Set & Light issue 136

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Autumn 2022 | Issue 136

From the Society of Television Lighting and Design

Inside | Nigel Catmur Queen’s Jubilee page 05

| PLASA review page 18

In Memory of Queen Elizabeth II

Limelite Lighting was Honoured to Serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ­­



01580 239844

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MAGAZINE Editor: Emma Thorpe Email: Web: Production Editor: Louise Ferne Sponsor news: Emma Thorpe Email: Advertising: Emma Thorpe Email: Cover photo: BEN STANSALL/Pool via REUTERS Design by: Originate Design Printed by: Gemini Print

WELCOME to the Autumn issue... Our summer issue has run a little late as we wanted to pay tribute to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who sadly passed away in September. It has been a time of ups and downs, which are reflected in this issue. In this edition, there is a tribute to our industry for their efforts during the Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, we also celebrate the work of two great men within our industry, as well as, news from the excellent STLD meeting about the lighting of the fantastic Platinum Jubilee Concert. I would also like to welcome Louise Ferne to our team. She will be responsible for the design of this journal. She is experienced in graphic design and is brand new to our industry. We are always happy to receive contributions from our members! Don’t be shy, please send me your new and stories – they will be more interesting than you think. Photos are also welcome. Please email:

Deadlines for the next issue: Editorial: 6th January 2023 Advertising: 6th January 2023 Advertising is accepted only from sponsor members of the Society

Deadline for our winter issue will be 6th January.

© Society of Television Lighting and Design 2022

| Below: NIgel Catmur Queen’s Jubilee


Emma Thorpe Editor, Set & Light

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04 Chairman’s Note 05 Jubilee Interview 14 STLD Cardiff Visit 18 PLASA 2022 24 Showlight 2023 26 Lighting Review 28 Obituary John Simpson 31 Mike Le Fevre Tribute 32 Charity News 34 Sponsor News 60 Society Committee 61 Society Sponsors

Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Chairman’s Note

History in the making The death of Queen Elizabeth on September 8th triggered into action Operation London Bridge, the national plan for the period from the announcement up to and including the funeral. Some details of the plans had been in the press for a many years now, but the scale and the complexity of those plans were extraordinary. Queen Elizabeth’s coronation had made television history back on 1953 when the latest image orthicon cameras made it possible to transmit TV pictures of the occasion live, and despite the government’s reluctance to let the BBC into Westminster Abbey – King George’s funeral only had the procession through the streets televised - the Duke of Edinburgh was keen to include the public in the coronation ceremony, and 20 million viewers watched in homes and clubs, with an even larger United States audience watching a film recording that was loaded onto a waiting plane and delivered across the Atlantic as fast as it could get there. Many people bought their first television just to watch the coronation. We are still not sure how many viewers watched the funeral on television, reports of over 5 billion viewers have been discredited, but it will surely be the largest television event ever.

There followed services at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast and Llandaff Catherdal in Cardiff, while the coffin was flown back to London to Buckingham Palace before travelling to Westminster Hall for the extraordinary Lying in State. But before that the King addressed parliament in Westminster Hall live on television. For 23 hours a day the public queued to pay their own respects, with every moment streamed by the BBC. The Queen’s children and even her grandchildren took their turn to stand vigil in this ancient historic building. By now world leaders were arriving in London for the funeral service, and all were invited to Lancaster House to sign the books of condolence, again all caught on camera for domestic and foreign broadcasters. Then on the day itself we saw an unparalleled procession to Westminster Abby for the State Funeral, followed by another procession by which the coffin made its way to Windsor Castle and St George’s Chapel for the final committal service.

The day after the announcement there was a live service from St. Paul’s Cathedral for the public, during which the new King Charles made a televised address. The following day attention then switched to the Accession Council whose workings had never been witnessed by the public before, and at St. James’ Palace the Garter King of Arms formally proclaimed Charles as King. Meanwhile the coffin left Balmoral, and after a procession from Holyrood Palace to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh a service was followed by a chance for the public to visit the cathedral and pay their respects.


| Below: St George’s Chapelby Jonathan Brady / Press Association

All of these venues required lighting, cameras, and sound, not only for the events that were shown around the world, but also countless small location studios for domestic and overseas broadcasters, and our television service was there for the world to see. From what I saw the coverage was as close to perfect as it could be, and I would really like to congratulate the suppliers and the crews that made this happen. You can make plans for years in advance, but on the day you have to deal with the reality of where the equipment and the crew are, you have to cope with accreditation and security checks, and all under the pressure of the occasion it was assembled and completed in just twelve days. The STLD recognises the enormous effort put in by largely un-named individuals who managed to do everything needed for the coverage of this quite unique piece of history.

Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Jubilee Interview

| Below: Bernie Davis (left) and Nigel Catmur

Lighting the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert

The STLD met with LD Nigel Catmur to discuss his work on the events to mark the jubilee culminating with an impressive concert. Previous STLD meetings and articles in editions of Set and Light magazine have discussed the broadcasting of many royal events over the years, but few on quite such a superlative scale as the ‘Party at the Palace’ that celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. “The delivery of such a bombastically dazzling concert has to be considered even more of a triumph” wrote Neil McCormick, a critic in the Times, and Alex Petridis wrote in the Guardian: “…a show that grew more visually spectacular as night fell…”. To celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, a star-studded concert was broadcast live across the world featuring a vast range of performance genres spread over three stages outside Buckingham Palace. An evening of huge technical undertaking on many fronts led to a spectacular event, the visual impact of it felt by all who watched, even finding great praise in the media, but perhaps more so for those within the industry, a bastion of what we do that blew away the lockdown cobwebs and showed the world that this is a ‘viable industry’. To discuss the process of how an event on this scale and quality comes together, especially when under pressures such as approaching electrical storms, difficult schedules, unfortunately placed lamp posts Set & Light | Autumn 2022

and ever-changing ambient light levels, the STLD held a meeting hosted by Bernie Davis , where he talked with the concerts lighting designer Nigel Catmur to find out all about it. Bernie Davis: Thanks, for joining us Nigel. How did you first get involved in this event? Nigel Catmur: The concert was going to be produced entirely by BBC Studio Live Events. I’ve worked with the team on a lot of shows and about two years ago I got an inkling that the concert was probably going to come my way, but I wasn’t asked officially until last July. The tender for the set design contract was sent out to three set designers, ultimately being won by Ric Lipson of Stufish Entertainment Architects, but I was fortunate in that the lighting design came straight to me. My team included gaffer Mark Gardiner, programmers Alex Mildenhall, Martin Higgins, Matt Lee and Oliver Lifely. Tom Young had originally planned to be one of the programmers but sadly had to pull out at the last minute for family reasons. Aaron Thomas, from PixMob, programmed the audience’s illuminating wristbands – we hadn’t worked with Aaron before, but he’s a great guy and fitted into the team perfectly. Joe Marter was


| Jubilee Interview my excellent point of contact at Version 2, who provided most of the lighting rig. Martin and Alex were responsible for all the effects lighting, whilst Oli managed all the key lighting and the follow spots. We had four Lancelot follow spots, which are manual, and six Robo spots, which were all being driven through Oli’s system. And then Matt would drive the Hippotizers that fed the screens – not the projections, as they were controlled by a separate team.

Designing the lighting With regard to the lighting, I came up with an idea and, once the set was signed off, I created an initial design to put forward to production. This is where WYSIWIG works extremely well, because we took the overall design and layout from the designer’s drawings and created it entirely in 3D. The production team was excited to get a sense of how I thought it might look. A 3D visualisation is always a really handy way to show and explain to everyone what up until that point has only existed in my head. In fact, it was an invaluable tool throughout because our time on site was so minimal with a lot of it spent in daylight. I think we only had about six hours of darkness per night, between 22.00 and 04.00, so most of the programming had to be done on Depence [powerful real-time visualisation software used to simulate multimedia shows and installations]. Alex took my model from WYSIWYG and transferred it into Depence, through which he and Martin did the bulk of the programming, which was absolutely phenomenal. We had planned to have three days of WYSIWYG and visualisation, one day would be offsite with Alex and myself, then Tom would join us at the location – it made sense to build the system once, rather than twice, because we knew we were going to keep the visualiser with us through the whole period. We had two days getting to grips with programming before the rehearsals started on the Tuesday and Wednesday. On the Thursday, there was Trooping the Colour and the Beacon lighting, which involved a whole different event core and lighting programme, and then Friday was rehearsals during the day and a dress run at night. The Palace stage wasn’t actually installed until Thursday night, the build was held up because of the Beacon event, so we’d rehearsed acts without the stage and, of course, it was daylight anyway. As always, the schedule was quite a challenge, but at least we didn’t have to worry about disturbing any Royal residents, because the whole front section of the Palace is currently being renovated and is a building site, so we could programme all through the night and flash lights at the windows, no problem. BD: I’ve often found that what clients want to build and what they can afford to build doesn’t always suit the lighting – did that trouble you at all? NC: Yes. The final set design had four stages that became known as: the QVM, Orchestra, Palace, and Pop. You could argue that the Orchestra, Palace and Pop were effectively one big wide stage, but they were three discrete areas. The real challenge was that we had no height, so we ended up adding three vertical truss towers as mountings to provide front lighting, one either side for the orchestra and pop stages, and one in the middle to hold key lights for the Palace stage


“The real challenge was that we had no height, so we ended up adding three vertical truss towers as mountings to provide front lighting, one either side for the orchestra and pop stages, and one in the middle to hold key lights for the Palace stage and catwalk”

and catwalk. We had positions at the back of the seating blocks for lighting the QVM stage. All the key lighting was done with Robe BMFLs and/or spots and then front of house, we had four Lancelot spots, two on either side. A lot of planning work had gone into making sure we could actually light the front of the QVM stage, because there are two lampposts at the end of the Mall on either side which prevented us being able to place our lamps directly in front of the stage. If we’d put them where we wanted, they’d have been shadowing the street lamp, giving us a lovely lamppost gobo over every artist! However, Mark and I had been on site for a number of Set & Light | Autumn 2022

once it got dark. The design concept incorporated 70 towers around the stages – one for each year of Her Majesty’s reign – and they would give us our only height. 8 of the towers on the main stage would have video on them, the remaining 62 towers would be topped with LED lamps for lighting out into the audience. On top of the washes, we had hybrid lamps whose primary purpose was to create light beams in the air but, by tipping them outwards, they could add more front light on the audience. However, we soon realised that the LEDs had more than enough poke and, combined with the LED Pars that were round the back of the audience, we could put a decent amount of colour and light into the crowd. The Palace itself needed to be lit, and I knew that projectors were going to be used to display visual content onto the front facade. Given that projectors are very bright light sources, if we could gain control of them whenever they were not being used to project creative content, then they could be very effective as floodlighting. We projected a still image of white and, as the daylight gently dropped, so the Palace gradually began to come to life, in a most wonderful floodlighting effect. I wanted a clean look with real impact, which I achieved by pointing lamps directly into the camera, as we’d done 20 years ago, when I operated on the Party in the Palace. It works incredibly well, particularly on TV without affecting the live audience’s enjoyment during daylight. As Queen performed in that opening shot, we aimed every light in white into the lens and it brings such a heightened level of excitement.

days before we spotted that the follow spot positions weren’t actually where they should’ve been. Mark Gardiner: The structures for mounting the follow spots were constructed out of studio pods stacked one on top of the other and they appeared to be in the right place. The staircases hadn’t been built yet, so we’d not been able to get up and look at all the angles, but it eventually transpired that the positions were actually 5m out – which is critical for a follow spot with a lamppost in the way! To resolve it, Star Live, who built all the structures and stages, came along with some roller blocks and ratchet straps and they dragged the towers into their correct positions – it would’ve been a lot easier when the crane was still there! NC: Another challenge was the throw range of the lights: the distance from the front follow spots at the back of the seating to the QVM stage was about 61m, but they could also be aimed past the QVM to hit the Palace stage, which was about 138m away. For that reason, we went with 4K Lancelots which would give us the kind of firepower we desperately needed. The lack of height also meant we didn’t have any way of lighting the audience; whilst not an issue during daylight, we’d obviously still want to see the crowd Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Above: Packing a punch, before daylight fades the lighting still incredibly effective pictured here with Queen onstage.

I wanted to develop that idea throughout so, going into the evening, I was very clear that there would be no heavily saturated colours early on. We’d keep it white initially, then shift into pastel shades, and slowly work the colour in until we got to the bite point of the evening, when suddenly the lighting really started to pop – which, incidentally, in London on June 4 is around 21.27. But the drop-off between 21:15 and 21.27 isn’t linear, you feel it dropping and what’s really important when doing this type of show, is to have constant balance control. A light that looks like a fantastic twinkle into the lens at 20.00 as the concert starts will give you the biggest burnout just 45 minutes later. So, your programmers and operating team have got to keep a constant measure, gently pulling the lighting back the whole time. A major advancement in technology that we benefitted from was the ability to control the brightness of the LED screens. Brightness and contrast were run on single channels of the desk so Matt, our content programmer, could lower the intensity of the screens as we brought down the lighting levels. We started with the screens at 80%, which is Piccadilly Circus level, and ended up running them at 4%; sadly, we didn’t have the same degree of control of the screens down the Mall, although we eventually did manage to get them down too. Of course, another key factor is the weather, you might set everything during the dress rehearsal but it could be completely different by the next day. We faced a whole catalogue of reasons, which we nicknamed ‘Platinum Handcuffs’, that hampered our chances of putting on the show. These included: Changing the Guard, which takes up 2 hours of every day; horses would randomly need to come through; the


| Jubilee Interview whole site had to be kept clear, because emergency police access could be needed at any time. The international media slot for live pieces to camera was at 22.30 every night (often at lunchtime too), so sound would have to turn off the PA for the duration, which could stretch from 22.30 until 02.00, because of all the different time zones. Crews would often leave their incredibly bright light panels switched on at the back of the seating block, which was frustrating when we were trying to programme our lighting. The biggest disruption, though, would be a thunderstorm, as we’d be required to power down the whole site and evacuate, which did happen on the first rehearsal day. MG: For logistical reasons, power for the whole event was run from four separate generator sites, each of which had four massive generators. For those that know London well, lightning tends to gravitate towards the capital’s large, green, lush parks, rather than its tall buildings. With Green Park right next to us, there was a specific lightning risk assessment and procedure. A warning would be raised if lightning was 12 miles away; at 8 miles, people in follow spot towers, tower cranes and the aerial cameras, etc. must power equipment down and vacate their positions; finally, within 8 miles, it was an entire site power down, because the electrical storm could be on top of us within a couple of minutes. Every department had to devise a strategy. We had nine distro and dimmer stations across the whole area, so each team member had responsibility for a distro and they would report to me in a particular order so I could be certain that everything had been shut down properly. I would then inform production by radio that we had successfully isolated ourselves. I also had to make sure the front of house team had vacated, because it’s very easy not to hear or see a message when working, so whilst everyone was running away, I was running up staircases to make sure they’d all got out! It was a BBC Events’ decision to power down and isolate the equipment; aside from health and safety, there was also a business implication. If something was destroyed by a lightning strike, there was a big risk both in the financial cost and the potential of not being able to replace equipment in time for the show. Therefore, it wasn’t just about flicking the breakers, it was about disconnecting the power locks across the whole site; generators were isolated from the system, so that if a front of house position did get hit, the energy surge wouldn’t take out the four generators, or any distros, or the OB trucks. Everything would be disconnected and it was accepted that it would take considerable time to get the site back up and running again. In the event, it took about 4 hours from the minute we had to power down to being back up and working again, so a lot of time was lost. BD: Having fitted in around all these problems, how much time did you get to rehearse the acts? NC: Everyone rehearsed, although it was mostly irrelevant to us, until the Friday night, because before then, rehearsals were in broad daylight. The dress rehearsal was scheduled for exactly the same time as the concert was going to be – and it ran to time as well, bizarrely.


| Above: The projection onto Buckingham Palace having huge impact all the way down the Mall as the crowds can see the finer details on the I-Mag screens.

Set & Light | Autumn 2022

“For those that know London well, lightning tends to gravitate towards the capital’s large, green, lush parks, rather than its tall buildings.”

| Above: Tree of trees, shimmering alongside the audiences wrist bands as the sunsets across London.

| Below: Site plan showing the stage layouts and Nigel’s lighting positions.

We’d approached the design with the view that the effect lighting was going to happen regardless, getting the correct balance of the key lighting was what concerned us. The effect lighting would need balancing too, but at least we could get it programmed ready with the structure of the songs, the choice of colours, etc. In the days leading up, I’d developed a sort of mantra, where I’d look at the time and say:: “OK, it’s 20.50, so we’ll be doing Queen… It’s 21.27, we’ll be doing Andrea Bocelli… Duran Duran would be on now”, just so that the team could look out the window and get a reference for a look on the camera, because I knew they were going to be riding the lights and pulling them back live. But the key lighting and the effects lighting were two definite entities that both had to be kept separate. It basically meant that Ollie, who was controlling all of the key lighting, had one hell of a night on the Friday, there was a lot of swearing, but he did an amazing job, because he had one chance of seeing it on camera and getting the balance right for the next night. The way the timing worked out, Andrea Bocelli was on stage at the point when the lighting really began to read and once we were into Duran Duran, then the projections on the Palace started. They were 3D mapped using 24 projectors, which means projections were also fired into the side aspects of the facade, rather than just being flat projected from the front. For the lighting, smoke added a huge lift because, although we did get that lovely sunset halfway through, it was just a dull evening, really. We were praying for a blue sky, and if we’d have had the perfect sunset then the whole thing event have been even better, if that’s possible.

| Below: Nigel talking through lighting the orchestra stage.

BD: I have to say, it was so well balanced for camera, you’d never have believed that it was done in such a short time schedule with barely any rehearsals, under that sort of pressure, so well done to all the team for pulling that together. Right from the start of the concert, light levels were changing constantly and presumably that meant the exposure on the cameras was too? NC: It was, and the solution to that problem is to make sure you have the very best racks engineer in the country and just tell them to get on with it! No, we had Dave Roberts and his team; Dave does Strictly and he’s absolutely brilliant, he’s got the right personality and fits in. Although he’s completely remote from us, sitting in a truck somewhere, he and his A-list crew of Oli Richards, James Kozlowski and Dave Griffiths were looking after vision, and were all very much part of the team. We all worked in harmony, keeping an eye on this constant,

Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Jubilee Interview | Left: The cast of Hamilton on stage as daylight begins to fade.

one-way journey, where we were only ever opening up the cameras and bringing the lights down. From a lighting programmer’s point of view, you can have one level stored – as the ‘brightness’ – and so long as you keep bringing that down throughout the concert, it’ll balance. BD: And so was Oli, as your programmer responsible for lighting faces, in constant contact with vision, or was it just an assumed thing that they were just keeping up with him? NC: No, we were constantly talking, the dialogue was continuous, and often quite… short: “CAMERA 19, vision!! … Thank you!” Ha ha. BD: There must have been a lot of collaboration involving the screen and projection graphics, how much did you get involved in that?

“... but what I think was a first on TV, was witnessing projections and drones working interactively; the imagery all weaved together”


NC: We had five creative producers who were coming up with lots of ideas for the show and they liaised with North House Media, who had been given a brief to create the projection content, so we’d have regular reality checks with them. Initially, North House had a tendency to create imagery that contained lots of black, which doesn’t read well on camera while it’s still daylight, say when a screen is in the background of a close-up of the artist. It’ll just look grey, so I encouraged them to put a bit more base level in their blacks, or just use less black. It was really good because the teams did listen to us, and they responded accordingly – I mean there was still one piece that went a little further than I would have, but generally it all worked. Another issue that emerge was the framing within the visual content of the projections, because any part of the image that hit a window would effectively become blocked out, because glass is unsuitable for being projected onto. We therefore suggested the producers should avoid creating content that was too static. This was to prevent key elements of the projected image being lost by lingering across any windows; fluid movement of the performance meant the viewer’s eye could fill in all the briefly missing bits. North House also coordinated brilliantly with the drone people; before this event, we’d all seen drones and all seen projections, but what I think was a first on TV, was witnessing projections and drones working interactively; the imagery all weaved together and I think that worked extremely well. Interestingly, we hadn’t rehearsed with the full fleet of drones, we only worked with 12 craft, which at least gave us an idea of the brightness. Obviously, we didn’t want the projection to overpower the aerial display Set & Light | Autumn 2022

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| Jubilee Interview so, during the drones sequences, we ran the projectors at slightly lower levels to achieve a better balance for camera. BD: When you’re doing lighting stabs to go with music, what do you listen to, because the pictures are not necessarily in the same time as the PA sound, and with the digital delay in cameras as well, what do you work to? NC: The delay is about 2 frames, which you don’t tend to notice on a stab. The majority of the show was timecoded, which was synced with the conductor of the live orchestra, and everyone was playing to a click track, which is fairly standard. We programmed to timecode and used software called Reaper, which displays sounds in waveforms, so you can see the hits and line the stabs up with them. The lighting system probably has a similar amount of delay in it, but if Alex and Martin saw that the cues were out, they’d all be out the same amount, so they would just advance the timecode accordingly.

| Right: A similar real world shot to the render above from WYSIWYG.

