Set & Light 137

Page 1

Winter 2022 | Issue 137 Inside |
04 | Showlight page 17
The STLD at Strictly Come Dancing page
From the Society of Television Lighting and Design

Editor: Emma Thorpe



Production Editor: Louise Ferne

Sponsor news: Emma Thorpe


Advertising: Emma Thorpe


Cover photo: Martin Christidis

Design by: Originate Design

Printed by: Gemini Print

Deadlines for the next issue:

Editorial: 12th May 2023

Advertising: 5th May 2023

Advertising is accepted only from sponsor members of the Society

WELCOME to the Winter issue...

It has been difficult to follow the last issue, as many of our active LD’s were so busy with the Queen’s funeral. Catching up with their other work which had to be postponed, asking them to write something was a challenge!

We have several great visits planned for 2023, so keep an eye on your emails for details. If we don’t have an email address for you, please do let us know so we can contact you.

I am always looking for short stories on how you lit or designed a programme, so please do send them in to for future issues.

Keep an eye out for our AGM email. We are meeting on the 20th March. Put the date in your diary!

Deadline for our winter issue will is 12th May.

Emma Thorpe Editor, Set & Light

Notice is hereby given that the 49th Annual General Meeting of the STLD will be held at Cirro Lite (Europe) Ltd, 3 Barretts Green Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7AE on 20th March 2023 at 19:30


Set & Light | Winter 2022 3 MAGAZINE
© Society of Television Lighting and Design 2023
Contents | 05 | 20 | Below: Diffusion Comparison Tool 04 Strictly Come Dancing 14 Book Review 16 Obituary Tony Slee 17 Showlight 20 Product Review 22 Sponsor News 45 Society Committee 46 Society Sponsors

The STLD at Strictly Come Dancing

The STLD at ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is back! Not surprisingly this award-winning corner stone of the BBC autumn schedules attracts large numbers of students wanting to see how it is made and to meet the team that make such a dazzling variety of lighting looks every week up to Christmas. For reasons we know all too well the last ‘Strictly’ meeting was in 2019, but at last in 2022 we were back, and were delighted to meet so many students as well as a few of our regular members.

Lighting Designer David Bishop took over ‘Strictly’ in 2019 after being the programmer for many years before, putting him in the ideal place to move the design forward, but how do you improve a show that everyone knows and loves? Needless to say David had views.

David started the meeting by introducing his team, starting with Darren Lovell who had been a programmer on ‘Strictly’ for all but two of the nineteen years ‘Strictly’ has been made. Next (in no particular order, as they say) is Tom Young, a programmer who has been making waves in recent years showing remarkable creativity in the light entertainment world. Tom has experience working on live events including arena tours, theatrical productions as well as the biggest of TV shows. David’s third programmer is Matt Lee, who is the graphic content programmer. This post is one of the changes that David introduced, he used to programme all the intelligent lighting as well as driving the Hippotizer servers feeding the screens and projectors. But over time the number of lights had increased and the use of graphics become more complex, as well as the use of the screens expanding to all around the studio. His work-load had become unreasonable, and the addition of the third programmer not only eased this, it allowed the graphic programming to advance.

So to explain the roles, Tom has all the flashy colourful

4 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Strictly Come Dancing
| Below: Programmers Matt Lee, Darren Lovell and Tom Young, with Richard Shout behind


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lighting that creates the excitement and the moods, Darren has all the face lighting including the follow spots, and Matt delivers all the graphics to the screens. David talked about the 800 or so fixtures now in use on the show, which include about 70 of his favourite work-horse fixtures the Robe MegaPointe which make the signature beams looks. His other favourite fixture is the Clay Paky B-Eye K15, and also Ayrton Mistrals – picked particularly for their size and shape as they do the beams from around the dance floor and so are in shot much of the time. One of David’s goals has been to try to make all fixtures colour-mixing to make it easier to match colour palettes across fixtures and apart from a few legacy units he has now achieved this. New in the rig are some Robe Fortes, in particular for key light positions. A collection of Mac Aura XBs around the dance floor are used during group numbers when there are too many people on the floor to light using the follow spots.

A number of Mac Vipers light the set, and another new feature this year was the Robe Tetra2 linear bars replacing the GLP X bars provided by the previous supplier. The list goes on and on, but as David explained, the cameras look in all directions – through 360° including up to the grid, where a set of 2 cell lights help to create a ceiling.

There are also a lot of LED products – all provided by Light Initiative – lining the set pieces and balconies, a huge 4km in total. David has managed to get most of it to be Ivy Intelligent LED strip, all adding to the depth of the effects offered. So all of these effects lights are on one desk run by Tom Young.

The art of making faces looking good is at the heart of all TV lighting, and Darren Lovell looks after that from his desk, balancing the fourteen follow spots to allow for the changes of relative distance of the spots to the dancers as they move around the floor. Keying of special fixed positions such as judges chat and interview set-ups are mostly moving lights now but still balanced by Darren. There are often moments when one of Darren’s face lights is in the ideal place for Tom to light the set, and the MA3 control system allows different operators to access the same lights, blurring the edges of who controls which lights still further! The upstairs chat area used to be lit with a series of small fresnels, but as the placing of presenters and guests started to wander it became easier to use just soft lights. And not just easier, presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman have commented that they look better there than the other areas – well everyone does in soft light!

One of David’s goals when he took over the lighting for ‘Strictly’ was to go more theatrical. A hall-mark of the show has always been good face lighting, but he wanted to go a step further, introducing more colour and shape into the performances. The way he sees it is that the interviews and judges moments need to be as if they are from a glossy magazine with key lights over the cameras, but the performances are pieces of theatre, and David tries to keep appropriate balances on faces even when the Steadicam roves through 360° around the dancers, always keeping the key light angles away from the camera lines. He uses Robert Juliat Alex spots in what might be considered the Front of House position, with four RJ Gingers in the corners

6 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Strictly Come Dancing

for the dances. Back spotting is with RoboSpots, and David hopes to change the Gingers to RoboSpots next year.

The stage is in effect a thrust stage with audience either side making normal cross light impossible, but that is where the floor lights come into play.

The third operator is Matt Lee who controls the graphic content for the collection of screens. The graphic content is provided by Potion Pictures, largely with discussion with the production creatives. The content design might arrive designed to work to timecode, or even a collection of elements to be programmed to the performance. In its simplest form the video programming is just delivering the right graphic to the right screens at the right time, but it can quickly develop into manipulating and re-colouring as the design for each performance develops. On-site graphics designers can modify as they go along too, and they simply reload the new content to the server.

The two MA3s and Matt’s Hog 4 are in the lighting gallery, a Portakabin outside which a legacy from the Covid days. When the pandemic hit, it was necessary to create more space so that the team could stay together in an environment which allowed them to communicate freely, whilst preserving the distancing required. The cabin and its layout has been such a success that BBC Studioworks has now purchased the cabin and it is used for every show at GL2. For those who like statistics the MA has 41,000 parameters over about 100 universes, and Tom’s desk also drives about 4km of LED strip, much of this is now Ivy Intelligent tape. One of the tricks used to get the variety of looks this show needs is to turn off the LED strip that lines the iconic curves of the set occasionally, and to help with the contrast there is now a new material in front of the LED strip, called ‘Secret Sign’ designed to look black under ambient light.

A recent and significant change David introduced in 2020 is to set the camera colour balance from tungsten to a cooler colour, so improving the camera response to the different light sources and their colour ranges, in particular to allow better colour rendition in the blue spectrum of the Megapointe. As a discharge source fixture, a cooler lineup allows for more differentiation between blues, cyans, purples and pinks

David went through the weekly schedule, which usually starts on a Thursday, although unusually this week it had moved forward a day to fit with World Cup broadcasts. On this first studio day the crew set up any specials for that week, while Tom gets tracks for each performance striped with time-code which he used to build looks

Set & Light | Winter 2022 7
“One of David’s goals when he took over the lighting for ‘Strictly’ was to go more theatrical. A hall-mark of the show has always been good face lighting, but he wanted to go a step further, introducing more colour and shape into the performances.”
| Pictured: David Bishop talking to STLD members

based on the style document provided by production. By the end of that day they have working versions of each sequence. Day two each couple get 20 minutes each to rehearse on the dance floor during which they perform their routine 3 times. The team then block through all the presenter sequences.

That takes them to Saturday, when each couple have a further ten minutes (two runs of their routine) each, followed by the dress rehearsal. The studio then rehearses the guest act music performance, refreshes the opening sequence with the presenters and then goes live to air. After the show and a short break they all return to record the results show for transmission the next day.

The graphics used for ‘Strictly’ have become a very significant part of the look of the show over the

8 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Strictly Come Dancing
“A new feature that has appeared in the last few years is the use of Augmented Reality graphics, where 3-D imagery is synchronised to just a few cameras giving the viewer at home stunning visual effects.”

years, and David explained that the floor was achieved using six 20k projectors. The trick to keeping the projection looking good on camera was to keep as much light off the floor as possible. Key lights where needed, particularly for special 3D or perspective floor projections are floor mounted Diablo profiles that cut right off the floor, and larger numbers make use of the line of floor washes either side of the dance floor. Follow spots have to keep irising down to avoid their spill becoming too large, while the graphics programmer sets a mask for any static positions to keep the projection off the dancers’ faces. On occasions the black dot used as a mask was instead used to become a white dot, to become a lighting source for a bit of backlight, or top light, particularly for props and scenic items.

