UK - Stage Electrics has announced it has been successful in tendering for the supply of new LED lighting, RCF Art Series monitors and Altair wireless communication systems for the Trinity Art Centre, Gainsborough. The lighting package includes Martin ELP-CL profiles and ETC ColorSource Pars, supported with a combination of Chauvet Professional Rogue R3 Spots and R2X Washes.
A Chamsys MQ70 was specified as it offers the flexibility they need for this space, set within a Grade II listed gothic church. An Altair HD wireless communications system was selected following a successful pre-lockdown demonstration at the venue to ensure the Extreme Wireless beltpacks would provide the coverage and reliability they required.
Stage Electrics also manufactured all the cables to complete the system in their in-house cable workshop.
USA - From its beginnings in the mid-1970s, with barely more than a dozen members, to the opening of its 3,500-seat auditorium in the new century, Denton Bible Church (DBC) has kept itself at the leading edge of technology. And the church, named for its Dallas, Texas-area suburban location, has continued to do so with the May addition of a new DiGiCo Quantum338 console, which is used for both front-of-house and monitor mixing.
At the same time, a new DiGiCo SD12 console was also installed as the church’s new broadcast audio console. Both desks, plus the two DiGiCo SD-Racks installed along with them that sit on an Optocore network, were integrated and commissioned by Digital Resources, Inc., an AV systems integrator based in nearby Southlake.
This is DBC’s second generation in the digital mixing arena, and they had become accustomed to the streamlined operational aspects and high I/O counts that digital consoles can offer. “So their next digital consoles had to be able to continue to provide a lot of I/O and a high degree of functionality,” explains Digital Resources audio sales manager Lance Eddleman.
“Their SD12, for instance, is the latest 96-input-channel model, which gives them plenty of I/O for their broadcasts. And the Quantum338 gives them the high number of faders they wanted, to support their blended traditional and contemporary worship styles, as well as some really advanced features, such as the Spice Rack and Nodal Processing.”
After Eddleman and the DRI team witnessed the official worldwide launch of the Quantum338 at
UK - The #WeMakeEvents campaign has progressed into the ‘Red Alert’ phase, with planned activities set to take place across London and other major cities in the UK on the evening of 11 August.
The initiative will raise the alarm for the live events and entertainment sector, which has been badly-hit by the pandemic, resulting in countless event cancellations.
The campaign reports that the disruption of the summer season alone has affected over 600,000+ jobs in outdoor events. Meanwhile, a campaign survey revealed that redundancies in the sector are already happening, with 15% of businesses stating that they plan to make redundancies during August and 70% reporting that they could be forced to do so by the end of 2020.
The campaign warns that the termination of the government’s furlough scheme and the self-employment income support scheme in October would leave up to one million industry professionals with no financial security. “The complete lack of work in the sector combined with the withdrawal of government support will force industry professionals, including the 72% of freelancers, to seek work in other sectors,” says a statement.
Live events may not be able to return until March 2021 due to social distancing rules and the long-term planning now has the collaborative support of 17 trade bodies and several more production companies and manufacturers required for many arena tours, festivals, and stadium events.
UK - Event suppliers T.H. Collective, Fineline Lighting and Mechanical Mouse have teamed up to launch a new broadcast studio, TH e.Space.
Offering a full range of remote broadcast services, the studio is located at T.H. Collective’s Bristol headquarters and enables customers to produce remote video content while observing social distancing guidelines.
In addition to recording and editing the broadcast, the team at TH e.Space can offer clients a wide range of services including Q&As, live polling, speaker coaching, live captioning, graphics and more.
Nick Hobbs, director at T.H. Collective, comments: “We’ve launched TH e.Space as a direct response to the changing needs of audiences due to the coronavirus pandemic. During lockdown we’ve all become very accustomed to consuming remote content and this new studio offers a higher production value for businesses looking to take their video broadcast to the next level, all while observing social distancing.”