The only exception was Queen’s We Will Rock You, which Alex did as manual stabs, anticipating and hitting early. Queen didn’t perform to a click, they played live, but their timing for We Will Rock You was critical, because they had to be perfectly in sync with the Paddington Bear opening VT, which famously ended with the Queen tapping the iconic ‘boom boom cha’ on her teacup. So, Queen started with a click track and then once they got going, they just did their own thing and we pulled down the volume. The added complication was that only about seven people knew about the Paddington VT, and we could never rehearse with it because if word got out, then the whole VT would be pulled. Trying to explain what had to happen when the content was entirely secret, was tricky, the most you could do was intimate, “Think 2012 Daniel Craig VT”. That’s one of very few secrets I’ve managed to keep right until the end! The concert was shot with 32 cameras, I think. They were split over two trucks. Some were used the next day for the Pageant and the Lord Mayor’s Show, so there were double ups. I can definitely remember Camera 29 and I’m sure there were a couple more after that. It was shot in 4K HDR, which added its own challenges of monitoring, because to process the signal down to 1920 adds a time delay. Plus the RF Steadicams had their delay as well, so all the other cameras were delayed to match them – dealing with the delays on this job was quite phenomenal. With both a live and TV audience, which do you light for? NC: Ultimately, the number of people watching it live was about 22,000, the number of people watching the broadcast was, well, certainly on the night, 13.8 million and I believe with catch-up and international sales, it’s gone through the roof. So, in my opinion, one has to take the camera more seriously, but I’m also acutely aware that the live audience are important, because if they’re not seeing it and getting the enjoyment of feeling a part of it, then they won’t add the energy that a live audience adds to a broadcast. But, you can make it look good for both, and the trick is to just take the key light down a little, the cameras can open up,


Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Below: A render from WYSIWYG used by Nigel and his team visualise the concerts lighting and camera angles.

“...the trick is to just take the key light down a little, the cameras can open up, then all the lighting will look exciting on camera, and your IMAG screens will still look good too.”

then all the lighting will look exciting on camera, and your IMAG screens will still look good too. Typically when lighting TV shows, you can look out and barely see the follow spot by eye, but because we were coming out of daylight, our key levels were quite high. On an event like this, once it gets to nighttime, I always try and set the camera exposure to about f4, which is quite a small aperture for a studio show, which is more likely to be running at f2.7-f3.2. By closing down the iris a little, your spot can be brighter and therefore your live audience have got more chance of seeing where you’re pointing. Version 2 provided most of the rig. I wanted Robe BMFLs for the keying, because I needed the brightness and reliability, and I knew we could waterproof them. Everything else had to be IP65 (unless it was rigged under the roof), that was the driving force, then it came down to availability. We wanted Robe iSpiiders but couldn’t get hold of any, so we ended up with the PROLiGHTS PanoramaIP WBX, they are heavy but have phenomenal effects. ELP White Light supplied the lighting inside the Palace.

Wristbands | Below: A shot showing the incredible depth of the 3D projection mapping wrapping around the architectural features of Buckingham Palace.

The control system for the wristbands is highly complicated. Alex was going to operate them as part of the main rig, but after a 20-minute explanation from Aaron from PixMob, none of us were any the wiser. It’s a very clever system, the wristbands respond accordingly when triggered via infrared LED pars that send out coded signals. You can set up different zones or ‘layers’ to control separate groups differently. Aaron spent a lot of time programming it, but I think the end result was worth it. BD: It certainly was. Everybody has been blown away by how that concert looked. I think there was a timing about the Jubilee anyway, we’d been through so many years of seeing the industry being pulled apart, almost stopped completely. This amazing concert seemed to be the first real occasion that a crowd of people was allowed and able to enjoy themselves, and full marks to Nigel and everyone for pulling that off. Thanks for coming along today, Nigel, it’s been really enjoyable and very much appreciated. The meeting was recorded by the students and staff of RADA, and the video of this can be seen on the STLD website. We thank RADA for all their support and generosity in helping to present this meeting.

Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| STLD Cardiff visit

STLD trip to new BBC Cardiff Broadcasting Centre | By Martin Kempton Photographs by Paul Middleton

But first - what did the BBC leave behind... The old BBC Llandaff site on the outskirts of Cardiff was purchased in 1952. The initial development of 6 sound studios, concert hall (later called Studio A), technical block and offices was completed in 1966. TV Studio C2 (1,500 sq ft) came into service in 1974 and the main production studio C1 opened in December 1979. It was 80 x 62 metric feet within firelanes, making it about 6,500 sq ft overall. So somewhat smaller than the 8,000 sq ft production studios at Television Centre in London but similar in scale to the BBC’s main studios in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow at the time. So, a useful size and fully equipped with all the current technology of its day. C1 was busy making programmes for Wales of course but was also used to make dramas and comedies shown throughout the UK. From 1980 to 2011 its regular booking was Welsh language soap, Pobol y


Cwm. This originally went out on BBC Wales but from 1982 it was transmitted on S4C. The show also used an exterior set, constructed at the back of the Llandaff main building. In March 2012 Pobol y Cwm moved to the new BBC drama studios at Roath Lock in Cardiff Bay. Crimewatch UK became a regular booking in C1 but that was axed in 2017. A few editions of the daytime spin-off Crimewatch Live did continue but the studio was now unused for much of the time. Of course, multicamera drama had ended many years before and music and variety shows tended to be made in much larger venues. Some years ago I lit a couple of shows in C1 – a sitcom called High Hopes and a celebrity music improv show called The Lyrics Game. I found the studio well-equipped and the local staff really friendly and helpful. Studio A had been intended to be used by the BBC Symphony Orchestra of Wales but this moved

to a new home in the Hoddinot Hall at the Wales Millennium Centre in January 2009. So that studio was also no longer in regular use. The writing was on the wall and in a bid to divest itself of bricks and mortar, BBC Llandaff was sold to Taylor Wimpey in 2015 to be demolished in due course and replaced with housing.

The move to the new building

Once the decision to move from Llandaff had been made, the BBC did a deal with Cardiff-based Rightacres Property, supported by Cardiff Council. The company would build a new HQ near Cardiff Station to be called BBC Central Square and lease it to the Corporation. This of course meant that the BBC did not have to raise the capital but unfortunately also meant that they didn’t have full control over some of the details of the building’s design, nor have day to day control of what can be installed Set & Light | Autumn 2022

It is the first BBC building to solely use all IP technology. Specifically this means equipment which supports the SMPTE 2110 protocol standard, which then enables a great deal of flexibility in the use of various parts of the building for programme making. The system uses Livecore image processing and it can be relatively simply upgraded to UHD in the future if required. IP technology also enables people to work on editing and compiling programmes from a computer at a desk in the building or even from home, as happened during the lockdowns. The latest standard SMPTE 2022-7 is also supported which provides protection for video streams against equipment and mechanical cable failures with dual or multiple routes being used to receive and transmit programme material into the building.

or rigged outside of the areas such as the permanent studios. Prior to COVID the entrance foyer and ground floor walkway had been intended to be open as a public area with various events that would allow the workings of the BBC to be seen up close, with the Ground Floor studios having large glazed windows open to the public to view what was going on inside. The logic of that design feature must have been queried at some point, but thanks to COVID there is currently no public access into the building, so it is not so much of an issue, as it might have been. Unlikely as it might seem, the owners appear to have had in the back of their minds that they might have to convert it into a normal office block if the BBC decided to leave it in a few years’ time. It is roughly half the size of the old BBC Llandaff and is of course very green, with ‘chilled beams, locally sourced and recycled materials, an efficient Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Above: The fully automated news studio.

envelope and rainwater harvesting tanks sufficient to cope with 27,000 flushes’. So that’s all right then. The building was designed by Foster + Partners and not surprisingly has won several awards – it is extremely impressive both inside and out with building costs being around £120 million. The new HQ was taken over by the BBC in April 2018 - its fit-out being completed by Overbury and Sheppard Robson.

Staff began to move in during the autumn of 2019 and it opened for business early in 2020, just in time for the Pandemic. However, this actually gave a breathing space to iron out any glitches and enabled a ‘soft’ launch. There is plenty of available space but of course staffers are expected to ‘hot desk’ rather than have their own desk. Fortunately there is not the problem of availability that is found at New Broadcasting House in London. Also, it was originally anticipated that BBC Studios would occupy part of this building but in fact they are based at Roath Lock, a couple of miles away in Cardiff Bay.

STLD Visit to BBC Central Square

BBC Wales Head of Technology Roger Crothers had originally offered the STLD a chance to visit to see the new building two years ago, but for obvious reasons the visit was

| Right: STLD visitors in the main studio on the ground floor.


| STLD Cardiff visit unable to happen at that time. Finally on 31st May this year a small, but perfectly formed, group of visitors from the STLD met at the local Wetherspoons next door to the new BBC Cymru Wales New Broadcasting House for lunch with a number of ex-BBC Wales staff attending who were keen to see what had replaced their beloved old HQ at Llandaff. We were then shown round by local BBC staff LD, Jonathan Griffiths. I should make it perfectly clear at this point that any less than enthusiastic comments from now on are entirely my point of view and nothing to do with Jonathan! First impressions were extremely positive. It is in my opinion a much more attractive building than BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay, with an interesting variety of shapes and textures to lead the eye around it. This is not surprising, given that the architects were Foster + Partners. Like PQ, it has a large central atrium with open plan offices visible on each floor. The atrium has a curved wall that adds interest and the black coating to much of the metalwork contrasts with illuminated blocks in primary colours and some large LED screens displaying programme trails and other information. There is also a calming subdued silence to it - which is surprising, considering all the hard surfaces around. Above are skylight roof panels, letting sunlight into the space, casting interesting shadows from the building’s structure. In any normal office, this of course would be great – but let’s not forget that this huge area is also intended to be used for programme-making. It is apparently not possible to black these skylights out, which clearly poses a lighting challenge during daylight hours. This large area has already been used for Eisteddfod programmes – which as every self-respecting Englishman knows is what the Welsh get up to on a regular basis. Loads of singing, dancing, music-making, poetry reading… in fact glorious creative activity at an extraordinarily high standard by thousands of local people. I wish we in England had something similar. Anyway, these festivals are held in various places around Wales, often as very professionally staged OBs, but some months ago one was presented in the atrium of this building. A truss rig


| Above: The atrium

was installed to light the area but despite how useful it would be to have such a thing as a permanent feature, the building’s management insisted that it had to be removed afterwards. Ho hum. The atrium has also been used for some editions of the BBC Ten O’clock News, with Huw Edwards anchoring the show in front of the LED screens on the walls. Although this area is clearly a very useful part of the building for programme makers, it is in theory open to the public - which possibly provides Security with a bit of a challenge when a live show is being made.

| Below: Examining the impressive Radio Times collection

This might be a good point to cover what the BBC does here. It includes the News for Wales in English and Welsh – the latter going out on S4C. There are also several radio studios, for local news and other programmes. Sport events are often presented from this building – rugby unsurprisingly being popular. Local magazine programme Wales Live is made here – this uses the Betty Campbell Studio: a room about 40 x 30ft with large glass

doors opening onto the atrium. Actually, this is not officially a TV studio but was initially intended as a meeting room or to be hired out to companies for conferences. However, it has had a lighting grid installed and can have cameras brought in from another studio, controlled from one of the 3 gallery suites in the building. Good to see the local TV staffers claiming a very useful area for themselves. The official proper TV studio on the ground floor is studio 0A. (0 being the floor number so nothing to do with a popular Netflix sci-fi series.) This is the direct replacement for Llandaff’s studio A – but unfortunately is far smaller at only about 3,500 sq ft. (NB – BBC Scotland’s HQ which opened in 2007 has a very impressive production studio of 8,400 sq ft so Wales seems to have missed out here.) So no sitcoms, panel shows or gameshows will be made in here. The studio is used for local sport and magazine programmes but is also where Crimewatch Live now comes from. At one end there is a curved window overlooking the atrium forming a very effective acoustic amplifier just where the presenters’ desk is often located that must make the job of the sound supervisor something of a challenge. The vertical windows also reflect studio lights and other bright objects with the effectiveness that could have been predicted but sadly wasn’t. Other disappointments include a very low grid – the rig consists of Set & Light | Autumn 2022

DeSisti motorised bars but these are always set at full height. Apparently the grid was initially even lower due to the original installation of aircon ducts – but fortunately these were relocated. Another challenge to the LD is an area about a third of the way along the studio of approximately 2.5 metres width where there are no lighting bars or any other way of suspending lights. This is due to a dividing door, which was considered to be a useful facility so that two programmes could use the studio at the same time – one in English and the other in Welsh – using different galleries of course. The old Llandaff Studio C1 had been successfully split into two on a number of occasions using a large (and heavy) temporary lead lined acoustic wall that was rigged across the centre of the studio with twin production sets either side being used to host Election Results programmes simultaneously in English and Welsh and it was felt that having that same type of facility would be useful if it was built into the new Studio OA design. This function has I believe not yet been used but the gap in the rig is clearly a significant challenge. The lighting fixtures are all LED of course, but curiously a mix of daylight and tungsten colour balance. It’s not all bad of course – in fact, far from it. Connectivity is superb, the IP infrastructure enabling any of the 3 galleries to control the studio. There is a modestly sized room for camera / lighting / props storage and nearby is an internal bay for an OB truck to park, in case this is required to provide additional facilities. Or, it would be but unfortunately it’s not quite large enough for BBC Wales’ current scanner to park inside it. So, onwards and upwards to the second floor, where we found the two news studios. Studio 2A is I’m guessing about 2,000 sq ft. It is equipped with high-res LED screens on 3 sides, the 4th having windows looking out onto the very large newsroom. The cameras are all remotely controlled with preprogrammed positions, including two that are suspended from above on tracks enabling them to move across the studio at varying heights, like the ones in Sky’s mezzanine Set & Light | Autumn 2022

news studio. These pose an interesting lighting challenge as the poles that suspend them pass in front of the lighting rig. The solution is to have multiple small softlights so any shadows are minimised. The other cameras are on robotic pedestals but these do not run on tracks – they can move on their own anywhere in the studio. Camera positions are registered using an upward looking camera on each one which sees hundreds of tiny marks on the grid. In this way it can establish its position with great accuracy – but woe betide any unwary studio visitor who gets in the way. The positions are all preprogrammed into the running order along with screen graphics, VT inserts, music stings, lighting cues and of course the script itself. The system is called Viz Mosart and is also used by the BBC’s London news studios. On our visit we were privileged to watch a programme trail being recorded. The director pressed a button to start the process and counted down the seconds in the presenter’s ear. (There is no floor manager.) The whole thing ran automatically – although the actual sound balance was done by a real live sound supervisor in his separate control room. Hurrah! This of course is essential because any news broadcast will have incoming sound from so many different sources at various levels and timings. You may be aware that a certain TV news channel came a cropper with its completely automated sound when it launched in 2021.

area is barely 10 feet wide, leaving hardly enough space for 2 manned cameras on peds, let alone a presenter or two. I was extremely impressed with how effectively this was lit – perhaps the ultimate (no pun intended) TV lighting challenge. It is mystifying how such a tiny space was earmarked to be used as such an important studio, when it is next to a vast empty floor of hundreds of square metres. What a shame. There was a lot more that we saw – including an attractive roof garden and an extraordinary collection of every Radio Times ever published – but I hope I have covered the important stuff. I’m sorry if this has come across as a negative report. There was so much about this building that was beautiful and well-designed but for whatever reason, some of the practical needs of programme makers seem to have been overlooked. With a few tweaks costing nothing, this could have been a world-class broadcasting centre. Instead, the dedicated staff here will spend their time battling against the various obstacles put in their way - nevertheless creating, I’m sure, excellent programmes. I would like to express my thanks to Paul Middleton for arranging this visit and to Jonathan Griffiths for showing us around so patiently and explaining all about the building in such an interesting way. I must emphasise again that any criticisms are my opinion and not his. He and his colleagues have clearly done their best to create a new facility in the face of many practical obstacles not under their control.

This studio is genuinely really impressive – as is the gallery suite supporting it. The lighting console is an ETC EOS – a fader wing enables keys to be ridden but usually this is not necessary – all the cues are pre-programmed and linked to the camera setups. The studio is used for both English and Welsh language news programmes. These are normally scheduled to go out at different times but occasionally they clash. That is when studio 2B is used, via another gallery. 2B is a greenscreen studio and is possibly the smallest of its kind I have ever seen. Although a decent length at about 25 feet, the working

The new building


| PLASA 2022 | By John Piper Photographs courtesy of individual manufacturers

| Below: Apex console

The PLASA tradeshow has always felt like a milestone in the year to me; it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new contacts and catch up with industry friends. Year on year, I feel the show becomes equally as much about the industry to coming together than it is about the products on showcase. When COVID-19 struck in 2020, there was a tremendous absence of trade shows and other industry events as the world took to video conferences. While the online alternatives still allowed us to meet in some capacity, conversations were more unidirectional with the format of a presenter and a listening audience, with questions kept to the end. It was such a relief to see PLASA return last year, and it’s great to see that the show has been able to return for a second year running, a true sign of how all our hard work through the pandemic has led to our industry’s survival. An often-under-valued element of PLASA is its seminars, great platform for presentations, discussions, and demonstrations, a great selection this year, everything from supporting the next generation

| Below: iForteTM

PLASA 2022

of production workers to talks about how people have approached reducing carbon footprints on large-scale productions as well as discussions about structuring companies to support a better working life for employees and to better support their career. These were amongst many other talks, too many to name. Among the new products launched at the show, IP-rated fixtures themed. With our Sponsors Robe, Chauvet and ETC, all releasing waterproof fixtures. This year, Robe, one of PLASA’s most prominent supporters, released their iFORTE™ fixture. The iFORTE™ is the latest in their iSeries with an IP65 rating, protecting it against all weathers. What I like about this new fixture from Robe is their approach to matching it in performance and features to their standard indoor FORTE™. They manage to deliver the same performance out of the fixture, seamlessly with the indoor version


of the fixture with a less than expected addition in weight of only 1.5KG extra. What’s interesting is that Chauvet also released their waterproof range of fixtures, utilising a similar approach in material to construct the body of the fixture, Aluminium Magnesium Alloy (Mg-Al alloy for short). Magnesium, the 8th most abundant resource on our planet, has the advantageous property of being extremely lightweight. It’s not hard to see why manufacturers have replaced the standard diecast aluminium bodywork with this material as it’ll counter the weight gain associated with making a fixture ingress protected. To achieve a water and dust-proof bodywork, the casing often ends up denser or more involved in areas; particularly around vents, seals and joining edges between parts which make up the assembly of a lighting fixture. The additional bodywork, along with supplementary sealing materials and electronics which manage the internal environment of the fixture, typically mean one thing, weight. So, Set & Light | Autumn 2022

improvements, with 10Gbe SFP connections, plenty of 1Gbe ethernet ports and modularly installed Gadget IIs, allowing you to expand with as many DMX ports as you like. Another feature I gave them feedback on was their 24” & 27” LCD touchscreen monitors on the APEX range of consoles. Firstly, these screens were beautiful; they were beautiful to look at and beautiful to use. The only downside I saw was that they weren’t optional. A significant number of users require a console without any monitors, the Ion range of consoles, for example. TV is an example of where you might want a console without fixed screens; first and foremost, I want TX in front of me as an operator; I don’t want my head on a constant swivel to balance key lights. If you were to remove the main screens from their console, you’d effectively be left with a modern upgrade to their Ion consoles. I feel their Ion and Gio range of consoles would benefit from the Target Keys, 5” haptic touch screen. In essence, my feedback here is that the APEX is too good! What would be fantastic, though, would be a gallery version of the APEX, which requires you to use an external display as the only alternative is a significant downgrade to the Ion or Nomad Puck, which doesn’t even have motorised faders. it’s fantastic to see manufacturers innovating with their choice of materials to achieve a design with as small a compromise as possible. One day soon, we may reach a point where manufacturers can make fixtures of the same performance as their indoor models with zero weight gain or compromise. Just imagine a market where we can pick a fixture for its lighting properties alone and not have to worry about the IP rating, and to be in the safe knowledge that all fixtures can handle whatever conditions we place them in. Another great product on show this year was ETC’s SolaPix 19 XT. While this fixture was nothing new to the market, it is another pixelwash moving head which works well as eye candy on camera, featuring a luxurious set of 19x RGBW 40W cells, each with individual control and a versatile IP 65 design, making it a great outdoor alternative to other similar products on the market. Although, it does have a considerable weight of 27KG, which Set & Light | Autumn 2022

is a compromise for the waterproof design. It’ll be interesting to see if ETC develop on this design and can mitigate that additional weight if they expand their waterproof range. [SolaPix 19 XT Water] ETC didn’t stop there; their primary release this year was their new ETC APEX console range. [APEX picture] The Apex is their latest hardware for the EOS range of consoles and features some fantastic improvements. What caught my attention was their implementation of LCD display buttons (Target Keys), [meaning that console operators can now dynamically customise the layout of the hardware buttons to taste. Additionally, these new buttons are accompanied by new touch displays near the familiar command keys, allowing for an intuitive mix of fixed syntax buttons and the dynamic features of the console software, such as colour mixing or group selection. For example, you can have your group selects right next to your fingertips, rather than having to navigate your main displays. The console also has connectivity

| Below: SolaPix 19 XT

All in all, another great PLASA at Olympia this year, and our thanks to PLASA and the critical Sponsors for arranging yet another fantastic trade show. My additional thanks to Alan Luxford for arranging the STLD’s stand at the show. Those interested can register their interest online for PLASA Show 2023, 3rd-5th September next year. See you all next year!


