USA - Lighting designer Tom Kenny chose Ayrton Khamsin-S profiles as key lights in his design for this year’s iHeartCountry Festival, presented by Capital One, which was live streamed globally and broadcast on iHeartMedia’s country radio stations on 23 October.
Bandit Lites supplied 24 of Ayrton’s Khamsin-S fixtures for this seventh annual celebration of country music which was rescheduled from its original slot in May at the Frank Erwin Centre in Austin, Texas, and relocated to The Steel Mill in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kenny is a lighting designer with over 40 years of experience on both sides of the Atlantic who moves easily between lighting live music and television spectaculars. His client list includes rock superstars like Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, David Byrne, Eric Clapton, David Bowie and The Who, and his television credits number a multiplicity of music award shows, documentaries and TV specials.
“I’d always wanted to use Ayrton’s new fixtures, having used their effects lighting many times before, yet never had the chance until now,” Kenny says. “So when Bandit Lites approached me with the Khamsin-S, I jumped at the opportunity.”
The Khamsin-S fixtures were installed in the overhead grid of The Steel Mill’s 200ft x 79ft studio from where Kenny used them for back, front and key lighting of the bands and as ‘scenery’ for single artists.
“The Khamsins were amazing in all aspects: the colour, power, speed and colour temperature were all perfect for television lighting – the temperatures in particular were ju
South Africa - For the last few months, social media and the internet worldwide has been alight with The Jerusalema Dance Challenge - a TikTok challenge that originated in Angola and went viral after lockdown - with people sharing funny and uplifting videos of themselves dancing a series of moves often performed at African weddings to the hit song Jerusalema by South African DJ & music producer Master KG, featuring the voice of songstress Nomcebo Zikode.
As they have generated millions of views, likes and laughs, these videos in different locations have boosted morale and spirits globally as people have also added their own costumes or elements of style and interpretation to the now-famous moves.
Marius van Rooyen from Pretoria -based broadcast and streaming specialist EventCast was asked by Jaco Minnaar, CEO of their broadcast / IT partner ClearAccess, to produce a livestream / record of a Jerusalema Dance Challenge moment organised as a team-building exercise for their Johannesburg and Pretoria staff including on-site workers and contractors.
Everyone doing a Jerusalema Challenge video is looking for a quirky or different flourish to make theirs different and stand out in a sea of viral moments, so for the main ClearAccess video location, Marius, video director Stephan Pieterse and the team proposed getting some Astera Titan Tubes involved with the action.
The idea was that the lights could be part of the choreography, adding colour, funkiness and - with a few chases and some strobing - some additional movement to the mix.
Germany - The Berlin Waldbühne Back to Live Concerts, a socially distanced event concept ran throughout September at the city’s famous open-air venue organised by promoter Semmel Concerts Entertainment.
Berlin-based full production service specialist TSE was asked by the venue management team, CTS Eventim AG, to supply a flexible festival-style production lighting and video rig complete with visual design that would work for a wide range of performing artists. Lighting for this was specified by TSE’s Ronny Rud Reinhold and included Robe BMFL WashBeams, MegaPointes and Spiider moving lights among other luminaires.
The venue has a large stage covered by a tensile roof that normally holds 22,900 guests, but this was revised – in relation to government restrictions at that time for outdoor shows - to 5,000 for Back to Live including staff, artists and crew, with the line-up including popular schlager superstar Roland Kaiser, rapper Sido, comedian, jazz musician and multi-instrumentalist Helge Schneider, singer Wincent Weiss and a special schlager-extravaganza night with Peter Maffay, one of Germany’s top-selling artists.
“We chose this classic festival lighting setup,” states Ronny, “to make things as smooth and straightforward for all the guest LDs and lighting operators,” which included the choice of fixtures as all these Robe luminaires are commonly used across many different event sectors in Germany.
