WI moves audiences through 360°
Monday, 29 October 2018
wicreations-40-45-d164691he tribunes move together or individually throughout the venue in every direction
Belgium - Creative engineering specialist WIcreations has designed, developed and installed a bespoke wireless laser-guided system to move eight seating tribunes holding audiences watching Studio 100’s 40-45 Spektakle Musical around the performance space.
Each stand is 8m high at the back, 19m long x 8m wide and weighs 28t, with a capacity for 209 people. The tribunes were constructed by WIcreations and each one contains around 14,000 parts, the majority of which have been custom machined.
The 40-45 production is directed by Frank Van Laecke. The artistic supervision is by Gert Verhulst, the co-CEO of the Studio 100 Group together with Hans Bourlon, and the technical producer is Bart Caels.
The automation concept that moves the audience into multiple positions around the substantial area throughout the two-hour show, is right at the heart of this theatrical tour de force, staged in a purpose-built venue - The Studio 100 Pop-Up Theatre - in Puurs, Belgium.
WIcreations has worked on other Studio 100 projects including their prequel to this show, the acclaimed 14-18 staged in 2014. For this they used a laser guided control system to move a single seating tribune up and down the venue in Mechelen.
This time the requirement was far more complex as Hans Willems, CEO of WIcreations, explains. The mission was project managed on site by WI’s Maarten Smits and Tim Lerat.
The tribunes move together or individually throughout the venue in every direction and on every axis, sometimes with as little as 20cm between them.
This is accomplished using four custom built 11-tonne electric motor drive units per stand. Each stand’s movement is based on a 43-tonne weight loading, allowing for the extensive metalwork involved in the stands themselves, plus 75kg per person when fully loaded with audience.
Willems comments: “It’s been a fantastic experience for us working on this production and designing the tribunes, video and deco wagons. Programming all of them together safely was the biggest challenge and I believe it is a world first!
“Apart from being interesting and galvanising our collective skills and understanding of how to safely move large numbers of the public around a show-space, it has been great working with Studio 100, who put production values and audience experience top of the agenda. It’s also been excellent working with all the other very talented individuals - both creative and technical - and disciplines as part of this amazing performance.”
The four main technical partners involved in this production - Fish Eye, Painting with Light, PRG Belgium and WIcreations - are featured in a video scheduled to be released soon.
(Jim Evans)

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