Streaming home for Christmas in Belgium
Tuesday, 19 January 2021
robe-christmas-showThe event was recorded over three days at Deep Bridge’s HQ in Antwerp (photo: Steven Hendrix)
Belgium - Theatrical musical producers Deep Bridge created a special streamed Home Edition version of their 2020 Christmas Show, with appearances and special Christmas collaborations from a host of celebrities and music stars, all presenting different festive musical moments.
The event was recorded over three days at Deep Bridge’s HQ in Antwerp with lighting designed by David Smeets of event design and production company The Creative Factory, (TCF) based in Meerhout.
David specified Robe moving lights including T1 Profiles, Spiiders, LEDBeam 150s, Tertra2 LED bars and BMFL WashBeams, all of which were supplied by rental company L&L Stage Services.
The artist line up included a star-studded cast of Belgian singing and dancing talent.
The challenges of the project included a tight turnaround time – just 10 days from when the idea germinated to the stream being recorded across 10 different locations at the Deep Bridge HQ including offices, dressing rooms, corridors, and foyers as well as their dance studio and rehearsal room and outside the building.
That meant that any lighting kit must be portable, versatile, low power and – for the exterior scenes – able to deal with a bit of wind and rain.
Deep Bridge’s 15-piece house band was used for backing all the vocalists. For logistical reasons and for Covid-compliance – which restricted the amount of people allowed in the building and in the filming areas at any one time – these tracks were pre-recorded in the studio, with the singers then going live-to-track playback.
The 24 x T1 Profiles were deployed on the floor of the various spaces or rigged on wheeled stands which could easily be moved around. T1 Profiles were picked for their output and colour mixing. In addition to many other refined advanced features, they also consume very little power.
The 24 x LEDBeam 150s were picked for their small size, zoom, colour mixing and ability to light the smaller spaces like dressing rooms and corridors. “They are compact, light and portable enough to be used literally anywhere,” said David who also ran them as a set of linked up-lighters daisy-chained through one unit’s power supply, as well as for back light, camera candy and even wall washers. “They are a must-have on a project like this.”
David included 18 Spiider LED wash beams. “I use Spiiders on EVERY show I do,” he pronounces, reckoning they are the most versatile fixture with their central flower effect, individual LED ring control and excellent zoom which means they can work equally well as a beam or a wash luminaire.
The eight BMFL WashBeams were used for the outside shots, primarily for illuminating the building and gobo projections, while the Tetra2s were utilised on the floor in the walkways and corridors as an effect. It was the second time that David had used these on a show.
All the lighting was run via a grandMA3 console programmed by Stijn Vanholzaets and operated by David assisted by Christophe Hellinckx making up a talented and fast-working FOH lighting team.
Enforcing the social distancing rules and ensuring that the site was fully Covid compliant meant that everyone needed 4sq.m of space around them, something that presented both logistical and psychological conundrums for artists and crew.
“For example, to stage a 15-piece band with this in mind, you need a large space,” explained David, “and they have to very quickly get comfortable with playing together whilst being much further apart than normal.”
The Christmas Show Home Edition was available as a pay-per-view for 2 weeks over the festive period and has proved extremely popular.

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