Fineline Lighting director Rob Sangwell adds: “TH e.Space offers organisations looking to produce a virtual or hybrid event the opportunity to create high quality, professional video content.
“As a number of restrictions remain in place for live events and large-scale business meetings, having a virtual component will give organisers the potential to reach a large, international audience from the comfort of the studio.”
UK - Audio post production facility Pip Studios is now fully open, offering Dolby Atmos capability from its six purpose-built Atmos stages on its site in Winnersh, Berkshire. Co-founded by Ally Curran, Mark Sheffield and Nigel Bennett, Pip aims “to bring its expertise to bear on offering state of the art audio localisation services for feature films, television, gaming, and streaming industries”.
The six Atmos stages are all Dolby certified, equipped with 24-fader Avid S6 mixing consoles, and aligned for theatrical and home entertainment mixing. The stages have been built and equipped by leading suppliers, including Level Acoustic Design, Westwood Joinery, HHB Scrub, Bell Theatre Services, AKA, Wire Broadcast, Jigsaw 24, and Dolby.
“The COVID-19 pandemic delayed our official opening by a month, so we used that time to further refine the facility,” comments Pip Studios chairman Nigel Bennett “Happily, we were able to keep building it out with only minor delays on certain materials. The UK production sector has lacked Atmos capacity for a while and opening these six stages now is perfect timing as production starts to ramp up again.”
Pip Studios will offer a wide range of audio services, including localisation services and ADR recording.
“We have designed a facility that meet the needs of our clients, whilst ensuring the space is adaptable for a variety of audio work and new business,” says Curran. “As a completely new and independent facility we are also able to offer highly competitive rates, as well as being agile and respon
UK - Arts organisations can now apply for a portion of the government’s £1.57bn relief fund.
Up to £622m in grants will be made available during this first phase of the programme, including a £2.25m pot for grassroot music venues announced earlier this month.
Arts Council England will allocate £500m, with handouts of between £50,000 and £3m available for cultural organisations based in England, such as theatres, music and comedy venues and museums.
The rest of the money will be distributed by the British Film Institute (£30m) for independent cinemas, and the National Lottery Heritage (£92m) to protect heritage sites.
To be eligible for a grant through ACE, organisations must be registered at Companies House and/or Charity Commission, and be able to present at least one year’s full independently certified or audited financial statements.
Applications can be lodged on the body’s website across two rounds in August, although ACE expects that 75% of the budget will be allocated during round one.
Deadlines for applying are 10 August to 21 August for round one, and 21 August to 4 September for round two.
Successful applicants are required to use the
UK - Unusual Rigging has conducted a series of inspection and maintenance checks at the Royal Albert Hall in preparation for an eventual post-COVID re-opening. With the venue shut for the first time since the Blitz, it was unable to carry out its usual April inspections and maintenance and as such the statutory examination periods for some hoists had expired.
Alexander Tripp, deputy head of technical at Royal Albert Hall explained: “While being closed has meant that there is less wear and tear on some of the equipment than there would usually be, this is not the case for the majority of it, There were also a number of examinations that needed to be carried out – thorough examination of rigging equipment being one of them. We wanted to get this rectified as soon as possible, but there were many challenges that needed addressing before work inside the Hall could be safely resumed.”
With the BBC Proms confirming a series of concerts in the Hall, as well as fresh working guidance and risk assessments being put in place, the timing was right to complete the outstanding maintenance. Unusual is no stranger to the Royal Albert Hall, with one of its earliest projects there taking place around 20 years ago, designing and building a large movable work platform that was put into action when the Hall replaced the plasterwork and coving of the auditorium.
Since then, Unusual has supplied numerous pieces of kit, from chain hoists and rigging equipment to bespoke equipment. Most recently the Unusual team designed and manufactured brackets for the roof of the
Australia - The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) recently committed more than AUD$50m to a substantial upgrade to its 100,000-seat stadium.