A new feature that has appeared in the last few years is the use of Augmented Reality graphics, where 3-D imagery is synchronised to just a few cameras giving the viewer at home some stunning visual effects. Sensors on the cameras tell the graphics server where as well as what they are looking at by detecting markers in the studio grid, and together with feedback from the zoom and focus controls they get the graphics to fit, move and react with the shots. David found that what made this work best was to match the lighting to the graphics as well as the graphics to the lighting, so blurring the lines between reality and graphics further. Some spectacular results have been achieved, notably a snow dome scene, and a dance that started and finished on top of a very high building. There is no doubt that this clever innovation works better with some designs than other – David recalled an elephant that appeared once, and clever that it was it was never going to look real. The more abstract designs generally work better, but the key has certainly been to work with the designer to light the digital items as if they were actually in the studio within the graphics, and to light the real items so they share the same quality as the virtual ones.

Set & Light | Winter 2022 9

The show returned to Blackpool this year, for the first time since Covid. The dancers love this outing to what they see as a landmark of the dancing world, but of course it is a lot of work for the technical departments. The floor in Blackpool Tower Ballroom is not great for projection, and rather than try they instead dress the floor with 12 Robe Fortes fitted with custom gobos.

The students were invited to ask questions, and here is a selection.

Q. Do you use pre-visualisation?

A. David uses Wysiwyg for drawing his plot. There is no time in the schedule for previsualization and of course they get a day in the studio to work on looks before the camera rehearsal anyway. Tom has an issue with Wysiwyg pre-visualisation in that you can’t set the colour point for your camera settings and so the colours are not accurate. When he needs to Tom uses dummy palettes for pre-programming then transfers to the real palettes for the show to get around this, but not on ‘Strictly’.

10 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Strictly Come Dancing
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Q. Do you ever use lasers?

A. Very rarely! The safety considerations with the BBC are quite a limitation. Also to look good they really need a lot of haze, and this can be a problem in a live show as you don’t want it all the time.

Q. Favourite fixture?

A. Maybe the MegaPointes and the B-Eyes

Q. How long is the studio build time?

A. The build time is about three weeks, largely because the set is such a big build including balconies and a sprung dance floor. Lighting is rigged on trusses and hung from the studio beams, then after the build the only access is by cherry-pickers.

Q. How much do you use the mirror ball?

A. Not as much as we used to. It gets used for the last dance, with its effect enhanced by graphics, but otherwise maybe every other week.

Q. Do you remember any very tricky performances?

A. In Musicals week there was an eight minute medley that was packed with lighting cues, and two hours is just not enough. It also featured a large yellow set piece that they had to keep hidden till an appropriate moment!

There was one dance with John and Johannes which featured so many drapes all the usual lighting was masked. David realised the only set of follow spots which would work were not at all in an ideal position conventionally, but decided to try it. As it turned out, the effect was stunning and to this day we often deploy what they now call the “John & Johannes spots” configuration.

Once in a while they get to the run on the Friday and decide they hate what they have done for a performance, and just have to start again. Luckily this does not happen often, but it does happen.

Q. How did it feel going from programmer to LD?

A. I found there was far more work outside the show days, with all the meetings and phone calls. For the first time it felt like a grown-up job and I spent a lot of time building my team and my relationship with them. You have to learn to handle the pressure, and although programmers have pressure too, they are more focused in the moment whereas as an LD you have to keep thinking ahead, often juggling between other shows at the same time.

The contract to supply the lighting is now with Version2 who have recently taken on Simon Perrott and all the equipment he had with Finelight, the main equipment supplier in the past, and we thank Nick Edwards of Version2 for sponsoring the meeting.

The meeting attracted close to 100 guests, mostly students, and as a healthy sign of the times the gender split was more or less 50:50.

We also thank David Bishop, Gaffer Mark Newell, Head of Technology Richard Shout, and the three programmers – Darren Lovell, Matt Lee, and Tom Young for giving up their time to let this meeting take place.

12 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Strictly Come Dancing
Set & Light | Winter 2022 13


Automated Lighting Programmer’s Handook

4th Ed. by Brad Schiller.

Words: Paul Middleton

Brad Schiller is a self-confessed Lighting Geek, who has over 30 years experience as a lighting programmer. He has worked for a number of high profile industry companies alongside his authoring, instructing and consultancy work. He currently works as Senior Business Development Manager for Martin by Harman in the US, but I first met him when I organised the LED shootout at Earls Court in 2011 when he was working for Barco. His “formative years” were spent at High End Systems and Flying Pig Systems.

I already have two, of the three, previous editions of his Automated Lighting Programmers Book and looking back to the first edition from 2011 it shows that the equipment to control automated lighting, and the lights themselves have evolved considerably over that time. Recent introductions to the book include GDTF (General Device Type Format) which is a file format intended to define the properties of a lighting fixture in a format that lighting desks can universally understand, thus making it easier for desk programmers to get the best out of each fixture. Alongside that is

the growth of fixtures with multiple elements, which can often use up a complete universe for a single fixture.

So is this a book worth buying? If you are new to desk programming then this will provide a great starting point of the techniques you need to understand if you are intending to make a career as a Programmer. There are other books that cover some similar ground, and you will ultimately find that the basic concepts of most consoles are pretty similar– they just have differing levels of features, and cost. So having a road map to the skills you need to know is a great asset and this book provides that. There will probably be few local libraries that will stock it, so buying a physical copy in hardback or paperback or getting the Kindle version are lilely to be your only choices.

If you are new to the industry then the hardest fact is that few people want to share their knowledge, for fear that you will do them out of a job and whilst many college courses include some form of console training, there is a shortage

of really skilled programmers, who also have the magical skill of being a good teacher. The layout of the book has evolved with each version and includes some sections you may not have actively thought about, but with events at various venues such as the Ariana Grande concert in the UK, and the Bataclan theatre in Paris, it is very worthwhile having some plans for dealing with emergency situations.

Very recently I had an experience where a venue refused to unlock an Exit that was clearly marked as a Fire Exit, because they had no staff to monitor that exit, and didn’t want to take the risk of people sneaking in through it! I had to make sure that the cast, knew about the situation and had alternative exit routes and lighting to the route.

The glossary at the end is a very useful and shows that at least in the entertainment world, programmers speak the same language and use the same terms regardless of whether they are English, or American!

As my personal background is from mainly a theatrical background I’ve never had to worry about busking many shows, so I was hoping there might be a detailed section of advice

14 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Book Review

find the options to purchase: The Automated Lighting Programmer’s Handbook, 4th Edition

ISBN 9780367653255

Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge

or examples on creating Busking setups, but there wasn’t so I’ll just have to carry on looking on YouTube, for useful (and not so useful) tutorials. Brad’s Appendices looking back at 20 years since the Syndney Olympics and his chat with Broadway Lighting Programmer Scott K. Tusing are great. When I see a picture of someone else with 6 extra monitors and a laptop, as well as the dual screens of the main desk, I know I’m not the odd one out!

I will quote from one section of the book “... when I wrote the frst edition of this book, I did not include any specifc information about LED lighting, as it was not prevalent in our industry at the time. Then in the second edition I created a chapter specifcally addressing the “new” concepts that were unique to programming LED luminaries. By the third edition, I eliminated the LED chapter, as LED lights had become a standard part of our portfolio of fixtures. I merged the previous data into the relevant chapters to ensure that none of the essential information was lost. It is truly amazing how quickly LED technology became a standard part of lighting and programming. Now at the time of the fourth edition, it seems that nearly all modern automated and conventional lighting products are LED based.”

I only get to program occasionally nowadays, as lockdown led me to other work in the virtual world, but as we return to normality (at least in the UK) there is going to be a big need for new people to replace those, who for whatever reason, have left the industry and this book will give good guidance to get you started.

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Tony Slee

1949 - 2022

Late 2022 we heard that Tony Slee had died. Tony had worked for years in the Rock and Roll world of touring, before being taken on by Ronan Willson to be part of ‘Meteorlites’, and later ELP. Back in the 1980s Tony still came out on site to be crew chief on the bigger shows, but settled into being a client manager before retiring. His larger than life personality and relentless sense of humour endeared him to everyone he met, everyone seeing him as a best friend. He might have gone but stories about him will live on for many years, he is such a big loss to lighting and to television, and to everyone who knew him.

A good friend of his, Dave Smith of ‘Specialz’, wrote this tribute:

“It’s with the utmost shock and sadness to learn of Tony Slee passing.

His humour and attitude made the hardest and most difficult show fun to be involved with, something that spread to everyone on the crew. His humour, personality and demeanour were infectious and encompassed all who worked with him.

With the endless stories, anecdotes, wind ups and quick witted quips, Tony put the fun back into touring and all the one off shows we did together. He had an innate ability to spin any problem or situation and get a laugh. The shows in which he was involved, were not just a job, it was something to look forward to.

I will forever treasure the great memories of the complicated and convoluted wind-ups that would end in side splitting-laughter when sprung.

It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and I’m proud and honoured to be considered a friend of nigh on 40 years; he was a one of a kind. In the last few years contact has been through frequent long phone conversations that, well, discussed everything and nothing at the same time.

A light has dimmed in my life and many others around the world. Thanks for the great stories, all the laughs. Above all, thanks for just for being you.”

16 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Obituary

Showlight 2023 Postponed

Date: 20-23 May 2023

Venue: Théâtre Municipal, Fontainebleau, France

It is with great sadness that the Showlight Committee announces the postponement of Showlight 2023. The popular quadrennial networking event was due to take place in Fontainebleau, France from 20th – 23rd May 2023.

In a statement from Showlight, Chairman John Allen explains the reasons behind this decision:

“It is after lengthy consideration and with much deliberation that we have decided to postpone Showlight 2023. The plans and preparations for Showlight in Fontainebleau have been underway since 2018 and although the Covid lockdown took two years out of our work, it was always our intention to hold Showlight in 2023 following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

“Fontainebleau is a beautiful town with an intimate theatre and a wonderful chateau as well and it is an ideal place for our quadrennial event. Plans progressed

with this aim in mind. However, developments over recent weeks have raised concerns about the viability of holding Showlight next year. The major problem is that of costs for the event which have risen considerably at a time when inflation in the UK and across Europe is rising.

