The FIBA designated red and yellow as the ‘event colours’

Belgium - Dave Gahan and Martin Gore were never known for their skills on the basketball court, though their group, Depeche Mode did contribute to the soundtrack of the NBA 2K15 video game. However, the English electronic musicians did cause something of a full court press at the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying match between Belgian and the USA.

That contest took place at a sold-out Antwerp’s Sportpaleis on 9 February, just three days after Depeche Mode rocked the arena with their music. This left little time for Bart Aelbrecht and his team at AB Sound to build their lighting system for the pre-game festivities and the courtside broadcast. Still, like any good team, they were more than up to the challenge, thanks to some hard work and careful planning.

“The Depeche Mode show was a day before our build-up, so we were given a short time,” said Aelbrecht. “This left us no room for any delays during build-up. So, everything was well-planned in advance, to avoid any mistakes.”

Although the production team was under time pressure, the live audience and TV viewers had no idea of this, as the game and its ceremonies were supported by smooth, even-flowing lighting from start to finish. Contributing to this success were 152 Chauvet Professional fixtures.

Taken from AB Sound’s own inventory, this collection included 16 Maverick Storm 2 BeamWash units, 20 Color STRIKE M motorised strobe-washes, 66 Rogue Outcast BeamWash hybrids, 20 Maverick Force 1 Spots, and 30 EPIX Strip Tour LED strips.

Aelbrecht described how these fixtures helped him meet the challenge of creating the optimal lighting environment for both the live and TV audiences. “Making things look good on camera, but with enough ambiance in the arena is always a challenge,” he said. “We were able to keep the lighting level, so it was comfortable for those in attendance and those watching on television.

“With the dimmable sports lighting system, we could easily transfer between court and entertainment lighting. The rich colours of the Storm BeamWash ensured a smooth coverage in all cases. We also used the Color STRIKE M with the strobe-effect to sweep up the audience inside the arena.”

The FIBA designated red and yellow as the ‘event colours’, so Aelbrecht stuck mainly to this palette for his background. However, there were times when other colours became more prevalent, such as when the Belgian audience formed the black, yellow, and red tri-colours of the country’s flag during the playing of its national anthem.

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