This included an AUD$25m contract for a new site-wide PA, transport and connectivity, masterminded by two eminent technology companies. Australian sound & AV consultants Auditoria conceived the system, and Diversified (who in 2019 acquired Rutledge AV in Australia) undertook the complex integration at the famous MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground).
Premier pro audio brands, including fibre network specialists, Optocore, were vital to the implementation. To give an idea of scale, more than 3,000 speakers now populate the seating bowl, function rooms and VIP suites, atria, internal concourse areas and exit gates.
The existing PA system, installed 14 years earlier, no longer met audience expectations, hence informal conversations with Auditoria concerning a refit began. They were duly awarded the audio upgrade consultancy, whereupon Auditoria and the MCC released a tender for the integration of the new design, and Diversified provided the winning bid. Following a year-long project the installation was completed in time for the first Test Match on Boxing Day 2019.
Auditoria co-designers Scott Willsallen and Luis Miranda designed and engineered the systems and specified all componentry and connectivity, with the latter managing the project and being joined in the latter stages by Justin Arthur for the commissioning process. For Diversified, Daniel Woodward managed the project, with Matt Edgcumbe (project director),
UK - Trending in Twitter’s top 3 on the night, the #LightItInRed campaign saw over 670 buildings, monuments, landmarks and structures all over the UK illuminated in ‘Emergency Red’ on 6 July (Monday) to highlight the vast challenges facing the live events, music and performing arts sectors.
The action was organised by Steven Haynes from Clearsound Productions and Phillip Berryman from The Backstage Theatre Jobs Forum. It energised theatres, arts centres, live music venues, technical production and rental companies and associated individuals and freelancers everywhere, who were able to enjoy the camaraderie of working together once again on a massive national event with real purpose, after many months of the industry being closed and shuttered.
On the eve of the event (Sunday) the government announced a £1.57bn financial assistance package for arts and culture including live music venues, independent cinemas and heritage sites which has been widely welcomed by everyone.
Noted structures illuminated in red included The Eden Project in Cornwall - where GLX lit all eight of the inter-linked geodesic transparent domes; Blackpool Tower which turned its permanent LED lighting scheme red for the night and the elegant metal skeleton of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in Somerset, which shimmered red thanks to the work of locally based rental company, Fineline.
The furthest North red installation on the UK mainland was Aberdeen Art Centre Aberdeen in Scotland and the furthest South the Apollo Theatre in Newport, Isle of Wight. To the West, it was t
UK - SARM Music Bank in northwest London has transformed its rehearsal rooms into COVID-compliant live streaming, recording and session spaces in partnership with local rental specialists, Colour Sound Experiment.
Each studio now has a fully equipped, modular and scalable lighting, video and multi camera system ready to go. FOH, monitor and broadcast mixing are taken care of in house. Dedicated leased line broadband along with Source Connect is available if needed, and a suite of breakout rooms including dressing room, artist lounge, manager's office, interview rooms and a kitchenette are part of each studio.
Each step of the process has been carefully considered to ensure that artists and crew can operate safely, from a socially distanced chauffeur to contactless catering options.
Haydn Cruickshank, managing director of Colour Sound Experiment, was contacted by a band wanting to do a live stream. “Just down the road, Music Bank’s premises were already almost tailor made. They have a world class selection of Backline equipment for hire to complement Colour Sound’s vast lighting and LED stock, it was a perfect choice.”
Music Bank director Jimmy Mac had already been exploring the idea of setting up a semi-permanent flexible installation, to help artists still reach their fans. The rooms have been set up with a starting framework which can either support existing touring rigs or be enhanced using the two companies pooled resources.
“As soon as it became clear the live sector would have to write off this year, I started to look a
Germany - The Hyperbowl studio has just opened its doors at Expo Munich, offering the largest virtual production space in Europe.
ROE Visual was selected as preferred partner to provide all LED screens for the studio, a concept by ACHT and NSYNK, realised by TFN in corporation with Fournell.