“When we first budgeted for Showlight in Fontainebleau, in 2018, the future looked good, but the combination of Covid, the current political and economic state in Europe, and more recently, uncertain final costs for the event, have put Showlight in severe jeopardy of failure, both with the standard of our unique event and also in its cost.

“As a result, the directors of Showlight Ltd have decided that we need to postpone next May’s event. I know that this will come as a shock to many, I am also very disappointed and quite despondent

that we have had to reach this decision but there is no alternative at present.

“I would like to thank all those who have wholeheartedly supported us in our work so far and the delegates who so faithfully return to Showlight on each occasion. In the early part of 2023 we will be holding a committee meeting to determine where Showlight goes from here and will keep you updated with all future plans.

“Thank you for your support and understanding.”

Facebook: @showlightevent

Twitter: @Showlight2023

LinkedIn: @showlightevent

Set & Light | Winter 2022 17 | Showlight 2023


Showlight has been a highlight of the lighting calendar since it started back in 1981, created out of part of the entertainment section of the National Illumination Committee. Only happening every four years – it is far too much work to have it more frequently – it has become a highly-valued institution, bringing together lighting people from across the spectrum into a unique atmosphere of learning and networking with a careful balance of lighting professionals, lighting companies, and lighting students. Under a succession of chairmen and committees we have been treated to excellent papers both amusing and informative, retrospective and innovative. In my time under the management of John Watt, Ian Dow, and John

Allen we have been treated to some memorable occasions in spectacular surroundings, and every time we have had three days of papers by speakers from around the world in a mix unmatched at any other event. If proof was needed of its success just look at the people who would make sure they would get to every Showlight once they had experienced it.

So what has happened and why is it going wrong now? There is no doubt that the pandemic has had its part to play in the latest decision, with many lighting practitioners having to be cautious about committing to an additional expense as well as blocking out time in an increasingly freelance world. It’s not that they won’t come,

but they appear to be leaving it a bit late to commit. Showlight in its current format bears a huge financial responsibility, relying on several things to make it work:

• Speakers: Showlight needs about 30 papers to fill the schedule, and they need to be of the quality and spread of interest that delegates have come to expect

• A main venue: somewhere with a wow-factor

• A conference dinner venue, also with its own wow factor

• Enough tours that can be offered for the ‘visits’ afternoon

• City infrastructure; hotels, restaurants and transport links

• Sponsors with deep pockets!

To start with the last of those, ‘Robert Juliat’ were already committed to

18 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Showlight
| Picture: David Clark Courtesy of Showlight

be the latest in a line of extremely generous benefactors, not just offering very large sums of money but also giving practical help with local contacts and influence, and a host of other sponsors had already expressed their wish to contribute. But despite the help of sponsors Showlight still relies on a heavily subsidised venue to make the event work, and on this occasion we had the free use of a small theatre in Fontainebleau, with just staff costs to pay. The venue even had the required wow-factor not least for being next to the medieval Palace of Fontainebleau. The Showlight committee had every reason to be optimistic that 2021 would be another conference to remember, right up to 2020 and the outbreak of Covid-19. For a while there was

hope that the pandemic would go away in months which of course did not happen. But even then there was concern that the impact of Covid to the financial state of the industry might have affected the numbers wishing to commit to attending, and Showlight 2021 was postponed. Many of you will have joined in with the first Virtual Showlight which replaced Showlight 2021, meeting the fashion for networking from the safety of your own computer, and the papers were excellent and are still available to watch on the Showlight website. But of course we missed the networking, and the virtual chat-rooms included with the event proved not as popular as the bars and the captive audience at a live event. It was also not without its costs, and it

was felt Showlight could not charge for attendance, instead asking for voluntary donations to lighting charities.

So that brought us to the end of 2022 with the next Showlight being planned for May 2023, when the financial modelling started to look worrying, not the least as Showlight is not a company with the option of insolvency. The UK’s separation from Europe was making movement of equipment to France for the event much harder, the financial crisis was making financial planning less certain just at a time when some substantial payments would be due, and the committee began to be concerned about who might actually be able to come. Coupled with a few uncertainties with the location (for one, the local restaurants all traditionally closed on Sunday nights) a decision had to be made, and Showlight 2023 was postponed. Many people have since asked what went wrong, and I suppose the answer is not so much what actually went wrong, but more what might well have happened that would be very undesirable, and postponement again seemed the only choice. But I think the recent history of what has happened does raise questions about the future of Showlight, and whether the traditional Showlight template used up to now is fit for the future.

My view is that Showlight has become too expensive to be affordable in current times. Delegates have to not only pay to attend, they have to block out the best part of a week of their time months in advance, pay for transport and hotels, and without that early commitment from delegates there is a danger of the event not meeting its ambitions, let alone its financial needs. Yet cutting any of the parts of Showlight in an attempt to save money will no doubt dilute the event itself, with it becoming more affordable but less attractive. There is no doubt some serious decisions need to be made to keep this wonderful institution going, and if you have views on this I would be really interested to hear them. Maybe you would consider offering your time to help organise Showlight – new committee members with new ideas would be very welcome. Showlight has lost a little momentum for now but with some enthusiasm, some fresh thinking, and not a little hard work, there is no reason why it can’t come back as big as ever.

Set & Light | Winter 2022 19
“Showlight has lost a little momentum for now but with some enthusiasm, some fresh thinking, and not a little hard work, there is no reason why it can’t come back as big as ever.”


The Diffusion Comparison Tool

When London-based Cinematographer Richard William Preisner, decided it would be useful to have a simple and accessible visual reference to help him choose the perfect lighting diffusion materials, he couldn’t find exactly what he was looking for, and I know the feeling… Necessity being the mother of invention, he decided to make his own “Diffusion Comparison Tool.”

Through his work in commercials and music videos, Will was already aware of the importance of diffusion lighting filters for creating flattering images and like most of us, found himself using the same diffusions over and over again – 216, 250, 251, etc. – usually because they were what was available on the truck or in the lighting store.

Will, however, wanted to fully understand and compare the effects of all of the available diffusion materials. So, he reached out to Rosco and began comparing each of their popular e-colour+ diffusion

materials and exploring how each one could be integrated into his creative process. Knowing that other DoP’s and LD’s would benefit from what he was learning, he gathered his findings and posted them onto his website; www.

The Diffusion Comparison Tool is a web application for comparing Rosco’s diffusion material and it’s an easy way to explore how each material works independently, then

analyse how one material performs versus the others.

As you scroll down the page, you see a short video for every Rosco e-colour+ diffusion and bounce material. Each video allows the viewer to examine the effects of one particular diffusion by showing the same setup with, and without diffusion.

Every 30-second video begins with a model test and then followed by a

20 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Product Review

shadow test using a still life of everyday objects. Each video uses the same setup – a 1K tungsten fresnel placed 10 feet away from the model or the still life. The diffusion frame is placed four feet away from the model or still life, in between the light and the subject.

The model tests begin with a head & shoulders shot - lit through the specific diffusion - followed by a closeup using the same setup. Then the video repeats to show what the setups look like without any diffusion. This allows the viewer to evaluate how the light falls on the model, with and without the diffusion featured in that video.

Following the model test, there is a shadow test. Using a similar setup, this section displays the still life with and without diffusion. This allows you to examine how that particular diffusion affects the shadows in a shot.

Each video also provides the viewer with valuable data in the upper left corner, including the stop-loss of each diffusion and any perceived colour temperature shift.

I’m sure most people using this helpful tool will want to have this available on set while they’re shooting and there are instructions on the website on how to save this information to your mobile device for quick and easy access.

For those that are truly in a hurry, there is a Diffusion Comparison PDF with still frames from all of the videos in one handy document.

I personally found it really interesting what the different diffusion materials did to the light and subject and I hope you do too.

The Diffusion Comparison Tool can be found at:

To learn more about all of Rosco’s Filters and Diffusions:

Will Preisner’s cinematography & photography website:

Set & Light | Winter 2022 21


PROLIGHTS has just announced the release of the Smart BatWash, a high-powered, compact LED Wash light that can be operated wirelessly or wired.

The Smart BatWash has 15x 20W RGB + Warm White LED emitters, outputting a powerful 6,300 lm light in a fully IP65 body.

Its long-lasting battery has a selectable range from 3h mode on full output up to 18h mode on a reduced brightness level. The Smart BatWash has Wireless DMX (W-DMX and CRMX), a PowerCon True in and out connectors and DMX in and through. The power cables, when in use, will bypass the battery and enable higher brightness levels.

The beam angle can easily be adjustable through magnetic beam shaper filters, including 25º, 40º and 60º x 10º, allowing a broader coverage whilst keeping a high output.

The Smart BatWash’s lightweight, powerful output and small size make it a must-have fixture for any rental, touring or corporate events company. This fixture is also “Spektra™ Calibrated”, sharing the same colour calibration standard as some other luminaires by PROLIGHTS.


Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser to leave ARRI

After more than four successful years at ARRI, Executive Board member Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser has decided to devote himself to new professional challenges.

“On behalf of the Supervisory Board, I would like to thank Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser for his outstanding efforts and accomplishments for the ARRI Group. We very much regret this decision and wish him all the best for the future, both personally and professionally,” declares Prof. Dr. Hans-Joerg Bullinger, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at ARRI.

Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser has been a member of ARRI’s Executive Board since 2018. His areas of responsibility include technology, production, supply chain, and purchasing. In his role as Executive Board member at ARRI, he set important technological and strategic directions for the company, was responsible for a number of product innovations, including the ALEXA 35 camera, and led the company through the coronavirus pandemic.

Until the end of December 2022, Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser will hand over his tasks to Dr. Matthias Erb, Chairman of the Executive Board at ARRI, who will take over these responsibilities temporarily. A smooth transition will therefore be ensured.

