UK - Only Helix, known for its work with artists like Years & Years, Bat For Lashes, Amy Macdonald and Bombay Bicycle Club, has launched a new travel service that’s designed to meet the specific needs of touring professionals. OH Visas is rooted in an understanding of how the entertainment industry works, and has been developed to take the travel stress out of touring.
Only Helix’s Steven Down and Tom Nicol are the masterminds behind the service, which will be headed up by travel industry specialist, Ben Young.
“OH Visas was borne from our combined experiences, frustrations and successes with travel over the years,” explains Down. “Brexit and Covid-19 has obviously also shifted things quite dramatically and we wanted to find an easier process for ourselves and our clients.”
Nicol elaborates: “We realised this solution was something that others would probably benefit from too, so we’ve decided to make it a bigger part of our agency offering. We’ve got some great expertise in Ben, and we’re excited about getting it out there.”
As the shifting political landscape has made touring more complex than ever before, travel schedules that previously required no or minimal visas, may now need multiple visas and additional paperwork to ensure a smooth passage from one country to the next.
The new service handles the entire visa process from start to finish - covering applications, appointments and embassy visits. Learning from previous experiences (and challenges) of tour and production travel, OH Visas has streamlined the
USA - The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has announced its participation in the Mental Health Action Day, to be held on 20 May in partnership with more than 600 leading brands, non-profit organisations, government agencies, and cultural leaders.
Over the past two decades, suicide rates have risen and the COVID pandemic has accelerated the already crisis, giving way to what many mental health professionals have called the “second pandemic”.
Though more people than ever are comfortable discussing mental health, finding effective resources and knowing how to get help remains a challenge. Mental Health Action Day is an open-source movement to drive culture from mental health awareness to mental health action.
Partners will encourage people to take mental health action - whether for themselves, for their loved ones, or to advocate for systemic changes. Resources and tools will be available for people to seek help in a myriad of ways from starting a meditation practice, learning how to support a friend, or advocating for change.
Lori Rubinstein, executive director of Behind the Scenes, says: “Our Mental Health steering committee views every day as Mental Health Action Day. We have spent the last year spreading the word to our industry about the free tools and resources available to everyone through our Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative (btshelp.org/mentalhealth). We welcome this opportunity to amplify the
USA - Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has successfully begun assembling its MKD speaker line in-house at its Whitinsville, Massachusetts headquarters.
The new dedicated assembly space began operation in November 2020 and has not stopped since, with production of the new MKD1200 Series and customisation of existing products, such as the QX and MK lines. With two stations for assembly, the 2,400sq.ft space is in full operation.
“EAW is proud to once again be assembling product in the US and is looking at additional lines that would be a good fit for the new assembly space,” says TJ Smith, president, EAW. “Many of EAW’s products are offered with configurable options, such as multiple horn patterns, rotatable horns and/or transformers all in black, white and weather protected cabinets. Conducting final assembly of these products in Whitinsville allows us to respond to customer demand faster and carry less inventory. Assembly in Massachusetts also saves a significant shipping cost.”
In addition to assembly, the new dedicated space also serves as QC and testing.
“The production floor is immediately in front of the engineering team, which allows any potential problems to be identified and improvements to be made in real time,” adds Smith. “This results in near-term quality improvements, faster time to market for new products and design for manufacturability in future products. The space provides a platform for future production expansion as the organisation learns, grows and new products are added to the portfolio.”
Vietnam - DTS has appointed Acoustic & Lighting System Vietnam as its distributor for the territory.
Ben Lee, country manager at A&L Vietnam, comments: “When approached by DTS to represent this already well-established brand in the Vietnam market, and after learning more about the way forward and future vision of the brand, we found that our goals aligned. We are looking forward to the opportunity to work together to serve the Vietnam market.”
Carmen Savarese, international sales manager at DTS, adds: “Acoustic & Lighting System Vietnam carry out their job in the best possible way, training professionals and offering a first-class level of expertise for each client. It is my absolute pleasure to work with these guys: their dedication is constantly looking towards the development of significant relationships of trust with customers, suppliers and partners. So, I am sure that this cooperation will be fruitful and successful.”
Germany - As part of a plan to increase its presence in Europe, Valencia-based DAS Audio is set to open a new subsidiary office in Germany on 1 June 2021. Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, the manufacturer has branches in the USA, South America and Asia.
DAS Audio GmbH will be in charge of sales, marketing and customer service of DAS Audio Germany under the direction of managing director and partner Arne Deterts.
