of configurations on a single flat screen.
To free up some headspace, he came up with a manoeuvre to alleviate himself from having to call four or more follow spots covering 10 band positions, in addition to live directing four cameras and operating a complex lightshow. The idea came to him after a show in Russia where he had to call 12 spots via an interpreter!
Honing his follow-spot vocabulary down to 15 basic commands, he has put the vocals into a sampler and created a system whereby the desk triggers pre-programmed macros that fire the necessary commands at the right time! More on this in the January issue of Lighting&Sound International.
The D-Mix Pro is now being shipped as standard with High End Systems' Catalyst DL2 projection head/integrated media servers, specifically to mix between their cameras.
Source L&SI Online www.lsionline.co.uk
LSC chosen for the inaugural World Music Festival
An audience of 300 million necessitates the market’s most dependable console
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Controlling a large rig of lights at any show can be daunting for an operator but when the show is being broadcast live to an audience of approximately 300 million viewers you need a control console that you know will never let you down.
With reliability so crucial, it is no surprise that the maXim XL consoles from Australian manufacturer, LSC Lighting Systems, were specified for the recent inaugural World Music Festival (WOMF) held in Sarajevo, Bosnia- Herzegovina. The WOMF is a unique music event established as an International TV Festival of popular music, with elements of ethnic music from each participating country.
The Festival was broadcast by TV stations from all participating countries plus many other countries. Partaking countries at the first World Music Festival were: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Monte Negro, Iran, Indonesia, Tunisia, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt.
LSC Distributor for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Masters Commerce, provided all of the lighting services for the Festival. For many years Masters Commerce has favoured LSC equipment for their hire stock and this production was no exception with the maXim XL console, ePRO 12 channel dimmers and Delta DMX splitters utilised.
“The maXim console was controlling 120kW of halogen light units as well as thirty-two Clay Paky moving head fixtures,” said Miro Putica, Master Commerce’s executive manager. “The LSC maXim XL desk is always our first choice because of its remarkable reliability especially when broadcasting live. We used two maXim XL consoles: one for conventional light control and another with a PaTPad module for moving light control. The o peration of the maXim is uncomplicated but there is enough power to create complex shows.”
The ePRO dimmers have been used at many shows by Masters Commerce and Miro states that they are their ideal dimmers due to their incredible trustworthiness, simplicity of operation and their 100% Duty Cycle rating.
Masters Commerce has been involved in Cultural performances and show business in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1994, providing audio, video, and light services, technical solutions and installations.
Photo: Miro Putica with his LSC Lighting maXim XL console.
Martin MAC 700 debuts on Broadway’s “Lennon”
Broadway's latest musical to hit the stage is "Lennon" with lighting design by Natasha Katz and lighting effects from Martin's new MAC 700 Profile. “Lennon” is a biographical musical that tells the story of John Lennon's life using the legendary singer-songwriter’s own words and songs. New York has embraced the show, having played to enthusiastic houses since July 7th at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre. Its official opening night was August 14th.
Natasha Katz has incorporated a number of automated luminaires into her design including Martin’s new MAC 700 profile spot. The MAC 700 is the latest high performance luminaire in Martin’s line of award-winning MAC moving heads. The powerful 700-watt fixture houses the latest in lighting technology including colour and gobo animation systems, motorized zoom, ‘Quiet Mode’ option and much more.
“The MAC 700s have been great,” commented Natasha. “They are used as sidelight with eight of them placed at a trim height of 35 feet and eight placed head high. From where they are the audience sees the fixtures but they really fit in with the set. We use them throughout the show.” Also in the rig are 20 MAC 2000 Profiles, as well as other automated lights.
“We picked the MAC 700 because of the gobo set up which is perfect for our needs, and the size of the fixture," Natasha continues. "There are lots of gobo projections in the show and we use the MAC 700 gobo patterns on projection screens. The fixture dims beautifully and the prism is great and it has good crossfading colors. It’s also quieter than some other units that we have.”
“Lennon's” ensemble consists of nine extraordinary and diverse performers who portray dozens of characters. Billed as "a musical biography, a concert, and a celebration all in one," Lennon takes audiences "on a magical, mythical journey behind the greatest rock legacy and the boldest love story of our time - with words, images and some of the best pop songs ever written," according to show materials. “Lennon” includes three rare and unpublished songs by John Lennon.
|Interesting looks on Hilary Duff tour
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Hilary Duff kicks off her 2005 “Most Wanted Again” tour with a dynamic scenic and lighting design to reflect the energy of Hilary Duffs show. The result is a powerfully lit rock show complete with lasers and SoftLED curtain for effect.
Bandit Lites is very proud to be the tour lighting supplier and very honored to be working with the entire Hilary Duff production team. Seth Jackson, LD, worked with Bandit’s Dizzy Gosnell extensively to preview the system before it hit the road and found himself making modifications as late as day prior to truck load. Seth Jackson says “The tour developed on extremely short notice and Bandit was able to put the system together in record time despite drastic last minute changes”. “If it weren’t for the flexibility of the crew (Sam Harden, BK Waggoner and Billy Willingham) and the endless amounts of drawings and input from Dizzy Gosnell I doubt we would have had the success that we did.” The 3D Cad work (done by Diz) allowed us to spot several problems that wouldn’t have been discovered until rehearsal”.
For control Seth chose Martin Maxxyz and Maxedia which he calls a powerhouse combination. “I have never done a show with such flexibility, ease of programming and limitless options at your fingertips” says Jackson. “Our Lighting Director, BK Waggoner, was able to learn the desk in 3 days with the help of the Maxxyz staff at the Martin West Coast office”.
Howard Ungerleider and his team at PDI were called upon to supply lasers to the show with truly impressive results. Scott Wilson’s programming integrated perfectly into the show becoming part of the lighting system and not just a special effect. “The system is so compact and easy to set up you would never believe the power that comes out of that little box”.
Duff’s set is characterized by two large custom Plexiglas columns framing a 48’x33’ Main Light SoftLED curtain on the upstage edge. The Plexi-columns have a frost treatment and were made by ShowFX, Inc. of Los Angeles. “They take light really well,” says Jackson.
The Mainlight SoftLED curtain provided by Screenworks and XL Video has proven to be a fantastic way to use video as a scenic element. “Due to the 4” spacing of the LED’s you have to be crafty with the feeds given the curtain but we found some fantastic clips and graphics that we were able to endlessly manipulate with the Martin Maxedia” commented Jackson.
Regarding the lighting system itself, Seth chose a mixture of Martin product in conjunction with VL3000’s. “I love the VL3000’s for the great optics system and gobos that VL has always been known for. The zoom is unbelievable and being able to spread the beam that wide with such sharp images is just fantastic. The Martin Mac 300 is still my favorite light!” The power and look of that little fixture is just perfect. The Mac 2K wash is also becoming a favorite of mine. The brightness and color system are great and the flexibility of the beam sizing gives me tremendous options”.
|PixelRange at Live 8
Due to the fact that the majority of the Live 8 show in London was to be a day time event, UK lighting designer Peter Barnes decided on the PixelLine 1044 and the PixelLine 110ecs LED fixtures for their extremely high output.