Trying to find alternative platforms for tradeshows and live events while the COVID-19 restrictions are in place for large scale events, companies are offering inventive solutions that involve a mix of live presentation with virtual audiences, so-called hybrid events. ROE Visual LED screens are increasingly used to create large, visual displays for these types of events, due to their perfect on-site as well as on-camera performance.
Early April, TFN set out to present their format to several interested parties, after which they were contacted by the Expo Munich. The Expo Munich fortified its interest, based on feedback from several of its clients, some of which from the automotive industry, and continued the conversation with TFN. The decisive factor being the Expo Munich providing a 10,000sq.m venue to build the virtual environment.
The virtual studio could be employed at least till September 2021, encompassing the annual car show, normally planned at this time. This interest in a virtual studio environment for an extended period, opened doors to look int the actual investments needed and parties to involve in the implementation and execution of the work involved.
Appointed to supply the LED screens and further technical infrastructure Fournell turn
UK - Last night (6 July), some of the UK’s most iconic venues and landmarks were lit up in ‘emergency red’ as part of the #LightItInRed campaign to draw attention to the critical condition of the live events and entertainment industry. A glimpse of hope was given to Britain’s arts industry on Sunday evening (5 July), as £1.57bn was pledged by the government – yet the supply chain behind the production of live events and festivals, including many freelancers, is still awaiting clarification as to what support they will be offered.
Unlike other industries, live theatre, outdoor events, concerts, festivals and performances have been unable to safely resume due to social distancing guidance and other restrictions. Many predict these events may not resume until 2021. The #LightItInRed campaign aims to draw attention to the often hidden workforce behind such events, many of whom are not eligible for any of the government COVID-19 financial schemes – putting further strain on the sector.
Inspired by Germany’s #NightOfLight protest which took place in June, the #LightItInRed campaign saw hundreds of buildings and landmarks across the UK illuminated, from Cornwall’s Minack Theatre, Glastonbury’s bare Pyramid stage, Brighton’s famous pier and the Biomes of the Eden Project, to London venues including The Royal Albert Hall and the National Theatre, and further north to the Blackpool Tower, Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre, Theatre Royal Dumfries and countless other sites. Industry companies taking par
UK - After weeks of relentless campaigning, the British arts sector has been promised a coronavirus bailout worth £1.57bn.
The funding was announced late on Sunday evening, with the UK government stating it represents “the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture”.
The package includes:
- £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England, comprising £880m grants and £270m loans;
- £100m of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust;
- £120m capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England;
- extra £188m for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33m), Scotland (£97m) and Wales (£59m).
The news follows the government’s announcement of a roadmap to reopening, which was heavily criticised by the sector for lacking investment and timeframes.
Commenting on the funding scheme, chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said: "Our world-renowned galleries, museums, heritage sites, music venues and independent cinemas are not only critical to keeping our economy thriving, employing more than 700,000 people, they’re the lifeblood of British culture. That’s why we’re giving them the vital cash they need to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for."
UK - Artists including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Cure, Radiohead, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Annie Lennox, PJ Harvey, The 1975 and Blur are among the names demanding immediate action to save live music in the UK by signing an open letter to the UK government's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden. The move is a bid to “show the vital importance of the UK’s live music industry, ensure the Government cannot ignore live music and make noise to get the public and financial support the industry needs to survive”.
The full letter reads as follows:
“Dear Secretary of State,
“UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. From world-famous festivals to ground-breaking concerts, the live music industry showcases, supports, and develops some of the best talent in the world – on and off-stage.
“As important as it is, our national and regional contribution isn’t purely cultural. Our economic impact is also significant, with live music adding £4.5billion to the British economy and supporting 210,000 jobs across the country in 2019.
“Like every part of the entertainment industry, live music has been proud to play our part in the national effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and keep people safe. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
USA - E2i Design’s Josh Holowicki had no hesitation in specifying GLP’s X4 Bar 20 as an essential component in a major technological upgrade at Church of the Highlands’ Grants Mill broadcast campus in Alabama.
