DWR’s Johnny Scholtz (left) with LD Daniel Louw (photo: Louise Stickland)
South Africa - Atlantic Studios, Cape Town is a multi-stage film and television production facility and hub of creative activity serving the Western Cape and far beyond.
One of its current productions (produced by HBC Broadcasting Solutions) is the South African edition of Deal or No Deal (DoND), the popular risk-taking gameshow where contestants make seat-edge decisions on whether to accept a cash offer from 'the banker' in exchange for what might - or might not - be contained in a series of unassuming boxes.
Lighting designer Daniel Louw is using some new Robe Esprites which were purchased by HBC for this show and delivered by Robe’s South African distributor, DWR at the start of the recording period in February.
Dan is a freelance lighting designer / director and has worked on several projects at the studios which also has other Robe moving lights - Pointes, miniPointes, LEDBeam 100s and ParFects.
When he created the original lighting design and specification for Deal or No Deal, he wanted some moving lights to add dynamics and movement to the overall pictures and shots.
The recording schedule is intense with a total of 260 episodes which are broadcasting on SABC 1 until the end of March 2024. Twenty contestants start each round of the competition, hopeful of scoring the big money, and it’s proving a massive hit with South African audiences.
Dan wanted a light that was versatile, with a good CRI, a selection of CT whites and that was available at short notice as the investment was green lighted with only weeks to spare before shooting commenced.
Fortunately, DWR had some Esprites in stock, the deal was done, and the units were delivered to Cape Town, where Dan, series director Geoff Butler and producers Paul Venter & Jaco Loubser, are delighted with the results.
The four Esprites are all positioned on the studio floor where they can be easily accessed and moved to new positions as needed.
They are used for beam work, eye candy and for cool back-of-camera effects and gap filling as well as to create interest and movement and help to build the tension at appropriate times.
They are the only moving lights on the rig. “We knew we would be shooting at high light levels generally, so I wanted something that could punch through for the cameras which they do brilliantly,” says Dan. “They are consistent, the shutters are
accurate, the colours from the LED engine are excellent and they are a robust and sturdy fixture.”
In addition to the high light levels from the 48 profile fixtures on the overhead rig used for key and back lighting, Michael Gill’s slick modern set contains a lot of integral LED, making the whole environment even brighter. Dan is running the lights using a grandMA3 console.

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