PRG in London supplied the 120 PixelLine 1044s and 14 PixelLine 110ecs fixtures which were controlled by PixelDrive on a laptop linked to the lighting console.
The ability to control the onboard effects and input video sources then resize, rotate and strobe them was invaluable to Peter Barnes design.
For more information including backstage photos go to the NEWS section of www.clearlight.com.au
Element Labs Breaks New Ground on Coldplay’s “Speed of Sound”
click image to enlarge
Coldplay’s video for its newest single, “Speed of Sound” debuted today—backed up by Versa™ TUBE units from Element Labs. In an unprecedented application, nearly the entire video shoot was done with LED lights from a total of 700 Versa TUBEs.
Filmed on a massive sound stage, the video features a delicate, half crescent back wall composed of 640 Versa TUBEs placed on approximately 6” centers. Since the TUBEs were used without diffusion sleeves and the surrounding structure is quite minimal, the lights appear to be suspended in midair.
Production designer Mike Keeling of Project X and director Mark Romanek put together this singular look. “The idea here is having the band on this raw stage and everything is done in silhouette with lighting and key lighting,” Keeling explains. “Once we embarked on it, Mark and I just decided to do the entire video in LED lighting. That was the criterion. I got chills just thinking about it.”
When Keeling originally introduced the director to the Versa TUBE and Versa TILE technology, they had planned to use only 30 to 40 TUBEs. “But then I showed him it was video capable, so we talked about using it differently, and I suggested we take the sleeves off,” Keeling says. “And Mark liked them that way—he liked the flare. So after that, the whole concept exploded, and it’s a phenomenal look.”
Keeling also used an inventive approach to programming the lighting. “We used audio programming,” he says. “Using Chris Martin’s vocal track, an animator on site took stems of the track—which is taking vocals, keyboards, drums, and bass guitar and splintering them out. Then we keyed off just his vocal range and, within an animation, let that oscillate with the music. Then, what we animated there on several Apple computers was then put through the MBox from PRG, which was controlled with a Wholehog II console with the programming that was then sent to the Versa Drive D2 processors from Element Labs. Then it was all projected on the screen. The director and I just looked at each other and said, ‘Wow!’ It just blew us away.”
The MBox provided DMX-controlled video playback. “So the video was running the Versa TUBEs,” explains Jeremy Hochman of Element Labs. “In addition to the 640 Versa TUBEs in the wall, key lights were composed of two, four, eight and 16 Versa TUBEs. Those key lights were also controlled via an MBox and could either be white (a dialed-in shade of white to match the white balance that they needed for camera), or they could play video.
“The wall would be doing one thing and one key light would be white on the singer and then another key light on each side was playing video content so that the singer or the guitar player or whoever was also properly lit,” Hochman continues. “At the same time, you could see that images along the side of his face or on his body were mimicking the colors on the wall.”
Hochman helped the programmers map the content with three Versa Drive D2 processors. “Two were running the back wall and one was running the key lights,” he explains. “I worked with Martin Philips, who was the programmer, and Andre Lear from PRG who was setting up the MBoxes for the appropriate resolutions. I created several maps on the Versa Drives so they could precisely map the video content to the specific areas that they needed. Andre created masks so that in the MBox they could dial in color or video to specific key lights. And Martin programmed everything on a Wholehog II. The actual content was animated by a couple of guys—one was Vello Virkhaus, who owns V squared Labs, which produced the animated content.”
“One of the things that Mark wanted to do was make sure the transition of the LED lighting on the background also replicated what was going on in front,” Keeling adds. “So everything in the front turned out to be a gorgeous, soft front light from the LED source. So we could go no color, we could change it to any color and we could also change it to video feed in the front, which was replicating what we were putting up in the background. Every close-up shot that you see in the video was done with an LED front light. It’s just mind-boggling.”
“This was the largest TUBE array that we’ve ever done,” adds Jeremy Hochman of Element Labs. “It was really visually interesting and an exciting project just because it was so massive. It looked beautiful. It also went more smoothly than people thought it was going to because no one was really sure how the equipment worked at first. Once we got everything running and they saw how easy it was to use, the guys were very easily able to grab the key lights that they wanted, depending on how much light output was needed. On the fly, we were able to dictate what content went to which key light.”
“This is my most passionate achievement on film,” Keeling says. “Here is new technology at its finest—nobody can match it. You’ve got a light source that is cool in temperature—you don’t burn the talent’s face after being under these lights. When I did Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body” video, I had to bring in $20,000 worth of air conditioning. With this gear, I didn’t even have to use one dimmer rack. Also, out of 640 working lamps on the wall and another 40 or 60 on the floor, only two LED units went bad during the entire shoot. Element Labs is extremely supportive and we had not one problem.
“Element Labs is definitely pushing the envelope and I’m excited about where it’s going to be 16 months from now,” Keeling concludes. “I’ve got a lot of different ideas in mind in terms of using this product. I love that it’s a low-res video that is not just your standard video playback system. I get to play with lights and combine it with video. I can [incorporate] artists’ live playback if I want to within a certain resolution constriction. The fact of the matter is that light from video is pretty awesome. I support them wholeheartedly.”
Australian distributor: Vialux www.vialux.com.au
|LSC stars at Mostar Bridge re-opening
Three LSC maXim lighting desks, LSC Delta data splitters
and ePRO dimmers were used to control the main lighting rig for the historic
re-opening of Mostar bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina - the biggest staged event
in the country's recent history. All lighting production for the symbolic
occasion was supplied and operated by LSC's Bosnian distributor, Masters
Commerce d.o.o., based in Capljina.
The 16th century bridge was blown up in 1993 during bitter fighting in the Bosnian
War between the City's Muslims and Croats. It's hoped the reopening will help
encourage a new era of peace, tolerance and increased co-operation between the
two ethnic communities. Over $13million has been spent on restoring the elegant
single-arch structure spanning the Neretva River: the reconstruction has employed
the same methods and materials as the original Turkish architects nearly 500
The main stage measured 50m x 50m, and was located under the bridge itself. Both
the stage and the bridge and buildings were lit with a combination of HMI spotlights,
Pars, followspots, Clay Paky Golden Scan 3s and 4s, Stage Zooms, SGM Giotto Wash
lights and Gallileos - all controlled by the maXims. One console was used for
generic lighting control, one was connected to a DMX network to control all the
moving fixtures, leaving one spare. Obviously, with the profile of the event,
Masters Commerce needed to ensure they had the best equipment available, and
specified LSC consoles for their "Excellent reliability".