With these Robes in the rig, shows could early and painlessly be adapted, a strategy that was proved right as they didn’t
USA - When US President-elect Joe Biden delivered his long-awaited victory speech in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware on the evening of Saturday, 7 November, the exuberant celebrations culminated with a spectacular drone and pyrotechnic show from Strictly FX.
“The creative on this originated with executive producer Ricky Kirshner, of Kirshner Events, who has been the nexus of all the work we’ve done with the DNC,” notes Ted Maccabee, CEO of Strictly FX.
In partnership with Verge Aero, Strictly FX deployed a fleet of 200 drones for the event. As those below celebrated, the GPS-guided drones lit up the sky with precision choreography, synchronised to a soundtrack which began with Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars.
The large-scale aerial imagery, created and refined in line with the Biden campaign’s vision, included red, white and blue stars, Biden’s campaign logo, a map of the USA, ‘46’ and ‘Harris’ – all with Strictly FX’s stunning pyrotechnic accompaniment.
The team worked fast to organise not just the content of the show, but the permissions and logistics required to carry it out. “Since this was a national security situation, the permissions that we had to get from various government entities were incredibly detailed; thankfully, we started on this process three weeks ahead of the election, and we were able to wade through all the authorizations in time to create this once in a lifetime event,” notes Maccabee.
The crew from Verge Aero had challenges as well. Nils Thorjussen, CEO of Verge Aero, adds,
Portugal - Grupo Renascença Multimedia is among the largest players in Portuguese radio. The firm operates three major stations: Rádio Renascença - known colloquially as 'RR' - Mega Hits, and RFM - which constantly rates as the highest listened-to station in the country. Across its entire portfolio, Grupo Renascença Multimedia provides everything from news, sports, music and other entertainment. The stations also include a bit of religious programming as the primary owner of the radio group is the Catholic Church.
“We actually have a chapel in the building,” said José Loureiro, assistant manager at the Radio Innovation & Technical Unit for the stations. “And even the chapel is connected to our audio system, because once in a while, we do use it for broadcasting religious events. But really, as unique as that is, it’s not that crazy or difficult to include it in the audio workflow because we’re using Dante.”
Audinate’s Dante distributes hundreds of uncompressed, multi-channel digital audio channels via standard Ethernet networks, with near-zero latency and perfect synchronization. Dante allows audio, control, and all other data to coexist effectively on the same network.
In 2016, RR moved into a new headquarters in Lisbon. The previous office location - which they had occupied for nearly 80 years - was in the city centre and snaked across multiple floors within a historic building. The facility was, according to Loureiro, a case study in how challenging traditional cabling becomes over time.
“There were cables in there
USA - With its open-air amphitheatre built into the surrounding sandstone, Red Rocks is one of live music’s more distinctive venues. From 24-27 September, the fabled venue west of Denver was the scene of four nights of in-person and live-streaming music experiences. Red Rocks partnered with video streaming service Nugs.net to cap the summer off in style with local Colorado production house Brown Note Productions providing a full Elation IP-rated rig for the limited capacity 4-night run.
Tiësto, Fitz and the Tantrums, Billy Strings and Lotus headlined the four nights respectively with all but Billy Strings performing before a live audience limited to 175 fans per Colorado’s COVID-19 guidelines. As a guarantee against any weather issues, notably Colorado’s notorious cloudburst rain showers, Brown Note dipped into its inventory of Elation all-weather IP65 luminaires to light the four shows with the venue’s spectacular rock formations also lit up for Tiësto’s performance.
Ryan Knutson, president of Brown Note Productions, designed both the show lighting rig and rock lighting looks using the fleet of Elation IP-rated lighting that Brown Note acquired last fall.