E2i has been a partner with the Church since 2012, providing solutions for their broadcast and extension campuses with lighting and LED video technology. But this latest project was a year in the making due to their determination to select the very best fixtures and build flexibility within the already constructed worship facility. In their determination to create a ‘tour grade’ technical infrastructure, the visual upgrade to the stage space is an exciting and ongoing process.
“Ultimately the technical and visual directors of the Ministry wanted the ability to re-configure their stage design any way they wanted without limitations,” Josh Holowicki explains. “This would allow for virtually unlimited possibilities and the style of the system we designed, which essentially is a portable rig in a permanent space, allows for just that.”
Church of the Highlands is described as “a high impact worship environment that embraces the active use of technology to help create and support an exciting experience” and therefore utilising the latest lighting and visual technologies was essential.
Within this context, the X4 Bar 20s are more than just ‘eye candy’. “They provide incredible visual punch for the stage,” Holowicki says. “At this point we have 18 units on stage with the hope of adding additional units in the fut
UK - Audio-visual and entertainment technology supplier Anna Valley has built its first off-site online event studio at indigo at The O2, transforming the iconic music venue into a live-streaming studio.
After being closed for over three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular South East London venue can now host online events for corporate and agency clients using the solution from Anna Valley.
Anna Valley launched the online event studio in June via a live stream demonstration of their in-house studio setup in West London. Online event studio clients were offered the option of hosting events from the audio-visual company’s 42,000sq.ft facility or having a customised solution built at a venue of their choice. The new installation at indigo at The O2 now provides London-based event agencies and corporate clients with an alternative off-site venue for virtual events, in a central location that offers all the benefits of a professional event space.
Anna Valley have already completed the studio installation at The O2, including a high-resolution LED backdrop and a multi-camera setup with record, edit and playout capability from the venue. The indigo team will provide audio and lighting equipment along with all the necessary security, safe working, housekeeping and parking needed for events.
“Anna Valley subsidiary, Matrix UK Solutions, has worked with and enjoyed a successful relationship with the indigo team for many years,” says Anna Valley MD, Peter Jones. “Installing our online event studio at indigo at The O2 provides ou
UK - Live From The Polar Bear heralds a return to live music from COVID-19 lockdown, with VMS Live supporting the Polar Bear and Sesh, presenting a 12-week series of gigs, starting 30 June 2020.
Shows will be live streamed from 8.00pm, with the first sessions featuring The Hubbards and Alice Simmons.
Other acts already confirmed are King No-One with Kitty VR, Polo and Lucy Tessier, Talk More and Jack Conman and Fever with Aimee Duncan.
VMS Live CEO Bert Van Horck comments, “We’re all passionate in our love for live music and very excited to be taking this first step back towards feeling the energy of a live gig again. Performing is a highlight for any artist, creating a special bond with their audience and we are providing a safe stage with high quality technical support to enable that. With social distancing limiting our ability to fill the venue, we will be capturing the chemistry and talent of these bands’ performances and streaming them to a wider audience.”
The Polar Bear is a favourite local, 200 capacity, venue, with bands and audiences. At the heart of the city’s live music and comedy scenes, its state-of-the-art sound system sits in stunning art deco surroundings and organisers are planning a unique set for these shows. The SESH is a weekly night held at the Polar Bear, which has showcased up and coming local talent for 18 years, with an annual festival. Venue management and music service specialists VMS Live is the third partner in this collaboration, bringing a welcome return to the live stage for bands.
UK – AED Group has launched a ‘Mid-Air Disinfection System’ (MADS) for the UK market under its Luxibel brand.
Developed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it is made up of UVC ventilation cylinders that disinfect the air using UVC light technology. It has been specifically designed to cater for larger spaces with an audience where air circulation needs to be taken into account.
Glenn Roggeman, CEO of AED Group, used his knowledge of aerodynamics gained during his training as a helicopter pilot to drive the design forward. He comments: “This system sucks air breathed out by people into our aerodynamically-patented system. Micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses are neutralised, meaning germ-free air is blown back into the room.
