Astera Titans go Wild in Minnesota
Friday, 22 November 2019
astera-minnesota-wild-img2373-copyThe clips are shot during a designated ‘media day’ (photo: Tony Mahmood)
USA - A forest of nearly 100 Astera Titan Tubes were used by lighting designer Nook Schoenfeld to create some high impact lighting effects during a sizzle-reel shoot to get player highlights for NHL ice hockey team Minnesota Wild, who are based in the Excel Centre Arena, St Paul, Minneapolis.
These are shown when the players’ names flash up onscreen before and during a game and are also used to highlight players on televised ads, interstitials and other promotions through a season. These clips are shot during a designated ‘media day’ about two weeks ahead of the season opening each season.
Creative designer Chad Gilmour of the Minnesota Wild worked directly with creatives Mark Hussey and Nook to come up with a new look to produce the footage. Chad brought in DoP Robert Durland who found he needed very little lighting other than four ellipsoidals to shoot through the forest of Titans.
Scott Saja edited the whole piece together. Much of this footage was assembled to be played live on the big scoreboard at the Excel Centre during game ceremonies. Production was overseen and managed by game operations manager Sean Zeller (director of game presentation). Secondary cameras were run by Matt Hussey and Chris Dougherty.
Chad Gilmour wanted lighting that was “totally different” to last year when Nook had specified moving light beams and strobes. In their advance meetings, Chad showed a couple of clips he liked that featured - sporadically - some horizontally hanging tubes and wondered if they could find a new and original way of using these, as he likes their quality of light output.
Ninety-six Titan Tubes were sourced from The Legacy Production Group of Minneapolis and arranged in a forest formation and behind these were a series of 4-inch-wide by 3ft long Fatron video strips that acted as a background. They also contrasted with the Tubes, accentuating the rich diversity of colours emitted by the Titans and their positioning added depth to the forest look.
The footage was shot in the middle of the ice rink under the central scoreboard. Astera’s neat attachment enabled Tubes to be butted together into different length strips, and these were hung, seemingly randomly, from a truss gird that the creative team designed which extended just outside the scoreboard’s footprint over the ice.
All 96 tubes ran on one DMX universe as some were double or triple addressed. The director needed to be able to call out a fixture number to Nook at any time and have him change the colour instantly.
They were run through a grandMA2 console with a very small wireless transmitter which came from Inner Circle Distribution along with half of the rental tubes. “This transmitter was no larger than a pack of smokes, we sat it right in the tray of the console,” says Schoenfeld.
(Jim Evans)

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