ARRI acquires Claypaky

ARRI announces the acquisition of Claypaky from ams OSRAM. With this takeover, the film technology company gains one of the top lighting manufacturers in the entertainment and stage industry.

“With Claypaky as part of our corporate group, ARRI will become a leading lighting solutions provider with top brands for both the motion picture and live entertainment markets,” emphasizes Dr. Matthias Erb, Chairman of the ARRI Executive Board. “The expertise, passion, and dedication to lighting that distinguishes both companies also demonstrates that we are well-matched.

These similarities form a strong foundation for building a successful cooperation and the further development of our business areas.” Marcus Graser, CEO of Claypaky, adds: “We are very happy to be joining the ARRI family. Both companies have a leading position in their field, thanks to a deep market knowledge, innovation power, and customer understanding. We both share a rich heritage and an unconditional passion for technology and innovation in a professional industry that fascinates thousands of people around the world. Together with ARRI, we will continue to work on our vision to create the best-in-class lighting equipment and services while offering world-class reference products to an even broader customer base.”

The employees and the Claypaky brand are invaluable assets and key success factors when bringing both companies together. Claypaky will remain as an organization with its brand, its setup and structure of staff and locations. The same holds true for ARRI, the current setup and locations will remain.

Founded in 1976 and based in Seriate (Bergamo, Northern Italy), Claypaky looks back at a long and successful history featuring a large number of original and innovative products—such as moving body and moving mirror projectors, colorchangers, followspots, projectors, and various lighting effects—many of which have won awards and been used on prestigious projects. The professional sectors using Claypaky light effects include theater, television, live events, trade fairs, theme parks, shops, conference centers, and many more.

Established in 1917 and based in Munich, ARRI consists of the business units Camera Systems, Lighting, and Rental. The portfolio includes digital cameras, lenses,

22 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Sponsor News
| Left: Dr. Matthias Erb (left) Claypaky Marcus Graser (right) | Right: Marcus Graser, CEO of Claypaky

camera accessories, archive technologies, lampheads, lighting accessories, and system solutions like the design and engineering of complete broadcast and virtual production studios. Already since 1924, ARRI has been developing and manufacturing professional lighting products, mainly focused on the motion picture and television industries. Since 1953, all lighting products have been manufactured in Stephanskirchen, Southern Germany, only a few hundred kilometers away from Seriate.


Procom Middle East to distribute Ayrton in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the GCC

Ayrton and Procom Middle East have entered into a distribution agreement for the Middle East region. Procom will take the responsibility for the marketing, sales, technical support and development for the Ayrton product catalogue in the GCC including UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Ayrton is one of the world’s most recognized manufacturers of entertainment and architainment LED moving lights. Ayrton’s products are a mainstay in world tours as well as the most prestigious venues around the world. From the moment of its launch, Ayrton became the main choice for lighting designers in television production, theatre, and high-profile events.

Procom is one of the most trusted names in the AV distribution industry in the Middle East. It is well known among rental and production companies, integrators, music venues, and the hospitality sector. Procom has a strong portfolio of professional lighting and stage equipment that goes hand-in-hand with Ayrton. Procom offers customers project and product support services across the region. It services the market from its state-ofthe-art showroom and demo-space in Dubai, as well as a service centre that will extend Ayrton’s factory warranty. “As the region welcomes increasingly high-profile lighting shows, the demand for performance luminaires at the cutting edge of technology is increasing, and hence the demand for Ayrton products,” says Rami Harfouch, Business Development Manager at Procom. “Ayrton and Procom complement each other in the region, bringing together product recognition and local service and support”

Procom will be carrying inventory from the Ayrton catalogue and will offer an extensive demo experience in Procom’s showroom in Dubai. Procom will work hand in hand with industry professionals to make the product accessible on all levels.

“We are excited to welcome Procom as our new distributor and to see the brand growing further in the future”, comments Michael Althaus, Global Sales Director of Ayrton. “Appointing a distributor is never easy, but Procom ticks just all the boxes and their passion for distribution and stage lighting is second to none. Hard to find elsewhere in the region.” Ayrton’s products can be seen on demo and purchased from Procom starting from the 1st of November 2022.

Main Light becomes one of the first in the US to acquire Ayrton Zonda 9 FX fixtures

Main Light increased its rental inventory of Ayrton lighting fixtures with the purchase of a large complement of versatile new Zonda 9 FX fixtures. The company currently has offices in Delaware, Tennesse, and Las Vegas, with a fourth location coming February 2023 to Teterboro, NJ. Main Light has seen a steady demand for its Ayrton Perseo, Khamsin and Diablo fixtures, which were acquired during the past two years from ACT Entertainment, the exclusive distributor of Ayrton lighting in North America.

Main Light’s acquisition of Zonda 9 FX represents one of the first investments by a US company in the luminaire. Designed for a multitude of applications, Zonda 9 FX is the first in a new family of products for stage lighting equipped with a high-performance 40W LED source with RGB+W additive colour synthesis.

Zonda’s LED/optical system combination can produce a powerful light output of 25,000 lumens and a homogeneous mixture of pastel and saturated colours. It serves as a powerful wash light while delivering 3D volumetric effects via individual control of each LED. Its high-definition LiquidEffect creates complex 2D and 3D graphical effects, which can be coupled with beam, wash or matrix applications.

“We were eager to add to our mix of Ayrton products based on the reliability of the fixtures we have and the support that ACT offers,” says Randy Mullican, CEO of Main Light. “We saw Zonda at Prolight + Sound, and it filled a gap for us in large-format LED wash fixtures, which also offer tremendous pixel control and new and exciting effects. Zonda promises to be a great wash with the added bonus of effects.” Mullican expects Zonda 9 FX to attract lighting designers looking for “a bright wash with special effects capabilities for entertainment and large conferences.”

No sooner were the new fixtures delivered than they were dispatched to the Formula One US Grand Prix’s annual race at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas where Ed Sheeran performed his first US show in four years.

Nick Schmitt specifies Ayrton Domino LT and Cobra for Munich’s annual Klassik am Odeonsplatz

Munich’s traditional weekend of classical music, Klassik am Odeonsplatz, by PRO EVENTS Veranstaltungs GmbH, which is held in the historic city-centre square named after the former concert hall on its north-western side, took place in mid-July 2022.

Over two sold-out nights the event hosted a programme of classical music from the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra on the first night, conducted by Daniel Harding, and an evening of movie theme music played

Set & Light | Winter 2022 23
“As the region welcomes increasingly high-profile lighting shows, the demand for performance luminaries at the cutting edge of technology is increasing”

by the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle ahead of his three-year residency as conductor of the Munich Philharmonic next year.

The performances were enjoyed each night by an audience of 8000 people and broadcast live to 1.5million viewers on Germany’s premier ARD television station. Assistant lighting designer in charge of programming and key lighting, Nick Schmitt, joined the production team last year and specified Ayrton Domino LT, Cobra and Levante fixtures as key lights and follow spots, all of which were supplied by German rental company, Neumann and Müller. “Neumann Müller has provided the audio, lighting and rigging for Klassik am Odeonsplatz for the last twenty years,” says Neumann Müller’s Jan Deventer. “It is most important for us to choose reliable technology for this well renowned event in Munich. With the Ayrton products we found exactly what we needed to fulfill our requirements.”

Two Ayrton Levante wash lights were rigged on stage towers behind the Odeon’s balustrades and used as side key lights for the conductor and, in conjunction with FollowMe, as a backlight for performers on the front steps of the building.

Eight of Ayrton’s new laser sourced Cobra were placed on the floor in front of the Feldherrnhalle to create aerial fan looks for the camera. “They had a really easy task providing bright eye candy!” says Schmitt. “I really liked them because they are waterproof so they are ideal for the open air season: you don’t need air domes, rain protection… all that stuff that takes time to set up and takes up breaks when they need attention!”

Schmitt chose four Ayrton Domino LT fixtures to work as follow spots with FollowMe, introducing both to Klassik am Odeonsplatz this year. “Our front-of-house rigging positions had a 70m throw distance from 10m high truss towers, so the main inspiration was to remove the follow spot operators from the towers for safety reasons, and get them out of the weather by replacing conventional follow spots with remote ones,” explains Schmitt. “So I was looking for a bright fixture with the narrowest beam I could get. “I saw Domino LT - with its 3.5° beam and IP65 rating - at Prolight + Sound this year. I decided immediately that I really wanted this fixture to work with FollowMe on the Klassik am Odeonsplatz.

“As it was my first time using Domino LT, I was a little apprehensive about using just one each side for the follow spots, so we rigged two pairs. But they were so bright we didn’t need to double up, and used the second pair for lighting the front of the building.” Domino LT has a triple colour corrector for variable colour correction, including a minus green channel. “I really liked the fact we had the correction filters,” says Schmitt, “because we change from daylight to night during the performance. We chose to use the Domino LT with 4500K colour temperature to best suit the blue hour. The minus green channel worked very well with the camera. It gave us the ability to light the whole orchestra with the light they like, and the minus green filter meant we didn’t have to adjust that much on the cameras.”

The Domino LTs were used to light the MC, the conductor and as specials on people or objects that were not beneath the rig under the Odeon’s façade, everything in front of which had to be lit from front-of-house positions. By using Domino LT, Schmitt and his team were able to rig the fixtures higher on the towers to avoid the central lighting towers which had previously necessitated cross fades between follow spots, and used just one FollowMe operator to control both Domino LT spots. “Domino LT worked really well and is a perfect combination with the FollowMe,” concludes Schmitt. “It is a very big fixture and its very fast for that size…and it’s really, really bright! Even at 7pm in the evening, you could see the impact of the four Domino LTs on the MC. I think that is very impressive from just four fixtures at a distance of 70m!”