“When we are able to meet up again in enclosed spaces with groups of people, air disinfection will contribute to reducing infection rates. I personally would also feel more comfortable and secure visiting locations that have this kind of system installed.”
Last week, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) published the results of tests on UVC light on the coronavirus. According to researchers at Boston University, UVC has proven to be effective at eliminating coronavirus. Through scientific testing they concluded that UVC radiation is highly effective in neutralizing the coronavirus. There is no risk of harmful radiation to people, as Luxibel carries out the UVC disinfection process within a fully-enclosed device.
Roggeman emphasises that UVC disinfection can be an important part of the multifaceted ap
Japan - Founded in Los Angeles in 2012, 800º Degrees Woodfired Kitchen boasts eight outlets across the US, two in the Middle East and three in Japan. The latest, at the Tokyo International Forum, features a Yamaha background music system.
The first 800º Degrees restaurant in Japan opened at Tokyo’s Shinjuku City, followed by one in nearby Minami Aoyama. The latest is in the heart of the city’s Marunouchi business district, with seats for 100 diners and a VIP room for 10 people.
“While maintaining the core Californian brand and taste, we have a dedicated concept for each restaurant, with a specially-designed interior and menu in each location,” says Mr Kazuma Suzuki, general manager of the market development department of Lumine Co, the Japanese retail developer which has brought the 800º Degrees brand to Japan.
“The new restaurant is relatively large for this busy office district and we wanted to offer a stylish, cosmopolitan lounge space for businessmen and women in Marunouchi. We also offer a deli box and bakery takeaway service.”
Mr Suzuki recognised how the sound within a space is essential to creating an enjoyable atmosphere and customer experience, so a high quality audio system was an essential factor in the concept for 800º Degrees. Lumine contracted Mr Kohji Fujita, space planner at Hiranya Access Co, to design the audio system. He chose a Yamaha solution, thanks to its “combination of flexibility, audio quality and coverage”.
“The pizza kiln is at the centre of the restaurant, so I designed the system to c
Iceland - The National Theatre of Iceland has made the leap to digital with Sennheiser. Reykjavik’s premier arts venue regularly attracts large audiences who expect the very highest quality every time the curtain raises. When it was time to update the venue’s audio equipment, Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless microphone system - including the SK 6212 mini-bodypack transmitter - was the choice for Kristinn Gauti Einarsson, head of sound at the theatre.
With three different shows every day and more than 10 premieres each year across its five stages, the National Theatre is operated with a leaner team and budget than most national theatres.
Einarsson shares the secret behind their success: he has worked with the same musical composer, set designer and director for six years. “It’s so amazing to start new, great shows with the same team. Our collaboration and coordination get better all the time,” says Einarsson. “We are successful because 90% of the job is communication - and good communication makes good shows.” This trust and relationship extend to the equipment as well: “Our theatre has used Sennheiser in the past and their products have been rock-solid.”
When making the switch to digital, the National Theatre chose to invest in a future with Sennheiser, acquiring a 32-channel Digital 6000 wireless microphone system with Sennheiser SK 6212 mini-bodypack transmitters.
Einarsson praises the combination of performance and simplicity that the Sennheiser system delivers: “We sometimes have three different shows per day, so e
UK - PLASA has launched #WeMakeEvents, a new campaign with the aim of amplifying the industry’s voice and gaining meaningful Government support. Central to the campaign is a video highlighting the vital role of supply chain companies along with the freelance community and the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic upon the live events sector.
PLASA is calling for people from across the industry to share the video across social media to give much needed exposure to the supply chain to events including production and rental companies, manufacturers and freelancers, to raise awareness of the need for longer term financial support.
In addition to sharing the video, PLASA has published two infographics illustrating the complexity of the live events supply chain and the typical arena show – which requires an average of 443 professionals spanning design, planning, preparation, warehousing, and venue staff. The graphics also show how valuable the sector is, collectively delivering £100 billion to the UK economy.
