Die Große Chance 2014 was directed for TV by Kurt Pongratz
Austria - Die Große Chance (A Great Opportunity) is one of Austria's leading talent competitions. The 2014 final staged in Studio 1 at national broadcaster ORF's HQ in Vienna was lit in great style by lighting director Thomas Kruder using nearly 300 Robe moving lights.

It was also Kruder's first chance to use Robe's new Bright Multi-Functional Luminaires (BMFLs) of which he had eight on the rig. "It's one of the most powerful fixtures I have ever used," he states.

In addition to the BMFL Spots, he utilised 133 x Pointes and 146 x LEDBeam 100s, all supplied by rental company Supporting Role, also based in Vienna.

Kruder has lit the last two editions of Die Große Chance. In 2011 the original concept of the show - popular throughout the 1980s - was reformatted and presented in a contemporary context, complete with tele-voting to decide on the winner out of four finalists.

In the lead up to the 2014 final, the first six episodes were recorded at the Rosenh?gel Studios in Vienna, with the last four broadcast live - also in front of a large studio audience - from ORF 1 on Friday night prime-time.

The impressive set was designed by Florian Wieder of Wieder Design, Munich, which included an arched section of high resolution LED screen upstage. To extend this, Kruder designed a 30m wide by 10m high matrix 'wall' of LEDBeam 100s and Pointes which flanked the central LED screen.

The idea with the dramatic back wall of lights was to help bring an authentic feeling and anticipation of 'live' performance across to the hundreds of thousands of people tuning in to watch on TV.

The final is one of ORF's ratings toppers of the year, so it also needed to have additional production and a new energy that differentiated it from the run-up programmes and semi-finals.

Kruder chose Pointes and LEDBeam 100s because of their small size, huge power and the great versatility they brought to the show's aesthetics. With that many fixtures, he had endless possibilities for giving each performance - contestants did a solo piece followed by a second round collaboration with an international star - a distinctive look.

For the final of Die Große Chance, he worked with a programming team of five - Michael Kranabeter (effects lighting), Helmut Vospel (LED elements), Juan Contreras (media servers), Willhelm Frank (follow spot caller) and Andreas Brandl (white light sources).

Die Große Chance 2014 was directed for TV by Kurt Pongratz. It was won by teenage duo Harfonie, comprising Nora Baumann and Hanna Maizner who offered a distinctive blend of vocal harmony and harp in their ballad, "Open Your Eyes".

(Jim Evans)

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