| PLASA 2022

Innovation at PLASA 2022 | Words and pictures by Bernie Davis 2021 saw PLASA return from lockdown as one of the first occasions when people could meet without masks, and we could even shake hands! The event was a shadow of what it had been in the past but none the less welcome for that, it felt so good to be out and about once again. So a year later and PLASA 2022 has built back a bit more, still not as crowded as it used to be but there were certainly more companies choosing to attend, and as always new toys to look at. The STLD had their stand as usual, now sporting new artwork and featuring the new logo, and I am pleased to say we had more than enough interest from passers-by, we even managed to sign up a few new members including one from Hawaii! Our thanks to Alan Luxford for organising that. From my perspective the trend in products seemed to be for more and more IP-rated fixtures - maybe there are more festivals than before, I don’t know, but it seemed to be a recurring theme. And another theme seemed to be a debate about the best way to produce good colour with LEDs, either white sources with dichroic flags or multiple LEDs and colour mixing, with the number of LEDs increasing for improved colorimetry. The two things I enjoy at PLASA are catching up with friends, and looking for any unusual and new products, and my short-cut to that is to go to the innovations gallery where companies are invited to promote their products to be judged for innovation by a panel of industry experts. Like all awards shows it should not be taken too seriously, unless you win of course! For obvious reasons I concentrated on just the lighting products, and there were certainly a few


interesting things to investigate. The largest and most spectacular stand was certainly Robe with their regular performance by a dancer performing under a rain shower, as a way of demonstrating their IP65-rated Robin iFORTE, which is essentially the FORTE with a raincoat on, but of course this is a hi-tech coat which not only seals in the water-vulnerable contents, they realised that any residual damp that gets sealed in after maintenance caused more damage, and so the iFORTE has the technology to suck the damp air out every time it is resealed. Sealing a fixture in this way not only keeps rain out, it keeps dust and debris out too, so hopefully extending the life of the fixture, especially in venues with heavy use of haze. And all that comes at a weight premium of only 1.5kg. The fixture includes Robe’s NearField Communication by which you can access setup, diagnostic and performance features, even when the fixture is not powered, directly from your mobile device using the Robe Com app. Another addition to Robe’s range is the TX1 PosiProfile which they describe as a bridge between a manual generic and a fully automated fixture. I am not sure I would quite describe it this way, but it is certainly aimed at being a moving light to replace and add flexibility to a fixed generic in a

| Above: Robe dazzles at PLASA

theatre or a studio. Its clever trick is to allow positioning and operation within extremely confined spaces where crew access is problematic or movement options are severely limited or not required. Other fixtures require homing to calibrate and ensure accurate control when power cycling. With the TX1 this is not needed, so fixtures can be rigged closer without the need to allow for homing. Using their Multi Spectral Light Source colour consistency across fixtures is ensured by their colour calibration system, which provides an automatic or on-call selfrecalibration of the multi spectral LED engine. The process is conducted internally by the fixture without the use of an external tool or equipment, allowing for full colour calibration on site giving you output consistency all similar fixtures. With a 9:1 zoom ratio from 5.5°-50° and a CRI of 95+ this deserves to be a popular fixture for stage and camera. News at PLASA was that Artistic Licence had been bought out by Robe, and these clever people had an interesting offer to the innovations gallery, an upgrade for their Microscope kit. If you already have a Micro-Scope 3a (or variant thereof, including The Wife, DMX-Inspect & DMX-Debug), this kit contains a microprocessor Set & Light | Autumn 2022






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| PLASA 2022 | Left: Alan Luxford manning the STLD stand

replacement and case label allowing any previous generation unit to be updated to the MicroScope 3c specification – most significantly adding RDM support. This might seem a little unexciting as an innovation, but how good is this for Artistic Licence to be helping you to upgrade your old equipment rather than trying to sell you a new tool, only to throw away the old one. Every so often there is a product that is so different it is really eyecatching, and there were two for me this year. First the IVL Photon. This genuinely unique fixture has been developed by Paris-based Minuit Une who seem to specialise in lighting effects units, and at first glance it does not look like a fixture at all, consisting of a dark plastic dome with none of the usual stirrup or clamp components. But surround it by haze and fire it up and you get an endless stream of effects like a laser-powered catherine wheel. The light source is a class 3R laser producing R/G/B that then hits a fast-rotating scanner splitting the beam to eight independent tilting mirrors, giving you a surprising range of eye-catching effects. Safety is assured by the scanner and the all-enclosing case, which doesn’t even have pan or tilt control. This unit will not have a broad appeal in the lighting world, but if dazzling eye candy is wanted it is certainly like nothing you have seen before. The other fixture that is truly innovative is the Ayrton Cobra. I was invited to a private viewing of a prototype last year and was immediately impressed by the performance from this new fixture. It is hard to say what is most surprising about the Cobra, whether it is the astonishing 386,000 lux from its phosphor laser source delivered at 20m through a 38x zoom lens (0.6° to 23°), the


ROXX is a German company I had not noticed before, their range looked remarkable only by its simplicity and elegance, but a closer look showed that much thought had gone into their products. The B-Flex range has a standard and a mini sized battery powered dual-source LED with wireless DMX neat enough to grace any set or corporate event. If only they came as colour mixing, but when they do they are worth considering. But I liked the ClusterBlinder where individual cells could be arranged as wanted thanks to their C-Lock system, with the finished product looking clean and tidy. This comes in a choice of warm white and full colour, but who would choose warm white?

continuous motion pan and tilt movement, or even that all this comes in a package only 415 x 660 x 280 mm (l x h x d) - I genuinely did not believe I was looking at the right unit as it looked too small. Olympia is not the venue to show that the Cobra can do, certainly not alongside all the other things going on, but its output could be clearly seen on the roof of the building even in daylight, even using deep colours.

TMB were showing the ProPlex’s BuckBoost Drive System that overcomes the cable-length issue of low voltage LED strips. This new system allows centralised and remote (up to 150m) location of drives, mains power and power supplies, using a cable about the size of a mic cable up to 150m to the LED strip via a small inconspicuous ‘BuckBox’ located adjacent to the fixture. I know these products that are not exactly rock ‘n’ roll in their outlook, but they certainly help with those onset logistics.

So many products these days go to great lengths to be all things to all users whereas in all honesty the Cobra with its astonishing beam is really a one-trick pony, but that trick is really very impressive! Elation had entered their Proteus Rayzor Blade S, part of Elation’s Proteus range of outdoor luminaires that can act as an illuminating tool, a strobe, a source of beams and an unusual and distinctive eye-candy fixture. The power comes from six 60w RGBW independently driven LED cells, with a good zoom range. Top and bottom of the rectangular fixture’s face is a strip of 128 cool white dots that can be sequenced or used as a strobe, and the space between all this sports a spread of what they refer to as SparkLEDs that can add a sparkle to the appearance of the unit. Claypaky set their sights at the theatre market with the SINFONYA PROFILE 600, a good-looking unit with enhanced colour performance from its RGBAL source, and with their Accuframe shutter system which they claim is 40 times more accurate than traditional systems. I have no way of checking but no reason to doubt them either. The Sinfonya has a CRI of 95, and a more than useful 5° to 60° zoom range. It uses absolute positioning meaning it does not need to perform a full movement operation to reset, so it can be placed on

those cramped corners with limited movement, and positioning is far more accurate than before. It certainly seemed quiet enough even for the more demanding venues.

The Innovation judges made these awards: Minuit Une – IVL Photon: The judges said that the multitude of dazzling effects from this laser light source will bring digital fireworks to productions.

| Below: The Elation stand

Robe Lighting – Robin iFORTE: The judges commented that this luminaire features genuine innovation to help reduce service intervals and

Set & Light | Autumn 2022



| Above: The GLP stand

to mitigate failure by introducing precise moisture control inside an IP65-rated fixture. Each year the judges also have the option to award a Gold Award in recognition outstanding innovation. This year they have decided to award one to… Ayrton – Cobra: The judges felt this product demonstrates longpromised laser technology in a useable moving light fixture at a competitive price point, with good energy efficiency. The sustainability award went to Artistic Licence – Micro-Scope upgrade kit: The judges remarked how this small assembly breathes new life into a product that dates back over 30 years. A simple userupgrade enables old test equipment to be brought to current standards, owing to the foresight of the manufacturer when the product was conceived.

In addition to the winners, the judges commended two additional products, which are: Robe Lighting – TX1 PosiProfile: The judges say this is a novel hybrid of moving light and generic fixture which will have many varied uses, particularly in situations with restricted space.



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ROXX – Cluster Blinder: The judges felt this product modernises a classic fixture, featuring LED technology and well-engineered construction. My personal award? It goes to TMB for the best Bloody Mary in Show! Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Showlight 2023

| Below: Mikki Kunttu

There’s still time to submit your Papers ideas! Renewed Call for Papers Showlight reminds you that there is still time to submit your suggestions for Papers for the Showlight quadrennial next May. Showlight takes place from 2023 May 2023 in Fontainebleau, France, and our Papers Committee is still in the process of considering and selecting topics for the famed Papers Programme.

| Event Date:

20-23 May 2023


Théâtre Municipal, Fontainebleau, France


We are looking for the latest news on lighting projects and technology in our second call for papers focusing on recent projects. Have you worked on an incredible installation or a fantastic festival this summer? Has your project achieved its peak? Did your event engage the latest technology? Did your broadcast bowl its audience over? We aim for variety across topics relevant to all aspects of the lighting industry today. We want

to hear about your experiences, your ambitions, your inspirations, your concerns, your successes and failures. We are not looking for simple product promotion. Please send a brief summary of the Paper you are proposing, along with a description of the visuals available to You have until 30 November to submit your ideas for consideration. This will allow the Showlight Papers Committee to finalise the programme in good time.

Showlight invites Exhibitors and Sponsors

for lighting professionals, by lighting professionals; the Papers Committee has started work on the programme of speakers and is already spoilt for choice, but will continue to invite participants until closer to the date to ensure the most current projects are considered. 2023 will be the first return of Showlight in 6 years after the enforced postponement due to the pandemic, and it promises to be an

| Below: Roger Simonsz

Showlight gives you three fantastic days of fascinating presentations delivered by lighting designers from all disciplines, and plenty of opportunity to network at a range of social events, workshops and dinners, not forgetting the glamorous Grand Conference Dinner of course! Showlight is the only international event organised Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Left: Martin Kempton

There’s plenty of networking opportunities, with time to talk and gather feedback from users. There are currently exhibitor places left, but they will go quickly as costs continue to represent excellent value for money. Don’t miss out on this once-in-four-year opportunity!

exceptional event. Become part of this latest gathering as a speaker, a sponsor or exhibitor, or by attending as a student or delegate. Showlight has always been wellsupported by its exhibitors and 2023 will see over 25 exhibitors join in. As an exhibitor Showlight offers you exclusive access to a focused audience of designers, students, venues and technicians in an informal atmosphere where knowledge sharing is paramount.

We are grateful to the following sponsors who are continuing to support Showlight despite the pandemic-enforced hiatus of two years: our headline sponsor, Robert Juliat, Platinum sponsor, Ayrton, Gold sponsors Eyetidy, Robe, SFL, Silver sponsors ABTT, ACT Entertainment, Altman, CAST, Christie Lites, Claypaky, White Light and Bronze sponsor, PRG. We are proud to have LSI as our Media Partner and LSA as our Media Supporter once more, and the support of PLASA.

| Below: Durham Marenghi

individuals or those with smaller budgets who can opt to sponsor the small but vital things that help make Showlight so enjoyable. Past mini-sponsors have supported Showlight by sponsoring welcome drinks on the first night, a student or speaker, or even tea, coffee or lunch refreshments. To find out more about becoming an Exhibitor or a Sponsor, contact Showlight Chairman, John Allen, on

Further sponsorship opportunities exist and Showlight invites more sponsors to come on board. As well as the standard sponsorship arrangements, we are also looking for mini-sponsors – companies or

Headline sponsor

Subm it yo www ur propo sa .show light ls at: .org Fontainebleau, France : 20-23 May 2023

Still time to submit Papers Ideas! Worked on an incredible installation or a fantastic festival this summer? Has your project achieved its peak? Did your event engage the latest technology? Did your broadcast bowl its audience over? We want to hear from you! Submit your proposals to Deadline 30 November 2022

O Set & Light | Autumn 2022

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Ticket Sales open in October!




| Lighting Review

Diana Ross and the Road to Glastonbury | By Bernie Davis Photographs by David Horner

Lighting a Legend... Lighting design today crosses boundaries between disciplines more than ever, with theatre productions being streamed live or recorded for broadcast, and live events being televised in front of a paying audience. The skill is to not just try to satisfy both audiences but to deliver high quality to both, even when the needs might appear to conflict. I have watched Glastonbury over the years and it is very clear that some acts are saved for TV by some very skilled vision crew when the lighting designer shows little or no interest in their problems. But this is not always the case, and the results always show. I recently spoke to Ben Rogers and David Horner who regularly work together on live events – Ben is an accomplished Theatre Lighting and Video designer, and David a Lighting Designer and Programmer whose experience ranges from TV to Theatre to Live Events – and they recently brought Diana Ross to the Legends slot at Glastonbury.


They were asked to work on her European tour, her first for fifteen years, and had developed a concept for how they wanted it to work. The important values were that she had to be front and centre of the performance, of course, and with the use of big screens the audience would have a good view regardless of the size of the venue. They then made the audience follow the concert through her eyes, so if there was an instrument solo she would look at the instrument and the audience would see a close-up of the instrument too. This meant that the lighting needed to work for those camera shots, and this almost makes their concert lighting a little more like a TV design. The show had to look good on social media, and so it had to look good on peoples’ phones. Such is the modern world! They wanted to make the audience know that they were part of the performance, and Diana Ross

wanted to be able to see them to engage with them, so the design included break-up washes over them and not just blinders, and of course they would appear on the screens too, making them feel more involved. The concert went on tour with seven arena shows and seven festival dates. For festivals they took just the floor package, and for abroad they just flew in and made it work with what they found. To ease the pressure they tag-teamed the dates, swapping show files as the tour progressed as they wanted to keep the look consistent even as it expanded and contracted around the different venues. Then came Glastonbury. Diana Ross was invited to perform and was of course given the famous Sunday afternoon Legend slot, with all that comes with that: a daylight time slot, with full TV coverage, and a massive live audience. Having said that, with such a large crowd most of the audience would be watching the Set & Light | Autumn 2022

an artist. Two further Ayrton units left and right of the stage ensured the full key light control David wanted. Particularly helpful was the continuous pink filter (CTP) that the Ayrton units offered which helped get the colour of the key lights just right. Backlight was in a strong Congo Blue from the Varilite washes throughout, for consistency of look. During the show they had arranged to have a multi-view monitor so they could keep across all shots, and they ran two lighting desks so one could run the show while the other kept up with live updates to balance for cameras. Some quarters of the press were a touch critical of the sound issues the concert encountered, and social media was its usual unkind self, picking on Ms Ross’s less than perfect performance, but let’s face it she is 78 and the crowd loved it! Kyann-Sian Williams of NME said: From the start until the end of her set, she has the crowd in her hands. In their own fluffed-up curly wigs, you can see audience members relinquish themselves to the musical powerhouse and even cry as they recite back Ross’ lyrics. Being in a crowd with so much love in the air feels euphoric; confirmation that Diana Ross is the ultimate queen. And we all know that was because of the lighting!

big screens, so camera coverage was all-important. Once they knew what equipment was available at Glastonbury they cloned that into their existing show, then David and Ben met up in a hotel for a day of pre-visualisation programming, making their look concepts work with the Glastonbury lighting package. They also contacted the TV camera director Janet FraserCrook, a very experienced director who has worked on Glastonbury for years, and she shared with them her plans on how the camera coverage would work.

| Above: Lighting for the Diana Ross set

all had colour and depth. Along with the high production values they wanted good keying for Diana Ross, and Glastonbury had four front of house towers with new Ayrton moving lights steered by Follow-Me spot control. Follow-Me is a clever process where a camera looks at the stage and remote pan and tilt controls can be linked to as many heads as you wish so they can be manually made to follow

They looked at previous

performances that had the daylight slot, and could see that some LDs tried to embrace the daylight more than others. They set about analysing the looks they had used for the set list during the tour and applying those to the larger Glastonbury rig. They knew Janet would take many close-ups from different angles so made sure they Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Right: Visualisation Suite


| Obituary

John Simpson 1942 - 2022

We remember the Founder of Whitelight Earlier this year, we found ourselves saying goodbye to our Founder and former Chairman, John Simpson, following a short battle of cancer. One of the most renowned and influential figures in our entire industry, John was as a warm, kind and approachable individual; one who never believed in hierarchies and had time and respect for everyone he met. He was also an incredibly generous and selfless individual, as seen with his tireless work for Back-Up, and leaves behind him a lasting legacy filled with amazing achievements – with one of these being what he accomplished with White Light. John was born in 1942 in Devizes, Wiltshire. After leaving school, he found himself working a variety of ‘ordinary’ jobs, varying from a finance role in the city to working on building sites to even being a specialist teacher. He would eventually join the Arts Council as a Trainee Administrator before being


appointed General Manager at a range of different theatre venues, including Watford Palace Theatre, Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre in London – which is where WL’s journey really starts. It was at the Royal Court where John would meet Chief Electrician Andy Phillips and Rory Dempster and the three soon saw a gap in the market for theatre shows that required additional lighting. As such, alongside Angela Fox and David Henderson, they formed White Light – a name based on Andy’s preferred lighting style (although there were rumours it was also linked to John being colourblind). Following this, John would then go out and max his credit card (much to his mother’s dismay) to the tune of £350, which would purchase 16 Patt 23s and 16 Patt 123s, along with some cable and accessories. And whilst John’s mother may

have disapproved of this initial spending, it would soon prove to be a sound investment. Based in a tiny office round the corner of Sloane Square, there was clearly a very big need for a company like WL as many shows would immediately draw on their services – with one of these being a production at the Royal Court Upstairs called The Rocky Horror Show. Only supposed to have a limited run, the show became an unexpected smash and quickly transferred to the Kings Road Cinema, which John had to help convert into a theatre in less than a week! The show ran there for several years and John worked as its General Manager, in a quid-proquo understanding with the producer Michael White that John could use the theatre basement to store his lighting inventory! John would also always note how the original show was run on an 18 way Mini 2 preset with 106 cues in 98 minutes nonstop and that he still had the cue sheets somewhere; although these Set & Light | Autumn 2022

early noughties, WL had moved to its current home of Wimbledon in order to cope with its expanding business, staff and equipment inventory. Fast forward to 2007 and John decided to take a ‘step-back’ from the company, encouraging the team of directors he’d put together over the years to now take control. Apparently, he felt that the company had grown to a point where he wanted others to take the reins, although there was a rumour that the fact he could no longer smoke in his office played a part… Over the next few years, John would take on the role of Chairman and still play a role in the running of the company. During this time, he would relocate from Banstead to Brighton where he would be able to fully embrace his love of classic cars and drive them along the seafront whenever the mood took him.

apparently brought him out in a cold sweat… Over the next twenty years, WL continued its work in the theatre industry and organically grew to become one of the leading lighting suppliers for West End and UK touring productions. As such, there were obviously a lot of highlights during this time. In 1974, the company would supply the Supertramp UK tour and two years later supply and produce the now iconic York Mystery Plays. In 1977, the company moved to Filmer Road in Fulham which was the site of an old brewery and which would become WL’s home for the next 25 years. The following year, John would represent WL at the first-ever ABTT Theatre Show and the company remains the only organisation to have exhibited at every single one. 1985 was a very significant year as WL’s turnover exceeded £1million for the first time and this was soon followed by the Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Above: The late John Simpson

acquiring of Donmar Hire and Sales, which used to be seen as one of WL’s biggest rivals. Where John always got it right (unsurprisingly) was people and he made a significant decision when he appointed Bryan Raven to join the company in 1987. John would mentor Bryan over the coming years and Bryan would of course go on to become the company’s Managing Director and oversee its evolution into other areas, such as live events, broadcast, hospitality, education, live music and help transform it into the company it is today (embodying John’s philosophy that ‘if you’re not moving forward, you’re just standing still’). The nineties would prove further success for WL, supplying more theatre shows than ever before, as well as John’s perpetual fascination with lighting seeing the company launch Modelbox’s Autolight Lighting Design Software. By the