They also chose LSC because of the highly stable performance of the LSC dimmers
and the DMX data network. LSC's Alan Graham comments: "We're really proud to
have been involved in such a high profile event. The Bosnian/Herzegovinian market
is still developing, but LSC has already made its mark there, and we are looking
forward to a steady increase in business. Events like the bridge re-opening will
boost confidence and interest in the region."
Over 2,000 performers and artists participated in the Mostar Bridge Opening Ceremony
jointly organised by state and local officials. Attendees included over 2000
VIPS (Prince Charles among them) seated in the immediate viewing area - including
650 international press and 50 delegations representing countries and institutions
around the globe. Over 50,000 others watched from various parts of the town via
several giant video screens.
lighting rig for the Democratic National Convention
click to enlarge
Production Resource Group provided a complete lighting package for the 2004
Democratic National Convention in Boston. The package included many items
traditionally available from PRG, as well as many new Vari-Lite technologies
added to the company's inventory as a result of its June 2004 merger with
VLPS Lighting Services.
"It's been great to work on this high profile project as part of the
new PRG", said Susan Tesh, general manager of PRG's Los Angeles office.
"We were able to pull together all of our resources on time to provide
the volume and variety of equipment that our client needed."
PRG's lighting package included a Virtuoso VX control system, 171 VL5 and
194 VL5Arc wash luminaries, 30 VL6C, 38 VL7and 90 VL3000 spot luminaries.
Also included were 181 Martin Professional MAC 2000 wash lights, 116 Par
Bars, 58 Source Four 19°, 48 Dome Strobes, 30 1k and 18 2k Fresnels
and a range of 14 followspots from Strong, including Super Troupers and
The 2004 Democratic National Convention runs this week from July 25-29 at
Boston's Fleet Center and is produced by the Emmy Award-winning team of
Don Mischer and Ricky Kirshner. Bob Barnhart and Bob Dickinson were the
lighting designers, with Matt Firestone as the Virtuoso programmer. Susan
Tesh and Dale Ward led PRG's support team, with Tony Ward providing onsite
Sirens of Treasure Island
traveled to Las Vegas in the past decade chances are you had a chance to
witness the outdoor sea battle at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, the
Battle of Buccaneer Bay, as you strolled down The Strip. After playing to
an estimated 35 million people over 10 years, the popular free performance
was retired to make way for an updated, sexier show The Sirens of
The show was given
a fresh new storyline and set to music. The result is a musical-meets-action
spectacular that features an exhilarating clash between a group of beautiful,
tempting sirens and a band of renegade pirates. It contains all the elements
certain to keep Treasure Island at the top of visitors list - music,
dance, excitement and seduction.
Set in a far away
cove, the buildings of the seaside village are bathed in a cool moonlit
wash while a ghostly bleached ship with tattered sails sits nearby. Lighting
the tropical city façade is a new Martin color-changing system of
Exterior 600, Exterior 600 Compact and Atomic strobe fixtures supplied by
for the new show is by Roy Bennet with programming and assistant lighting
design by Troy Eckerman. Roy comments, I used the 600s to flood the
façade of the buildings to get as much coverage as possible, and
they also work on both boats. The fixtures (6) placed behind the Siren boat
have 100-degree lenses, which, in that tight space, gives enough coverage
to pull the boat away from the wall of the city to give it some depth. The
other reason I chose the 600 is because in that genre of light theyre
the most reliable.
surround the cove with blues, pinks and purples dominating the color scheme.
And because the show includes both intense fighting scenes and more subtle
elements, the fixtures are used for a variety of looks. The majority
of the fixtures were placed low on front of the dock, on the dockside only
a couple of feet above the water, and on the walkway shining across the
water onto the city façade, Troy Eckerman comments.
light the face of the ship when it comes around the cove and are also used
for effects in the lightning scene of the show, he adds. Strobing
effects from the Exterior 600s are used to simulate a steadily growing storm
and then to replicate a huge bolt of lightning that illuminates the mainsail.
A static look provides illumination between shows with incandescent lighting
taking over after midnight. The show lighting is run on SMPTE by a WholeHog
Some 64 Atomic
3000 strobes are also incorporated into the show for lightning effect and
uplighting purposes. Mounted in groups of two, 34 Atomics are mounted on
the roof to light palm trees and buildings; 28 are located around the dock,
aimed downward into the water producing a reflection effect which also uplights
the buildings; and a pair are uplighting the Siren boat itself.
of The Sirens of Treasure Island can be seen nightly in Sirens' Cove at
the front of Treasure Island, the centerpiece of the resorts ongoing
Roy Bennet: Lighting
Lighting Programmer and Assistant Lighting Designer
Head Lighting Technician (Sirens of Treasure Island)
uses Watchout with Rod
Stewart hit the road this spring to commence a world tour in support of
his double platinum release, The Great American Songbook: Volume II. The
tour, which began in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will continue through US
and Canadian arenas through the end of August before moving overseas.
The show is presented
in two parts, opening to a basic rock and roll set, with Rod and band performing
high-energy songs from years past, then transforming for the second half
to represent a vintage music hall, complete with heavy gold drapes and back-up
orchestra. Here the audience is treated to several highlights off The Great
American Songbook: Vol. II.
To enhance the
spectacular performance, international staging solutions provider Creative
Technology is supplying large screen, high-resolution projection technology,
including Watchout, Dataton's multi-display production system. The backdrop
for the main stage consists of a single 20ft x 25ft rear projection screen
flanked by two 15ft x 20ft (portrait), rearpro screens - all supported by
five Digital Projection 28sx projectors. Two 12ft x 16ft rearpro I-Mag screens
are supported by three Christie X10 projectors, with all playback through
"To my knowledge,
this is one of the first rock and roll tours that has utilized sophisticated
corporate audio visual technology to maximize resolution, and thus increase
picture quality," said David Crump, business development director for
Avesco plc, parent company of Creative Technology. "With Watchout we
are able to keep most of the imagery at 1024 x 768 right through the signal
winning Barco MiPIX chosen for Britney Spears tour
On March 12th, Britney Spears kicked of her Onyx Hotel Tour 2004
in Seattle, USA backed by a spectacular 3D display of over 25 000 Barco
MiPIX LED blocks. The MiPIX blocks form part of an order placed by Barco
Rental Partner XL Video in January 04. The order by XL Video and use of
Barcos MiPIX on the Britney Spears tour mark yet another high point
since Barco launched the revolutionary LED block in Frankfurt last year.
Winning the coveted 2004 Entertainment Design Product of the Year Award
in New York City in January this year, Barco is also proud to announce that
it has sold over 100 000 blocks of MiPIX to various Rental Partners over
the past six months.
We are enormously proud to have MiPIX associated with a high profile
artist such as Britney Spears, says Stephan Paridaen, President of
Barcos Media & Entertainment division, adding: Our Rental
Partner XL Video saw the unlimited potential of the MiPIX module early on,
anticipating the evolution of the lighting industry and the creative industrys
need for increased modularity and freedom, and placed two orders in a very
short span of time. Being one of the worlds foremost rental &
staging companies made them an early adopter of this new technology, a fact
that has now given them the opportunity to supply some of the worlds
biggest brands including Mercedes, Kylie Minogue and now Britney Spears
with the technology.