2022 is the first year Schmitt has used Ayrton fixtures and he has been touring with Diablo, Levante, Eurus, Huracán and Domino in shows like The Frank Sinatra Story since the beginning of the year: “Everyone is hanging Ayrton fixtures in their rigs,” he says. “I’m a big fan.”


CHAUVET Professional Announces UK Road Show

CHAUVET Professional entered the holiday season with a full head of steam, anchoring shows for headliners at major arenas throughout the country. Now with the turning of the calendar page, the UK team is embarking on another tour, not in support of a musical artists, but to give lighting professionals a first hand look at some of the exciting new IP65-rated products that promise to rock their world in 2023.

Beginning on Tuesday, January 24 at The Place in London, the CHAUVET Professional Road Show will be stopping at eight different cities throughout the UK to spread the news about innovative products like the Ovation Rêve E-3 IP outdoor ready full spectrum white and multi-colour-mixing ellipsoidal, and the new arenagrade line of Maverick Storm fixtures. The road shows will also feature a first-time UK look at the new fixtures in the Rogue Outcast series of high-powered moving heads including The Rogue Outcast 2 Beam, Rogue Outcast 2 Hybrid and Rogue Outcast 3 Spot. Other stops on the tour include Edinburgh, Manchester, Wakefield, Bristol, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Peterborough, and Nottingham.

By holding these events in actual production spaces, rather than rented hotel halls, the CHAUVET Professional team believes they will be better able to showcase the impressive performance features on their latest offerings. For example, what better way to appreciate the silent

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| Sponsor News

operation, full spectrum colours and tuneable whites of the Ovation Rêve E-3 IP than at a TV studio such as dock10 Manchester Media City? Similarly, the frame, versatility and zoom range of Rogue Outcast fixtures stand out even more impressively at a cavernous venue like Bristol’s Loco Klub, as do the impressive throw distances and feature-packed arsenal of Maverick Storm fixtures at a space like Peterborough’s 2,000-capacity New Theatre.

In addition to showcasing an impressive collection of new IP65 products, the CHAUVET Professional Road Show offers visitors the opportunity to get hands on experience with fixtures and talk to the company’s team members. Visitors will also have an opportunity to see the latest in ChamSys consoles at each six-anda-half-hour session. Iluminarc, architectural offerings will also be on display. As always, lunch, refreshments, camaraderie, and good company are also included.

To learn more about the Road show and for specific dates, please visit:

“The ceremony had many symbolic indications that expressed welcome, generosity and hospitality in Arab culture, as well as contemporary musical, cultural and visual performances that were used for the first time in the tournament,” Marenghi explains. Since the Opening Ceremony took place in a projected world devised by Creative Director Anghela Alo and the content artists at Luke Halls Studio,

Marenghi and his team were challenged to light the performers for broadcast without damaging the ‘screen’ environment in which they lived. “We were operating at a light intensity of around 400 Lux and sports lighting for the games was around 2000 lux, so a very careful approach was required to create the magic to entertain billions of fans around the globe,” says Marenghi.

He selected an array of Claypaky fixtures for their light weight, brightness, superior optics and low power consumption. “For this event the key factor was weight on the roof and very high truss heights of more than 50 meters to keep the equipment above the technical and camera systems required by the soccer authorities,” Marenghi points out. “Every source deployed had to have a very high light output and very tight beam angle. We usually have lights all around the field of play, but this was not possible with the first game of the competition scheduled only one hour after the opening ceremony.”

He mounted 60 Sharpy X Frames, 40 Xtylos and 80 Sharpys on 20 roof trusses; 16 more Sharpy X Frames on goal posts across two west projection positions; and 18 Tambora Linear 100s plus Neutral Density filters on the side stages and nine more on the center stage. An additional 52 Sharpys were also deployed. “Sharpy X Frame was by far our favourite fixture on the rig, a true hybrid,” Marenghi declares. Sharpy X Frame is the most versatile compact hybrid fixture on the market addressing the needs for a bright spot, aerial effects unit, framing fixture and everything in between in an affordable, compact package.

“The Xtylos laser-sourced fixture is a grown up Sharpy, if you will, but with the benefit of additive colors so RGB and CMY are far brighter,” he reports. “It is a very safe fixture, and its IP66 version, the Xtylos Aqua, is perfect for long-throw exterior applications.”


Claypaky Fixtures Help Lighting Designer Durham Marenghi Create Magic for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Opening Ceremony

UK-based Lighting Designer Durham Marenghi is no stranger to high-profile events with numerous Winter and Summer Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies, Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee events, many citywide New Year’s in London celebrations and more to his credit. He recently lit the Opening Ceremony for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which featured large complements of Claypaky Sharpy X Frame, Tambora Linear 100, Xtylos and Sharpy fixtures throughout the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar.

In addition, “the Tambora Linear is a great and flexible batten with three distinct layers: a conventional solid color wash, which can be overlaid as a mappable pixellated array, and finally the white strobe layer that runs through the center of it. The fixture is bright so we used the ND filter provided on units facing our broadcast cameras.”

Marenghi says, “We were also pleased with the great support and instant response we received from Claypaky in Bergamo, Italy when required.” Balich Wonder Studio was the Production Company.


dedolight are excited to introduce the next generation of their LED precision lighting instruments: dedolight neo and dedolight neo color.

The new DTN dedolight neo LED ballast will drive

Set & Light | Winter 2022 25
| Right: Claypaky FIFA World Cup control room (LD Durham Marenghi). Photo courtesy of BWS

the latest dedolight NEO light heads, from 20 to 90 Watt: Monocolor, Bi-Color, Infrared & Ultraviolet. The system will auto sense the connected light head and automatically adjust the electronic settings and display.

Key features: deep smooth manual dimming, high speed flicker free mode up to 50,000 fps, simple, intuitive menu, OLED display, DMX, perfect 8 bit or advanced DMX control (16 bit, smooth or linear), firmware upgradeability, wireless control via LumenRadio CRMX and Bluetooth.

dedolight neo color is the result of the technological cooperation between Dedo Weigert Film and Prolycht. It combines the superior 6 color Prolycht Hyperlight Engine with renowned dedolight optics.

Key features: accurate skin tone reproduction for variable CCTs, the magic of varying the gamut of a white point, color wheels and pre-stored effects.

process and then working with them throughout the year to create a truly exceptional show that included 12,000 fireworks, 400 drones and over 300 high-power lights supplied by Neg Earth Lights.

The designer, who had seen the IP-rated Proteus Excalibur at the Prolight+Sound show last May and demoed the unit in September, positioned the units inside each of the London Eye’s 32 pods. It was an arduous task that Routledge and his team met resourcefully. He explains, “Because the London Eye is a tourist attraction and is used every single day, we mounted the Excaliburs and a strobe unit on wheeled dollies and waited until the tourists cleared out each night, sometime around 7pm. The Eye would continue to turn and we wheeled a dolly into each pod. We loaded all 32 pods this way.” At the end of the night of programming, the procedure was reversed and the dollies unloaded. They repeated the process over three nights.

Despite the overhead protection, Routledge says the Excalibur’s waterproof rating was required because of the constant loading in and out in an outdoor environment. Additional Excaliburs lined the pier in front of the 135-meter tall wheel, working with other long-throw luminaires.


Proteus Excalibur™ welcomes in 2023 on spectacular New Year’s Eve London show

Tim Routledge designed a stunning light show to complement fireworks and a drone display with highpower Elation beam lights in each of the London Eye’s 32 pods London’s largest ever New Year’s Eve celebration took place at the London Eye on the River Thames, featuring a stunning fireworks and drone display accompanied by a mesmerizing light show designed by Tim Routledge. His first time lighting London’s end-of-the-year celebration, Routledge chose Elation’s powerful Proteus Excalibur™ beam moving head as a key fixture in his design.

“We wanted something that could cut through so you could see the beams and create more architecture with light,” Routledge said of his decision to use the Excaliburs. “It was very much about getting the chunkiest beam we could.”

The Proteus Excalibur’s enormous output–the beam light generates up to 7,500 lux at 100 meters – in combination with a 260-millimeter lens and 0.8° beam competes with xenon searchlights and sky trackers. “It’s hard to punch through the amount of smoke that the fireworks generate,” the designer says, “but we managed to get past that with high-output lighting that was very much visible throughout the show.”

Routledge took on the project nearly a year ago, first assisting show producers Identity with the tender

More than 100,000 ticket holders plus millions around the globe took in the show and its message of love and unity. Highlights included England’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 win, 50 years of London Pride, a message of support to Ukraine, a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, and a segment honoring King Charles III. The Excaliburs were used throughout the 12- minute show, mostly in tight beam looks although Routledge says he did access the unit’s gobo wheels for the King Charles III segment.

The lighting was coordinated with the fireworks and drones in both white and multi-colored looks. In a show with an abundance of mesmerizing looks, Routledge says the dedication to Ukraine was especially powerful, “also because there was a pause in the fireworks at that point and the beams read really well.” He adds that the London Pride section was also a highlight as it gave him the chance to access the Excalibur’s full-spectrum color system to create “structured rainbow beams that really cut through.” Working for more than just the 12-minute show, the lights in the pods were used to build anticipation from 11pm and were active for 40 minutes after the show while the crowd dispersed.

Reviews of London’s 2022 New Year’s Eve show have been universally positive and Routledge confirms the feedback, noting that the client was ‘blown away’ by

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“We wanted something that could cut through so you could see the beams and create more architecture with light”

the show. “A lot of people noticed the upgrade in how the show was lit and the change of fixtures in the Eye,” he said, adding that the Excaliburs and the wireless system of control, even at distances of 200-300 meters, worked really well. “The fixtures also held their positons beautifully despite being wheeled in and out of the pods every night. We really didn’t have to do much touching up position-wise.” The designer also reports that there were no issues with failed lights. “They were rock solid.”