Stage lighting gear lists varied slightly per show with the Tiësto show comprising the most fixtures: 36 Proteus Maximus LED profile moving heads, 32 Proteus Rayzor 760 LED wash moving heads, 16 Protron Eclypse hybrid LED lights, 18 DTW Blinder 700 IP and 12 Seven Batten 72 pixel bars. The rig provided ample amounts of punch and with all shows filmed for live stream viewing courtesy
Canada - 7thSense’s Medialon Showmaster LE show control solution has been installed by Production Resource Group (PRG) at the at heart of the new Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Toronto. The five-storey immersive show brings the Dutch master's paintings to life using light, sound and movement.
The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit has become the world’s first immersive drive-in art experience after producers adapted the digital art show for the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Before its public launch in July, the exhibition’s artistic director, Massimiliano Siccardi debuted his plans to make the experience COVID-friendly by designing space for up to 40 cars to visit the exhibit at any one time, as well as welcoming visitors on foot with social distancing circles in place once lockdown restrictions had been eased.
The experience features a 35-minute show that showcases 40 pieces of the Dutch artist’s work, including Sunflower, Irises and The Starry Night, across the 600,000sq.ft space and its 8m-high walls. Bringing the paintings to life are 52 Panasonic projectors, and a VUEaudiotechnik audio configuration streaming an original classical composition by Luca Longbardi. A GLP lighting system completes the environment.
7thSense’s Medialon Showmaster LE manages all audio-visual components including projection system, media servers, lighting, and synchronisation for the entire show.
Leading design and production of the exhibit was Lighthouse Immersive, and PRG for system design and integration. Chris Arsenault of Armour Technical
Australia - The fourth season of Australian Ninja Warrior heralded a new era with Ninjas coming face to face with mind-blowing new obstacles and for the first time, Ninja versus Ninja on the almighty Power Tower.
Filmed at Melbourne Showgrounds, the show was once again lit by Hugh Taranto with Chameleon Touring Systems supplying gear and crew. For the first time, Hugh had house power instead of generators and he relished working on a site set up for production.
COVID-19 reared its head just as filming started, but thorough planning and advice saw the production through. Being able to continue filming without an audience as well as outdoors, certainly helped.
“We were there for three weeks setting up and just as we were about to start recording, Covid-19 started to happen,” Hugh said. “There was a lot of making changes on the run. We started with a full audience but that was soon changed to just family and friends. As time went on and rules and protocols kept changing, we ended up with no audience towards the end. We were fortunate to be able to push through and finish the show.”
New this year was a fresh obstacle called the Power Tower, a large circular obstacle that was the last challenge and rather tricky to light. The structure was internally lit with Chauvet Colordash IP LED PARs and a ring of EK Collider Strobes sat around the top ring, 12m in the air.
“As well as being internally lit, there were light-up poles that the Ninjas would grab onto,” said Hugh. “As they got to each pole they would light up in a different col
Germany - Martin Audio's German rental partner, Kotsch-Showtechnik from Nessetal near Gotha, recently supplied a sound reinforcement solution for the faithful reproduction of classical music at the Schlosshofkonzert 2020.
In order to meet the COVID-19 requirements, the Gotha Thuringia Philharmonic Orchestra moved for three evenings into the courtyard of the baroque Friedenstein Castle in the City. Here, taking into account the rules of distance, a baroque evening, an operetta gala and a concert with violin and grand piano were able to take place in front of an audience of 400.
Torsten Kotsch, owner of Kotsch Showtechnik, implemented the sound and lighting design with his team and explained the special features required of classical music reinforcement: "The dynamic range of a classical concert is far greater than at many rock concerts,” he said. “Since the concerts were open-air, and not in a theatre or concert hall, we had to pay special attention to the correct set-up of the system.”
The choice of loudspeaker technology was always going to be self-powered products from Martin Audio. The MLA Compact was used as the main PA, with the area in front of the stage covered with DD12 speakers, and CDD-LIVE8 speakers were used as stage monitors.
Torsten Kotsch explained this selection rationale: "I can connect all speakers via Martin Audio's VU-Net and control and monitor them in the software,” he said. “Since we wanted to achieve the same sound experience at all seats, the mix of MLA Compact and DD12 was perfect. Both systems distribute s
Finland - Nestled between two lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, Tampere is listed on MoveHub’s world’s most popular hipster spots and, with the most saunas in one city, is considered the sauna capital of the world.