Barcos MiPIX modular intelligent LED pixel block is tiny compared
with other LED display modules and measures only 4cm by 4cm. A revolution
in the LED market, its small size and shape allow for it to be used to create
intelligent lighting effects on large-scale backdrops of any form, shape
or size, while also offering the possibility of full video content on 3D
logos or other free-form shapes. The MiPIX blocks further facilitate the
construction of large-scale backdrops by the fact that they can be spaced
apart at various distances, making the pixel blocks a cost-effective medium
for ultra-large applications.
We believed in this product from the start, says Rene De Keyzer,
Managing Director of XL Video, adding: We invested in the MiPIX in
August of last year and immediately used the product on the Mercedes booth
at the Frankfurt International Auto Show. The success of the booth and the
enthusiasm it received from creatives around the globe convinced us that
we needed to increase our investment A.S.A.P. In the past six months we
have already used MiPIX at the Frankfurt Auto Show, at the Geneva International
Auto Show, for the launch of Kylies Body Language CD and
now on Britneys tour. Interest in Barcos MiPIX continues to
increase and you will no doubt be seeing much more of this product on future
events, concludes De Keyzer.
goes to Linkin Park
Linkin Parks lighting designer, AJ Pen, is using 24 Robe Spot
1200's on their massive Meteora 2004 world tour, which is completely
sold out and currently storming through its way through the US and Canadian
Pen has worked
with the band for the last 12 months and Linkin Park has toured constantly
since then, in various configurations promoting their hugely successful
Meteora album, which has gone triple platinum in the US.
Pen was introduced
to Robe Show Lightings moving light range, and in particular the great
potential of the Robe Spot 1200, by Robe Americas Randy Wade through
Linkin Parks Production Manager, Jim Digby. This is the first time
Pen has used Robe, and the powerful 1200 Spots are proving to be a fanatastic
creative asset for the show.
1200s are deployed on the upstage truss for beam effects; four are used
as pseudo followspots; ten are rigged onto custom trussing and
utilised for specials and cosmetics, and four are placed underneath the
stage, shooting up through the downstage grill deck. All are used to produce
high-powered hard-edged beams as well as for air texturing and dynamic effects.
Pens top priority during the show. Linkin Parks two singers,
bass and guitar players are all highly energetic performers and are never
static for more than a few seconds! These four are currently all shadowed
by both front and rear spots, while the ColorSpot 1200s are used to simulate
the follow spot look on the DJ and drummer anchored to
the same spot!
The lighting rig for this section of the tour features two customised over-stage
trusses in the shape of the bands logo an L and a reversed
P. Other lights on the rig include a host of generics and other
intelligent fixtures. The show has a colourful array of different looks,
produced via kabuki drops, video effects and moving trusses. The articulation
angles programmed for the truss combined with the unique beam angles employed
by the Robe 1200s produce some stunning effects.
Pen also designed
the shows video, all of which is run via a Catalyst digital media
server from his Grand MA lighting desk. He mixes the mediums of lighting
and video into a slick, edgy and coherent visual collage for the show, colour-tinting
video elements to match the lighting, etc. Lighting equipment is being supplied
by leading Canadian rental house, Christie Lites Ltd. The Robe fixtures
are proving reliable in relation to the rigours of the road as well as an
invaluable creative tool. Pen particularly likes the zoom and focus tracking
facilities, and comments, The Robe ColorSpot 1200AT's are incredibly
bright projectors with exceptional optics. They have performed extremely
well with no mechanical difficulties on this entire tour. They do everything
that a fixture of this category needs to do."
The sold-out North
American tour is the start of another awesome year in the high energy world
of Linkin Park.
Bowie's A Reality Tour
click to enlarge
Having garnered rave reviews in Europe and the US, David Bowie's worldwide
"A Reality Tour" touches down in Australia this month playing
dates in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Lighting designer Tom Kenny uses a rig mainly made up of Martin MAC2000
profiles with custom gobos and MAC 600 washes. To read a full report on
the European production go to http://www.mondiale.co.uk/
ALIA are currently in negotiations with Tom Kenny regarding a tour of
the lighting in Sydney on Saturday February 21st.
Light the MTV Europe Music Awards 2003
The MTV Europe Music Awards2003, showing on Channel 10 tonight, took Edinburgh
by storm on Thursday 6th November.
VLPS Lighting Services were the main lighting contractor and supplied numerous
VARI*LITE® automated luminaires which comprised of 12 VL3000,
32 VL2C and 48 VL6C spot luminaires as well as 4 VL1000
luminaires, 40 VL2416, 96 VL5arc and 24 VL2000 wash luminaires.
And if that wasn't enough, VLPS also supplied 6 Pigi projectors, 60 Strobes,
24 VLM moving mirrors, 48 Pulsar Chromabanks, 8 Mirror balls, 17 Synchrolights,
4 Lighting Strikes, 6 Gladiators, 12 City Colours and 25 Diversitronics,
1500' (ft) of lighting truss hung from 80 motors and 18 ½ miles of
lighting cables! This accounted for 9 x 45' truck loads of lighting equipment
weighing a total of 40 tonnes!
It took 3000 man hours from start to finish, to erect , run and dismantle
the rig, which drew 6000 amps of power, approximately 1,500,000 watts of
Al Gurdon was the Lighting Designer and Operators Mike "Oz" Owen
Virtuoso and Dave Hill operated the Virtuoso console and Whole Hog 2 respectively.
Mike 'Oz' Owen said "The lighting elements that Al tailored towards
strong looks for particular music styles (Pigi projectors and gauzes, Syncrolites,
'Rock' collimated VL2416 wash luminaire's and VL5A's etc) all worked
well and enabled the programming to get straight to the point. The simplicity
of the setting for each performance, being the environment of the temporary
structure with the screens and lighting wrapped around the stages and walkways,
again allowed us to put strong looks in place quickly. Splitting up the
programming, giving Dave the TV requirements of keying and audience lighting,
allowing me to concentrate on the performance lighting, worked very well
to reduce stress levels. Al's shows are not known for their simplicity of
equipment and the crew led by the absolutely indispensable Richie Gorrod
did wonders to get it all up - including six different types of strobes
(AF1000s, Diversotronics, Lightning Strikes, Hungaro Flash, Egg Strobes
Dave Hill commented "The MTV Europe Music Awards 2003was a lighting
extravaganza in a custom built venue. The lighting crew led by the highly
respected Rich Gorrod performed wonders installing a mammoth lighting system
within the confines of an 8 pole "Galaxy" tent. Al Gurdon's vision
of lighting for the show was the driving force, and the use of projection
and silk drops combined with the lighting systems created truly breathtaking
He continues "Mike Owen and myself put it all together with one Virtuoso
and one WholeHog 2 console, with Mike taking the lions share of the performance
lighting and I looked after the audience, and key lighting. This splitting
of the system allowed both programmers much more freedom within their areas
and allowed the lighting of the show to flow more easily".