Creative Director: Dan Colbourne and David Zolkwer

Lighting Designer: Tim Routledge

Lighting Programmers: James Scott/Morgan Evans/ Adam Marshall

Lighting Rental: Neg Earth Lights

Production: Identity

Fireworks: Titanium Fireworks

Drones: Celestial

ELP lights BBC Morning Live show with bright, tunable Elation KL Fresnel™

Many Brits begin their day with Morning Live, a topical live morning program on the BBC that has resonated with audiences since first airing in 2020. A consistent slot-winner, the program, which airs on BBC One, moved to a new studio in the heart of Manchester earlier this year. ELP, a trading division of White Light, was asked to supply the lighting for the show at the new Versa ABC Studio and turned to Elation Professional’s KL Fresnel 8 FC PO™ LED fixture as a key component of the rig.

ELP has worked on a multitude of live broadcasts and has a reputation of fulfilling the lighting requirements of a diverse range of customers. ELP Sales Director Darren Fletcher comments: “We were approached by Versa to supply the lighting for Morning Live, which would be filmed live within their 11th floor ABC Studio. Our job was to work closely with the lighting designers, Dave Evans and later Andy Stagles, to not only maintain the fresh and breezy look that was established in the first series but to also enhance this within its new space.”

One of the biggest challenges was dealing with an abundance of morning light that streams in through vast windows that line the background of the set. The lighting setup would need to not only counter this additional light but also be able to adapt to the everchanging weather conditions. Following a site visit, the lighting designers specified Elation’s KL Fresnel 8 FC PO™, a full-color and dynamic white LED Fresnel light that Darren and his team installed on a long-term hire basis within the studio. “Because we’re combating the sunlight with the glass wall, we needed a fairly bright fixture,” Darren stated, adding that they often need all of the fixture’s 18,000 lumens of brightness. He says the fixtures, used for all the key lighting, back lighting, fill and general coverage, are utilised mostly for their color temperature white in varying degrees, mostly daylight.

Optimized for the specific requirements of broadcast, the KL Fresnel 8 FC PO houses a full-color-spectrum RGBMA LED engine offering precise color temperature control, full-spectrum color rendering, and even wash coverage. The fixtures, optimized for the tunable white light requirements of live television, can adjust for light that shifts away from pure white towards green or magenta through a green-magenta shift adjustment and a virtual gel library. Capable of matching the white balance for camera, users can easily shift the color

temperature without the use of plus/minus green gels and filters. At the Versa ABC Studio, barndoors on each fixture accurately direct the light and keep unnecessary light spill to a minimum.

The pole operable units debuted on Morning Live in February and work together with LED soft light panels and full-color LED Par lights in the studio setup. The unit’s pole operation allows for easy pan, tilt and zoom maneuverability while avoiding having to access the fixtures by climbing on a ladder. “The pole operation was important for this job and was one of the key selling points of the unit,” Darren confirms. The KL Fresnel 8 FC PO also offers manual access via included encoders, providing instant control of intensity, color temperature, green shift and other important settings.

The BBC Morning Live show runs five days a week throughout the year with a short summer break. “They have proven to be very useful and have been quite successful for us,” Darren concludes, noting that they also employed them on the BBC Proms concerts this past summer.

Elation KL Fresnel™ gets retro for Tom Kennydesigned Robert Plant & Alison Krauss special Lighting designer Tom Kenny recently used Elation Professional’s KL Fresnel 8™ LED wash light to support the retro set of a special CMT Crossroads performance by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Kenny had seen the warm-white LED Fresnel luminaire on the duo’s summer tour and realised it would fit in ideally with the show’s vintage look.

CMT Crossroads is a television program broadcast on CMT that pairs country music artists with musicians from other music genres. The program, which debuted in 2002 and is celebrating its 20 Anniversary, has helped spawn many successful collaborations including that of Plant and Krauss.

The British singer-songwriter and American bluegrasscountry singer have enjoyed tremendous success as a duo since collaborating on 2007’s Grammy-awardwinning “Raising Sand” album followed by their first CMT Crossroads special in 2008. The pair toured together this past summer in support of their Grammy-nominated second album “Raise the Roof” and returned to Nashville for their second CMT Crossroads show, which aired on November 29th. When full service event production company DCR Nashville was looking for retro-looking lighting for Plant and Krauss’s “Raise the Roof” summer tour, they chose Elation’s KL Fresnel 8 as part of the visual package. “When putting the tour together they were looking at a theater- like setup but then you have to deal with dimmer racks,” stated DCR President Paul Owen, who says they went to Elation and looked at the KL Fresnel line of LED fixtures. “That made things a lot easier and they have that traditional Fresnel look.”

Owen reports that Robert Plant loved the fixtures and asked that they be painted white to fit in with the more theatrical look and backdrop draping. “So we sprayed them white,” Owen sayd, “put them on towers and they looked fantastic. It was just a good subtle workhorse and were fantastic for the tour.”

The KL Fresnel 8 uses a 350W warm-white LED engine to project a high-quality white light that is as beautiful as the warm glow output of traditional Tungsten halogen

Set & Light | Winter 2022 27

lights while surpassing them in output and efficiency. Calibrated at 3,000 Kelvin, a high CRI of 97 gives it the ability to better distinguish color and contrast and the fixture includes a 11° to 57° motorised zoom and removable barn doors. When working with high-speed cameras like on CMT Crossroads, gamma correction and LED refresh rate can be adjusted variably for flicker free operation.

When it came to taping the CMT Crossroads show, lighting designer Tom Kenny looked at the touring show (lighting design by Brent Clark) and realized the KL fixtures would fit right in. “Robert had the Elation KL Fresnels already on the tour and we kept them for this special show,” stated Kenny, who designed many of Robert Plant’s solo shows, including the historic Page/Plant tours. He has also lit nearly all of the CMT Crossroads shows.

Kenny placed the fixtures behind the artists, both left and right, and said the design was an extension of the tour vibe with beautiful theatrical whites that reflected the folk-based moods of the songs. “They complemented the retro look and drape with their warm white look and added to the whole look of the show. They fit right in with a classic artist and a classic show,” he said. 4Wall Nashville provided the lighting rental for the 90-minute episode alongside DCR who supported Plant and Krauss’s groundbreaking tour.


ETC adds 600 and 900 kg models to the Prodigy P2 line of hoists

ETC is proud to announce that the two new models of the innovative Prodigy P2 package hoist are now shipping, adding more load capacity to this unique line of utility hoists. Like the existing 300 kg model, the compact profiles of the new P2-600 kg and P2900 kg powerhead means they can fit into spaces that other hoists cannot and can be used with the unique structural compression tube which allows drop pulleys to be positioned anywhere along the length as well as absorbing lateral forces on structures that were not originally designed to support motorized rigging systems. These technologies allow many more venues to access the safety and speed advantages that automated hoists provide for setup of stage electrics, drops, and scenic elements.

The full line of Prodigy P2-300, P2-600, and P2-900 hoists alongside ETC’s control systems with SIL-2 safety functions, are manufactured to meet and exceed the rigorous requirements of the EN-17206 harmonized machinery directive for Use-Cases 1 and 2 (UC-1 / UC-2) and are fully certified by TÜV-Süd according to DGUV 17/18 (formerly BGV-C1). With everything tested and pre-commissioned at the factory, there is minimal on-site wiring required which simplifies the on-site commissioning, system certification, final and recurring inspections, and project signoff process, saving time and money on site.

Product Manager for Rigging and Power Systems, Ned Keitt comments: “We are thrilled to be announcing the new additions to our Prodigy P2 range and begin shipping larger capacity hoists. With the arrival

of the P2-600 kg and P2-900 kg models, there are now even more stage machinery options available which are suitable to fit any venue’s needs. ETC’s European warehouses will also hold stock of standard configurations which will dramatically reduce the time between enquiries and installation.”

ETC’s Prodigy hoists are compatible with a range of different cable management options for use with lighting equipment: including the patented Prodigy Cable Management system that retracts into small spaces while providing clean lines with no unsightly cable swags; as well as the popular Helix Cable Management which is a perfect partner to ETC’s ColorSource Raceway line of prewired, lightweight configurable power and data distribution, with multiple power connector options, and active DMX splitters built-in. Use ColorSource Raceway with WebPipe Batten to support up to 57 kg UDL over a 3 m span.

At the front end of every Prodigy hoist is the QuickTouch line of rigging controllers. ETC has leveraged over 40 years of theatrical control excellence to develop these incomparably intuitive, dependable, and powerful devices. QuickTouch Preset offers one-touch scene recall in handheld or wall-mounted options while QuickTouch+ provides tremendous value for powerful pushbutton control.

Dom kulture Kamnik Upgrades with ETC Prodigy P2 System

The venue known today as Dom kulture Kamnik (DKK), located to the north of Ljubljana in Slovenia, was built in 1953 as part of the Kamnik Chemical Industry. Constructed by the workers themselves, DKK was designed to be a cultural entertainment center to serve the local community.

Although the main stage incorporated hoists, the venue was primarily used as a movie theatre until it temporarily closed its doors in 1991. With the idea of revitalizing live performances came the decision to renovate the building. Over the past two decades, a variety of improvements have been made, including the recent installation of a stage machinery system from ETC Rigging, comprising Prodigy P2 hoists, Helix cable management, a ColorSource Raceway prewired power and data distribution system, and a QuickTouch Preset controller. “Back in 2017, we were at DKK installing an ETC ColorSource ThruPower system for dimming, and an Element console,” says Ivan Franinović, from ETC dealer Elsis d.o.o. “We were asked by Primož Jeras – the man holds together this venue in every technical respect – to

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| Sponsor News
| Above: ETC Halcyon Family

come up with some ideas for replacing the hoists. “As demand to see theatre shows was growing, the risks associated with using 70-year-old counterweight hoists were also increasing. No disrespect to the original stage builders, but the hoist structure was made of wood and pipes hanging on hemp ropes. They did a perfect job for that period, but it was time for an overhaul.”