Deterts was the head of the German branch of dBTechnologies for more than 20 years, including as the managing director for the last eight and until he left the company.
“I came across DAS Audio relatively early on, not really knowing a lot about them,” comments Deterts. “But the more I dealt with DAS Audio, the more enthusiastic I became and the more I realised how well all this fitted together. Great company, great products, great people and the right approach to be successful, a perfect combination for the German pro audio market. I am looking forward to the challenge and grateful to DAS Audio for the trust they have placed in me.”
Manuel Peris, CEO of DAS Audio Group SL, adds: “At DAS, in these difficult times for society in general and especially for our sector, we continue to take all the necessary steps to remain close to our clients and users with different strategic financial plans, warranties, training and inventories. After more than 30 years of going to Germany to the PL and being a global company with subsidiaries in all continents, Germany was definitely in our bucket list. Although we knew about Arne
On Trial - A pilot concert in Liverpool on Sunday saw 5,000 people legally crammed into a small space for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The mini-festival, headlined by Blossoms, in Liverpool's Sefton Park was one of the government's official trial events to research how large gatherings can safely take place again.
All ticket holders had to take a supervised lateral flow test at one of four testing centres in the city the day before and were only allowed in if the test was negative. They were also strongly encouraged to take more sensitive PCR tests on the day of the show and to do so again five days later, on Friday. That will be crucial to working out whether there was any spread of the virus. It's all with the aim of working out how summer music festivals can go ahead after 21 June, when stage four of the government reopening roadmap will, in theory, see the end of restrictions on social contact.
Safety Net - Most of the music festivals still due to take place this year could be scrapped without the safety net of government-backed cancellation insurance, organisers have warned. A quarter of UK festivals have already been called off, but 76% of the rest are at risk, according to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) which has called for "urgent intervention" to save the season.
The government said it was exploring what further support it could provide. The AIF said events had been scrapped because of "government inaction on insurance". It has been calling on the government to back cancellation insurance. That woul
Europe - Elation’s artistic power luminaire, the Artiste Mondrian, takes centre stage on the 6 May Elation Coffee Break. Filling out the top of Elation’s award-winning Artiste LED moving head series, the Mondrian LED Profile FX partners alongside and uses the same technology as the Artiste Monet and Artiste Rembrandt, including Elation’s exclusive 7-flag SpectraColor colour mixing system, and endless and continuous rotational framing system.
Presenters Alistair Smyth and Frederik Afif will go live on Thursday, 6 May at 11:00 a.m. CEST. Tune in at www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/. No registration is required.
Optimized for extreme output (51,000 lumens!) and housing an all-inclusive FX package for unmatched projection performance, the Artiste Mondrian is a true all-in-one workhorse.
The Elation Coffee Break is an online presentation series from Elation’s European office in Kerkrade, the Netherlands that takes an up-close look at some of the company’s most popular product series. To view previous Elation Coffee Break webinars, please visit www.facebook.com/ELATION.Pro.Europe/live/.
Europe - Showlight has revealed the speakers for its one-day online Virtual Showlight on 25 May.
In a snapshot of the full Showlight event, a series of papers will be presented by international keynote speakers, interspersed by a series of video shorts from the likes of Peggy Eisenhauer and Bill Klages. There will also be a discussion panel based on the subject of diversity in the lighting industry, chaired by award-winning lighting designer, Paule Constable.
The speakers for Virtual Showlight 2021 are:
David Bishop - BBC Strictly Come Dancing - BBC Strictly Come Dancing’s award-winning lighting designer, David Bishop, will outline the challenges of re-designing an icon of UK television after 15 years, the latest season of which required the incorporation of live augmented reality into the show.
Ken Billington, Rob Halliday, Aaron Porter - Lighting Around The World Without Leaving Home: The Story of Waitress in Japan - When Japan closed its borders just after Christmas, the production team for the musical Waitress were no longer able to travel to put the long-scheduled Tokyo production on stage. But the show must go on - so they figured out how to do the show remotely. For lighting, that meant LD Ken Billington and his associate Aaron Porter in New York, programmer Rob Halliday in London, and the crew in Japan.
Isabel Nielsen, Floriaan Ganzevoort, Mike Evers - From Shipyard to Street Art Museum - Floriaan Ganzevoort, Isabel Nielen and Mike Evers, are
UK - Surrey-based systems integrator proAV has completed an impressive 333 courses at the Shure Audio Institute (SAI) in Waltham Abbey, earning over 150 certifications across 60 members of staff.