Crew were Gareth Morgan, Gavin Norris, Christine Henry, Phil Sharp, Craig
Harrower , Simon Cox, Steve Bellfield, Lars Kristiansen and Simon Anderson
led by Crew Chief Richard Gorrod.
The MTV Europe Music Awards 2003 were sponsored by by American Express,
Vodafone live!, Replay Blue Jeans and Foot Locker.
250 Entour Shines for Big Brother Africa Finale
in the Netherlands in 1999, reality show Big Brother first took Europe by
storm in 2000, and then the US. Now, Big Brother lives on in Africa.
Big Brother Africa (BBA), the continent's first pan-African reality TV show,
was a smashing success. Arguably the continent's most watched program throughout
the summer, BBA was the first Big Brother of it's kind, incorporating 12
strangers from 12 different African cultures.
South African lighting and technical production company M.J. Lighting was
awarded the contract by Effect 28Creative Solutions to provide lighting
and structure for the Big Brother Africa final, held outside the M-Net studios
in Randburg, South Africa on the 6th of September 2003.
Francois van der Merwe, M.J.s in-house lighting designer, utilized
a host of automated luminaires on the show including eight MAC 2000 Profiles
and 20 of M.J.s newest fixtures, the Martin MAC 250 Entour. The Martin
gear was supplied through Martins South African distributor, Electrosonic.
One of two new versions of Martins groundbreaking 250-watt automated
profile spot, the Entour houses superior achromatic optics for bright output
and a host of graphical solutions, as well as a specially designed dimming
system and more. This rig was complemented with conventional lighting rigged
off scaff towers as audience and front light for the stage.
Twenty of the twenty-four MAC 250 Entour units arrived in the country the
Thursday before the Sunday event, and after minimal warehouse preparation
were ready to work gobo and color effects onto the walkway and finalists
stage. A pair of powerful Jem ZR 33 Hi-Mass smoke machines is incorporated
into the set, creating both exceptional atmospheric smoke effects and a
mid-air projection canopy.
Francois was impressed with the brightness and head speed of the Entour
and commented on how silent the unit was. Although minimal in size, the
Entour was capable of generating more than adequate light output for the
cameras. M.J. Lighting also provided an outdoor freestanding 22m x 8m structure
of s-type, a-type and d-type truss from which side, top and back lighting
The successful finale was televised live to approximately 25 million viewers
click on an image to enlarge
Lighting designer Curry Grant has worked for the band since 1974. Lighting
and Australian projection designer Paul Guthrie has worked for its female
lead singer for the past six years. It's also been six years since the group's
last tour. The band? Fleetwood Mac. The designers' goal? To ease them into
the 21st century. We wanted to try and bring the band into a slightly
more modern look, but it could never be a scenario where the production
overpowered the band, explains Guthrie.
Read more about the production on the Lighting
The tour is due here late February/early March next year.
Photos: Todd Kaplan
Pixel fixtures revealed at Glastonbury
Engineerings busy R n D department revealed its latest
LED creation at Glastonbury 2003 the PixelPAR 90L.
The colour-changing luminaire is a PAR 64 sized fixture using the ultra-bright
Luxeon Emitter LEDs. The bigger style of diode has a larger surface area,
and is therefore ideal for all types of wide illumination applications
needing versatile wash light fixtures.
At Glastonbury, Twelve PixelPAR 90Ls were made available to all major
artists performing on the Pyramid Stage, and were used highly effectively
as truss toners, making the stage superstructure glow effervescently into
the night. They were also used in the Circus Tent and on the Lost World
Stage, while the Jazz Stage lighting rig utilised 4 Pixelline 1440 LED
The highly efficient PixelPAR 90L unit is rated at 90 Watts, so draws
a minuscule amount of power for its intense brightness. Its typically
90 per cent more efficient than conventional lamps, and brighter than
most 600 watt Series moving light discharge lightsources when in compared
to saturated colours.
The current version offers a 6 degree beam angle. Future versions will
be focusable between 2 and 90 degrees, offering all the options and more
than a generic PAR can.
PixelPAR 90L is also free from the mechanical constraints of traditional
PAR cans. As a lightsource, it can be used as a multi-layer creative tool,
offering the possibility of creating complex effects - like chasing ripples
running through a series of fixtures in both directions simultaneously.
With between 16 million to 6.8 billion colour permutations possible, lighting
designers using this lamp should not find their imaginative scope restricted!
Glastonbury comments include:
Andy Porter (Fraggle) from Neg Earth (lighting contractors for the Pyramid
stage) used the PixelPAR 90Ls and says, Theyre very punchy,
they produce crystal clear colours and are easy to control. Apart from
being small and neat in terms of the intensity of light output
theyre very familiar in shape and appearance!
James Loudon, Circus Tent LD comments, Bright, powerful and produce
a great array of rich primary colours, often out-performing some of the
mechanical colour wash devices!
Matt Davey, LD for the Lost World Stage states, They were easy to
rig and the brightness is just dazzling. I liked the instant colour changing
and the strobing effects, and the low power consumption is an asset to
Australian distributor: Clearlight Shows www.clearlight.com.au
Albert II Celebrates with 100 Droplets
On Monday July 21 (Belgian National Day), King Albert II of Belgium celebrated
his 10 years of reign with a big outdoor party in Brussels. According to
the Brussels police more than 45,000 people attended the concerts that the
king organized for the people of Belgium. On the stage, situated in front
of the monumental Palace of Justice, 100 Xilver Droplets lit the musicians.
The Droplets, automated LED luminaries from the Belgain company Xilver,
were placed everywhere on stage, between the orchestra, and on the catwalk.
The rest of the stage was lit by ETC Source Fours, and Vari-Lite VL2Cs,
VL5s and VL2200s. With Xilver's colour-combining system (16 million colours),
the tiny Droplets could easily match every colour from the other fixtures
Xilver also placed 12 red LED blinders, each with 96 Luxeon LEDs to both
lit the stage totally in red, and create extremely fast red strobes during
the dance event that finalized the celebrations for the king.
The lighting design was created by Belgian light designer Koert Vermeulen,
and the board operator was Olivier Demoustier from EML, the company that
supplied most of the lighting on stage. Michel Suk operated the scenery
lighting for the façade of the Palace of Justice behind the podium
and which was also designed by Vermeulen.
Droplets are the smallest moving LED luminaries on the market, and are fully
operated by DMX. A special rental base plate is available for events like
this. The rental base plates can be easily mounted to trusses with clamps.
luminaires light the Eiffel Tower
For the first
time in its 110 year history, the Eiffel Tower has become a permanently
illuminated landmark on the Paris skyline following the success of the New
Years Eve Millennium celebrations in 2000.