Elsis d.o.o. consulted the stage machinery team at ETC, and together they worked on design proposals including Prodigy P2. They were mindful of minimizing any negative effects of installing a modern hoist system in a venue of this age, particularly with its local historic importance.

Due to the age of the building, there were no structural calculations available. Consequently, the greatest challenge was to establish the possibility of hanging the desired weight according to today’s safety standards. In this case, the Prodigy P2 with compression tube was the best solution to integrate with the old building structure. The second challenge was to design a structural support for the new hoists, capable of carrying the required loads and find a way to maneuver the steel support structure into the building, causing as little damage as possible. Ultimately, following public competition, the decision was made to install an ETC Prodigy P2 stage machinery system. The biggest challenge then was the race against time with delays resulting from the pandemic. “There were nine original rope counterweight hoists that needed to be replaced – and two of them had to be electric lighting hoists,” notes Franinović . “The Prodigy P2 system with QuickTouch Preset was one of the best options available. Although there were other hoists that could potentially work for this project, Prodigy P2 was certainly the best combination of standard and safe structural components to get the

| Below: ETC DKK 1 Credit Klemen Brumec

project running in just a matter of days.” The Prodigy P2 System is designed and built to meet the European Standard EN17206:2022 for Stage Machinery, CE compliant, and TÜV Certified according to DGUV-1728 (BGV-C1). It enables the creation of a complete stage machinery system simply and without expensive expansion costs. This compact, complete-package solution offers a 300-kilogram ELL lifting capacity, making it a good choice for venues with medium travel heights. At DKK, the complete stage machinery installation comprised a Prodigy P2 system with compression tube, Helix cable management and ColorSource Raceway prewired power and data distribution system. This was combined with a ETC QuickTouch Preset controller, designed to work directly with P2, with the connection of a simple CAT5e control cable, without needing additional equipment or cables to commission or run.

“The QuickTouch Preset controller is easy to use and is user-definable,” says Franinović. “It also perfectly integrates with ETC Element console Magic Sheets, so the lighting operator can have an overview of hoist heights and light intensity at the same time. Furthermore, the software is constantly evolving and no doubt there will be even more useful features added in the future.”

ETC Introduces High End Systems Halcyon

Introducing High End Systems Halcyon, the next generation of automated framing luminaires from ETC. Created to meet the needs of rental operations, theatres, and opera houses, Halcyon is a family of framing fixtures designed for the exacting demands of lighting production. Offering reduced cost, reduced weight, and increased output, Halcyon fixtures are each best in class and engineered to fit into every spec for every design.

Offering matching feature sets and performance across

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all fixtures, the Halcyon range consists of Gold, Titanium, and Platinum. Halcyon Gold outputs 31,000 lumens and is ideal for short to medium throw applications. Designed for medium to long throws, Titanium outputs 40,000 lumens. And for the most extreme light at the farthest distances, Platinum offers unprecedented light output at 54,000 lumens, with an incredible 70,000 lumens in boost mode. With a new industrial design, each Halcyon fixture is smooth and sleek enough to blend into your rig.

Halcyon has two LED engine options for maximum versatility. Halcyon’s color mixing system uses tighter, next-gen gradient dichroics and a linear mixing curve supported by ETC’s renowned color science for smooth and even colors, both in and out of focus.

With full curtain framing on four focus planes and extended framing rotation, Halcyon provides all the tools to perfectly shape every show. A new, custom selected package of patterns brings a full library of aerials, rotational effects, breakups, diffusion, and prisms. ETC’s Trifusion system brings a wide range of diffusion with a single control channel, maintaining maximum output and even frost distribution across the field, and a smooth transition from a sharp edge all the way to a heavy wash. A continuously variable rotating animation wheel with linear insertion allows programmers to now control the animation’s angular position. Patented Whisper Home technology employs a dual sensor system, allowing Halcyon fixtures to home with little movement, while also being quiet, fast, and precise. Halcyon is backed by ETC’s industry leading customer service, and is competitively priced without sacrificing on features or performance.

Automated Lighting Product Manager Matt Stoner comments, “The High End Systems SolaFrame changed how people do things in our industry, and we are excited to continue the revolutionary product line in our new Halcyon products. Over years of customer feedback and fixture usage we have learned so much and the Halcyon family is the culmination of that feedback, and a leap forward in smaller, less expensive, lighter, and better performance.”

Market Manager Tania Lesage adds, “There are thousands of venues around the world looking for lights with sharp projection, a versatile gobo package, and lush color mixing; that is exactly what we bring with this new framing family. High End Systems Halcyon was created by our award- winning automated design team with three decades of experience. If Halcyon piques your interest, come see us live at LDI, JTSE or MEET, or get in touch with your local dealer or rep for a demo.”


Fiilex is a California based solid-state lighting brand. It specializes in designing and producing industry leading color tunable LED hard lights for the motion picture and broadcast TV/video industries.

Since the brand launched in 2014, Fiilex released a long list of innovative and award-winning color tunable LED products to the market. The color science and dimming curve developed by Fiilex over its proprietary high

density multi-channel LED platform is well recognized as the gold standard by many top professionals in the field.

In 2023, Fiilex will present a new 90W G3 Color, an ellipsoidal spotlight constructed specifically for the motion picture industry. This new fixture features a rotating yoke barrel for easy aiming of the light and advanced optics that delivers uniform and clear projections. This is a product that will give precise lighting control to users.


GLP is excited to announce that Miles Dudgeon has been appointed as the company’s new sales manager looking after customers east of the Mississippi River.

Miles has spent many years in the industry, initially studying lighting design in college and starting out as a lighting operator. Miles has previously worked at GLP US in the ‘before times’ and now rejoins the company working with an increased market area. Miles states: “I’m excited to be back working with the team at GLP again. The new products that have been created, leading with the new X5 platform, are edgy and dynamic. I’m looking forward to getting them out in front of designers and customers.“

GLP US president Mark Ravenhill states: “We are very excited to have Miles come back to the GLP team. He brings a wealth of industry experience to the role as well as an intimate knowledge of the Eastern US market.” Miles adds: “GLP changes what to expect with their product range. There’s always something extra and new. It’s exciting to be part of a team that’s always pushing the edges of what the gear can do.”

Miles can be contacted via email at m.dudgeon@ or by phone at (914) 8862238.


Situated in north-east Ohio, MGM Northfield Park – the region’s premier destination for dining, gaming and entertainment – has become the first venue in the United States to permanently install GLP’s impression X5 nextgeneration washlight.

All 30 of the fixtures are featured in the complex’s 1,820-

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| Sponsor News
| Right: FILEX G3 COLOR First Edition

seat theatre known as Center Stage – 12 in the upstage area, 10 midstage and eight downstage. These were supplied by national retailer GC Pro.

In addition to the venue’s award-winning restaurants and over 1,700 video lottery terminals (VLTs), Center Stage has become world renowned for presenting globally famous acts over the years, including Dolly Parton, Steven Tyler, Tom Segura, Diana Ross, Morgan Wallen, BB King, Ringo Starr, Tom Jones and many more.

According to MGM Northfield Park’s director of entertainment and venue operations, Alex Trusnik, the latest spend has been dedicated entirely to the lighting upgrade, which replaces a rig that has been operating since the property opened, back in 2013. “The investment is clear evidence of MGM Resorts International’s commitment to entertainment in Northfield and the growth of Center Stage,” Trusnik comments. He adds that the project took many months to complete – from initial design to complete installation – as they sought the optimum solution: “During the process I met with our production manager, Austin Brown, and lighting designer, John Middleton weekly to discuss what options would take Center Stage to the next level. “John brought a dream to the table and through collaboration we were able to build an impressive lighting package for the room. My goal was to ensure we continue to deliver the best experience possible for not only our guests but also the acts we bring in and their touring crews – night in and night out.”

Middleton – one of three in-house techs at MGM Northfield Park (alongside Jeff Rambaud and Ben Ubienski) – carried out extensive research when searching for a supercharged washlight. “He was extremely impressed with some of the impression X5’s unique features,” Alex Trusnik reports. “The networking capabilities and the speed of the fixture, especially the extensive zoom, is what really caught John’s eye and why he brought the option to our meetings. Our infrastructure is built around an ACN network, so those capabilities were a huge selling point for us.”

Other features of GLP’s trademark baseless, compact fixture design include the 19 powerful 40W RGBL LEDs, which provide enormous output, and the expanded colour gamut and high colour rendering, with Tungsten Simulation and Magenta/Green-Shift options, along with individual pixel control and built-in pattern macros.

“Between these impressive specs, coupled with GLP’s

long-standing reputation in the industry, and having the opportunity to pioneer this new technology, the decision to go with the X5s seemed very clear,” Alex Trusnik summarises.

The impression X5 has already proven its worth over a number of shows. “The X5s have been battle-tested in over a dozen shows, with programming on dark days. We’ve had nothing but phenomenal feedback from touring LDs so far – all have been very impressed,” confirms Trusnik. John Middleton is one who certainly stands by his decision to specify these fixtures: “The rich colour pallet and fast, smooth movement allow these fixtures to run the full gamut from subtle dynamic looks, to full-on ‘flash and trash’, which allows me to meet the needs of any genre of performance we might see now and into the future.”

But the final word comes from Alex Trusnik himself: “The X5s certainly pack a punch. They’re extremely unique fixtures that always grab the attention of both touring LDs and our guests. We’ve had nothing but great feedback since installing them and are extremely proud to have the first X5s here at MGM Northfield Park.”