Perhaps the most significant milestone for John when it comes to WL was our 50th anniversary last year. He was the first to admit his shock that the company he founded had lasted more than half a century and seemingly appeared to not be going anywhere anytime soon. As part of the anniversary celebrations, one of the questions asked of John was ‘what is your favourite memory of WL?’. You might (quite rightly) expect John to have picked a specific show or the first time WL worked internationally. But it was none of these. Instead, John’s response was: “My best memories are working with our colleagues and the collaboration, the effort, the passion, the fun… For me, it’s always been about people, rather than the technology”. And it’s this reply that perfectly sums up the type of person that John Simpson was. John’s attitude to both work and life is still embodied in how WL operates as a business to this very day, with its core values of being dependable, friendly, knowledgeable, adaptable, and customer-focused at the heart of the organisation. There is no denying his loss is significant and one that has been felt across the entire industry; but the legacy and memories he created more than fill the gap he left behind. John was 79 years old and is survived by his partner Sue and three daughters Victoria, Laura and Emily.


| John Simpson Tributes

I first met John in 1978 whilst I was working as a vision operator at BBC TVC. I had been running a part time lighting hire business mostly supplying equipment to colleague’s amateur dramatic productions. Working each day with TV lighting directors I realised that there was a ready market for the hire of the ever-growing inventory of theatrical lighting equipment appearing at the time, especially on LE shows. In those days there were only a handful of lighting hire companies none of which fully understood the requirements of the TV market. I approached John with the idea of tapping into this market and with his usual enthusiasm for a new project, and with no hesitation, he offered me a job there and then to manage the operation. We instantly hit it off and I found John’s easy-going ways a delight to work with. We joined the STLD as a sponsor, attending many of the early meetings, the Chiswell Street Brewery particularly comes to mind, where John was delighted to make contact with many of the top LDs of the time. The venture proved highly successful with us supplying most of the BBC LE shows and winning the first contract to supply TOTP on a weekly basis with vast quantities of Par Cans. My overriding memories of John were that he was always cheerful, never lost his temper, was great to his staff and always looked imposing in suit and tie even when helping to load trucks late on a Friday evening! It was very fitting that the last time I met John was when he asked me to take part in a video interview with him to talk about the early days of White Light for their 50th anniversary. John was the best man at my wedding and I shall always remember him as a total gentleman and will greatly miss his friendship over some 45 years. Richard Broadhurst

| Above: John Simpson

John was immediately on board when the idea of a charity to help lighting colleagues was put forward by late Tony Gottelier and myself. We formed Light Relief in 2002 and John was always the enthusiastic champion and later chair of the charity. John was central the creation of Behind the Scenes to help more people involved in all areas working backstage. John served as chair of that charity until creating Back Up Tech in 2016 when our name sharing with the USA charity was no longer possible. He made that challenge into an opportunity to reinvigorate our purpose, to be able to support people in our industry. His role was so much more than being a chair. He was usually the contact person for anyone needing assistance and working with the individual to craft a plan for Back Up Tech to help, then following up to make sure Back Up Tech was there for those who needed it. Throughout the pandemic John was instrumental in setting up our hardship fund which distributed over £300,000 to our colleagues many of whom had little government or employer help due to our freelance heavy industry. John also recognised the mental health challenges in our industry that have been aggravated by the pandemic but were endemic in our industry long before. He helped to create the counselling resources provided by Back Up Tech that have and will help countless people. I will miss his wise counsel and clear vision. Rick Fisher


Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Mike Le Fevre Tribute

Tribute to Mike Le Fevre Celebrating his birthday at Television Centre Soon after we lost Mike Le Fevre the company GoboPlus who supply so many gobos that we use, decided to make a ‘Hat’ gobo as a tribute to Mike in thanks for the help that Mike gave them when the company first started. This sparked an idea with other like-minded people and a plan was hatched. Nick Edwards of Version2 tried to buy a copy to fit the new and powerful Robe Forte from his rental stock with the idea of projecting it somewhere one day, only to be offered it free for making a display tribute to Big Mike. After a bit of thought about when it would be appropriate – a day when it would get dark enough at a time that was suitable, and when Mike’s family might like to join us. Where could be more suitable than the front wall of BBC TV Centre at White City where Mike worked for so long. And which day? Well, Mike’s birthday is Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Above: Projecting Mike’s hat gobo courtesy of GoboPlus

August 17th so an ideal day when he would have been 59. We even managed to book a function room at the new Broadcaster pub right outside TV Centre, and a big group of us were able to drink a toast to his memory. Thanks must go to the many people who made it happen, to Richard McKitty and Paul DeVille of GoboPlus, to Matt Loughman, the StudioWorks gaffer who helped set it up, and to Ollie Perry, Version2 Projects Manager who provided the equipment. Andy James of StudioWorks helped us to obtain permission to project the gobo, and of course he organised the StudioWorks crew and power. And of course our thanks go to Nick Edwards and his general manager Emma Gale who dealt with the planning and booking of the day. It was yet another display of how much Mike meant to so many in the industry.


| Charity News

Backup was delighted to be the lead charity on the #WeMakeEvents Well-being and Support Hub at this year’s PLASA Show at London Olympia in September. Launched last year, the #WeMakeEvents Wellbeing and Support Hub brought together the multiple charities and organisations that have been playing an integral part in supporting the industry. The team was on hand to offer support, raise awareness of mental health and help take away the stigma that surrounds it. Trained mental health first aiders from Music Support were available, with PLASA providing a private space for anyone who needed immediate help. Backup also ran a new initiative, the Backup Clinic throughout the show. Members of the Backup team were available for anyone who wanted to talk, either for themselves or for someone else they wanted to signpost for help. “We know just how difficult it can be to ask for help, whatever it is you need, and even more so when your mental health is affected,” says Backup Vice Chair, Piers Shepperd. “The Backup Clinic was a great opportunity to drop by and have a very informal chat to find out how we could help. We also had information available about our free Mental Health First Aider courses, so if you want to find out more about them and how training as a Mental Health First Aider can help you and the people you work with contact us at any time..” Backup was delighted to be joined on the Well-being and Support Hub by fellow #WeMakeEvent charities Music Support and Stagehand. In addition Backup invited to join them on the stand, fellow industry initiatives and friends of Backup – The Back Lounge, The Tour Production Group and We Need Crew.

Backup Tech is delighted to announce an exciting new initiative, the Backup Photographic Competition, capturing live entertainment, the people that make it possible and the backstage atmosphere. The competition is held in association with headline partner and sponsor the Lightpower Collection. The Lightpower Collection is a long-time supporter of Backup and was looking for an idea that would shine a light on Backup and the work it does within the industry, that directly related to its stunning photographic collection. “We’re delighted to collaborate with Lightpower Collection on this new and exciting way to raise awareness of our industry and in particular the people that make live entertainment possible,” says Backup’s Vice Chair Piers Shepperd. “The overall theme of the competition is ‘Entertainment Production’, but this is open to individual interpretation, so entrants can let their imaginations and creativity run wild!” “The Lightpower Collection was born out of the passion for Rock ‘n Roll photography and has become a valuable tool to support charities through the sale of original fine art prints,” says the Lightpower Collection’s Ralph-Jörg Wezorke. “This love for photography and the people in our industry makes us enthusiastic to support this competition, as it promotes appreciation for both. Photography is such an important tool to bring the spirit of our industry – in front of and behind the scenes – to the outside world. We want to promote this and at the same time raise awareness for the vitally important charities!”


There are two categories to enter: Best Live Entertainment / Event Photo – encompassing any image that captures a live performance from a concert, theatre or TV production, or an event, and can include the audience as well as the show itself; and Best Backstage Production Photo – this can be any image that captures the backstage environment, from the crew at work during load in, a shot in the wings or at FOH of technicians at work, or in catering or the production office. People don’t need to be the central theme, so a shot of an empty stage or of a stack of equipment or flight cases also qualifies. The judging team, selected by Backup, will assess all entries and pick their top ten photographs. These will be published online for a limited period for people to vote for ‘The Peoples’ Choice Award’, whilst the judges favourite picture will be given ‘The Judges Choice’ award. The competition is open to anyone who does not earn their living from photography and are a UK resident. How to enter here:- The closing date is midnight on 1st January 2023 and the winners will be announced in February 2023. Set & Light | Autumn 2022

Get your carving kits out and let your Halloween creativity run wild in the Backup Pumpkin Challenge, which is back for some spooky fun and fundraising this October. Supported by Collaborative Creations, and now in its fourth year, the competition is open to anyone from the technical entertainment and creative industries. Entrants can use their in-house skills and equipment to enhance their carved pumpkin. “We’re delighted the industry has got behind it every year.” says Tom Wilkes of Collaborative Creations “We’ve been amazed at what people have come up with over the years and it’s a great way for the industry to raise money for a fantastic charity.” The pumpkins will be judged in the following four categories: • Best Overall Design (judged by panel) • Best Use of Tech (judged by panel) • Most Overall Likes (on Instagram) Entries have to be posted on Instagram with the hashtag #BackupPumpkinChallenge by 31st October to be eligible. The winners will be announced on 5th November. Head here to enter: Long-time Backup supporter Lightpower Collection have generously donated a prize of one of their photographic books to the winner of the ‘Best Overall Design’. All money raised from fundraising will go to Backup, which provides financial support to industry technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film who are seriously ill or who were involved in an accident. The Backup Pumpkin Challenge is supported by the Association of Lighting and Production Designers and the Association of Sound Designers and new for 2022 industry magazines LSi and TPi.

Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Sponsor News ACET

Corporate Achievement Award for its more than a century of designing and manufacturing camera and lighting systems as well as its development of systemic technological solutions and networks for a worldwide complex of film, broadcast, and media industries.

Welcome to Vista 3 Training Series Vista by Chroma-Q are excited to announce the release of part 1 of their Vista 3 Training Series!

Named after Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the first fully working all-electronic television system and receiver, the Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award is a non-competitive award presented by the Television Academy as part of the Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Awards. Since 2003, this prestigious accolade has honored “an agency, company, or institution whose contributions over time have significantly impacted television technology and engineering.” The winner is selected by a jury of television engineers from the Academy’s Engineering Emmy Awards Committee.

These videos will provide you with the knowledge required to setup, program, and playback great looking shows using the Vista 3 lighting and media control application. Designed for both beginner and experienced users, the series provides clear examples on each topic with many useful tips along the way. Head here to get started:- https://www.vistabychromaq. com/vista-3-training-series/

“Industry professionals have long relied on the stability and versatility of ARRI equipment in a portfolio that includes digital cameras, lenses, camera accessories, archive technologies, lamp heads, and lighting accessories. Along with offering exclusive technologies, ARRI Rental’s services and equipment provide camera, lighting, and grip packages to professional productions,” recognizes the jury of the Engineering Emmy Awards Committee. “ARRI cameras have connected the creativity and technology that have made filmed entertainment the premier medium of our time. Dedicated to maintaining its place in the forefront of the development of future technologies for the capture of moving images, ARRI has been at it for 100+ years…and counting.”

A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) are delighted to announce their appointment as the exclusive distributor for Claypaky in the UK and Ireland A premium brand with a pedigree of over 45 years, Claypaky products are synonymous with some of the world’s foremost productions and have collected no less than 60 prestigious international awards along the way. Jonathan Walters, UK Sales & Purchasing Director for AC-ET commented: “We are delighted to further our partnership with Claypaky as their exclusive UK Distributor. The brand is highly regarded by leading designers, and has produced some of the world’s most iconic lighting products. We are looking forward to working with the Claypaky team to bring their outstanding range to the UK market.”

| Right: Dr. Matthias Erb, Chairman of Arri’s Executive Board

AC-ET’s Andy Mahaffey will work closely with Claypaky’s Paolo Dozzo to manage any sales or product related queries. Andy can be contacted at andy.mahaffey@ to discuss a project or to arrange a personal demonstration of any of the extensive Claypaky range. General sales enquiries for Claypaky products should be addressed to Support and service queries for Claypaky products should be addressed to where AC ET’s first class support team will be on hand 24/7. Alberico D’Amato, Clay Paky’s Head of Sales added: “As we enter the post-COVID world, we are excited to take our next steps in the UK market with AC-ET. Their extensive knowledge and industry experience means they are the perfect fit for this role. We know all Claypaky customers around the UK will receive the highest level of service and support from AC-ET.”

ARRI Television Academy honors ARRI with an Engineering Emmy® for more than a century of creativity and technology The Television Academy announced the recipients of the 74th Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy® Awards. ARRI is pleased to be awarded the Philo T. Farnsworth


Dr. Matthias Erb, Chairman of ARRI’s Executive Board, expresses the company’s gratitude: “ARRI is very honored to be the recipient of the Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award. We are very thankful to the Television Academy for this esteemed recognition. Throughout our history, ARRI has been dedicated to creating the very best tools and solutions for the global production community. We look forward to many more years of successful collaboration.” The Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award marks the fourth separate occasion that the Television Academy has recognized ARRI. Most recently, ARRI was presented with an Engineering Emmy for its SkyPanel family of LED softlights in 2021 and for the ARRI ALEXA camera system in 2017.Recent and notable shows that have been captured by ARRI and serviced by ARRI Rental include 2022 top Emmy contenders: “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), “Succession” (HBO), and “The White Lotus (HBO).”

SMPTE honors ARRI Sensor Architect Michael Cieslinski The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Set & Light | Autumn 2022

(SMPTE) awards Michael Cieslinski, Technical Lead Imaging Frontend at ARRI, with the 2022 Camera Origination and Imaging Medal Award.

The four manually adjustable shutter blades of the Projection Optics 25° and 35° produce a beam where the shutter blade cut projection and the beam’s edge are simultaneously in sharp focus. Both optics have a motorized focus adjustment which allows for great precision and repeatability. With the latest update of Orbiter’s Lighting Operating System, LiOS2, the focus can be controlled locally via Orbiter’s Control Panel or remotely by DMX/RDM or IP based (ArtNet or sACN). Once set, the focus is kept in place and not subverted by locking the lens tube into place. Furthermore, a standard B-size metal or glass gobo can be added. The genuine ARRI gobo holder is made to keep the gobo securely in place and the produced gobo pattern is clearly visible. Any focus adjustment between gobo and shutter is barely necessary; focus adjustment between gobo and open gate is not necessary at all. Additional ARRI accessories like a snoot or color filter frames can be added in front enabling fine tuning when needed.

This prize, established in 2012, recognizes significant technical achievements related to invention or advances in imaging technology. According to Jay Ballard, Chair of the SMPTE 2022 Camera Origination and Imaging Medal Award Committee, Michael Cieslinski receives this prestigious award “in recognition of his pioneering work in image and camera design which led to the development of a family of high dynamic range electronic cinematography cameras that have the ability to create images with the look of 35 mm film.” Michael Cieslinski affirms: “ARRI is a special place to work. On the one hand, there’s the know-how—on the other, there’s the ARRI spirit, with which people help and support each other. There is an absolute fixation on image quality and a management that has confidence in the employees and supports innovation. Outstanding products are then created on this basis.” He continues and recognizes his colleagues: “Without our excellent team, my ideas could not have been realized. I would therefore like to expressly thank my colleagues for the many years of cooperation and accept the award on their behalf as well.”

The Orbiter Projection Optics are a great addition to the already existing Orbiter Fresnel Lens 15-65°. Orbiter’s unique Quick Lighting Mount (QLM) system allows the Projection Optics to be mounted safely and quickly but still enabling a 90° rotation. The LiOS2 update ensures an automatic recognition of this new optic and its latest feature, Optics Auto Adjust, offers 100% color stability with any focus and any optic. The optic’s cooling fan can be controlled via Orbiter’s Light Control setting through the Control Panel. Both Orbiter Projection Optics will be available in black in October 2022.

ARRI’s new Orbiter Projection Optics render crisp and accurate light for even greater precision ARRI announces the launch of the two Orbiter Projection Optics 25° and 35°. Combined with Orbiter’s ARRI Spectra light engine, the high-end optical system provides a state-of-the-art LED profiler which is perfectly suited for theaters, cinematic applications, as well as broadcast studios or live productions.

| Right: Ayrton MagicBlade - credit Matt Benson

The Orbiter Projection Optics provide unparalleled precision in every detail allowing for crisp projection of a light spot, as well as gobo projection and precise shutter cuts. The field of light is even and without color aberration. The projection has no visible hot spot or drop to the edge and the depth of field is outstanding. Both optics have a standard iris slot.

AYRTON New Ayrton focus for Denmark, Sweden and Norway In keeping with Ayrton’s accelerating strategy of focused distribution, and in amicable agreement with our friends and partner, LiteNordic, Ayrton’s sales and distribution arrangements for Norway, Denmark and Sweden will soon be changing. With effect from 31 July 2022, LiteNordic will no longer be Ayrton’s distributor in these countries. LiteNordic will continue to represent Ayrton until that date, and support all sales made before 31 July under warranty thereafter. | Left: Arri orbiter projection optics application Set & Light | Autumn 2022

All sales enquiries after that date should be made to Matt Hallard, Ayrton’s European Sales Director, until a new distributor is appointed.


| Sponsor News “Ayrton is now actively inviting Nordic distributors and industry captains looking for an exciting new challenge to get in touch,” says Hallard. “We are very grateful to LiteNordic for the past two years of dedication and hard work but agree that a change in distributorship is now the way forward. We will continue to work closely with LiteNordic until 31 July 2022 to ensure a seamless transition to new distribution partnerships.

and effects that the MagicBlade FX can achieve in various position and zoom configurations in combination with clever programming by Patrick Brazil,” says Mitz. “MagicBlade’s unique fixture face – linear with pixels – almost feels like dots moving freely through the upstage space,” Gossett adds. “And we have full pixel control, which adds an element of mystery, too. Sometimes there’s more negative space on the walls; sometimes a sequence of pixels gives a unique sense of motion for slower moments in songs – they don’t always look like lighting effects. But the MagicBlades also have a lot of horsepower to push light out of the wall when we want that intense presence.”

“Ayrton is the leading brand of LED - and now laser lighting fixtures and this is an exciting time to be joining our world. We are looking for three focused, dynamic, energetic young companies who are as excited as we are about the future of Ayrton. There’s a wealth of stellar companies out there whom we are yet know and we look forward to meeting them!”

Lighting Directors/Programmers Patrick Brazil, Rob Koenig, and Darien Koop masterfully command a network of grandMA2 consoles in addition to Capture software in an extensive previs process for the set and lights. The consoles remain on site for the current run of shows and additional previs. ACT Entertainment also is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting products in North America.

Ayrton MagicBlade FX lighting fixtures give custom looks to performers on NBC’s new American Song Contest Full Flood Inc. has chosen Ayrton MagicBlade FX lighting fixtures for NBC’s new, eight-episode American Song Contest, the domestic answer to the hugely popular and long-running Eurovision Song Contest. Volt Lites supplied the MagicBlade FX units, which are exclusively distributed in North America by ACT Entertainment. Hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, American Song Contest will feature 56 live original song performances by artists from all 50 states, five US territories and the nation’s capital. It debuted on March 21 and wraps with a finale featuring the winning performance on May 9. Episodes are also air on NBC. com, Peacock and Hulu.

Gossett says, “It was quite fun when the entire production team participated in the first camera look-see day, and they saw the wall come alive and go through some looks and effects. It’s not every day that people stop and say, ‘Whoa! What are those fixtures?’ That many fixtures creating patterns and almost bending light is not what people are used to seeing.” Other members of the lighting production team include Tyler Ericson (Assistant Lighting Director); Matt Benson (Gaffer); Mark Marroquin (Best Boy); David Russell, Janos Bode, Ben Lewis, Jeff Geisser (System Techs).

Lighting Designer Noah Mitz and Lighting Director Will Gossett, both from Full Flood, are using 144 Ayrton MagicBlade FX for American Song Contest, which shoots on the Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles. “That’s by far the most MagicBlade FX fixtures we’ve ever used in an array such as this one,” says Gossett. “We’ve used MagicBlades on other shows in linear arrangements to border scenery or align with trusses, but it’s great to have such a visual impact in the vertical plane like we do on this show.” Each MagicBlade FX fixture features seven squared 65mm transmitting lenses and a revolutionary FX optical zoom system. The RGBW high-output LEDs can be individually controlled to create airborne virtual scenery or illuminate sets and performers.


| Below: B360 at the Commonwealth Games

We celebrated the end of spring with The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, supporting both the BBC and ABC News with their broadcast of the events over the weekend. Whilst this memory was still fresh in our minds, just a few short months later, we were back again at Canada Gate, but this time to mourn the passing of the Queen. Here we were required to mobilise our lighting package and lighting team to load in a mere three days after the

American Song Contest has “a uniquely-shaped performance environment” by Production Designer Julio Himede in the style of a forced perspective roadway, which terminates in an upstage wall comprised of various interchangeable lighting elements. “The set has to support 56 performances, each with a bespoke design, over the eight shows,” explains Gossett. “The MagicBlades comprise most of three independently sliding light walls; the three pieces can be configured as one wall element or used in different combinations. There is a grid of 54 MagicBlades in the centre wall and 45 MagicBlades in each of the left and right walls. The fixtures are yoked out 90º to maximize the variety of looks achieved through different pan positions” MagicBlade FX fixtures were a logical choice to meet the needs of American Song Contest. “They are very versatile and we have yet to reach a limit to the patterns


Set & Light | Autumn 2022

Announcement. We were honoured to again support both the BBC, ABC News and NBC News with their coverage of both the period of morning, and the Queen’s Funeral.