Staff from across the company including sales, design, technical management, commissioning and service departments, have all taken part in the courses, establishing strength and knowledge across the business.
Discussing the achievement, Richard Brookes, managing director, said; “proAV takes certification extremely seriously, as it is fundamental to our business as a leading workplace technology integrator to ensure we are always at the forefront of current and emerging technological solutions.
“Our clients expect the highest quality standards and in-depth product knowledge from proAV and SAI certification delivers this assurance.”
Regarding the continued development of the proAV team as Shure certified technicians, he added: “proAV is focused on continued high quality training and development. We are always striving to keep learning and progressing – it is integral to our business and is essential for the future.”
James Hill, director, integrated systems, Shure added: “This is a fantastic achievement and shows the level of dedication that proAV continues to place in their workforce to ensure they have the best possible understanding and knowledge of Shure’s portfolio of products.
“The dynamic nature of the AV sector and constantly evolving marketplace positions the Shure Audio Institute as an integral part of our business
UK - Martin Audio has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for its Wavefront Precision optimised line arrays. Announced yesterday (29 April), Martin Audio has been recognised for its excellence in Innovation.
Martin Audio is one of 205 organisations in the UK to be recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Employing over 60 people, Martin Audio is celebrating its 50th year in designing and manufacturing professional loudspeaker systems.
“It’s an honour to win such a prestigious award and very fitting to do so in our 50th anniversary year,” said Martin Audio managing director, Dom Harter. “Wavefront Precision arrays have become our fastest ever selling line array format suitable for both install and live sound applications and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise underlines both its innovation and commercial success.”
Winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are able to use the Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.
UK - Loudspeaker manufacturer PMC has strengthened its corporate structure so that it is better placed to deal with ongoing expansion.
For the first time in its 30-year history PMC now has a formal board structure, with owner and founder Peter Thomas acting as chairman and former group finance director Jeff Willcocks confirmed as CEO. Also on the board – and reflecting the fact that PMC remains a family owned business – are Thomas’s son Oliver Thomas, who is now commercial director, and Tom Loader, son of PMC’s co-founder Adrian Loader, who is operations director.
“PMC is expanding fast and it is not feasible to expect one person to have intimate knowledge of every aspect of the business,” Peter Thomas says. “Having a formal board of directors allows us to tap into the huge pool of expertise that already exists within the company, and across many different areas of our operation.”
Prior to joining PMC in 2018, Jeff Willocks held positions as managing director and president of a US-based business. He is now responsible for managing the day to day running of PMC.
Oliver Thomas, who has overseen new product design for the last seven years, is now taking on the wider role of commercial director so that he can develop strong links between PMC products and the market. In recent months Oliver has been the driving force behind PMC Studio London, the company’s recently opened Dolby Atmos music mixing suite that is being used to demonstrate its professional loudspeaker products.
Tom Loader’s role as operations director will see
Silent Spaces - Venues and spaces that have remained largely unused due to the pandemic feature in a new series of films in which performers and musicians take over the spaces. The series of films, called Silent Spaces, is described as a “creative lockdown response driven by a pervading sense of Covid-induced personal and professional loneliness”. It has been created by musician and composer Soumik Datta and directed by his brother Souvid Datta.
Featuring a team of British Asian, black and ethnic minority musicians and dancers, the film-makers and performers create works in the British Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, Depot Mayfield in Manchester and Sage Gateshead, alongside Hawkwood College and London King’s Cross station. The six films explore “resonant themes in keeping with the choice of venue”, the producers said, and tackle issues around mental health, activism, the environment, colonisation and identity.
Three Raspberries - Sia has been named ‘worst director’ for her controversial debut film at the Razzies, the pre-Oscars prizes for the year's worst movies. Titled Music, her film won three Golden Raspberry Awards in total, including worst actress for Kate Hudson and worst supporting actress for Maddie Ziegler. The movie has been criticised for casting Ziegler in the autistic lead role and for its portrayal of autism. It was described as an "insensitive" and "ill-conceived" "autism musical".
The film follows Zu, a drug dealer, who is a recovering alcoholic, played by Hudson, who becomes the guardian of her you
UK - The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) has announced the launch of its remote invigilation service for HS&E assessments. The new online service means applicants who need a valid HS&E certificate to accompany ISCVE ECS card applications, can now take their HS&E assessment online.
Prior to the launch of the new service in conjunction with ECS, applicants for HS&E assessments were required to take a test at an approved centre or at an event organised by ISCVE. The new online service reduces the requirement for travel to centres and allows applicants to take the assessment without having to leave home or the office.