The city is also home to the Tampereen Työväen Teatteri (Tampere Workers’ Theatre), fondly referred to by locals as the TTT-Theatre. This is one of the county’s main theatres and its recently updated sound system features L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology, chosen both with audio excellence and the future in mind, as well as to address historic localisation issues caused by the venue’s extremely wide stage.
Originally, a standard L-C-R system had been specified for the theatre’s major audio overhaul, until Pauli Molnár, sales manager at L-Acoustics certified provider distributor, Audico Systems Oy, introduced them to the concept of L-ISA and its ability to create a completely different listening experience for the theatre’s audiences.
“We did a demo for the team and they were blown away,” says Molnár. “They understood that not only would L-ISA technology deliver more than they wanted in terms of sound quality, but also that it would address some key issues with which they had been struggling.”
The curved stage lip at TTT-Theatre measures a full 20m wide, likely one of the widest in Finland. This means that no matter where loudspeakers are placed in a standard configuration, the sound is not properly localised for the audience. In addition to this, the audio team struggled with gain before feedback
South Africa - The Acts Christian Church, Midrand Campus, is a modern auditorium where technology plays an important role. The past seven months have seen the church invest in four Strand 300 S LED Softlights and two Strand 150 S Softlights for their live streaming studio and video material, a platform which has caught the attention of thousands of viewers.
The church has also purchased 16 Showtec Pixel Strip 40 for their main stage, fixtures that create an eye-catching background for both the live congregation and those watching from home, accompanied by a new Arkaos MasterPro 5 licence. On the audio side, a Waves Soundgrid System consisting of Waves SuperRack and a Waves SoundGrid Server One-C will complement their Midas console.
Pastor Peter de Fin was a guitarist and sound engineer who travelled across the globe for six years with Vinesong, a team of international missionaries who share the gospel through worship, before meeting his wife Tammy, an evangelist whose ministry was to go into nightclubs and preach the gospel. The pair were married started Acts Church in 1999, taking over what was previously a small mission church.
“We really wanted to focus on the local church and to build this city,” explains De Fin. “Both my parents and grandparents were missionaries and started churches in places like Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. But we had the heart to train the local people and over the last twenty years have built four campuses. We also realized that the modern church has become very technical. It’s not about producing a show, bu
Italy - Between 11 and 19 September, the Arena di Verona hosted the seventh edition of the Festival della Bellezza (Festival of Beauty).
Visual representations, artistic and philosophic thoughts animated the location, with a wide variety of guests exhibiting on stage: from artists like Gianni Morandi and Mogol to intellectuals like Massimo Recalcati and Vittorio Sgarbi.
MeQuadro Show Service, a production-service company based in Verona, provided the lighting and oversaw the technical set up. Emanuele Mazzi, owner of MeQuadro, comments, “This edition has been a real challenge for the organisers, who allowed more than 35.000 spectators to take part to 10 days of concerts, performances and conferences, following the COVID-19 guidelines.
“The stage was set up in the middle of the Arena as to recall the Agora, sacred and moral centre in the ancient Greece in which gathered assemblies of free-born citizens. As you can imagine, it was necessary to design impactful lighting, both suited for the context and emphasizing the atmosphere, giving prominence to all the artists involved.
“An appropriate and impactful lighting, which was suitable for the context and emphasized the atmosphere of the characters who took part in the event, was the order of the day,” says lighting designer Andrea Coppini .
“Most of the lighting fixtures we decided to use were Prolight, specifically Prolights Jade, ArenaCob 4FC, SunBlast 3000FC, PixieWash and PixieWash XB. Lacking a roof covering the stage, we wanted all the fixture to be IP rated, as to avoid ins
UK - Creative Technology (CT) worked closely with the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) to help deliver its third annual conference from Riverside Studios Hammersmith. The virtual event was livestreamed to a global audience on 6-7 October.