A clockwise turn of the handgrip engages a metal band that braces each riser section and safely tightens and locks the riser tube. Individual riser tubes may be locked in intermediate positions so the user can enjoy precision accuracy when raising and lowering. The system’s pan ring allows 360-degrees of mast rotation without the need to completely lower the system—a valuable time-saver.

Early in the summer we were delighted to be once again involved with the Isle of Wight Festival, providing labour and studio lighting to CC-Lab for the Sky Arts Studio. Throughout the summer we worked in partnership with the BBC providing the lighting and labour for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. We had the delight of supplying the lighting, power distribution and labour for the BBC broadcast the European Championships in Munich. B360 have continued to supply the daily lighting crew and Desk Operators at Ealing Broadcast Centre as well as News UK London Bridge. Our power department have been busy providing power to a range of Outside Broadcast Units. We had the deepest pleasure of providing power and studio lighting for the Womens FA Cup. We have continued to provide power for the broadcast of the National League, Women’s Super League, Women’s 6Nations, as well as the EPCR. We have also been honoured with providing power to the Queens Tennis, Henley, as well as Dutch Darts Masters again this year. For the first time this year we were honoured to work in partnership with Timeline to provide power, power distribution and labour for UFC, both in London and Paris. B360 have continued to invest in equipment, growing our cable, distro and lighting stock. We have been excited to add the brand new Aputure LS 1200d to our stock – an LED, IP Rated equivalent to the M18. We are also delighted to add the new Gemini Hard 1x1 into our rental stock. Our install department have been working hard throughout the summer and celebrated the launch of a new PLP Studio within IMG Studios. They are also currently designing several upcoming and exciting new studio installations and upgrades. We currently have several positions available – within our warehouse, power department as well as our installation/project department. Please feel free to contact us for more details.


Introducing the Matthews Air Climber, Takes Lighting and Camera Support to New Heights Matthews Studio Equipment, known for standard-setting grip gear for location and studio work, introduces the first off-the-shelf, modular grip and lighting stand that reaches 25 feet/7.62 meters. Air Climber™ uses pneumatics to be safely raised and lowered via a regulator switch and air compressor. A large levelling platform supports the telescoping column (mast). Complete with eight-risers, the unique design employs seven locking collars with tension control and a frictional locking system for each section. Set & Light | Autumn 2022

The large levelling dolly platform base comes equipped with four telescoping legs for footprint adjustment (maximum 8’x8’/2.44×2.44m, collapsed 5’x5’/1.52×1.52m) and four heavy-duty jacks with 14”/35.5cm reach to level out the platform. The 8-section telescoping column can be easily removed from the dolly with a single wrench or can be left built and ready to transport in the back of the truck. The rotating Base at the bottom of the the column (or mast) offers a Lock and Pan Wheel around it to ease fixture positioning. Four rugged tires with breaks and security struts assure safe and smooth movement and secure lock down. | Right: Campari Boat-In cinema event 2022

CLAYPAKY LD Giovanni Pinna lights up the Campari Boat-in Cinema event at the Venice Film Festival with 100 Claypaky Sharpy Plus Aqua units One hundred Claypaky Sharpy Plus Aqua fixtures were deployed at the Venetian Arsenal from 31 August to 10 September 2022 for the Campari Boat-In Cinema event at the time-honoured Venice International Film Festival. Campari has been the main sponsor of the festival for the past five years, during which it has organized a whole series of events to promote dialogue between established filmmakers and emerging talent. Among the bestknown initiatives is the screening of some of the films in competition with the audience watching from the water on small boats or platforms in the scenic Arsenal basin. A spectacular live performance opens the evening after an apéritif and welcome dinner for a select audience of about 180 people. This is followed by a film screening on the big screen. After the film, the evening firework party begins for a larger audience of about 1,500 people, with live performances and DJ mixes featuring scenic settings and striking light shows. Event lighting designer Giovanni Pinna told us: “the client asked for some very ‘graphic’ lighting to bring out the four islands, which were built especially for the occasion and connected to each other with red carpet-like walkways. The stars and guests arrived and were guided along the


| Sponsor News pier and walkways by a highly dynamic light path, drawn out using about eighty Sharpy Plus Aqua units, forty on each side.” Claypaky’s Sharpy Plus Aqua is an IP66-rated hybrid moving head fixture, ideal for both indoor and outdoor events. It comes complete with all the latest effects and performance features and is capable of adding a distinguishing touch to any lighting design.

The Volero Batten Aqua is a high-performance IP66 LED moving batten. The Tambora Linear is an advanced line of static LED pixel mapping bars designed for versatile lighting effects and artistic set decoration. The Tambora Flash is the only IP66 hybrid fixture on the market that can act simultaneously as a strobe, wash light and blinder, specifically designed with a modular approach for use in a linear array.

Pinna went on to say: “Aqua Sharpy Plus fixtures are absolutely excellent, and the only outdoor lights I used at the Arsenal. They provide so many visual effects. I used them almost entirely by playing with their gobos and prisms. To say nothing of their versatility: depending on the need, I could use them as beam, spot or wash lights.”

The Sinfonya Profile 600 is a unique, low-noise LEDbased unit, conceived and developed exclusively for the theatre market. The Sharpy X Frame is a multifunctional luminaire with all the Sharpy line’s best features and incorporates a four-focal plane shutter system in a lightweight, compact unit. The Arolla series features the new Arolla Profile MP and the Arolla Spot MP.

About twenty Sharpy Plus Aqua units were also installed on the edge of the big screen to provide stage backlighting. On some occasions they were used as key lights, for example during Stefano Accorsi’s performance.

The CloudIO is the first IOT device for moving head fixtures. It opens up a whole world of information, diagnostics and remote assistance. Alberico D’Amato went on to say: “We have had very favourable feedback from lighting professionals. The market has almost fully reopened after the COVID-19 years. There is great excitement and eagerness, and our lights are there at the forefront to lead the rebirth of our industry!”

“For such important events and demanding clients, you absolutely have to rely on proven products and brands that you know you can count on,” Pinna continued. “Claypaky has always supported me with great professionalism, and their technical staff was again invaluable during the rigging. Most important of all, the client was highly satisfied with the result!” Claypaky also supplied Mini-B fixtures. These small but ultra-efficient wash lights were installed inside the discothèque Campari set up. The event was conceived and produced by MCM Comunicazione di Chicco Nobili. The lights were provided by Service LK Events di Salvatore Oliva. Studio Gio Forma handled the art and creative direction and “Laccio” dealt with the choreography. Giovanni Pinna received priceless help from chief technician Matteo Minchella.

Claypaky presents a wide range of products at Plasa with features never seen before on the market Claypaky took part in Plasa 2022, welcoming a large number of industry professionals and practitioners from all over the world at its booth and in the spacious rooms set up in the Henley Suite. Alberico D’Amato, Claypaky Sales Director, said: “Plasa was, as ever, a ‘must-attend’ event for the British market, which has always been one of the most dynamic and proactive in our industry. However, we were positively surprised by the number of customers from other European countries, and even from Asia, Australia, America and the Middle East. It is a show with an international dimension!” Claypaky presented all the products it has recently launched on the market, which stand out for their variety, versatility and unique features. The growing award-winning Xtylos family of laser-source moving heads now includes the Xtylos Aqua, featuring marinegrade C5-M protection, and the Mini Xtylos HPE, which is more energy-efficient than any other beam units made up to now. Claypaky is the only company today able to offer an entire family of laser-engine-based fixtures.


Claypaky organized a series of daily workshops to illustrate the features of its products in detail: one was devoted to laser technology in entertainment lighting, with focus on the Xtylos family; another to the next generation of truly advanced lights for theatres, with focus on the Sinfonya Profile; and yet another to the new Claypaky effect lines Tambora and Volero, with an exclusive preview of the new, unique LED bar, which will be officially launched in the coming weeks.

Over 400 Claypaky fixtures at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was held by the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, featuring about 200 million people watched live and - for the first time in three years - there was an almost full audience at the venue. RAI RadioTelevisione Italiana, as host broadcaster, took the lead in setting up the stage, which this year revolved around “The Sun Within” designed by Francesca Montinaro, an ambitious new stage concept based on the light of a kinetic sun. The multilevel stage set-up was complemented by spectacular waterfalls, large LED video walls and - as always - an impressive array of lights ready to set the competing artists’ shows on fire. Claypaky was there with over 400 lights, including 120 Sharpy X Frame, 64 Xtylos, 25 Mini Xtylos, 42 Arolla Profile HP, 25 Stormy CC and 144 Sharpy Wash units. Particularly prominent among them all were the new Claypaky Sharpy X Frame hybrid lights, which flanked the two side catwalks that led from the upper stage Set & Light | Autumn 2022

down to the stage below. The Claypaky Xtylos fixtures were arranged along the two top side edges of the structure and were particularly visible in the fanned-out coloured light that cut through the audience. They also had the essential task of creating the lighting effect that accompanied the presentation jingle at the beginning of each song. The Claypaky Mini Xtylos HPEs were fitted in unusual places: thanks to their great compactness, they were installed inside the stage-side trapdoors, from which sharp blades of coloured light shot out. The Claypaky Arolla Profile HPs and Sharpy Wash 330s were placed around the stage and the venue and played multifarious roles. They provided side and back lighting for the artists, and wash lighting for the green room.

DedoLight Lightstream Table Top can also be used for the lighting of larger spaces and doesn’t need to be limited strictly to table top work. Entire studios have been lit for music videos using only DedoLight Ledzilla lights; with the progress of this new system, all these capabilities are now vastly increased.

The event was directed by Duccio Forzano and Cristian Biondani, and Mario Catapano was the lighting director. Marcus Graser, Claypaky CEO, said: “The world’s most impressive musical show used our lights once again this year. The lighting designer chose a wide range of Claypaky units, including profile spotlights, hybrid fixtures, beam moving lights, washlights and strobes. The fixtures used various light sources: LED-based, laserbased and discharge lamps. This speaks volumes about the wide variety of versatile, reliable lighting solutions which only Claypaky can currently offer the market.”

Proteus plays key role in Al Gurdon design for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

DedoLight Lightstream Table brings DedoLight Lightstream to the absolute forefront of lighting with reflected light. The capability and potential of the tools are endless; enhancing the creative approach, tremendously.


Some 72 nations and territories came together July 28 – August 8 in Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England, for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Lighting the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the quadrennial multi-sport event was Al Gurdon of Incandescent Design who used over 300 Elation Professional IP65 Proteus luminaires to light the festivities.

DedoLight completes Lightstream range with Lightstream Table Top

The Opening Ceremony was a visually spectacular and at times emotional show that featured dance groups, dream sequences, cultural parables, humor and even a 10-meter tall mechanical bull. A cast of thousands traced Birmingham’s history through themes of unity, diversity and resilience with the evening capped by a medley of hits by local heroes Duran Duran. The Closing, just as impactful, focused on the region’s unique musical heritage with performances by UB40, Jorja Smith and Dexys Midnight Runners, among others, including a surprise appearance by veteran rocker Ozzy Osbourne.

DedoLight has introduced DedoLight Lightstream Table Top, completing the Lightstream family, made up of: (i) Lightstream standard (ii) Lightstream LITE (iii) Lightstream Table Top.

Needless to say, there was plenty to light in the form of sets, scenery and artists, both for the live crowd of 30,000 and the estimated global broadcast audience of more than a billion.

The range of tools included with DedoLight Lightstream Table Top was originally conceived to serve traditional table top tasks such as product photography, filming of miniatures, animation and other table top work.

Gurdon, however, is a veteran of high-profile sporting event ceremonies, having designed lighting for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and served as Director of Photography on the 2012 London Olympics. He has also lit several Super Bowl Halftime shows and knows what type of lighting is required for a show of this caliber. “It’s an open-air show without a roof, with equipment in place for several

The lighting systems were provided by Calvini Light Equipment Service, based in Taggia (Imperia), and Sound D-Light from Pesaro.


In its basic configuration, DedoLight Lightstream Table Top consists of 2 × 8 Watt Ledzilla focusing lights, which can be mono or bi-colour lights. These lights can be fitted with the parallel beam intensifiers designed to work in combination with a rich choice of reflectors. The front end of each Ledzilla, can also be exchanged for 2 types of imagers – projection attachments, which allow the highest degree of precision lighting for defined razor sharp accents: at the same time still enabling unnoticeable creative effects. The basic DedoLight Lightstream Table Top system comes with a range of 15 different reflectors and unique holding devices. The system works with the same rail used on the back of standard DedoLight Lightstream reflectors, which can now be used with a multitude of different holding devices. including bendable arms, different variations of magic arms, clamps and other accessories.

Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Sponsor News “Furthermore, the show was extremely complex from a staging and camera perspective so we had to rely on very careful preparation in terms of analysing those rehearsals in situ and, crucially, from camera recordings, which was often our only way of seeing what was going on. We kept our pre-viz throughout, and without it it would have been impossible to do the show to the standard that we eventually achieved.”

weeks, so waterproof fixtures are important, and so is reliability,” he said. The designer looked to Elation’s market-leading IP65 Proteus line, using 212 Proteus Maximus™, 54 Proteus Excalibur™ and 54 Proteus Rayzor Blade™ luminaires. Incandescent Design provided the front of house team while PRG provided equipment and lighting crew, headed by Crew Chief Tim Probert. “Rich Gorrod at PRG was my design associate in the planning stages,” Gurdon says, “and put together and led a great team, as always, in the stadium.” The Maximus and Excalibur fixtures have featured on many large projects but the Commonwealth Games marked the debut of the Proteus Rayzor Blade, a tiltable linear LED light that functions as a wash, strobe or FX light. “To be honest, the Proteus Rayzor Blades were our only option because we needed a tiltable waterproof batten and, as far as I am aware, there aren’t yet any alternatives,” Gurdon said of the RGBW fixtures, adding that they are also extremely bright. “I also wanted something with a decent zoom range because some of the action would be quite close, so they needed to go wide.” For the Opening Ceremony, Gurdon lined the athlete’s path with Proteus Excalibur narrow beam moving heads and positioned additional units on audio carts. The 20,000-lumen Excaliburs with their 0.8° beam were primarily used for attention-grabbing searchlight effects. For the Closing Ceremony, which Gurdon says was much more about music than the Opening, he moved the Excaliburs to the ‘upstage’ east side to get a strong floor backlight for the musical performances. Meanwhile, from positions high on the stadium, a battery of 50,000-lumen Proteus Maximus moving heads were used as a bright, shuttering, weatherproof fixture whose principal function was “keying the action” rather than as effect light. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were two very different shows, according to Gurdon, and both reportedly went very well. “I was particularly pleased with the Closing because from a lighting perspective it was completely unrehearsed,” he remarked. “Because the Games were taking place in the stadium, the rehearsals took place at a 1:1 site on the other side of the city, and because all of my key lights stayed rigged throughout, there was no way of rehearsing with them.


By any standard, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was a rousing success and that goes for the production team as well. Naturally, it takes a village to light an event of the magnitude of a Commonwealth Games, and Gurdon is forthcoming in acknowledging the team effort. “I cannot overstate the contribution of my fantastic team,” he shares. “Ross Williams and Alex Mildenhall as lead programmers with Ben Hornshaw providing systems support and management on site, and Nikita Jakovlev in pre-viz. Vision Supervisor Emelie Scaminaci produced beautiful pictures throughout, and Chris Henry spot-called two extremely complicated shows with a team of operators with only a small number of professionals, but the majority of volunteers who had never done it before.” Gurdon concludes, “Zoe Snow and Gary Beestone [Birmingham Ceremonies] put together a fantastic team of creatives and technical chiefs and crew, and led and supported us all in this massive project throughout with a rare combination of great experience, calm professionalism, and great humor.” Photos: Getty Images courtesy of Birmingham Ceremonies

Workhorse Proteus Maximus™ on display at The Royal Windsor Horse Show This year marks the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and in honour of the historical anniversary, the United Kingdom is holding several events celebrating her 70year reign. At The Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, Elation Professional had its own workhorse on display albeit not of the equine variety. PRG provided a full lighting rig for the event that incorporated 171 Elation Proteus Maximus™ IP65-rated LED moving heads as the key luminaire in the design. The challenges of creating a dramatic and theatrical lighting rig on an arena scale with a daily Horse Show running concurrently are vast, but PRG has a long and successful history with the event and has provided lighting rigs for the illustrious equestrian show for over 12 years. This year, the company made the decision to update to a more sustainable LED option and much needed waterproof protection. Richard Gorrod, Vice President and head of Event Services at PRG UK, has led the PRG team at the event for a number of years and names the Proteus Maximus’s 50,000 lumens of brightness, ingress protection, framing shutters and gobo selection as key reasons for its choice. “We have used non-IP65 discharge wash fixtures in previous years but this was a great upgrade and worked fantastic,” Gorrod commented. “The Maximus has everything in one fixture and was the workhorse for the main arena. It was very reliable, especially in the British weather.” Gorrod adds that of the 171 active Maximus fixtures Set & Light | Autumn 2022

By improving facilities and doubling the building’s capacity, the redevelopment has enabled BAFTA to dramatically increase its charitable programme. 195 Piccadilly will be a creative centre for film, games and television. A world-leading independent arts charity, BAFTA works throughout the year to find and promote the next generation of talent and to break down the barriers that can make it hard to build careers in the creative industries.

used on the show only a single unit was swapped out. “Amazing!” Produced by HPower, The Royal Windsor Horse Show is held annually at Windsor Castle with this year’s Platinum Jubilee event an upgrade over past years. PRG worked with lighting designer Paul Cook and delivered a vastly increased lighting rig of 600 fixtures, 130 hoists and 500m of truss.

BAFTA’s revamp of its headquarters also brings an expansion of its talent support programme. ETC fully supports BAFTA’s initiatives for encouraging new talent and is equally committed to building up the next generation of lighting professionals with programs that are specifically aimed at students such as the Fred Foster Student Mentorship Program. ETC Regional Sales Manager for the UK, Jeremy Roberts comments: “BAFTA is such an important organisation for our industry, it was with real pleasure that we were able to support the changes and upgrades to the building. There is a great synergy between the education initiatives of the BAFTA team and the work ETC does in its North Acton training space for aspiring broadcast and film lighting professionals.” Pauline Campbell, Head of Property at BAFTA added: “We were pleased to work with ETC. In addition to providing cutting-edge technology, their support allowed us to fulfil our charitable remit and provide creatives, new talent, and practitioners with a dedicated global hub for the arts, as well as a lasting legacy in the heart of central London.”

“The nature of this particular Pageant meant that everything had to be bigger,” says Gorrod. “Our long history with the show really gave us the upper hand in our ability to confidently enhance the show’s design to deliver the spectacle it needed, as well as being able to adapt our technical delivery to the production as it grew.” PRG also provided several extra rigs for the production, including lighting for the VIP boxes and break out dining areas for guests and dignitaries at the event. The Royal Windsor Horse Show showcased all the pomp and ceremony befitting of a royal event and featured the royal military, 1,300 performers, 500 horses and an all-star cast of British and international talent. The Theme of the event was ‘Gallop Through History’ and was attended by Her Majesty The Queen and hosted by a number of celebrities. Photos: Platinum Jubilee Celebrations / Peter Nixon


Commando Training Centre upgrades with ETC ArcSystem

ETC partners with BAFTA as an Official Supplier

The Falklands Hall primary presentation auditorium at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) required an urgent replacement for their original tungsten lights, and ETC ArcSystem was chosen to upgrade the space. The tungsten lights had come to the end of production and spare parts and bulbs were unavailable which led to a health and safety issue as they fell below the legal level required. ETC dealer, Stage Electrics, selected ArcSystem fixtures and drivers to transform the space with LED.

ETC has worked with BAFTA and the redevelopment of its home and headquarters in London. The revamped BAFTA 195 Piccadilly is now officially reopen and will be the central hub for BAFTA’s UK-wide, and global, learning and talent development programme. State of the art facilities and technologically advanced equipment has been used in the redevelopment including ETC products which have been installed in the new theatres within the space. This includes several lighting fixtures – fos/4 Fresnels, Source Four LED Series 2 profiles and Irideon wash lights. Eos family consoles with network infrastructure including Response Mk2 DMX Gateways are also used to control the lighting, with a stage engineering package involving ETC’s Prodigy P2 hoists and QuickTouch Preset controls.

| Below: BAFTA – Rory Mulvey

CTCRM, is based in Lympstone, Devon, UK and is the official training base for the Royal Marines – the UK’s Commando Force. The auditorium space previously had 66 150-watt tungsten lamps which repeatedly failed and caused issues with maintenance as they were mounted over the seating rake. These luminaires were all replaced with ETC’s ArcSystem Pro One-Cell fixtures and ArcSystem Pro D4 CC Drivers. The Pro One-Cell luminaires were selected for their high quality of light, and together with the D4 drivers, their smooth and superior dimming. The upgrade to ETC’s LED products led to over 80% reduction in power consumption at the CTCRM as well as a much-improved quality of lighting. Technical Solutions Engineer at Stage Electrics, Martin Woodage comments: “It was fantastic project to work on, seeing the dimly lit space transformed into a beautifully lit space was amazing to see. The team at Stage Electrics worked hard to make sure the project was a success and brought the customer exactly what they wanted, with only a week’s downtime for the venue.”

Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Sponsor News FiiLEX The New KF4 4-Light Travel Kit is Here! The KF4 kit also includes (4x) 5” Fresnels that can spotflood each P3 Color from 15 to 45 degrees. Both 3” and 5” barndoors are packed into the kit to give users more light shaping options. The custom KF4 travel case also has 3 zippered pouches for storing power supplies and other accessories. The new Fiilex KF4 4-Light Travel kit comes with (4x) 90W P3 Color lights protected by laser cut foams in a 22” x 14” x 9” hard shell rolling case. The delivery of the KF4 4-Light Travel Kit will start in Q4 2022.

FTVS TV Lighting hire and broadcast power specialist, FTVS, has had a record-breaking Summer

New ETC Library App Makes Technical Documentation More Accessible

FTVS’s lighting and green fuelled mobile power generation were in great demand by broadcasters for this summer’s televised major sporting and prestigious events. The roll list included The Platinum Jubilee, Open & PGA Golf, Wimbledon, Cricket (Tests, T20 and The Hundred) and Horse Racing.

ETC has released a new ETC Library App, making ETC documentation accessible from one convenient location. Through the app, users can easily view, and share datasheets, brochures, and other standard technical documentation for all ETC products. The ETC Library App replaces the former ETC Product Portfolio and is hosted on an entirely new platform.

One highlight was FTVS providing their services for the broadcasting of UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. FTVS teams worked on ALL of the 31 matches across 10 venues. FTVS supplied outside broadcast silent twin-sets power generators, distribution, TV lighting equipment and crew for pitch side and flash interviews, studio and mixed zones.

Users can expect improvements in both speed and search functionality on the app, with the ability to look up documents by part numbers and more. The cloud-based platform also saves storage space for users, allowing them to directly download only the files they need. The new app makes it simple to create a collection of documents and share them via email, text message, and more. The ETC Library App is now available with all ETC product datasheets and with plans to continue expanding documentation and language options. Users who previously had the ETC Product Portfolio software downloaded on their desktop will need to download the new ETC Library App for current documentation. Users who had the Product Portfolio app on mobile devices will simply need to update the app. To download the ETC Library App, please visit Find more ETC apps at

Joy Brennan FTVS’s MD, said, “It’s been a fantastic 2022 so far, with the highest-ever number of projects completed! A big thank you to our clients and partners for their ongoing support”.

Queen Elizabeth II

| Below: FTVS UEFA Women’s Euros 2022

Although it was a very sad occasion, FTVS were greatly honoured to be part of the OB family that delivered memorable television coverage. Their power and lighting services were required at multiple locations including Buckingham Palace’s “Media City”, RAF Northolt, Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff Castle, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park and Windsor. FTVS were still able to fulfil their existing regular commitments and projects across the country. Joy Brennan, said, “Our sincere thanks go out to all our teams, clients and partners who worked together on this historic event”.

New Equipment & Lighting Hire Online Service FTVS expanded Equipment and Lighting Hire range can now be viewed online. Visitors to the website can compile their product hire list and request a quotation from George Kloss FTVS’s Hire Manager.

First EV Deployed FTVS’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) is now transporting equipment and supporting services. The EV forms part of the company’s environmental mission to advance to a sustainable future. It follows on from FTVS switching their primary fuel source for their vehicles and generator engines to Green D+ HVO in March 2021. FTVS has made a significant investment in energy saving LED lighting.


Set & Light | Autumn 2022

Kimberley Wood Joins FTVS Kimberley has recently joined FTVS as Operations Coordinator, working closely with Karl Thompson and Peter Ward, Operations Director. Kimberley’s operational and project management experience includes working for British Marine’s highprofile events, such as the Southampton International Boat Show. At FTVS, Kimberley ensures that scheduling and allocation of resources to projects is handled in a fast and efficient manner.

GLP More than 350 GLP fixtures adorn the set of Quiz für Dich Quiz für Dich (Quiz for You) is the name of Germany’s new prime-time quiz show, airing on Sat.1 and moderated by Jörg Pilawa. At first glance, it may seem like this format has already been done many times before – but Quiz für Dich injects a breath of fresh air into the concept by introducing a special twist. The lighting design is by Jerry Appelt, who has again turned to GLP for the majority of the lighting tasks. In each show, four celebrities compete against each other in teams of two and play for money that is to be donated to a good cause. However, this good cause does not remain abstract, as it does in so many other shows, but is given a human face, since the profit earned benefits a specific person who volunteers for a charitable purpose. The sudden surprise is revealed in each programme with the support of hidden cameras, creating moments of genuine shock and deep emotion on the part of the recipient. The show was produced at the EMG Studios (formerly nobeo Studios) in Hürth, Cologne, with Appelt – who frequently uses lighting solutions from GLP for his TV productions – acting as LD and DoP. In addition to classics such as the impression S350 and impression X4 L, which serve as stage personnel and audience front and rear lights, Appelt has deployed a large quantity of the ultra-compact impression FR1. A total of 162 GLP impression FR1, 57 impression S350 Wash, 40 S350 Spot, 56 X4 L, 18 X4 Bar 20, and 25 pieces of the new FUSION Stick FS16 Z – with the special halo ring around the front lenses – are in use. “I’ve had a lot of experience with the small, versatile FR1s,” says Jerry. “They now play a special role in Quiz für Dich because they really define the visual look of the set. Since these are moving-head devices, we are able to easily position them according to the changing camera axes, which of course makes the work a lot easier.”

The GLP impression FR1 is one of the most compact moving lights available in the marketplace. It has a powerful, homogenised 60W RGBW LED that produces crisp coloured or pure white beams with variable colour temperatures (2,500 K to 10,000 K). The quality of the visual output was the primary focus when the FR1 was being developed. The FR1’s beam remains clean, homogeneous and clearly defined in the narrow area over the entire zoom range (3.5–35 degrees) – the optimal prerequisites for use in front of cameras. The already well-proven impression S350 once again stepped up to the mark, as the designer explains: “Since the set has numerous video elements, I needed a light with enough power to be able to hold its own alongside the other visual media. The exemplary colour-rendering qualities make the S350 a really good tool in TV production environments.” The linear solutions provided by the impression X4 Bar 20 and FUSION Stick FS16 Z offer various decorative backlight effects. “We were able to generate beautiful effects with the zoom function of the FS16 Z Sticks in particular,” adds the designer. Joining Jerry Appelt as members of his lighting crew are Jonas Horney, Andreas Rinne, Daniel Gündner, Ole Güllich and Martin Rupprecht. The Salty Dog Studios in Hamburg were used for prep, pre-viz and pre-programming. Photo credit: Andreas Rinne

TV premiere for GLP impression X5 on finals of Germany’s search for a superstar Deutschland sucht den Superstar (Germany’s Search for a Superstar), better known as DSDS, is one of Germany’s longest-running television hit, having just concluded series 19. For GLP and lighting designer Manuel da Costa, who has been in charge of the TV format for 16 years, this year’s live finals were something special, because 100 of the new, next-generation impression X5 wash lights received their German TV premiere in the MMC Studios in Cologne. Da Costa and Jonas König, from mdc licht.gestalten, created the lighting design for the shows and took the opportunity to integrate GLP’s new impression X5 into the design. In the DSDS finals, da Costa used them mainly as white or camera lights both in front of and above the stage. Da Costa was convinced of the qualities of the X5 after receiving a demo: “In the spring, [GLP’s] Oliver Schwendke and Michael Feldmann provided an X5

Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Sponsor News demo. As a result, the decision was made, together with MLS Magic light + sound as an early adopter, to invest in 100 of these new wash lights,” the designer remembers.

Meanwhile, the tried-and-trusted GLP Inc. management staff remains, headed by long-term operations director AnnaLise Laundrup and Carl Wake, technical director.

MLS magic light + sound is one of the leading technology service providers in the television sector in Germany – and da Costa was one of the first clients to be closely involved in the decision-making process.

Furthermore, to harness and nurture the enormous success GLP has experienced in North America – including Cosmic Truss and Scenex Lighting – the company is actively recruiting at all levels.

When asked what features had convinced him of the X5, he answers: “Its multifunctionality, paired with the high quality in this class.” The GLP impression X5 delivers an extraordinary light output, with a large colour space from 19 powerful 40W RGBL LEDs. Thanks to the new iQ.Gamut colour algorithm, the wash light generates a clean white point with a CRI 90/TLCI 90 at 6,500 kelvin by default. It also offers the option of quickly switching to other fixed colour temperatures, all of which are precisely calibrated and offer consistent colour quality.

GLP founder and CEO Udo Künzler is confident that the momentum will be retained: “Mark has been a great influence at GLP, and has built our US business from the ground up, while at the same time retaining his associations with production designers at the top level across the globe. “This decision gives us the opportunity to open a new chapter for GLP and move onto the next part of the journey. All things evolve, and to preserve his legacy and ensure all his great work is not wasted, we will be actively recruiting.”

With the new super-fast 1:16 zoom mechanism, the impression X5 offers a penetrating 3.5° parallel beam and a homogeneous wash up to 60°. The new lens design, arranged in a circle, enables contemporary effects that can be varied to create fantastic looks, using individual pixel control and pixel mapping as well as the integrated dynamic pattern effects.

“Most gratifying is that we are not losing Mark’s services entirely,” Künzler continues, “and we are delighted that he will continue to help guide our strategy in order to maintain the good relationships that we have built up with lighting professionals.” The final word of assurance comes from Ravenhill himself: “You will still see me at key events across the world, where I will be waving the GLP flag – and I can still be contacted via the same email and cell number!”

“In my day-to-day work, the X5 fulfils the function of a white light fixture on the one hand – and thanks to the additional lime LED, it does it extremely well,” da Costa continues. “This makes the colour spectrum much richer. With the integrated magenta/green correction and the iQ.Gamut colour algorithm, the impression X5 generates really good white. I had tested this in the studio beforehand – and I wasn’t disappointed during production either.”

GREEN HIPPO Hippotizer Karst+ proves catwalk ready for Miss Finland The annual Miss Finland pageant was broadcast live on TV from Helsinki’s Valkoinen Sali hall in September, with contestants strutting their stuff backed by LED screens driven by Hippotizer Karst+ Media Servers.

“The lamp also offers an extensive function and effects package with individual pixel control, tungsten simulation and useful pattern effects when things have to be done quickly,” he adds. “This in turn makes the X5 a genuine show light and gives me more flexibility when designing.

The glitzy event, which crowns a winner who will go on to represent Finland in the Miss Universe competition, is a prestigious event in the country, drawing healthy viewing figures and sparking conversation on social media. It is keen to promote not only outer beauty, but mental strength and charity work showcasing the women of today. Helsinki-based Capital AV was commissioned by Miss Finland organiser, Finnartist Ltd, to create and operate the visuals for the event and design the staging inside the Valkoinen Sali venue, which was built in the 1920s. Capital AV’s Capital Creative arm designed and constructed a triangular catwalk from the hall’s existing stage, allowing the contestants to walk out into the audience and use the space effectively. Upstate and in shot for the TV cameras were two Absen T5 LED screens in a left-right formation with a central entry point space for the participants.

“Last but not least, moving lights such as the X5, which can be used very flexibly at a high level, are a plus point that should not be underestimated in these times of shrinking budgets.”

Mark Ravenhill takes on new strategic role at GLP as company looks to expansion GLP has announced that it will be launching an active recruitment drive, geared at further expansion, following the decision by GLP US Inc. president Mark Ravenhill to take on a reduced role. In a letter to the industry, Ravenhill says he intends to step away from the day-to-day running of GLP’s US operation in order to focus on guiding future global strategy in a more consultative role. He states that “after more than 13 years with the GLP and having taken the North American subsidiary of the company from an idea on a piece of paper to where it is today, I have decided that it is time for a change, and I will be moving from an operational role in favour of a more reduced role.”


| Above: Mark Ravenhill

“We knew that the contest was going to be shown on live TV, so it was important to have the LED screens form a camera-ready, beautiful and soft backdrop for the contestants,” explains Visual Designer Max LapinsuoSylwén from Capital AV. “The screens had to work both in wide shots and close-ups and we mostly ran pre-made, branded graphics but the pre-shot inserts were displayed Set & Light | Autumn 2022

on the screens simultaneously for the live audience. “To achieve this in the most powerful yet simple way, we used a Hippotizer Karst+. It is our workhorse for events of this scale and it has never let us down. It certainly managed this event without breaking a sweat.” Lapinsuo-Sylwén says the easiest solution was to utilize the SDI input on the Karst+ with the TV production company providing them with the insert feed. The Hippotizer was controlled via Capital AV’s grandMA console, using a pre-programmed cue list. “Hippotizer’s compatibility with this console is a feature we love and use almost in every production,” Lapinsuo-Sylwén continues. But what we love most about Hippotizer is its reliability, especially during live TV shows it’s important for us to use equipment we can 100% rely on. Hippotizer has been our number one media server at Capital AV for many years.”

large LED screen upstage centre, and eight LED pillars edging out toward the audience. Taking the throne for media server programming was Matthew Lee, who was approached by lighting designer for the event, Nigel Catmur. “We had two Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 servers, one main and one backup,” says Lee. “LED screens were fed from two 4K canvases, with other outputs used for my own monitoring, and as confidence feeds to the OB trucks. The Boreal+ MK2 servers were chosen for the amount of outputs and inputs required, and their power.” “Having used Hippotizer for a long time, I’m always impressed with the ease of use, the power of the new systems, and that development is continuous. Also the support team are excellent when you need something.” The team was presented with the challenge of tight programming and rehearsal time, with on-site get-in,

In addition to Lapinsuo-Sylwén, the visuals were operated by Antti Huusko, and the lighting operator was Toni Mustikka. The winner of Miss Finland 2022, Petra Hämäläinen, was crowned live on AlfaTV against a sparkling LED backdrop.

Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 drives majestic visuals for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert The eyes of the world were on the incredible Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert in June, to witness a host of big-name singers perform on a specially created stage in front of Buckingham Palace. As the Royal Family, politicians, dignitaries and the public looked on, a show fit for a queen unfolded, backed by LED screen content driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers. More than 200 sq.m. of ROE Black Quartz LED screens, supplied by Creative Technology, were erected on the stage, which surrounded the famous Victoria Memorial statue in front of the Palace. These were split into one Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Sponsor News set up and testing restricted due to the huge number of events and people involved in the wider event. “The dress rehearsal actually only happened on the day, and most of our programming took place overnight, with rehearsals and other events fitted in during the daytimes,” Lee continues. “We also had issues with things such as lightning warnings, which meant the site had to power down for an hour during rehearsal time! In addition, we rehearsed everything in non-linear order, at different times, and with minimal programming time.”

with wraparound LED screen backdrops driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers.

“This is when the ease of use, and the adaptability of Hippotizer meant I was able to tweak quickly and onthe-fly where necessary to achieve our target.”

Rigged to the right of that is a straight 2.6mm screen that is 1920 x 768 pixels or 5 x 2m and there are two further screens – a circle screen above the table is made from 2.9mm flexible LED panel that is 3612 x 172 pixels or 10.5 x 0.5m and another 98” Panasonic display. All of this is VideoMapped using the Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2.

Lee programmed the Boreal+ MK2 using a High End Systems Hog4 lighting console, and the whole show was on a Cue Stack, with various manual buttons for items such as the ‘We Will Rock You’ stabs when the band Queen opened the show. “I used a lot of timecoded content, so we were in Sync with the projection teams, which meant Hippotizer’s Sync Manager was my friend there,” Lee explains. “We also used the NDI send to great effect, as I was feeding into the lighting team’s Depence visualiser.” LED Screen content ranged from live stage feed to custom made content, which was supplied by NorthHouse. Lee and the visuals team also utilised the live feeds to provide IMAG on various screens at certain points in the events, with screens rigged at sequential positions down The Mall for the thousands who were gathered to experience the event. The Concert did, of course, begin in daylight and move into dusk. “The ROE Black Quartz LED enabled me to take control of the LED brightness via sACN from my control desk, allowing me to have fine control over brightness as the concert went from bright daylight, through to fully dark. It also meant we were able to push to its brightest output for the daytime events such as Trooping of the Colour,” he adds. The event was produced by the BBC, with Claire Popplewell as Creative Director, Mark Siddaway as Executive Producer and Cheryl Ko Pearson, Claudia Bishop, Tom Dennings, Jerry Reeve and Matt Flint sharing the Creative Producer role. The stage design was by Stufish, with the Concert directed by Julia Knowles. The Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers and control were supplied by Catslife Media. Highlights of the show included Alicia Keys, Elton John, Rod Stewart and a look back through seven decades of British music with dance group Diversity. The Concert finale saw Diana Ross wow the crowds. The LED screen visuals were complemented by huge video mapped projections onto the façade of Buckingham Palace, and a drone formation displaying Royal crests and celebratory messaging. Image Credit: © Leanne Reader, © Matthew Lee

Viaplay’s new multi-screen studio is on air with Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Nordic Entertainment Group’s Viaplay streaming TV service has a brand new studio in Helsinki, complete


The broadcaster’s built-for-purpose, state-of-the-art studio, designed and ordered by Viaplay and built in collaboration with NEP Finland, features a curved 2.6mm LED screen behind the presenter’s table comprising 4416 x 960 pixels and standing large at 11.5 x 2.5m. It displays live feed, pre-made and branded content as the channels air sport, film and original drama.

Green Hippo’s Finland distributor Amepa Oy was approached by Viaplay’s broadcast studio partners NEP Finland and Sibelius Design to deliver the visual elements of the studio, which is located in the Helskinki district of Vallila. Amepa’s Johan West, who has championed the Hippotizer brand in Finland since 2003, suggested the Boreal+ MK2 as offering the right processing power, robustness and media management system for the job. “The most important thing for this installation was that the media server would have enough rendering power, as the client needed many mixes, sub-mixes and layers that would eat up a lot of computing power,” says West. “That’s the reason why I specified and installed a Boreal+ MK2 – I knew it can handle the task. We also required network capacity using HippoNet, MANet, ArtNet and NDI so all four network ports on the Boreal+ MK2 are in use.” West and his team installed the Boreal+ MK2 in the server room located approximately 40m away from the studio. A network was built consisting of HippoNet, MAnet, ArtNet and NDI between the control room, server room and the studio, covering three studios in total. “I can control everything from wherever is needed,” West continues. “Everything is programmed with short timelines and triggered via an external Zookeeper. The Hippotizer operating team create templates in Adobe After Effects, and we are currently using NDI for running content back and forth between the Boreal+ MK2 and after effects. Two HDSDI live feeds are also going through the Boreal+ MK2 and the placed within custom alpha masks onto the screens.” Viaplay carries a large amount of sports broadcasting, meaning that there are a large amount of logos, pictures, backgrounds and live feeds to process for events such as F1, NHL, skiing and Premier League Football. “The video data driven to the LED walls is two 3840 x 2160 @50hz feeds over fibre to the main studio, and all the LED wall processors are in the studio behind the curved LED wall,” West explains. “I managed to fit all LED into one UHD output of the Hippotizer and those sections are then mapped using the VideoMapper in the Boreal+ MK2, with the second output running the one 4K monitor. “The content mapping is achieved using different viewports with four main and four sub mixes, so a bucketload of layers are in use due to the fact that there Set & Light | Autumn 2022

is a lot of changes for every broadcast! All upright LED strips are also pixelmapped in the Boreal+ MK2.” During live broadcasts, one Hippotizer operator is on-site at all times, programming and creating visuals on the fly. Viaplay’s services include the on-demand subscription streaming service Elisa Viihde Viaplay and V sport and V film pay-TV channels. In Finland Viaplay’s sports rights include a wide range of worlds best sports events like Formula 1, Premier League, Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, NHL, UFC, FIS Winter sports, MLB, golf and much more.