The new service means applicants now have the opportunity to securely and safely complete their HS&E assessments online using just a web browser, thereby avoiding any unnecessary delays. Results are published immediately once assessments are completed.
“The launch of this new service overcomes any social distancing challenges applicants may face when requiring an HS&E assessment, as it can now be taken in the workplace or in the comfort of their own home. New pages on our website allow members to apply for ISCVE ECS cards and apply for their HS&E assessment, all at the same time,” confirms Ros Wigmore, Secretariat, ISCVE.
“Once an application is received, we provide the applicant with all the necessary information on how to take the HS&E assessment. With an automated online monitoring software, using an artificial intelligence programme, we can verify the identity
UK - In 2018, London post-production facility Clearcut Sound Studios invested in a Yamaha Nuage system to control Steinberg Nuendo, the software it has relied on since 2009. The investment in Nuage was so successful that the company has since purchased two more systems.
For many years Clearcut used Yamaha DM2000 digital mixers for I/O and remote control of Nuendo. “As we all know, the DM2000s are fantastic units, with solid I/O, but we felt we were lacking in physical controls to fully unlock Nuendo’s creative ability,” says managing director Chris Wrigglesworth.
“We’re lucky enough to work on a variety of projects, from online content to sound design-heavy, multi-channel cinema commercials independent shorts to feature length documentaries. With the need for multiple deliverables becoming standard, the time was right to streamline our processes. Nuage was a solution to that.”
He continues, “It simplified what was a relatively cumbersome process, letting our engineers and sound designers move away from keyboard and mouse editing, giving them a physical control for everything and creating custom set-ups that suited how they work as individuals. It made the whole experience more user friendly and, in turn, client friendly.
“I think it would be wrong not to also mention the aesthetic improvement in the studio,” he adds.
Another advantage of Nuage is its customisation, especially with the speed of software development. “When a new version of Nuendo is released with a function that becomes well-used by our sound designers
UK - The live events and music industry will work with the Government on COVID-status certification to support full reopening and sector recovery.
Industry organisations including PLASA, Music Venues Trust, Live and Association of Festival Organisers, alongside major venues including the 02 and NEC Group, have issued a statement that outlines this support.
“The live events and music industry which includes exhibitions; conferences; music arenas; festivals; theatres and indoor sporting events, welcomes the establishment of the Events Research Programme and the safe return of live events as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown,” says the statement.
“The industry is committed to working with the Government to ensure a swift delivery of the Event Research Programme’s pilot events and stands ready to establish protocols based upon the information and guidance they provide.
Under the current roadmap, the live events and music industry can plan for the return of some indoor business and music events from 17 May. These will follow social distancing guidelines and have attendance capped to the lower of 1,000 people or 50% of capacity indoors, 4,000 or 50% capacity outdoors and 10,000 or 25% capacity if seated outdoors.
“However, given the economic threshold for most business and music events is around 80% of maximum capacity, activities under these limits will be far from sufficient to end the sector’s financial crisis. This will also continue to have grave economic impacts on sectors that every live event supports, inc
UK - PLASA, the lead association for the entertainment technology industry, is hosting a second PLASA Online from 10-13 May, following on from a successful debut in October 2020. The programme will address the most pertinent issues facing the industry, present pioneering technology, and deliver several sessions on technical theatre in partnership with the ABTT.
The free-to-view programme will span four days, bringing you creative presentations, business panels, industry advice and technical training, each led by experts in their field. Furthermore, each day you will have the opportunity to watch live product presentations hosted by leading manufacturers. Running alongside the programme is a virtual Exhibitor Showcase featuring an extensive A-Z of brands from audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging.
The ABTT will deliver the very latest amendments to their Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment which covers energy conservation, electrical installations and emergency lighting. They will also present an overview of Volume 1 of The Theatre Green Book, a project that brought together theatre-makers and sustainability experts to create a common standard for making theatre sustainably.
Electrical expert James Eade will return for another unmissable session, this time delving into the most enduring electrical misunderstandings, from qualifications and PAT testing, to earthing and phase separation. This session will also feature a Q&A, allowing to you get expert advice on your electrical safety concer
UK - Following recent news of restructuring, the BEIRG Steering has announced further new members joining the team, this time in the shape of IPS (Institute of Professional Sound) and Raycom. These new members ‘reaffirm BEIRG’s commitment to meet the challenges still faced by the PMSE community as a result of ongoing spectrum changes, especially in the UHF frequency bands’.