The initial challenge faced by Rob Day (senior project manager) and Emma Rössl, (project manager), was to find a suitable venue that could guarantee the right internet bandwidth, which is key in establishing a high quality connection and vital in delivering a successful online event. All spaces at CT’s Crawley facility were fully booked so Riverside Studios provided Studio 2 for the two-day event.
CT supplied a curved LED screen, relay / comfort monitors, PPU, video switching, cameras and comms for the studio set up. Full lighting and rigging were also provided along with scenic and furniture to create a professional stage environment. In addition to this, CT pre-recorded and edited a three-camera shoot with LCD backdrop, lighting, and audio in a separate studio onsite for inclusion in the main event.
As with any virtual event that heavily relies on remote contributors, link testing and pre-records were integral. One week prior to the show, CT performed remote link up tests to each of the speakers and a number of pre-records. These included the show Producer and GCCA’s communication and policy director, Paul Adeleke, who joined these records via a separate Zoom link, which gave them the ability to feedback on the pre-recorded presentations in real time.
Marantz AVS combined webcam, ring lig
Norway - In common with many other countries, the live event industry in Norway has been hit hard by the global COVID-19 pandemic. With all concert and cultural events either postponed or cancelled, Norwegian artists who had performances booked were left to wait until live shows could resume.
But folk/rock band Violet Road came up with an imaginative solution to the problem, bringing their music to 18 coastal communities from the foredeck of a 60 year old ship. An Alcons Audio pro-ribbon audio system was a vital part of the solution.
Violet Road had over 60 shows lined up for the 2020 festival season, all of which were cancelled. When the band put their heads together, bassist Hogne Rundberg came up with the idea of buying a boat. “We thought it would be the perfect tour combination - a stage, food, lodging and transport all rolled into one,” he says.
The band purchased the Vulkana, a 22m (73ft) former fishing vessel, built in 1957 and later rebuilt as a spa and tourist craft. With a loading capacity of 80 tons and space for a crew of five, plus 12 passengers, it had every facility the band needed. These included a full kitchen and lounge with a fireplace below decks, as well as a sauna (heated by a wood-fired oven), a hot tub on the aft deck and diving board. Everything a touring band could need!
The foredeck was fitted as a sound stage, allowing the band to moor the vessel and perform to audiences of up to 200 people on quaysides and pierheads, close enough to enjoy the performance but far enough for Covid safety. In this way, touring
Zimbabwe - Blessing Bero was focused on creating uplifting harmonies for the Zaoga Forward In Faith Church at its October live DVD recording session; not in the form of vocals, the church’s acclaimed choir took care of that, but with balanced video and lighting displays. “We wanted to create flowing videos for the beautiful music,” said Bero, of Events Evolution. “Our team was able to do this throughout the recording.”
Bero, who served as technical director, set designer and lighting designer at the video shoot, hung 16 0.5m by 3m LED strips across the back of the stage. “I worked with LED screen engineer and operator Tatenda Rushwaya to create all the attractive visuals that the camera could capture on the strips,” he said. “We used them to play graphic videos that interacted with video playback.”
Having the strips display their captivating content while being accompanied by weak, timid light, would have been akin to having a choir comprised only of tenors. The net result would be uneven and uninspiring. To avoid this, Bero balanced the video displays with the bold, colourful output from 22 Chauvet Professional fixtures. “Given the output of the video strips, we had to beef up our colours with bright, high-output lights,” said Bero. “The lighting and video worked beautifully together.”
Bero placed three of his Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures on the upstage truss, using them to cover the band in vivid colors and texturizing gobo patterns. The four MK2 Spot units flown over the mid-stage deck also added colour while accenting the
Australia - The 2020 NRL Grand Final, saw the Melbourne Storm defeat the Penrith Panthers at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. Traditionally held on the first Sunday of October, the COVID-19 delay earlier in the year caused the date to be pushed back several weeks.