LIMELIGHT LIGHTING Lighting Up The Games After a 16-year break, The Games returned to ITV in May, making its big come back with presenters Holly Willoughby and Freddie Flintoff. The primetime TV show saw 12 celebrities compete in athletics, cycling and water sports for their name on the leaderboard. Broadcast live over five evenings, this was ITV’s flagship show that combined multisport events with celebrity reality TV, as we witnessed the contestants undergo gruelling training and competition. Seamlessly fusing both entertainment and sporting genres was the distinctive lighting design, which was created by one the industry’s highly regarded Lighting Designers, Gurdip Mahal. “Lighting a live show always brings challenges, but The Games extended beyond the usual studio, stadium or

Set & Light | Autumn 2022

location design brief,” explains Mahal. “This involved a range of outdoor and indoor locations, a studio, multisport activities, varying natural light levels [as day turned to night], a stadium and live broadcast audiences.” Gurdip Mahal is one of the most sought-after LDs in the broadcast and entertainment industry. His plethora of original designs extends to TV and music productions worldwide. Closer to home, he has designed looks for shows, including The Wall, Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway, The Great British Sewing Bee, The Big Breakfast and Sports Personality of the Year. “For me The Games lighting design had to deliver anticipation and drama,” said Mahal when questioned about how he developed the lighting scheme for ITV. “A primetime TV show with such a strong celebrity line-up, as well as a live audience [at home and in-person] needs to pull out all the punches. But, in this case, it also had to facilitate a range of serious live sporting events.” The central location for The Games was Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, where the majority of the athletic events took place. Here, the production team at Initial created an outdoor platform and indoor studio where the presenters could seamlessly walk to and from the stadium while still on camera. Inside the studio, Holly and Freddie interviewed guests throughout the live broadcast. As the week progressed, The Games watersport events – including swimming, diving and canoeing - took place at the London Aquatics Centre. While the cycling events were hosted at Lee Valley VeloPark. Both located at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.


| Sponsor News “Working with my Lighting Gaffer, Mark Gardiner and Project Manager, Ed Railton we developed a scheme for the main stadium that involved over 250 moving lights, including the latest Ayrton Khamsins, Martin Professional’s Mac Aura PXLs and Clay Paky Xtylos Aquas.

achieved with high output COB LEDs to produce superior white light. With no variation in quality at any dimming level from 0-100% or across the adjustable CCT range from 2700°K to 6500°K, Studio X Bi-Color Fresnels perfectly match ambient and practical set lighting to show talent in a naturally realistic light. Daylight and tungsten models are also available. Following successful installations into broadcast studios in the USA, Studio X Fresnels, engineered in partnership with Italian broadcast lighting professionals, Quartzcolor, are now available worldwide. “Litepanels LED panels are installed into leading studio facilities worldwide and customers have been asking for a broadcast quality Bi-Color Fresnel series to pair with them,” said Michael Herbert, product manager, Litepanels. “The Quartzcolor Fresnels bring high quality, color accurate output with matching CCT values in robust, broadcast quality fixtures that complement our panels to provide a complete studio solution.”

“We used over 100 Helix S5000 and Cream Source Vortex wash lights in various parts of the stadium, which could be moved as the filming required. To illuminate the track, we installed over 200 Par Cans – a traditional light, but still very much the best light for the job!” explained Mahal. Lighting the presenters and the main studio were ETC Source Four Lustr Series 2 Daylights, Martin MAC Aura XBs, Litepanel Geminis and Astera AX-5s. Mahal’s Gaffer, Mark Gardiner said, “From a logistics point of view, filming across multiple sites meant there was a lot to consider. During the planning process we undertook numerous recces to determine; 1. The number of operators and crew in each location; 2. The effects of the natural light [day to night] during filming; 3. Cable routes, as they could run across tracks; 4. The power regulations for electrical installations near swimming pools.

The smallest model, Studio X2, is a 60W Fresnel with a 5” lens and a spot-to-flood beam angle range of 10°49° delivering up to 2,300 lux at 10ft/3m (spot). The largest model, Studio X7, is a 360W Fresnel with a 14” lens and a spot-to-flood beam angle range of 6°-57° delivering up to 28,116 lux at 10ft/3m (spot). Studio X3, Studio X4, Studio X5 and Studio X6 make up the full range. Studio X3 and larger include RDM-DMX in/out connectors and PowerCON True 1 in/out connectors. All units include 4-leaf rotating barndoors. Advanced thermal management ensures 50,000+ hours of LED engine life. “Fixtures in the Studio X range use up to 85% less energy than traditional Fresnels and, because they emit less heat, can significantly reduce HVAC costs,” continued Herbert. “Broadcasters are increasingly turning to LED lighting to improve their efficiency and we are delighted to offer a combination of LED panels and Fresnels that can help them to minimise power consumption without sacrificing quality.”

Controlling the lights during filming were Mark and Gurdip’s trusted board ops, Ross Williams, Rob Bradley and Shaun Burnett, who operated 4 Hog consoles at all three locations. The Hogs were supplied with the immense lighting, power and rigging equipment by Limelite Lighting. “The guys at Limelite know exactly what we want and frequently invest in new stock to ensure the end production meets Gurdip’s design concept and my own logistical requirements,” explained Gardiner. Upon completing the show, Mahal commented, “This was a big production for ITV and thanks to the production company, Initial and my crew, the lighting design delivered the dramatic scene I envisaged.” The Games finale saw Love Island star, Wes Nelson take first place overall and in the men’s category. While footballer and singer/songwriter, Chelcee Grimes won gold in the women’s category. Over the five-day live broadcast, The Games managed to fuse sport and reality TV to deliver entertainment gold!

LITEPANELS VIDENDUM LITEPANELS LAUNCH NEW STUDIO X HIGHPERFORMANCE LED FRESNEL RANGE Litepanels, a global provider of professional broadcast and cinematic lighting solutions and a Videndum brand, today announced the global launch of its Studio X Fresnel range. The high-performance, energy efficient Fresnels are available in six models with lens sizes from five to fourteen inches. Each model offers directional precision spot to flood beam control of quality white light, perfect for lighting talent in studios. Natural talent light with perfect skin tone rendering is


| Right: Litepanels StudioX5 Set & Light | Autumn 2022

MARTIN BY HARMAN Adlib’s MAC Ultra inventory lights up Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival The main stage of Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival featured a house lighting rig that comprised an impressive assortment of fixtures, amongst which were Martin Professional’s all-LED MAC Ultra Wash, MAC Ultra Performance and MAC Aura PXL. Set within the city’s Glasgow Green on 6th-10th July, TRNSMT had a line-up including Paolo Nutini, Lewis Capaldi, The Strokes, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Wolf Alice and Sam Fender. Adlib supplied the house lighting rig, further complemented by the headliners’ touring lighting packages. The house lighting design was by Adlib’s Andy Green and in-house project management was by Mike Blundell.

Litepanels Launch New Gemini 2x1 Hard RGBWW LED Panel Litepanels, a global provider of professional broadcast and cinematic lighting solutions and a Vitec Group brand, today announced a further expansion of its award-winning Gemini RGBWW LED panel range. Litepanels’ Gemini 2x1 Hard RGBWW LED Panel is brighter than any other 2x1 panel, delivering up to 23,000 lux @10ft/3m of output from a lightweight, compact fixture. Just like the Gemini 1x1 Hard released a year ago, the double-size Gemini 2x1 Hard produces highly accurate full spectrum white light as well as RGB output and a range of creative cinematic effects. It weighs just 25.3 lbs (11.5kg), including yoke and integrated power supply, and has a maximum power draw of just 500W. Twice the size of its smaller sibling, Gemini 2x1 Hard produces an output that is an incredible seven times brighter than the Gemini 1x1 Hard, creating a large volume of punchy light that can be easily softened with a range of diffusers. “Gemini 2x1 Hard produces a greater volume of light than any other RGBWW LED panel available to gaffers and lighting designers today,” said Michael Herbert, product manager, Litepanels. “No other 2x1 LED panel is this powerful or this versatile. We have combined the latest advances in LED technology with cutting edge industrial design to push the boundaries of what is possible with LED lighting for cinema production.” Gemini 2x1 Hard can deliver a powerful 20° beam of accurate hard white light, or seamlessly switch to a beautiful soft 100° wash with included diffusion panels. Users can control and modify without compromising on source. The extraordinary output enables users to deploy a wider range diffusion or reflection tools not possible with less powerful fixtures. With no external ballast, the lightweight fixture is quicker and safer to rig. Ultra-Light and Domed Diffusers are supplied as standard. In addition to its onboard controls, Gemini 2x1 Hard offers a range of wired and wireless control options for easy integration, including integrated DMX, CRMX, and RDM. Like other Gemini fixtures, Gemini 2x1 Hard delivers consistently accurate, flicker-free performance at any frame rate, shutter angle, or intensity with ultra-smooth dimming from 100 percent to .1 percent. Set & Light | Autumn 2022

| Above: Martin MAC Aura PXL at TRNSMT © Euan Robertson

A total of 24 x Martin MAC Ultra Wash, 44 x MAC Ultra Performance and 16 x MAC Aura PXL were deployed on the main stage. Three overhead trusses each featured an alternating design of 8 x MAC Ultra Wash and 9 x MAC Ultra Performance, with a fourth truss containing an additional 17 MAC Ultra Performance. Two side trusses each featured 8 x MAC Aura PXL. Adlib invested early in Martin’s flagship MAC Ultra moving heads, purchasing 100 x MAC Ultra Performance and 30 x MAC Ultra Wash fixtures in preparation for the summer season from Martin UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd. The MAC Ultra Wash and Performance are incredibly bright fixtures offering a 63,000-lumen output for the Wash and 46,500-lumen output for the Performance; a new LED light engine, exceptional colour rendition and optics, and a brand new framing system in the Performance. Their quality and output make them the perfect fixture for daytime festival use. Adlib’s Account Manager, Jordan Willis, commented on MAC Ultras and Aura PXLs “TRNSMT is one of our annual festival highlights, which brings the biggest artists with incredible productions that always push the visual boundaries. That’s why we believe the house lighting rig must provide a solid foundation for headline artists and daytime artists alike. For this reason, as part of our lighting setup, we’ve specified MAC Ultras and Aura PXLs, which are powerful enough to provide a great show for the daytime slot whilst simultaneously adding to the expansiveness of the headliner performance. They have proven extremely reliable, with many visiting LDs commenting on their fantastic operation.”

Siyan supply Martin MAC Aura PXL and VDO Atomic Dots for BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Leading supplier Siyan Ltd recently provided substantial quantities of Martin fixtures including MAC Aura PXL and VDO Atomic Dots for BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend festival. Staged at Coventry’s War Memorial Park on 27 - 29 May 2022, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend featured artists including Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, Sam Fender, Harry Styles, George Ezra, Foals, Disclosure and many more. Siyan deployed a total of 48 x Martin MAC Aura PXL washes and 23 x MAC Viper Profiles on the main


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“For the Queen’s Jubilee, it was important to maintain the traditional feel and the natural look” stage, 60 x VDO Atomic Dot WRM on the BBC Music Introducing stage, and 36 x MAC Aura XBs on the Future Sounds stage. Siyan’s Project Manager for the event was Steve Finch, with Ben Inskip the main stage designer. Steve Finch commented, “We chose the PXL because they are a great versatile, lightweight punchy fixture with added twinkle for creative looks. And as for the Aura XB’s, what can we say - a great industry standard. The VDO Atomic Dots were also specified for their great versatility, for certain looks, and the ease at which they can be configured on site. We can use up to 10 in a line. They can be used as a blinder on one song, eye candy on the next.” The MAC Aura PXL and VDO Atomic Dot form part of Martin’s latest generation of creative LED fixtures. The Martin MAC Aura PXL is bigger and brighter than the MAC Aura, and the first wash light to feature individual pixel control for its 19 main beam pixels and 141 Aura backlight pixels. The VDO Atomic Dot is a superversatile hybrid lighting and video fixture, acting as a small spotlight with video-controlled Aura backlight and a bright blinder/strobe dot all in one fixture. Siyan’s Martin rental inventory has recently expanded with the addition of more MAC Aura PXL and VDO Fatron, with all equipment supplied by Martin UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd. 150 x MAC Aura PXL deployed for the Queen’s Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral Lighting supplier Limelite Lighting provided 150 Martin MAC Aura PXL units for the Queen’s Jubilee Thanksgiving Service on Friday 3rd June. St Paul’s Cathedral is a venue that is steeped in tradition, even when it comes to lighting, the traditional Par 64 has always been the fixture of choice for lighting designers. However, for the Queen’s Jubilee Thanksgiving Service, Lighting Director and Bafta Award winner, David Bishop stepped away from tradition, opting for an all-new LED lighting rig, with the new Martin MAC Aura PXL taking the leading role as the main lighting fixture. David Bishop explains, “For the Queen’s Jubilee, it was important to maintain the traditional feel and the natural look, yet I wanted to increase the flexibility and efficiency of the lighting rig. “The new Martin MAC Aura PXL was ideal. The high lumen output, colour rendering, and zoom range is


exceptional for such a compact fixture and perfect for this application. It allowed me to have much greater control of the colour temperatures, while the remote controllable fixtures meant our focus session was far quicker because we didn’t have to communicate each par fixture to multiple electricians at height. We could also continue to perfect our focus during camera rehearsals without disturbing the production.” Gaffer, Mark Newell adds, “Installing any type of lighting rig at St Pauls Cathedral is challenging – the building was simply not designed with us in mind back in 1675! “Access to the triforium level - where the majority of lighting for events and broadcast is installed - is via a tiny window, just half a metre wide. All the equipment must be winched up the outside of the building, then manoeuvred manually around the Cathedral’s small alleyways. Because the Martin MAC Aura PXL is compact and weighs just 16kg, we could access most areas without too much trouble. Using an all-LED rig also reduced cables and power requirements of this previously power-hungry rig.” Limelight’s investment into the MAC Aura PXL has proved very popular for numerous events, sub hires and broadcast productions. “The MAC Aura PXL has been a fantastic addition to our hire stock,” says Matthew Mountier, Limelite’s codirector. “Being a compact, yet versatile moving light is very appealing for many of the gaffers and LDs that we hire to. They offer a huge range off effects, which makes them the perfect unit for a diverse range of events. Since arriving at our warehouse, they have been on back-toback hire, so they were definitely worth the investment.”

MATTHEWS Matthews C-Stand Shoulder Kitbags Fit Fixed; Turtle-Based Matthews C-Stands Matthews, known for their go-everywhere C-stands and other grip gear now has a more efficient way to transport them to a set or location. The C-Stand Shoulder Kitbag takes the awkwardness out of carrying up to two fixed or turtle-based C-stands in either sizes. The C-Stand Shoulder KitBag features an efficient triangular design packed with ample ABS honeycomb and high-density, closed-cell EVA foam padding for protection against bumps and jolts. Its rugged black, water-resistant ballistic nylon and polyester exterior unzips butterfly-style to reveal a generous inner compartment in high-visibility Matthews signature red lining. Within it, padded dividers separate stands while convenient hook n' loop fabric straps prevent shifting of the contents. For easy access, the Kitbag offers dual-directional easyglide zippers. Additionally, quick catch magnetic grip handles, and a padded shoulder strap ease set-up and tear down. With internal dimensions of 57" x 20.5" x 4" Shoulder Kitbags fit virtually every Matthews C-stand including both sliding and spring-loaded fixedbased versions as well as Turtle-base varieties. Set & Light | Autumn 2022

The C-Stand Shoulder Kitbag is available through Matthews dealers worldwide. For more information on Matthews’ full line of equipment stands and other studio grip gear, please visit or

dynamic and productive ongoing business relationship.”

I’m a Robe iSpiider – Don’t Get Me Out of Here! Robe’s new IP65 rated iSpiider LED wash moving lights passed some serious jungle tests on the latest edition of “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Germany” (Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier rau) … which was recorded at Blyde River Canyon in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

ROBE Artistic Licence (AL), the lighting controls specialist founded by Wayne Howell in 1988, is to be acquired by Robe Lighting

Lighting was supplied by Blond Productions and designed by Mauritz Neethling for production company Triosphere who facilitated the series for franchisee ITV. Normally it would have been shot in Australia, but that was not possible this year due to Covid travel restrictions, so instead they chose South Africa as their new production hub.

AL focuses on the design and manufacture of products for the architectural lighting and entertainment technology industries. The company’s CEO, Wayne Howell — inventor of the Art-Net lighting protocol and recipient of the 2017 Gottelier award — has ensured the longevity of the business through innovation and adaptability. As a result, the company is highly regarded as a solutions provider for the more technically demanding installations, with a broad product range at the leading edge of technology.

The iSpiiders were a new purchase specifically for this show at the start of 2022. This followed a site recce in late 2021 when Mauritz met the German team including director Michael Maier and DoP Roberto Piersanti. When the series was broadcasting from Australia, due to the time difference, they were shooting in daylight from three different areas – the camp, the studio, and the trials locations. However, with SA’s time zone being so close to Europe’s, now everything needed to be lit for night-time transmission.

Robe needs no introduction. As a global leader in moving light design and manufacture, the company embraces innovation, quality engineering and dedication to the very highest production values.

The iSpiiders were used for the show’s studio segment that facilitated the live link up, and the task was to provide location lighting over large distances bringing all the dramatic contoured valleys and bush environment into the foreground and background shots. This even incorporated a waterfall approximately 800 metres away, so lighting had to capture all these spectacular exterior vistas.

Wayne Howell explains the background to the acquisition; “Artistic Licence was born out of my passion for designing and inventing. Over the years we have expanded and diversified our range, and it is now in a form that I am confident will serve the control infrastructure market for many years to come. With the company in a stable and profitable position, it seemed like the ideal time to move onto the next phase of my career. My enthusiasm for inventing has never diminished, and I wanted to have the time to explore new designs and consultancy projects. That said, I will be staying on as a co-director of Artistic Licence. The company’s USP is its technical credibility, and Robe are obviously keen to preserve that reputation.”

| Below: Robe ‘I’m A Celebrity’ in Germany

They used HMI fixtures to illuminate the background and furthest parts of the bush, with the iSpiiders positioned for optimal lighting of the closer backgrounds that were between 10 and 30 metres away from the presenters in the studio. The lighting control position was around a kilometre away with no direct line-of-sight to the studio.

Robe’s global CEO, Josef Valchar, sums up the match as he sees it. “I have known and respected Wayne for many years, so when we heard that things might be changing at Artistic Licence, our interest was piqued. Robe is of course known for moving lights, but lighting technology is interconnected. Time and time again, we find ourselves troubleshooting problems that are nothing to do with our fixtures, but instead related to a bad splitter or faulty network data somewhere upstream. By having control over the infrastructure, we can present our customers with a superior solution that enhances the reliability of the installation.” Robe and Artistic Licence are both companies with a proud history of independence and private ownership. We are committed to innovation and quality, and only manufacture in Europe/UK. With these shared fundamental values, we are looking forward to a Set & Light | Autumn 2022


| Sponsor News Bright and Zack Lowenstein asking Hisham Abed to join the production team as director of photography (DoP). Shot over four months in the spring, 12 x Robe SuperSpikie moving lights were specified by Hisham and the producers to help provide flexible and efficient solutions for lighting ‘permanent’ sets in the Burbank, California, studio where the season was recorded in addition to assorted locations in and around Los Angeles. Skot and Zack have worked together on several previous projects. Skot’s history in music and rock ‘n’ roll touring production and Zack’s background in television make a great synergy and they are known as a class industry double act! Skot underlined the importance of moving lights to a production like this as “essential” to producing the requisite looks and atmospherics needed for the comedy-fantasy-musical genre with “multiple dynamics and some magical touches needed to capture the mood and flow”.

Three iSpiiders were deployed on the studio roof, two were positioned behind the Studio in trees, with one on the jib platform immediately facing the studio. The lights were all purchased with the wireless DMX modules so data can be daisy chained from the first one, saving in cable and time during the set up. iSpiiders were chosen for several reasons including their IP rating so they did not have to worry about rain and other environmental challenges in all these very exposed positions on the studio roof and in the trees. Mauritz loves “the versatility, the accuracy of the colour rendering, the indexable moves and the fact they just work perfectly for television,” he said. The fixtures were certainly put to the test with South Africa’s exceptionally heavy rainfall over the last few months, and they worked every day without fail. Additionally, they stood up well to another major challenge for outdoor lighting – bugs – none of which could penetrate the sealed lenses! Two of Mauritz’ regular crew – Lucky Kilur and Jack Mogoboya – provided his ‘eyes on the floor’ positioned over in the studio, they related information back via Grand Ma network so he could tweak and update his lighting focus positions as needed for the recorded sections. Lighting was programmed by Braam Avenant – using his grandMA onPC with a Node and a Wing – who was highly impressed with the iSpiiders. A different approach was needed when utilising these LED washes as studio lights in an outdoor environment, concluded Mauritz, but “both the director and the DoP saw first-hand the power and versatility of the luminaires,” and appreciated how using them saved a lot of extra kit being needed to create the desired spectacular results.