The IPS provides support, training, standards, community, and professional recognition for members in the media industries. The Institute is a limited company and a registered charity. It is run by an elected executive committee assisted by the secretariat.
In addition to the key brands they currently distribute, including Wisycom, Lectrosonics, and Phonak, Raycom continues to build its range of accessories from a number of well-respected suppliers including Sennheiser, Sound Devices and DPA.
Commenting on the changes Simon Clark, chairman of IPS said, “As an organisation, we have had a long and fruitful relationship with BEIRG and have been closely involved with their work. It makes sense at this point in time to put that work on a more direct footing, and we look forward to working with the team at BEIRG to ensure that all of our members spectrum needs are delivered and deliver sustainable access for our current and future requirements.”
Managing director at Raycom, Pyers Easton added, “It’s amazing to think that BEIRG has been doing this work for over fifteen years. As a company we have always had a keen input into what BEIRG has been doing, and although so
Switzerland - Qu solutions has been named a certified integrator by L-Acoustics Creations.
Qu solutions, owned by Dominic Schilt, develops customised sound system designs. Clients include the Royal Hotel Gstaad Palace and numerous chalet owners in the Swiss Alps. For more than 15 years Schilt has worked on corporate and live shows, including the Gurtenfestival Bern or the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festivals that provide some of the world’s largest temporary sports arenas with seating for more than 56,000 spectators.
Paul Keating, L-Acoustics Creations director of private and corporations comments, "We are very pleased to welcome Qu solutions to the L-Acoustics Creations family. Their heritage and DNA come from the world of professional audio, so it’s a great fit with Creations and very much aligned in ‘bringing the concert experience home’.
“We have already collaborated on several projects in Gstaad elevating the listening experience for demanding clients particularly in entertainment, DJ and private club spaces. We are really looking forward to working with Dominic and his team developing the high-end audio market in Switzerland."
Russia - Alcons Audio has appointed a new Moscow-based dealer, Blackroom, for its CRMS home cinema systems.
A passionate movie enthusiast and home cinema aficionado, in 2013 Anton Zadnepryannyy co-founded Cinemalounge and Acoustic Solutions. After seven successful years building these businesses from the ground up with his partners, Anton decided to create a new company, Blackroom, which focuses solely on premium, turnkey home cinema design and installation in Russia and overseas.
As well as design and installation, Blackroom manufactures its own acoustic treatment panels, soundproof doors and home cinema recliner chairs. Anton also hosts the only Russian home cinema YouTube channel, which has attracted over 27000 subscribers since 2019.
“My first experience of Alcons pro-ribbon systems was at the CEDIA Expo in 2016 and I was overwhelmed with performance of the system,” says Anton. “I never thought ribbon drivers could be so loud and so clear. Since then I visited every Alcons demo at the CEDIA and ISE trade shows. Each time was better than the last. It became clear that the Alcons CRMS system is something different - it delivers audio quality that my emotions feel, something ultra-lifelike, a new reference for my professional ears. At ISE2020, I made up my mind to get acquainted with Alcons’ co-founder Tom Back and do all I can to bring this experience to our clients in Russia.”
For Anton, Alcons pro-ribbon CRMS systems are more about the sound itself. They provide a benchmark of quality that all the other equipment Blackroom insta
UK - Rental production company, Neg Earth has added the new Prolights EclPanel TWC LED softlight to its rental fleet.
On recommendation from a number of top lighting designers, Neg Earth decided to demo the new EclPanel TWC and was impressed with its performance and notable list of features.
Neg Earth’s Sam Ridgway commented; “After several recommendations for the EclPanel TWC, I had high expectations and I am pleased to say the fixture certainly lived up to them. The fixture’s output is brighter than a number of competitors products at only a fraction of the cost. The performance and features of the EclPanel TWC really set it apart. Its quality whites and rich colour capabilities make it a truly versatile product.”
The EclPanel TWC has individual pixel control enabling the colour and output to be varied per section. In addition, the EclPanel TWC comes with a wide selection of effects on board that users can select and manipulate without the need for a lighting console or extensive programming. Each effect can be customised in order to meet the design requirements and enhance creative capabilities.
Sam continued; “This is a very nice-looking fixture and we are looking forward to getting it out on more jobs soon. We have no doubt our customers will rate it as highly as we do.”
The units were supplied to Neg Earth by Prolights’ exclusive UK distributor, A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).
“Neg Earth have a long-standing relationship with AC-ET and it is always a pleasure to work with them. The team are friendly a
UK - disguise has announced that it is receiving research and development funding from Innovate UK to expand its work in virtual production. Innovate UK is part of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation organisation whose purpose is to accelerate UK economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.