The pre-show entertainment was once again enriched by Tom Wright’s lighting and stage design with Chameleon Touring Systems supplying the equipment. This year Amy Shark walked onto the stage at ANZ Stadium in front of a 40,000-strong crowd to perform several of her biggest hits which have dominated the Australian charts over the past few years.
Unfortunately, as Wright lives in Melbourne, he was unable to attend the event and so Paul Collison and Dan Mercer worked closely with him to ensure his vision came to life. This was a task that ended up nearly impossible due to inclement weather that battered Sydney that weekend!
It was decided that Amy would enter the Stadium through the tunnel behind the stage and so Wright used 24 Color Force 72 and 70 IP rated ShowPRO DreamPix 1m LED Strips to dress the tunnel as well as add light. Added to the DreamPix onstage, including those that made up the massive ‘A’ structure, the total number was 148 and they were all run through Wright’s PRG Mbox media server.
“We made the assumption months ago that I probably would not be able to attend the event and that’s how I designed the show,” adds Wright. “As well as PC, I had Dan as his associate so PC could be the arty guy and Dan could be the attack dog!! Basically, I wanted PC to focus on the
USA - A Hippotizer Tierra+ Media Server from Green Hippo is driving the videowall content at the WVU Football facility at West Virginia University’s new Puskar Centre, in Morgantown, WV.
Providing spaces for players, coaches, staff and visitors, the WVU Puskar Centre development is, with the help of Hippotizer, transforming the home of WVU Football, putting its facilities very visibly ahead of the competition.
The video playback solution was designed by BrightTree Studios and installed by its parent company, Synergy Media Group, preferred technology suppliers to WVU. It encompasses five large screens in the spacious, luxuriously modern locker room, including a main video wall and four ‘end-cap’ screens located at the ends of the locker rows. The Tierra+ Media Server will also handle content feeds and mapping duties for screens in other areas in future phases of this major construction project.
“This was our first project using Hippotizer, and we’ve had a great experience with it,” says David Vargo, principal of BrightTree Studios. “It allowed us to create the space using the Visualiser software so that we could plan and vision the spaces with the client before the actual construction. This allowed us to develop customized content with WVU’s video producer, Austin Gaines, months before installation, which helped to keep the project on schedule.”
Lead AV designer at Synergy Media Group, Cory Sarzotti, explains, “This ‘show’ realm, or ‘theatre space’ is not really an area that corporate AV has had a lot to do with in t
USA - Along with retro tech like vinyl turntables and instant film cameras, which have enjoyed a popularity resurgence in recent years, the drive-in movie theatres of old are also experiencing a revival in 2020. But that boom hasn’t always been sparked by patrons flocking to catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
Sully Erna and Aaron Lewis, frontmen for the hard rock bands Godsmack and Staind, recently wrapped up The American Drive-In Tour, a 13-date, coast-to-coast run of ‘unplugged’ concerts, many of which were staged in classic ’50s-era outdoor cinemas. To best reinforce every acoustic musical nuance and every word of intimate banter between these ‘old friends’ of 25 years, Denver-based concert sound company Brown Note Productions (BNP) chose to carry an L-Acoustics K2 system for the tour.
Produced by Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP), the promoter behind popular festivals like Sacramento’s Aftershock, Daytona Beach’s Rockville, and Louisville’s “Trifesta” (Bourbon & Beyond, Hometown Rising, and Louder Than Life), The American Drive-In Tour ran from early October through early November. Marking the first time that these two musicians have shared a stage, each stop of the nationwide trek featured an impromptu setlist of each artists’ hits, choice covers, and many private stories and laughs.
According to Brown Note Productions president Ryan Knutson, the choice of PA was simple yet elegantly effective: arrays of eight L-Acoustics K2 were flown on each side of the stage, while eight KS28 subs were horizontally spread out in li
Spain - This year’s annual Coca-Cola Music Experience Festival took place again over two days at Madrid’s WiZink Centre (this year under the name CCME Reloaded, to reflect the COVID-19 restrictions).