Paris Mayor Bertrand
Delanoë was guest of honour at the inaugural event on the 21st June,
timed to coincide with a popular music festival in the Champs de Mars gardens
surrounding the tower.
At the stroke
of midnight the 500,000 strong local festival audience plus viewers of the
live broadcast from television station France 2 watched in awe as the 1000's
of light bulbs that make up the installation were turned on. The Eiffel
Tower shimmered in blues and golds behind the festival stage, where the
new VARI*LITE® Series 3000 luminaries mounted on a circular truss
were focussed to shine on the tower, adding dynamic colour for the spectacular
zoom and powerful output of these 1200 watt units meant that just 24 VL
3000 Spots were needed, supplied by Phase 4 via VLPS Lighting Services
French Dealer, CSI. The project was supervised by Fredérique Dorieux.
Like the British
Airways London Eye, the Eiffel Tower was ironically never intended to be
a permanent structure, but the new lighting installation has certainly added
a touch of sparkle to this famous landmark.
Jovi Bounce-Tour kicks-off
click on an image to enlarge
After two smaller
concerts in Spain, the new Bon Jovi Worldtour "Bounce" kicked-off
in Erfurt (GER) at the 25th of May.
In the nearly
sold-out Steigerwald Stadium in Erfurt, the two US Lighting Designers Spike
Brandt and JUSTIn Collie showed, what is possible with the latest A/V and
lighting techniques. LED- and video equipment were the guiding elements
of the show. And finally the manifold video sequences - triggered via DMX
- were the reason for choosing the grandMA. "It is the first time,
that we use these consoles on a Bon Jovi Tour", explains Patrick Brannon,
Lighting Director. To be exact, we use two big grandMA consoles with 4,096
channels each, one grandMA ultra-light and a grandMA remote. All consoles
are being used in a multi-user environment, which enables us to do in parallel
set-up, lamp-check and full-tracking backup.
The showdesign was created with WYSIWYG, so that the concert in Erfurt was
both at the same time: the last rehearsal and the premiere. The operating
was accommodated by Lightpower´s Oliver Rump.
returns for more Pacifics
The year 2003
heralds the 300th anniversary of the city of Sankt-Petersburg in Russia
and what better way for the historic Mariinsky Academic Opera and Ballet
Theatre, home of the world-famous Kirov Opera and Ballet to celebrate than
with the installation of new, well over-due Selecon Pacific zoomspot ballet
The promise of
performances by such prestigious ballet companies as the Royal Ballet, London;
the New York City Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet as part of the festivities,
provided just the push that Vladimir Lukasevich, the Mariinsky's Resident
Lighting Designer and renowned lighting designer had been looking for. With
support from his colleagues from the visiting ballet companies the funding
to replace the old, ill-equipped ballet booms was granted.As
with most venues the ability to multi-task is vital and as the booms would
have to be multi-purpose - Opera as well as the Ballet; the Pacific zoomspots
fit the bill in all respects.
So, why choose
"Generallly, the compact size of the 1kW luminaire and the fact that
the light output is better and more effective then some 1.2kW units. However,
the main reason for the Pacific choice rather than, say for example a Source
Four is that the S4 was designed in the US for 120V mains power but we have
220V in Russia. As the light output is proportional to current in square,
we have less to work with than our American or Japanese Lighting Designers
from the same type of lamp. We have a big stage and cannot effectively use
lamps with 575watt or even 750watt; we have to have at least 1kW. As well
as these reasons, the Pacific's heat management system means that lamps
and gels last longer."
one of the original converts to the Pacific range, specifying and installing
them in the Mariinsky Academic Opera and Ballet House shortly after their
introduction to the market. They have performed well in their established
FOH and Torm positions so there was no surprise that the luminaire of choice
for the new ballet booms would run in the family.
Touch for Dandy Warhols
A RADlite digital
media server was programmed and operated by Dan Cook for the London Brixton
Academy show on the current Dandy Warhols world tour. The show marked
the end of the tours first Euro section, highlighting the launch of
the psychedelic indie rockers launch of their new Welcome To
The Monkey House album earlier in the month.
The RADlite was
brought onboard by the Warhols LD Pete Hosier (known throughout the
industry as Luton), who specified the latest in live digital
visuals to funk up the stage aesthetics at the all-important Brixton show.
It was such as success that they were already talking on the night about
future use for the RADlite will now be taking RADlite on the rest of the
Cook worked at
a frenetic pace within a very tight timeline. He had from midday to 7 p.m.
when doors opened on the gig day to get the show honed and ready to roll.
Using an Avolites Azure console and an array of images pulled from Projected
Images new Beacon Digital Gobo catalogue, Cook created an animated
visual montage of colour, shapes, effects and movement that ran the entire
two-and-a-half hour set without repetition.
The RADlite system
was supplied for this occasion by UK distributors Projected Image Digital.
Cook, a well known LD in his own right and one half of the Design &
Media Solutions team, comments RADlite is so quick and simple to manipulate
and programme! Within 30 minutes I had the basis of the show in the desk,
and then built and fine-tuned from there. The flexibility is fantastic!.
working in tandem with the tours lighting operator Scott Simon, explains
that the lighting modus operandi is to use the moving lights for PAR can
style standard illuminations and for key lighting the band,
while the RADlite effects set the theme, individual look and atmosphere
for each song.
says simply, I love RADlite - the systems creative possibilities
just blow my mind!!
The main RADlite
projection surface was five polyester drop-banners, backed by an upstage
cyc, giving the clean and digital feel they wanted for the stage.
- including a Barco G5, a Panasonic MX50 mixer and a DVD player/scan converter
enabling utilisation of some of the bands existing NTSC format video
footage, was supplied by leading UK live video rental house XL Video. Cook
mixed both RADlite and DVD video sources for the Brixton show - at times
combining the two and using effects like Chroma-Key and Luminance Key. Simon
operated the lighting rig using an Avolites Pearl.
was supplied by GLS, and sound equipment was a collaborative effort between
Audiolease and Juice PA.
Hue City bridge lit by Studio Due architectural projectors
To get into
the details of this spectacular installation, it is worth to mention that
the bridge is 403 mts long and is composed of six big arcades with maximum
height of 7 mts, each one divided into 14 parts of 5 mts width. The light
designer who conceived the lighting project, Mr Rainer Frey, has used 154
MinCity 150W to ensure the complete coverage of the surface and to guarantee
the correct distribution of the light beams throughout the structure.
It is the small
MiniCity that makes the six-arch structure of the bridge shine by night:
mounted on a bracket external to the cart-way, the MiniCity evenly cover
with their powerful and concentrated light beams the entire surface of the
bridge, and guarantee an impressive mono and polychromatic illumination.
The always increasing
request for architectural lights has pushed Studio Due to continue the investment
money, resources and manpower in this field and, as a result, the Italian
company is now about to launch three new projectors which will complete
the range of the renowned MiniCity, CityColor and CityBeam.