Robe SuperSpikies have Heads in the Game The pacey, quick-witted, all-action entertainment of Disney+’s hugely popular High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (HSMTMTS) returned to TV screens for a much-anticipated third season, with producers Skot


| Above: Robe Disney+ High School Musical the Musical S3 4 Photo Anne Marie Fox

Hisham has cut some of his DoP teeth in reality television where clever lighting reinforces the authenticity of the genre without making it staged or contrived. It was exactly that aesthetic they wanted for the ‘mockumentary’ / docu-comedy style of Season 3. When it came to choosing actual fixtures, “We needed something small, lightweight, powerful and versatile that fit our budget,” explained Skot, although the final pick was left to Hisham who added, “The lights needed to be quick and easy to set up and program to help us keep pace with the hectic rehearsal and shoot schedule.” Following a demo of the SuperSpikie by Robe North America’s western regional sales manager Adam Camp, Hisham decided on renting 12 units for the duration of the shooting period which covered the eight Season 3 episodes. The fixtures were used for various studio sets, mainly the Theatre / Barn and the Void and were part of approximately 70 or 80 fixtures in total utilized for each set. The ‘mockumentary’ style was characterized by the edginess of multiple Steadicam and hand-held cameras – restless, exciting, and dramatic – and informed by Hisham’s lighting background, these immaculately framed but slightly raw images have become a signature of this season. The challenge for Hisham was dealing with creating the diversity of looks needed whilst simultaneously prepping and rigging the next shots. Being a musical production as well as a TV show, actors and singers were constantly rehearsing, recording tracks and filming. “Luckily all of us on this production were adrenaline junkies who thrive when constantly working and finding answers to new daily and hourly challenges,” elucidated Hisham referring to the frenetic pace! “These SuperSpikies were another weapon in the arsenal” stated Hisham, impressed after the demo, “and were perfect for all our needs.” The Theatre was the main set on which the SuperSpikies were used, which was right at the heart of the musical summer camp being attended by the cast at Shallow Lake. Set & Light | Autumn 2022

The action also included a myriad of backstage shots and scenes in addition to the onstage performances which averaged two full production musical numbers per episode, so the lights were very often in shot for the final cut and had to look good for their own onscreen parts!

profiles for any third-party fixtures, and both Neo and ZerOS consoles will continue to get regular fixture library updates as well. “Whether it’s a production company, concert venue, touring theatre destination, or a lighting designer with their own console, many Vari-Lite users need a way to ensure they have a profile for every fixture every time despite varying rigs,” explains Jon Hole, Global Product Manager, Vari-Lite Controls and Systems at Signify. “Designers want to ‘just get it done,’ with less worry and preplanning, and no need to build—or request—a fixture profile. And they want any console they choose to work great with every luminaire in their rig without being locked into a single manufacturer to get the functionality they want “

“They were an invaluable visual resource that helped us keep the action going, perfect for boosting lighting quickly in a specific or a general area and hugely better and more practical than having someone climb up and down a ladder!” stated Hisham. “A fixture able to switch between classic light characteristics and more contemporary theatrical effects is “a massive asset” concluded Hisham. For one musical number needing a certain gobo effect they utilized a Robe MegaPointe which is a favorite of Hisham’s who has used Robe in his work for several years. He thinks the manufacturer pushes the boundaries with innovation and in producing useful and highly practical fixtures.

“Our customers know that lighting systems aren’t a one-time purchase but a lifecycle of service, and they want the peace of mind to know that their system will continue to operate brilliantly, even when a new console or luminaire is introduced,” adds Martin Palmer, Sr. Product Manager, Vari-Lite Luminaires at Signify. “Adding fixtures should be fast, visualization should be simple and accurate, and creating new fixture profiles—when it needs to happen—should be intuitive and stress free.”

Working closely with Hisham on lighting this “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” season were gaffer Damon Dulas and programmer Wally Sylvia, who have worked together for over 10 years

Vari-Lite announces large scale IP rated luminaire that is lightest in its class

The main technical challenges involved organizing the time efficiently to program the musical numbers, each of which was a mini-production in its own right, and the constant coordination required between the choreographers and the various directors which rotated throughout the season.

Vari-Lite, the originators of the modern moving head and a Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) entertainment lighting brand, today announced the VL3600 PROFILE IP, a large-scale, high output production profile fixture with an IP65 rating. Designed to withstand inclement weather, yet with weight and size comparable with similar non-weatherproof fixtures, the VL3600 PROFILE IP is perfect for touring and TV productions, stadiums and arenas, and large theatres and houses of worship.

In spite of the exacting nature of this production, Skot, Zack and Hisham all reckon it was one of the most fun and imaginative environments in which they have worked, collaborating with many nice and highly talented people all passionate about their craft and disciplines, creating a series reflecting Disney+’s wellknown and exceptionally high production values.

VARILITE Vari-Lite brings industry-standard GDTF support to full luminaire, console product line Vari-Lite, the originators of the modern moving head and a Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) entertainment lighting brand, today announced support for the General Device Type Format (GDTF) in all currently shipping fixtures and consoles, including production luminaires such as the recently launched VL3600 Profile IP, theatrical fixtures like the Acclaim LED Series, and consoles running Neo or ZerOS software.

| Right: GDTF console product line

“Weather-rated moving lights are becoming highly desirable for outdoor and even indoor applications, but current IP65 fixture designs considerably increase the size-to-weight ratio compared to equivalent non-IP rated fixtures,” explains Martin Palmer, Sr. Product Manager, Vari-Lite and Strand Luminaires at Signify. “This makes the fixtures harder to mount and heavier in the rig. The VL3600 PROFILE IP is the lightest in its class, meaning designers no longer need to choose between lighter nonweatherized fixtures or heavier IP-rated ones, reducing the budget and environmental impact of the entire tour.”

GDTF, jointly developed by the GDTF Group, is an industry standard for entertainment fixture profiles, intended as a unified definition for the exchange of data for the operation of intelligent luminaires. GDTF profiles are available for all current luminaires. GDTF support is included in the recently announced ZerOS 7.13 and will also be included in the Neo 4.0 software update, bringing support for the standard to existing FLX, FLX S, and Neo controllers, along with future Vari-Lite consoles. Customers can use the GDTF builder online tool to build Set & Light | Autumn 2022


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“Customers love that it’s a single workhorse fixture that fits in a variety of indoor and outdoor applications” With a 1000W monochromatic light engine producing 85,000 source lumens, the VL3600’s huge output power is ready to light the show from any distance in any weather. Thanks to a CMY+CTO color wheel mixing system, the fixture produces a wide range of rich colors while eliminating the appearance of blades in the lens, improving direct view applications. With dedicated CRI boost and color correction filters, colors render beautifully on stage or on camera. “We really focused on making the VL3600 a workhorse fixture that gives the designers what they need while making life simpler for the crew as well,” adds Palmer. “From a design perspective, the VL3600 PROFILE IP offers a wide set of tools to create the most amazing effects on the largest of shows.” The VL3600 PROFILE IP includes the exclusive VL*FX animation wheel, as well as gobo wheels, a dual prism and frost, framing system, iris, zoom, and focus. “To help the crew, the lighter weight and exclusive V*Track Calibration System reduces the tension in the suspension and addresses the somewhat notorious ‘swing after startup’ issue.” “The response to the VL3600 since we previewed it at Prolight + Sound in April has been tremendous,” says Palmer. “Customers love that it’s a single workhorse fixture that fits in a variety of indoor and outdoor applications, and they rave about the high output, low weight, and strong feature set. It fits well without our portfolio of production luminaires, and it can easily be accentuated with other fixtures in our lineup, such as the VL10 BEAMWASH or VL800 Series fixtures, for the right balance of luminaires from a single manufacturer.”

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand’s display colors take flight with a full lighting solution from Vari-Lite Visitors to The Air Force Museum of New Zealand are seeing its collection of historic aircraft in a whole new light, thanks to a new LED rig and control solution from Vari-Lite, the originators of the modern moving head and a Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) entertainment lighting brand. The museum took the opportunity during a rearrangement of the main Aircraft Hall display area to replace the existing lighting system to the LED rig to dramatically reduce power consumption and provide a more flexible, long-lasting and dynamic solution. More than 100 powerful, honeycomb-lens SL Punchlite 220 fixtures are now installed, beaming rich, blended and saturated colors onto classic airplanes such as a Spitfire, Hudson and Avenger, and washing the space with hues. To control the luminaires in the Aircraft Hall, and for multi-room control of six other spaces including further


| Above: VL3600 Profile IP

display areas, lecture theaters, restrooms and the main atrium, the technical team invested in a Neo Compact 10 Console. A Vision.Net architectural control system has also been installed for a seamless, integrated lighting control experience across all the sites to help the team manage looks, power lighting scenes and simplify management. “We needed a replacement control system that would be able to manage a large number of fixtures, run multiple cue lists, accept inputs from a variety of sources, and run time-based events,” says David Nicholson from the museum, who oversaw the project. “The Neo and Vision. Net combination offers this solution and we are now using the C10 for programming the lighting states in the Aircraft Hall with great success. There were many benefits, including the C10’s compact size enabling us to easily move around the museum doing programming as we moved from plane to plane.” In addition to the lighting, the Neo C10 and Vision.Net duo are also being used to run timeclock-based events such as audio announcements, video playback via screens around the venue, as well as building start-up and closedown each day. The museum’s technical team is using the full-featured Neo operating system software on a PC to control more than 500 desk channels, with regular events activated by its internal timeclock scheduler. “Vision.Net screens provide all the human interface requirements around the complex,” Nicholson explains. “There are touchscreens in five locations, and three physical button panels. The panels allow local control Set & Light | Autumn 2022

leading TV & Film Lighting Professionals. Our guest for Episode 2 is award winning Lighting Designer and Lighting Director Tim Routledge. Tim shares stories and highlights from his career, discusses the challenges of lighting a headline act at Glastonbury, the impact that mobile phones have on a show and what’s in store for 2022. Listen to Lighting for Radio - Episode 2 at podcast or on any major podcast platforms.

Version 2 Lights Ltd acquire Finelight Ltd Version 2 the UK’s foremost lighting rental specialists for the television, broadcast and media production industries, announced today that it completed the asset purchase of Finelight Ltd (“Finelight”) a UK-based television lighting rental company. Finelight’s rental business will merge fully under the Version 2 umbrella with immediate effect. The coming together will benefit existing customers of both parties with a new increased inventory pool. This integration combined with substantial equipment investment reflects the forward momentum at Version 2.

of some features, as well as more general functionality such as turning full complex on or off, putting the system into Event Mode to disable or play announcements and activating on-demand display features.” The Vision.Net system’s preset commands are all monitored by Neo, which in turn runs shortcuts to turn on and off required cuelists. Commands that Neo initiates are run back through the Vision.Net system to keep all Vision.Net screens in sync with the real-world system status. The Vision.Net system also facilitates the customization of each screen depending on its location, as well as password-locked and hidden screens for additional setup and maintenance options. The new rig was designed by Nicholson in collaboration with lighting designer Joe Hayes, as well as Grant Robertson from Christchurch-based Vari-Lite supplier The Light Site, who also managed the initial design concepts of the Vision.Net and Neo setup. Glenn Stewart from Kenderdine Electrical supplied the Neo and Vision.Net hardware and conducted all the Vision. Net programming. Darren McKane from The Light Site did all the Neo cue and integration programming.

VERSION2 Lighting For Radio Podcast – Episode 2 Tim Routledge The ‘Lighting for Radio’ podcast is back offering an intimate glimpse into the lives of some of the UK’s Set & Light | Autumn 2022

Version 2’s managing director Nick Edwards said, “We are excited to integrate Finelight’s inventory into our growing operations. As a preferred supplier to the BBC, Finelight have built up an excellent reputation for quality of service. We’re equally delighted to welcome Simon Perrott to our management team”.Finelight’s managing director Simon Perrott added, “We have got to know Nick and the team at Version 2 over recent years whilst collaborating on a number of high profile shows. We have a shared passion for great customer service, and we’re looking forward to building upon this further with the backing of Version 2 and their large equipment inventory”. Simon a veteran of the tv lighting industry, started his career at Richard Martin Lighting before forming Finelight over 25 years ago. He was involved with some of the first supply of moving lights to studios, working on iconic shows such as Top of the Pops. At Version 2, Simon will be account managing a wide range of shows, including continuing his long standing relationship with leading LD David Bishop. During the course of July 2022, Finelight’s operations will be consolidated into Version 2’s Reading headquarters. Communication channels for both companies in the interim will remain unchanged.

Version 2 supplies lighting and control infrastructure to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party at the Palace TV, broadcast and event lighting rental specialists, Version 2, was proud to supply the moving lights, control, cabling and power distribution infrastructure for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party at the Palace, catering for the needs of all four stages and the audience areas, including the Royal Box, which had been built in front of Buckingham Palace. One of the main highlights of the four days of Jubilee celebrations that marked the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne, the Party at the Palace, took place on the evening and night time of Saturday 4th June 2022. The stunning two-and-a-half hour event wowed the nation and a global audience of 13.4 million


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“Not only were these key elements representative of the 70 years of service the Queen has given the country, they also provided elegant mounting solutions for the moving heads that Nigel used to light the event, and were much easier for the crew to rig and access” viewers, with a dazzling array of technology, and programme of classic performances that began with Queen and ended with Diana Ross. Produced by BBC Studio Events, and with a multistage design by Stufish, the set featured four stages: the Pop Stage and Orchestra Stage which flanked the Palace gates; the Palace Stage that linked the Pop and Orchestra stages; and the central ‘QVM’ stage around the Queen Victoria Monument, connected to the rest of the set by a catwalk. The performance areas were defined by 70 pillars – silk covered truss towers with custom mounting plates - that were designed in house by Version 2 and manufactured locally. “Not only were these key elements representative of the 70 years of service the Queen has given the country, they also provided elegant mounting solutions for the moving heads that Nigel used to light the event, and were much easier for the crew to rig and access,” says Version 2’s Joe Marter. The responsibility and privilege for lighting this momentous event went to lighting designer Nigel Catmur and his team of 5 console operators supported by Gaffer, Mark Gardiner and his team of 12 site technicians, and the team at Version 2. Version 2 was approached by Catmur in January 2022 to supply the lighting after winning the tender process from amongst a strong field of contenders. Both Catmur and Gardiner were happy to have them on board. “I have worked with them many times and was delighted to be working with them on this very special event,” says Catmur. Catmur and Version 2 worked closely together through various developments of the design, adapting kit lists to fit suitability and availability until a final design was signed off in April. This left about six weeks to procure


| Above: - Tim Routledge and Nia Visser

1009 lighting fixtures, most of which were supplied from Version 2’s rental stock, with cross-hire support from close collaborating companies. “Fixture choice is always a balance between budget and availability,” says Catmur. “The budget for these kind of events is never as big as one would imagine, but it helped that I am now so am familiar with what they have in stock. And when they didn’t have it, they were excellent at sourcing and investing in what I needed.” Catmur was adamant from the outset that he wanted Robe BMFL followspots and Robe BMFL Blades as the keylights for all four stages. “Martin Mac Aura XBs were also a given,” he says. “They are a fantastic unit with colours that are perfect for lighting people’s faces for camera, as well as being able to do all those rock and roll chases.” All these fixtures were protected from the elements under cover of the Pop and Orchestra stage roofs, but IP65rating was essential for almost everything else. “As we discovered on site during the build up, the rain could be torrential!” says Catmur. “The IP65 rating was paramount for the majority of the fixtures on the QVM stage and many fixtures on the Pop and Orchestra stages, all of which were completely open to the elements,” says Marter. “Given the nature of the event, the vagaries of the British weather, and the fact the eyes of the world were upon it, it was essential the fixtures were weather-proof.” The most prolific fixtures on site were from those from Cameo. “I didn’t know these fixtures but knew we needed something in incredible quantity, small and waterproof Set & Light | Autumn 2022

provided that reassurance for that specific moment. They are beautiful machines – ferociously bright!” “I was very pleased with the result. It was an amazing event to be part of. We are all incredibly proud of what we managed to pull off!” More on Catmur’s use of lighting for the Party at the Palace can be read on the Version 2 website at: The mammoth task of organising the logistics, and designing and installing the control and distribution infrastructure was the responsibility of freelance gaffer Mark Gardiner and his team of 12 carefully selected technicians. Gardiner has known and worked alongside Nigel Catmur for a very long time, and also for many years with Version 2 and its MD, Nick Edwards. “With no pre-existing infrastructure on site, we literally had to build everything from scratch: stages, grandstands, pillars, etc,” says Gardiner. “My role was to put together the lighting for the show, book the crew, handle the logistics of every aspect from the trucking to the order in which we build the show components. This involved liaising with every department to ensure the correct kit was delivered to site over multiple days to keep the work schedule flowing.”

with a similar look – because I’d be using 3 - 4 units to uplight each of the 70 pillars,” says Catmur. “Joe Marter recommended and sourced them and they turned out to be an excellent choice. They are absolutely superb units. I was genuinely impressed and they were remarkably reliable too. I think we only lost one out of the 142 Cameo Zenith W600 and maybe two out of over 400 Flat Pros, which in the pouring rain is pretty good!” “Lighting the QVM stage was quite a challenge because of its position so far in front of the set up,” says Catmur. “Central lighting positions would obstruct the sightlines up the Mall so we had to push the rigging positions much wider left and right than we would normally want to go. Consequently the angles were very wide and flat, but they worked extremely well and had the added advantage of being able to reach the outer edges of the Pop and Orchestra stages at the rear. “For the QVM stage front light we relied on 12 BMFL Blades and some Astera AX5 on the floor, backed up by 4 Robert Juliat Lancelot followspots and 6 BMFL Robospots. The followspots were rigged in a spot tower behind the audience seating above the press box, at the maximum height allowed, and operated by Dave Scrivens and his team of professional followspot operators from Pro Spot. “I chose the security of the Lancelots because I wanted to be absolutely certain I had the power to cut against the daylight at the start of the show,” explains Catmur. “Given the show starts in daylight and that we had the highest profile band opening the show, it’s a big moment and having that extra power from the Lancelots Set & Light | Autumn 2022

A major part of Gardiner’s remit was to design and install the lighting control system which entailed several kilometres of fibre supplied by Version 2. “From the central, custom-built control desk hub at the back of the south grandstand, we had the best part of 3km of fibre cable running around the site,” he says. “The system was run on over 150 universes of DMX and had 3 types of lighting control across multiple networks on different V-LANs: ArtNet protocol, SACN and MA-Net. Alongside this we also integrated a High End Systems Hog across the sACN part of the network that was looking after all the screen content. This enabled this operator to take control of the brightness of the screens to be able to balance them as the light level dropped. “It took a lot of processing to achieve a seamless integration and that takes a lot of planning from the outset before you even get on site.” This was in no small part facilitated by the team at Version 2. “I was able to give Version 2 my list in advance and they built the control racks to my specification. We then spent 4 days with them at Version 2 HQ prepping all the control elements and building the entire system before moving on site at the end of May, with just a week of build up before rehearsals. “It wasn’t possible to connect of all these elements on site until Day 10, so we built the whole system in the warehouse and linked it together with the actual length of fibre run we would use on site to replicate the ‘real’ conditions. But because everything was physically so much closer together in the warehouse, we were able to make any adjustments in a fraction of the time. It’s so much more efficient than building a system on site and we knew it all worked before we even got on site.” Full connectivity on site involved working with all the TV and sound departments to run cabling through subterranean tunnels and ducts, which in turn had to be organised with the Parks Authorities for the police to


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search the ducts beforehand and have an overview that it was safe once the lids went back down. “It all came together and worked on that first day – brilliantly and with no major problems,” says Gardiner. “It’s actually quite a big moment - you would be surprised how pleased you are as a team when it all goes right! The prep beforehand is invaluable, and not something that all production companies understand but BBC Events gets it entirely – they trust us to deliver - and Version 2 is exceptionally good at it. “Version 2 understand what is needed to put on a show of this scale and were completely unfazed by it. It’s the little details that they are so good at facilitating. Joe Marter in particular as the account manager was just amazing. Nothing was a problem for him and he supported me very well, giving me excellent options each time I had a query. “The whole team are very happy to oblige and help in any way. The quality and reliability of their kit across the board is brilliant and we had hardly any swap outs. They did a great job. They should be very proud of themselves.”

| Above: GettyImages1241108663Credit WPA Pool

Whitelight In the past months, ELP Broadcast provided lighting, rigging and OB power services for many broadcast events including HRH Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee, National Eisteddfod, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Easter Service, Pentecost, Young Musician, Morning Live, and Steph’s Packed Lunch. We were also honoured to have played a vital role last month in the subsequent events which followed the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. With the deployment of 80 tonnes of lighting provisions all across the UK, the team worked on multiple sites throughout the official mourning period, including Scottish Parliament, Llandaff Cathedral, St James’s Palace, St Giles, Westminster Abbey, and St George’s Chapel Windsor. In addition to this, the team also provided lighting within the news presentation studios of Methodist Central Hall Westminster and Windsor Castle.

“It was a genuine privilege to partner with the BBC, Nigel Catmur and his team for this once in a lifetime production,” says Version 2’s Nick Edwards. “The end result was truly stunning, the plaudits for Nigel’s design are still ongoing – I’m sure this production will be talked about for many years to come!” Edwards concluded with praise for his team “I must give huge kudos to Joe Marter for heading this one up so diligently. Credit to our Operations team, it was a herculean effort to pull off a job of this magnitude so well.” For a full report on this story please visit the Version 2 website at


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