With the grant, disguise will focus on pure research, outside its usual engineering innovation work, while maintaining a competitive development timeline within the technology sector.
The disguiseVP R&D project focuses on scalability and flexibility as key improvements to the current disguise workflow. Addressing mainly virtual production, disguiseVP is targeted to a totally immersive virtual production environment where extensive control and fast calibration lead to more informed decisions on set, improved collaboration and absolutely uncompromising results.
“The funding from InnovateUK enables us to have a team focussed on our long term R&D roadmap which maintains our ability to push beyond the boundaries of the present state of the art. disguiseVP is specifically focussed on making improvements to the calibration, rendering efficiency and image quality of the disguise virtual production solution,” says Abi Bowman, chief of staff at disguise, who oversees the project. “When integrated into our product, these advancements will be game changing.”
UK - The Autograph Group of companies has re-organised its operating base. As of next month, Autograph Sales Ltd., t/a Autograph Sales & Installations, will be incorporated into Autograph Sound Recording Ltd.
Group managing director Scott Arnold describes the move as a restructuring “that has been in consideration long before the spectre of COVID-19 and its devastating effect on our industry became a harsh reality. Weathering this storm for both companies has been a significant challenge only serving to cement our strong leanings towards this amalgamation”.
Arnold continues: “Whilst our sales and hire divisions have always collaborated closely, our focus has been shifting towards providing a complete solution for our customers. Autograph is dedicated to continuing to provide a proven and unique hire, design, support, sales, installation and integration service, encompassing the world’s leading brands and technologies. This is now best achieved under one banner utilising the vast experience of the personnel we have within the two companies.
“Fundamentally, it will be business as usual with all the same faces,” he adds, “but from 1 May 2021, Autograph Sound Recording Ltd will take on all trading, liabilities and obligations for both companies and we hope to maintain the special relationships that we have enjoyed for so many years with all of our suppliers, clients and friends.
“For 50 years Autograph, under the stewardship of owner Andrew Bruce, has been the premium supplier of audio solutions in the UK, offering exception
World - PRG has set up a worldwide network of 20 studio environments suited for scalable production of pre-recorded and live content in a COVID-compliant setting.
The studios are housed in the immediate vicinity of major facilities, to enable PRG to react to project-specific technical requirements from clients by utilising its portfolio of lighting, audio, video, scenic and digital solutions. Each studio has its own character, catering to the markets it serves, whilst an expert team is in place to supervise and staff each location. There are two types of environment – the PRG Virtual Production Studios, designed for productions that require more demanding technology such as extended reality (xR), and PRG Digital Studios for pre-recorded or live broadcasts.
The Virtual Production Studios – located in Hamburg, Los Angeles, and Paris – are equipped with xR technology, mixed reality and proprietary Enhanced Environments and Ncam® technology, making it possible to host green screen, standard capture or extended reality (xR) shoots. “From entirely imagined worlds to realistic scenery and backdrops, any environment can be brought into the studio with options for realtime visualisation of virtual elements,” says the company. “As a result, talent can interact with their setting in real time, while producers realize major savings in post-production and travel costs.”
The PRG Digital Studios can be found in more locations, including Chicago, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York Metro, Orlando as well as in The EGG in Brussels, London's Saatchi Gallery, M
UK - Version 2, which specialises in lighting hire specifically for the television industry, has expanded its stock of MDG products with the addition of two ATMe haze generators. “Our clients trust us to specify the right products and we know that MDG produces the best haze for the television market,” says Nick Edwards, managing director of Version 2.
Edwards has 25 years of dedicated television lighting experience, having held technical, commercial and management positions at PRG, Panalux and Aurora, after his training at the flagship training facility in BBC Wood Norton, prior to founding Version 2 in 2016. This experience puts him in a strong position when it comes to choosing the best products for his clients, many of whom have worked with him for years and trust his technical know-how.
“All our equipment investments have been rigorously researched and tested, plus we have had years of experience with many manufacturers’ products, so we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t,” he says. “This allows us to make better decisions on our capital expenditure and only invest in the best products for our market. In effect we are testing and processing on behalf of the client so they can be confident in our recommendations.”
Good haze is one of the most critical ingredients to a show, particularly for television. “Primetime television programmes are broadcast to millions of viewers and demand a highly polished result. A fine balance is needed between deploying enough haze to achieve the desired beam read on camera, yet not so