The three new
entries will be the MiniCity 70W and IP rate 66 with beam angle of 20°,
and two intermediate versions of the CityColor with 300W and 700W lamps.
The MiniCity 70W is perfect for small places: compact in its size, it is
equipped with a bracket that allows an easy wall and floor use. The CityColor
300W is equipped with a 45° beam angle, and in its reflector is the
same technology as the one of the most powerful models. On the other hand,
the CityColor 700W and the already licensed projecting system it uses, mark
a new starting point in the field of lighting design and open new ways to
new applications. The new projecting system, born from Studio Due's uninterrupted
engagement in developing new technologies, is already covered by international
licence and allows to manage different beam inclinations as to perfectly
illuminate big wide or high surfaces.
Gabriel's Growing Up tour
When the European leg of Peter Gabriels acclaimed "Growing UP"
tour opened April 24 at the Globe in Stockholm, there was one change in
the line-up: a Wholehog® III had taken over from the two Wholehog II
consoles used on the U.S. leg of the tour.
The staging was typically inventive and full of imagery from PGs music.
Designed by Robert Lepage, a centre-piece of the set for much of the show
was an immense globe suspended above the stage. High End Systems Catalyst®
systems were used to project images onto the globe, at times transforming
it into the moon or a giant ball of fire.
lighting was designed by Luc LaFortune and programmed by Dennis Gardner,
who subsequently took the helm on the road. High End Systems equipment
features prominently with 36 x.Spot® HO and 36 Studio Beam® automated
luminaires, joining the 6 Catalysts (4 with orbital moving heads), Clay
Paky Stagescans, various strobes and conventionals. A unique lighting fixture
in the plot was PGs LED jacket for the ultimate light-emitting-porcupine
effect. A Wholehog III console with two DMX Processors, USB Playback Wing
and external touchscreen LCD monitors controlled it all.
The Flying Pig
Systems team worked closely with Gardner to ensure a smooth transition from
control by two MIDI-linked Wholehog IIs to a single Wholehog III. The shows
from each Hog II were first cleaned up to remove redundant show information
and then converted from Hog II to Hog III format at the Flying Pig office
in London. The two shows were then merged together into a single show, and
this was tested during pre-production at the new facilities of Neg Earth,
the lighting contractor for the tour (its partner for the U.S. leg is Upstaging).
Flying Pig Systems
Nick Archdale explains, "I must admit to resisting at first the notion
of porting this show, mid-tour, from one platform to another but Dennis
was eager to get everything on the one console to simplify show maintenance
and operation. But everything went to plan and the Hog IIIs powerful
show-merging functionality delivered a single show with no loss of data
and minimal tweaking."
Gardner was quick
to praise the console and the support from the Flying Pig team. "I
love it. Its very easy to operate, edit cues and create effects,"
he says. "The big worry was converting two Hog II show disks onto one
Hog III, but this was done with great aplomb by Tristan Bonsall at Flying
Pig. I like the way consoles can be networked together working on the same
show, which is great for when we add extra lighting for a TV shoot with
another operator looking after light levels."
is an original founder of Flying Pig Systems, concludes, "Its
funny to find myself back in amongst a Peter Gabriel show with Dennis because
we first met in 1993 on the Secret World tour, which was one
of the first to use the original Wholehog console. Its good to see
that the Hog III is now grown up enough to follow in its grandpas
The show moves
on from Stockholm to tour around Europe until the end of May, although its
venue choices have been chosen by their ability to support the suspension
of around 30 tons of equipment above the stage. The tour returns to the
U.S. in June for a smaller-scale summer production.
Peter Gabriel Production Crew:
Tour Manager: David Taraskevics
Production Manager: Steve Martin
Stage Manager: Phil Murphy
Creative Designer: Robert Lepage
Lighting Designer: Luc LaFortune
Lighting Director/Programmer: Dennis Gardner
Lighting Crew Chief: John Shelley Smith
Video Crew Chief & Director: Tim Brennon
Catalyst Engineer: Dave Cox
Launches Flex Range at Geneva Motor Show
production company NAT rigged the Renault stand at the recent Geneva Motor
Show, not only did it introduce the latest automotive products from Renault
but also the newest in automated lighting fixtures, the Flex range from
The Flex range
consists of three fixtures - the iWash Flex, iSpot Flex, and iProfile Flex--with
unique features including a 2kW newly developed MSR-2000S/A lamp from Philips,
a Coemar 2kW electronic ballast to provide dimming over a range of 800W
to 2kW, and high-speed electronic strobe. The range also features CYM colour-mixing
plus variable CTO and interchangeable fixed coloyrs to provide a virtually
unlimited color palette. The full range also features the patented Best
Colour System which automatically varies light output to balance the intensity
between white and the full color range, allowing Coemar to fit the Flex
range with full saturated colours without concern for loss of light output.
The iWash Flex
features a patented internal barndoor system, the widest range of beam angle
and optional lenses to allow for beam shaping and an even wider beam angle.
The iSpot Flex features three overlapping gobo/effects wheels to facilitate
moiré and morphing effects, iris as well as prism effects and a progressive
zoom system, with 7-30º beam angle. The iProfile Flex features two
animation wheels for cloud, fire, and other animated effects, a full framing
system, gobo wheel, prism effects, iris, and progressive zoom system with
7-30° beam angle.
NAT, which utilizes
Coemar automated lighting exclusively in its rental fleet, had worked closely
with the Italian manufacturer during the development of the new Flex range.
So when television DP Frederic Dorieux asked the company to provide the
lighting for the large Renault stand, with the enormous throw distance and
lux output required, NAT saw a perfect opportunity for the iWash Flex to
make its debut.
NAT installed 80 iWash Flex luminaires, 18 Coemar 2.4kW SuperCycs, and 19
Coemar 2.5kW PC theatrical projectors to create a lighting presentation
for Renault's new edition Megane, Scenic, and F1 showcase cars. All the
lighting cues on the Flying Pig Systems Wholehog® II desk were programmed
by Remy Roland, working for Frederick Dorieux, while the daily refocusing
was maintained by Matthieu Fouillade.
"This is a very good luminaire, easy to program. And the variable lamp,
using new technology, produces a wonderful quality of light. By being able
to vary the power output you can utilize the lamps as if it were attached
to a dimmer. This is a real breakthrough for Coemar."
Prince" has come back to life in the Casino de Paris Theatre. Antoine
de Saint-Exupéry's grand novel is now a journey through worlds
of enchantment and colourful characters, a metaphor for man's vices and
virtues. The show began on October 1, 2002 and will run presumably through
the end of June 2003.
Victor Bosch/NODO Productions, the show features music by Riccardo Cocciante
(with lyrics by Elisabeth Anais) and directed by Jean-Louis Martinoty.
Jean Kalman served as Lighting Designer, a lighting artist whose work
has appeared onstage at the National Opera of Paris, the Musical Theatre,
the Royal National Theatre of London and numerous other theatres, festivals,
and concerts the world over for internationally acclaimed artists.