The event was recorded for streaming only on CokeTV (the Coca-Cola YouTube channel) and Divinity (https://www.divinity.es/).
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, despite the lack of venue atmosphere, the music was non-stop and featured local artists such as Aitana, Ana Guerra, Beret, Twin Melody, Cora Yako, and Lemot.
Working with production company, the Method Agency (under the show direction of Oscar Fernandez), PRG provided an inventory of 124 GLP fixtures, for effects, washlight, and keylight. These included 20 GLP impression X4 XL; 18 GLP impression X4 L; 20 GLP impression X4 Bar 20; 26 GLP impression X4 Bar 10 and 36 GLP Highlander Wash, being used for the first time in Spain. Fixtures were positioned to fulfil different tasks; some on the main rig, others on the floor, for scenography and effects, or to ‘paint’ over the back, sides and audience drops.
The fixtures had been programmed, personalised, and directed by event LD, CaCo García; who was assisted by his lighting operators Juan Manuel Lázaro and Miguel Hidalgo, and worked alongside the visiting LDs accompanying some of the acts. “We built up a specific sequence of cues for each artist or performance.” Garcia said. “We used a grandMA2 with three consoles for programming. Fixtures like the X4 Bar 10 or Bar 20 were very easy to programme in their different modes.”
UK - Every year, EMF Technology is involved in poppy projections to commemorate Remembrance Day - and this year was no different.
The Wembley-based company transformed a wind turbine into a giant poppy for the Vattenfall Group in support of the Royal British Legion’s annual poppy appeal.
The 125m structure at Swinford windfarm near Lutterworth had a 90m wide poppy head projected onto the blades overnight, along with a cascade of poppies falling down the turbine tower. The message EMF wanted to promote was simple - that ‘every poppy counts’, particularly in a year when due to the pandemic and local restrictions, the appeal had been hampered.
"We selected a 125m high wind turbine which has a 90m wide rotor to project a poppy head onto the blades and a green stem mixed with a cascade of smaller poppies falling 80m down the turbine tower to produce the world’s largest virtual poppy which could be seen from the M1 motorway," explains Stuart Roberts of EMF Technology. "A specialist team of photographers and videographers used high-end camera systems and aerial drones to create the unique long exposure effect of the poppy head which gained nationwide TV and worldwide social media coverage."
The company deployed six 20K HD Christie Roadster projectors with ultra-long throw lenses; three custom EMF Vision Ultra Widescreen media servers; and mapping software Resolume Arena V7. EMF also provided full mains power distribution services due to the site’s remote location.
The wind farm is operated by energy company Vattenfall, which
Australia - Big Picture is always looking for new methods to allow creative and technical professionals to tell stories in fresh and innovative ways, especially during COVID-19. One area that certainly required a COVID-revamp was the award show format. So, with the Dally M Awards looming, thinking caps were put on by the teams at Fox Sports and Big Picture.
“Usually the Dally M Awards are staged in a large event venue, but with COVID-19 we had to rethink how we would stage the 2020 production,” remarks Paul Slater, senior producer at Fox Sports. “We still wanted to have a big auditorium feel, but we didn’t have the budget or resources to shoot something like that in reality.”
Paul turned to Big Picture for inspiration, who in turn demonstrated how an xR (extended reality) broadcast could work. The technology impressed, marking a vote of confidence for Big Picture, as a live broadcast xR production had never been done anywhere in the world.
xR technology allows users to blend virtual and physical worlds in live production environments to create fully immersive experiences.
“We were approached by Fox Sports who had been looking at several technologies to integrate a virtual component into a live multi-camera environment,” explains Josh Moffat, special projects & business development at Big Picture. “With only a short lead time up until the event, we designed a technical solution around the disguise xR workflow.”
