Live touring video specialists XL Video were video equipment providers on the highly successful Depeche Mode Exciter world tour, supplying all projection equipment and crew. The tour featured a unique and groundbreaking visual element created by show designer Anton Corbijn. Corbijn has designed the band’s live stage show since 1989, with moving image playing an important and provocative role. Corbijn - a renowned photographer and film-maker in his own right - is a guru on the international arts scene. He has also been involved with producing Depeche Mode's promotional videos, album artwork and graphics.

Lee Charteris, who was responsible for much of the pre-production and team building for the Exciter tour, asked XL Video's Des Fallon to an initial meeting with Corbijn, lighting designer Paul Normandale, set consultant Charlie Kail and himself. They saw Corbijn's stage design, and discussed the various show visuals and states. Fallon then asked Richard 'Jedi' Turner to assist with the video projection design and maths, after which XL submitted its quote and was informed it was the successful bidder.

The stage look for the Exciter tour was large and cinematic. A massive 50ft wide x 24ft high projection screen upstage framed the action, and the set by contrast was kept low and sparse, to ensure that there were no distractions to the screen. Video was used sparingly to maximize impact - only running for five songs, and not starting until seven or eight songs into the set. But when it kicked in, the images were immensely strong and potent, and had breathtaking impact.

XL Bought six new Barco ELM G10 projectors and lenses specially for the tour. These were hung three per side on their own front-of-house truss, overlaid for a super-bright picture. Because of the size of the screen and the 2:1 ratio, the full image was made up from two identical left and right images that were seamlessly feathered together to form one single picture. Video content ranged from a classy black and white cafe narrative to a goldfish tank, invaded by a shark on a vivid blue background to a big desert sky that started in monochrome and gradually morphed into colour. At other points it took on a graphic quality and exploded into raindrops and assorted patterns.

All the video sources were stored on a Grass Valley Profile video server - also newly purchased by XL for the tour. Usually found in studio environments, this proved equally at home on tour. A Dataton system was utilized for video control, triggered by timecode from the relevant backing tracks sent from one of the FOH sound desks. XL's chief engineer and crew chief was Alastair MacDiarmid, who worked closely with his colleague Robyn Tearle. Lighting designer was Paul Normandale and front-of-house sound engineer was Gary Bradshaw.

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