Petit Prince", Kalman demonstrates how recently the possibilities
of theatre lighting have expanded beyond all expectations. This is primarily
due to the advent of "intelligent" projector technology and
the use of increasingly versatile and professional products.
Light is no
longer a passive element to accompany a presentation, but must constantly
interact with the scene, giving it life and form. Up front and centre
stage for 100 CP Color 400 Clay Paky's aligned in 5 rows of 20 each on
the stage's back wall. The colours were retro-projected on vast semi-transparent
printed screens, which serve as the framework for different scenes.
performed a number of trials in order to decide which colour changer was
most suited to our needs. Clay Paky's CP Colors proved to be the most
versatile and complete: the CMY color-mixing system allows to create any
colour combination imaginable with crisp and flawless uniformity of colour,
even at wide angles and close range. What's more, they operate in total
silence, not a detail to be overlooked in a theatrical setting, especially
with 100 fixtures.
Yves Caizergues confirms this: "Their versatility allowed me to program
and operate all the CP Color 400's as if they were a single element. The
background appeared coloured because we "painted" it with light.
The real advantage is that we were able to create as many coloured backgrounds
as needed without the slightest modification of the set. I enjoyed being
able to control the 0 to 100% dimmer from the lighting desk. This allowed
me to vary the intensity of light and colour variations simultaneously.
And the result?
While watching the show, you get the impression that nothing is impossible
for Jean and Yves: a languid desert sunset surrenders to the night. Dawn
breaks through and the desert becomes a meadow, only to be transformed
into an ice slide to recreate the passage of time and seasons...a variety
of settings using light as a creative force in each scene.
Prince", continues Yves, "is a show that incorporates several
powerful metaphorical elements as a backdrop for the actors: what is unique
is that we were able to achieve this by using elements that are purely
theatrical, such as stage design and lighting. The lighting system was
supplied by Roland Morvan's Cameleon company and consisted of several
projectors for front and side lighting.
by explaining how the projection screens function and were created: "They
consist of 5 large 8.50m x 12.00m transparent screens, some of which are
partially coloured and overprinted with photographs. These screens descend
parallel to each other on different levels, at a distance varying from
1 to 5 metres from the wall of 100 CP Color 400's. They absorb the retro-projected
colour, blend it with the surrounding light, throwing back the exceptional
"paintings of light" described above.
Badly Drawn Boy gained recognition with The Hour of the Bewilderbeast
and for creating the entire film soundtrack for About a Boy.
Now the group is touring to support their newest CD, Have You Fed
For the 2002-2003
run in small theatres and clubs, the band recreated their album graphics
onto a backdrop that comprises their set. A couple of circular screens
provide space for Catalyst® system projection.
Boy's LD David Farmer wanted to use two Catalyst systems but decided on
just one for a variety of reasons. Because the group is relatively new,
and because shows were in a small 2,000-3,000 venue capacity, Farmer needed
to keep costs down.
To save where
he could, Farmer specified and programmed the Catalyst system himself,
and persuaded a few of his colleagues into generating special video and
"To make the tour work I needed to reduce the video costs by around
50 percent. I didn't take a video tech and I rigged the projectors with
the lighting crew each day. Catalyst can be driven directly from the Wholehog®
so I could manage the show alone at front-of-house and didn't need to
deal with a video mixer. Saving that one crew guy made the whole project
work and also made running the show easier. There is no set list so trying
to explain to a new crew member which of the 50-odd tunes we are doing
next can become fairly impossible. I often don't know myself until we
are playing the intro."
PSL UK provided
the Catalyst (the optional orbital mirror head was not needed) in the
UK, and LSD/Fourth Phase the lighting gear.
to use 14 Studio Color® luminaires, too, but the contractor was out
of them by the time he confirmed the order.Farmer
brought a Wholehog II and a Wing for the UK production tour only, sharing
it with LD Dan Hardiman (his partner in the company Total Herbal Confusion),
who needed it on Mobys tour. "My company purchased a Hog II
with Hog III upgrade option last year, Farmer explains, so
I am a big fan of the Hog.
As for Catalyst,
Farmer notes, Catalyst is a dream piece of kit. It does exactly
what I expected it to do and it never crashed once. I have never toured
with video before so I was a bit nervous about getting the whole show
together in the eight-day time frame allowed between U.S. and U.K. tours.
Catalyst performed as only High End kit does. It acted just like a moving
light so programming was quick, easy and accurate.
adds, "As I predicted with touring a video system, everybody -- even
the catering department -- appeared at front-of-house at some point during
the day asking if I could stick an image or movie or whatever tour joke
is running up on the screen during sound check. With Catalyst it's easy
because it will accept almost any format or I can dump images into i-movie
and make it work that way."
Boys tour started out in Europe in September, hit North America
in October and November, and finished the year in the U.K. They resume
their tour in March in Australia and Japan.
Rolling Stones Licks Tour
When you've been filling theatres, stadiums, and arenas for as long as the
Rolling Stones, how do you top yourself? That was the question on the minds
of Mick and company when the band got together at the beginning of the year
and started kicking around ideas for their next tour, which was to feature
a significant set of classic Rolling Stones hits as well as new songs and
dubbed the Licks World Tour 2002/03.
The answer: why
not fill the theatres, stadiums, and arenas all in one shot?
Michael S. Eddy & Ellen Lampert-Gréaux of Entertainment
puts Nelson in the public eye
format projection specialist E\T\C UK projected one of the greatest Britons
- Viscount Horatio Nelson - onto the Shell Building on Londons South
Bank for the launch of the BBCs new series Great Britons.
The major new 10-part BBC2 history series, directed by Miriam Jones, included
the programme about Nelson, one of the top 10 Great Britons as voted for
by the public. The two 6kW PIGI projectors were located in Jubilee Gardens,
near the banks of the Thames, and overlaid, to project one 40m wide image
across the building.
For the programmes
opening sequence, the camera panned along the Thames, taking in the various
sights of that particular stretch of the river, including the Houses of
Parliament and the London Eye, before swinging round to catch the dramatic
projection on the Shell Building, which stands near the Eye.
Three weeks later,
E\T\C UK was back at the same building and location for a Remembrance Day
projection for the Royal British Legion. This followed on from their incredibly
successful projection event last year onto the Wellington Arch at the top
of Constitution Hill. Again, the scrolling artwork featured falling poppies.
There was also a television element involved, as the poppy projections were
broadcast live on London Tonight.
This time, E\T\C
used three projectors to make the spectacular statement. Two were overlaid
on each other to create the falling poppies 54m wide. The third projector
placed the words Pause To Remember, the Legions slogan
for this year - 35m wide at the bottom of the image. The producer, Ace Consultant's
Mick Worwood, said: "As expected, ET\C UK have done a thoroughly professional
job. The client is delighted with the results and the response."