VersaTUBEs for X Factor

Wednesday, 24 November 2004
VersaTUBEs for X Factor
UK - Projected Image Digital has supplied Creative Technology (CT) with 240m of Element Labs VersaTUBE linear LED effects fixtures, purchased for the current series of ITV1's talent show, X-Factor, which is being recorded at Fountain TV Studios in Wembley. The VersaTUBES were specified by set designer Christopher George, and are integral to the large set - used as decorative delineative edges for the main 'X' centrepiece above centre stage, for another 'X' shape built into the floor directly beneath, and for marking out the centre stage staircase.

Measuring 1m in length, with a 16-pixel resolution, an IP65 rating and taking video input (DVI), the VersaTUBES are used to create complex and fast moving patterns, colours and effects. They are also used statically, as architectural outlining devices for the contours of the set. They also come into play for the show's more up-tempo performances, as well as being incorporated into the show's moodier moments, complementing the lighting scenes accordingly.

Although integral to the design of the show, the VersaTUBEs come under the auspices of the lighting department, headed by LD Al Gurdon and his two operators Ross Williams and Svend Pedersen - each of whom is working on one half of the series. The three VersaTUBE 'areas' are all independently controllable, as they are being driven via a customised version of PixelMAD software (distributed by Projected Image Digital), triggered from the WholeHog II lighting console. It's the first time that PixelMAD has enabled the zoning of different areas in this way.

PID's Rob Fowler and Richard Stembridge oversaw the set-up and commissioning of the VersaTUBEs, and the configuration of the PixelMAD, which was supplied by lighting contractor PRG. The ongoing weekly servicing and maintenance is being looked after by 'Versatech' Tim Massey, who is supplied to the production via CT.

(Lee Baldock)

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