Chauvet lights Citizen of the Year ceremony
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
citizenoftheyear-photocredit-laurenthomasonDerry’s Citizen Of The Year ceremony (photo: LaurenThomason)
USA - Stepping inside the Palace Theatre in Derry,NH, with its sweeping curves and imposing balcony has long been a special treat for New Englanders. On 15 July, thousands of them got to enjoy this experience again on a virtual level during a livestreamed Citizen of the Year ceremony honouring the theatre’s president, Peter Ramsey.
The 40-minute event didn’t take place at the downtown Manchester theatre itself, but 11 miles away, at Studio Lab, where owner Tim Messina and his team at Events United used 128 Chauvet Professional F2 LED panels to build a massive curved video wall that displayed a dynamic and immersive 3D replica of the iconic building’s interior.
Measuring 52ft wide by 13ft high, the wall provided Messina and his team with a 5,376 by 1,344-pixel canvas on which to create their multi-dimensional panorama. During scenes when the honouree was interviewed in front of this realistic setting, viewers got the sensation that they were watching things unfold from an upstage position inside the theatre, with its seats in the background.
“It was important that we included imagery of the theatre in the programme,” says Messina. “Our client for this event, The Greater Manchester Chamber, provided us with a photo from the stage of the theatre. This image was used during an interview with Peter Ramsey and worked very well to create the sense that the interview was taking place at the theatre, rather than in our studio. In the image there are theatrical lights pointing towards the camera, we mimicked those lights with R1 washes to make it appear as though we were actually in the theatre. Even in person, the image was extremely convincing.”
For other segments of the ceremony, the curved wall provided a deeply textured setting that gave a live in-person quality to the proceedings. This is precisely what Messina had in mind when he invested in the equipment needed to create the backdrop.
Because of the constant arc of the video wall, the Events United team realised that simple straight lighting trusses would not work, as they could not be lowered once the wall was completed. They designed a lighting grid that fits inside the curvature of the wall. This structure holds 24 Maverick Mk2 Spot and 27 Rogue R1 Wash fixtures, which are used to set the onstage talent off from the wall by providing downlight and hair light. The fixtures also create effect lighting to cover the floor with colour and texture.
In addition to the moving fixtures, 14 Colorado Solo Batten units were positioned in front of the ground support kits to provide additional colour on the floor and added punch for musical acts.

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