PLASA also encourages everyone to add their name to the campaign, and to send a letter to their local MP using the customisable letter samples which were created by a collective of PLASA, ABTT, PSA, SOLT and UK Theatre – details of which can be found here.
PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath comments: “We all know that the events industry has been devastated due to Covid-19, and we expect that the road to recovery will be a
USA - NEP Group in partnership with Skyway Studios has installed the first general-production LED' smart stage' in Nashville to support the local entertainment market as well as national broadcasts and live events.
Using the latest in Ultra High-resolution LED, the NEP-Skyway Smart Stage transforms the typical flat-wall stage into a true 3D environment, allowing for unlimited creative possibilities and a more natural exchange between the talent and the virtual space. Presenters and performers can walk on stage and immediately feel comfortable in the space, reducing or even eliminating the need for additional rehearsal time.
Designed to accommodate a full national touring act performing a complete concert in the space, the stage is the largest of its kind for production rental and offers a dynamic, virtual backdrop for a wide range of productions - including concerts, touring acts, news/politics shows and events, film and TV, entertainment and sports award and talk shows, still photography, corporate meetings/events and more. The 38ft wide x 20ft deep x 14ft tall stage is part of a 150,000sq.ft facility with many amenities
The facility opened its doors last week, featuring video content and 3D graphics developed by Lightborne Communications to give visitors an inside look at the creative possibilities of the technology.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the opening of the Nashville Smart Stage. Our teams have worked very hard to build out the studio quickly with this technology,” said Graham Andrews, global president of NEP Live Events.
Europe - The ARRI System Group, part of the ARRI Group and virtual production technology company On-Set Facilities are coming together to service and deliver virtual production projects and provide integrated solutions for virtual production studios.
Director of technology and owner of On-Set Facilities Asa Bailey comments: “I’m very proud to have signed with ARRI to partner with the System Group. With this alliance, we can use our knowledge of virtual production systems to supply global clients with a lot more first class on-set technology. We can now design and provide complete, turnkey, on-set VFX and virtual production studio solutions with total confidence and better meet the growing on-set technology needs of major studios, production companies, and broadcasters.”
Founded in the Snowdonia Mountains of Northern Wales, building real-time, on-set computer systems, On-Set Facilities now has sales and support offices in Madrid and LA. The technology company develops a full range of on-set VFX and virtual production solutions covering in-camera VFX (LED), mixed reality (green screen), and fully virtual (in-engine) production.
ARRI’s regional business development director, David Levy, adds: “This partnership is one of many steps ARRI is taking to bring virtual production and real time solutions to our customers. We believe, especially in these uncertain times, in the value of these systems and how they will allow our customers to continue to make content and, more importantly, their art. Which we as consumers value more than ever.
UK - A cooperative of top-flight crew and suppliers have come together to launch The Collective Sessions to provide a cost-effective, ‘stream worthy’, fully functional live space, equipped with a full-scale production and adhering to COVID safety guidelines.
Offering adaptable space at Millennium Studios for rehearsals, live-streaming or the recording of live performances, the initiative is the brainchild of Simon Schofield, who has coordinated video teams for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Metallica and Arcade Fire, along with Suzi Green, tour manager for clients such as PJ Harvey, The Chemical Brothers and Marina. Having watched their livelihoods disappear overnight due to the pandemic, they felt strongly there must be a way to help both themselves and colleagues in the same situation and provide an economical platform that would benefit others.
Completing the partnership are Really Creative Media (RCM) providing a significant video package, plus GLS Lighting and Urban Audio Productions providing substantial lighting and audio packages. With this in-house core production setup already in place, costs to artists are minimised, with COVID safety guidelines adhered to.
Having all worked together across various tours and festivals, the team behind The Collective Sessions are putting their time, expertise and equipment into this on a cost and profit share basis. "Because we're all in this together, we're able to offer a significantly reduced rate for a fully resourced facility and it also means anyone hiring the space will be directly helping