The event took place at Fox Sports in Sydney where the main Studio setup comprised a 12m x 3m ROE Black Ony
USA - With a portfolio of clients including Apple, Vogue, Amazon, and Spotify, GUM Studios is a New York Qualified Production Facility, offering expansive and versatile spaces that can confidently cater for any requirement and shoot.
Recently, GUM turned to 4Wall Entertainment to provide lighting and video equipment for its new Virtual Production (VP) facility. The high-spec virtual environment includes ROE Visual Black Pearl 2 LED video panels, which are driven by Brompton 4K Tessera SX40 processors.
“GUM is a long-term customer of 4Wall’s, and we have been supplying it with equipment for years,” says 4Wall’s account executive - video production, Wayne Romanowski. “With Virtual Production tipped to become a standard for how major motion pictures will be shot going forward, we were honoured when the GUM team contacted us about supporting them in bringing this cutting-edge technology to their clients.”
4Wall provided 333 ROE Visual Black Pearl BP2 (2.8MM) LED video panels to create a curved wall 40' wide, 15' tall and 20' deep. The company also supplied 51 Full and eight Half ROE Visual Carbon CB8 (8.3MM) LED video panels for an approximately 25' wide x 20' deep ceiling for lighting and reflections.
The entire set-up is driven by three Brompton 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors and five XD 10G data distribution units, out of which “two SX40s along with four XD units are used for the LED wall and the rest are deployed for the ceiling,” adds 4Wall’s account executive – sales, John Velez.
“We are aware of Brompton’s 24/7
USA - Located at the Oconto Falls High School in Wisconsin, an ageing sound system in the Falls Area Performing Arts Centre (PAC) has been replaced with Martin Audio’s new scalable resolution Wavefront Precision Mini (WPM) line array. Part of a complete AV upgrade to the technical infrastructure, the work was carried out by Camera Corner Connecting Point in Green Bay, Wisconsin, following a competitive bidding process.
According to their project designer, Steve Littlepage, the contract was broken into two phases: a complete video upgrade, followed by the installation of the PA and system processing, as well as supply (and relocation) of a new digital mixing console.
The function of the PA was to provide an even coverage for a seated audience of up to 700, and be sufficiently versatile to serve not only a range of school events, but incoming productions hosted through a community foundation, for which the school has a long history.
Camera Corner was given carte blanche by the client to design a system “that would solve their issues and help the venue be a technology leader in the area.” After careful consideration, their PA of choice was the WPM—their first Martin Audio line array deployment.
“We considered a variety of manufacturers, focusing on line array solutions for the venue, but the WPM had exactly the right coverage to price ratio for the project,” Littlepage continued. “Using an array allowed reduction of the level variance from the front to back of the audience—unlike the point source solutions we considered—and the
USA - The second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) located in the heart of Downtown Chicago, is home to more than 100 companies and is one of the city’s best-known tourist attractions. When a tower client needed a powerful, flexible, and scalable audio system, USIS AV looked to LEA Professional.
The team at USIS AV was tasked with the AV design and build in two floors of the tower, encompassing over 90,000sq.ft. The floors are leased by a global coworking company who provide premium work, meeting and event spaces around the world and needed a multifunctional system that could meet the ever-changing needs of their clientele. The space in Willis Tower was designed to be re-configured depending on the specific need, with flex walls allowing the area to accommodate both small breakout sessions and open out for larger conference and event settings.
For Anthony Magarelli, director of engineering at USIS AV, the historical landmark came with its challenges, not only were the team ensuring equal acoustic coverage across 17 different rooms within 90,000 square ft of space, USIS AV also had to contend with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass.
“Product placement was a real challenge on this project and we were constantly re-evaluating zone layout and counts,” commented Magarelli. “That was the beauty of working with LEA Professional amplifiers, their system is completely scalable so their form factor worked really well in this space and eliminated some of the main challenges.”
For Pearl River,