Photo credit: Tyler Cetina


On 5th November, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) broadcast its anniversary programme Ghörig – Party, Celebrities, Major Hits. 50 Years of ORF’s Vorarlberg Studio. The show, moderated by Inés Mäser and Norbert Oberhauser and directed by Nikolai Dörler (KSR Filmproduktion e.U.), was recorded in September in Studio 3 of the Vorarlberg studio in Dornbirn.

Light Art Studios GmbH from Hamburg was charged with the lighting design for this music show, with Raphael Grebenstein acting as lighting designer and DoP. In order to be able to deliver a varied show – with 19 different performances in the comparatively small studio – he opted for 128 GLP impression FR1 and 10 JDC1, among other items.

He explains: “As a music show, the format required a stage with a large proportion of show lighting in order to present an ever-changing stage with different looks for 19 songs. Studio 3 is actually not designed for this type of production. Its conical shape goes from six metres wide to 20 metres wide. Set designer Isabella Reicheneder skilfully took up this

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| Above: Miles Dudgeon

challenge by designing both the show stage and the opposite talk stage in a triangular shape.”

The compact impression FR1 primarily served to trace and emphasise the shape of the stage in the rig. In addition, the fixtures were also integrated on the bottom of the legs of the triangles to further emphasise the edge.

“When selecting the main effect lighting, it was important to me to be able to install a large number in order to make the relatively small studio look bigger in the camera,” Grebenstein continues. “At the same time, the ceiling height and the maximum ceiling load of 100 kg per metre were issues that presented us with challenges. The impression FR1, weighing just 4 kg, was simply the perfect lamp for this. Used as an effect light, it makes a very nice wash beam, aided by with the colour mixture and a very fast zoom.”

However, it wasn’t on this project that Grebenstein first came to appreciate the impression FR1: “I really liked the FR1 right from the start. Thanks to its extremely compact design, it can be used to great effect on small stages. But even on large stages, it asserts itself well if it is placed correctly and can supplement those places that large lamps cannot reach. In addition, I find the optics of the lens really pretty with single-beam effects. Thanks to the Fresnel lens, the FR1 looks very homogeneous as a single beam.”

JDC1 for wash, strobe and high-key looks The JDC1s, on the other hand, framed the set at the back of the stage, both in their function as washlights and strobe lights and for occasional high-key effects. “The JDC1 is a workhorse as both a wash light and a strobe/blinder,” continues the designer. “It has a very modern look thanks to the LED surfaces, and due to its size it fits in everywhere. It can therefore be used well on both small and large stages.”

In conclusion, he says: “The cooperation with all stakeholders and the ORF was very harmonious. The creative process, especially the collaboration with Isabella Reicheneder, was also constructive and extremely amicable. Together we managed to get the maximum out of the studio and to create a real custom work for the room and this application … largely due to the GLP impression FR1.”

Raphael Grebenstein was supported on site by show

light operator Tobias Reinartz, white light operator Dominik Döhler, and Gaffer and project manager light/ rigging Johannes Laugwitz, who according to Raphael “did a fantastic job”.

Photo credit: Raphael Grebenstein/Light Art Studios


Brooklyn’s ‘Limitless AI’ harnesses Hippotizer to immerse visitors in vast video installation

An army of Hippotizer Media Servers have landed in Brooklyn to feed vast amounts of visual data to 63 HD projectors inside ArtsDistrict Brooklyn’s Limitless AI immersive experience, filling the 10,000 square-foot main gallery space with a 360-degree video.

Created by internationally-renowned, Istanbul-based artists Ferdi and Eylul Alici of Ouchhh Studio, Limitless AI transports audiences into a world of culture, science and nature. Artificial intelligence reimagines terabytes of data, taking in billions of brushstrokes by historical masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, physics teachings by greats including Stephen Hawking, and brainwave responses by musicians as they perform, among many other extraordinary things. The five-part, 60-minute experience is presented as five separate chapters and features a finale with live music and an opportunity to influence the video via interaction.

At the core of the real-time video data manipulation are seven Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers, controlled by a grandMA3 console. “We have Presets in Hippo for each show chapter and the TD computers are

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| Right: Hippo Memorial Hall BLINK 2

generating live data that is being fed over NDI to the Hippo servers,” explains Sofia Claudino, Video Lead for Limitless AI. “Everything is driven by our Boreal MK2+ servers and they communicate to the grandMA3 via a Multi-Controller and DMX component. Triggering then happens via the console, with the help of a very precise universal clock system that syncs both video and audio systems. It is a very complex system and we are impressed with the ability to run a timecode-basedshow that requires out-of-sight calling solutions as a continuous timeline doesn’t fit our needs.”

The team says that given the cavernous size of the space, they needed Media Server hardware that was capable of feeding projections onto multiple surfaces. Inside, there is a revolving stage with a concave and convex projection surface, and 14 walls with a height of more than 14-feet. “We are actually looking to add more projectors, to augment the 63 already in place,” Claudino continues. “There are so many that it was necessary to use the Boreal MK2+ servers to entirely cover our main gallery. We are using twenty-one units of DataPath that help to control and adjust the output of the images, hence why the necessary ability to support 4K, an internal drive with 4TB which enables our main show at almost its capacity, and a 10Gb Ethernet for super-fast media transfer since we are also using an NDI feed from Touch Designer machines to our Hippotizer servers.”

The 4TB of graphical data is being entirely processed, manipulated and fed to the projectors by the Boreal MK2+ Media Servers, with the Strata Drive accommodating all of the media. “The fast-processing speed is really important to us, there is no glitching or stuttering for a second and all media plays very smoothly,” adds Claudino.

The Green Hippo support team assisted the visuals team at Limitless AI as they created, built and operated the ambitious show. “The Hippo tech support team has been very generous,” Claudino continues. “They have always managed to help me find the best solutions.” ArtsDistrict’s Chief of Business Development, Jacob Feldman, comments: “We chose the Boreal+ MK2 servers because the show was envisioned to be live from the start, changing each night depending on the music and performers. The final chapter feeds live data from EEG monitors on the musicians into TouchDesigner and then through NDI to the Hippos. The music that is performed can and does change with every show, which in turn requires extra triggering/calling abilities from a backstage perspective.”

Hippotizer helps BLINK Cincinnati artists wash the city with spectacular graphics

The streets of Cincinnati were awash with colour in October as an estimated 1.5 million people enjoyed the BLINK light and art festival, which featured four largescale projection mappings powered by Hippotizer Media Servers.

During the four-day event, video installations turned the city’s landmark buildings into ‘a techno cityscape of the future’, bringing existing artworks and architecture to life and creating eye-popping 3D projections. Some of the most spectacular video mapping installations were Hippotizer driven, including at Memorial Hall on Elm Street where the building’s four striking pillars and grand architectural shapes were perfectly video mapped and projected upon with sweeping, kaleidoscopic artworks by Italian multimedia studio, Antalless Visual Design. Titled In The Middle, the installation harnessed the power of a Hippotizer Boreal V4+ server running four 1920/1200 signals to Barco HDX projectors. It posed the question: ‘Reality or Illusion? Control or Randomness? The answer is in the middle … on the architectural surface, visual art takes space from another space, employs materials, gives them shape and size.’

Elsewhere in the city’s Downtown Zone, artist Sam Okerstum-Lang and Masary Studios created an interactive, site- specific artwork called Massively Distributed. This installation invited the public to create visual landscapes using a specially built app, and the results were arranged together by the artist and activated via a Hippotizer Boreal V4+ sending four HD signals to an inline stack of four Barco UDX 4K projectors, mounted in portrait formation.

At Cincinnati’s beautifully designed Hanke Building, students from the Miami University Department of Emerging Technology in Business & Design led a project to showcase their work, naming it Isolation / Unity / Community in reference to the pandemic and their ability to finally unleash their designs into the real world. Celebrating ‘the power of artistic collaboration and friendship’, they fired up two Hippotizer Montane V4+ servers which pumped data to two Barco UDX Projectors. On the building’s façade, a dazzling mix of video mapped colours traced its architectural splendour and dreamy splashes of graphical content washed it with colour. And at the Blond Apartments, the Little Africa 1800 art piece by British artist Vince Fraser saw magical steamboat graphics sail across the building, which were based on the real ships that transported slaves and

Set & Light | Winter 2022 33

freed people of colour to Cincinnati across the Ohio River in the nineteenth century. Fraser says his work is “where these mythical African characters steer the futuristic steamboat through the sky and across the river transporting black people to a new life of abundance.” Driving the animated graphics was a Hippotizer Boreal V4+, feeding data via HDMI to a Barco UDX 4K projector.

Green Hippo’s US Sales Manager Tim Riley worked closely with live event production solutions provider PRG to specify the Hippotizer Media Servers needed to blend multiple projection images at all four of these projection installations. PRG has served as BLINK’s technical partner since 2017. Together with PRG, and working alongside Tyler Roach of Chicago-based Eclipse Creativity, Riley helped to source, set up and programme the kit.

“Tyler was instrumental in programming the Hippotizer servers for PRG. As an owner-operator of a fleet of Hippotizers, Tyler is a long-standing provider to PRG and a real asset in regards to delivering the Hippotizers as a solution to this event,” says Riley. “In addition, PRG are the rental and staging house for possibly the largest projection mapping festival in the USA today, with Bryan Besterfeldt on projection mapping engineering duties for PRG. Bryan has amazing capabilities and manages a myriad of challenges – not to mention the demands of working in a very public, city centre space!

“The Green Hippo team is beyond proud to have been involved in the BLINK Cincinnati events, which immersed the streets in light and video and we’d like to thank the teams involved and congratulate the artists on an incredible, memorable event.”



Cast your mind back to October 2020 and the world is only just starting to return to normal post Covid. In our world of Television and Film, Top Gear’s Car Fest outdoor style show kicks off the BBC’s comeback to TV production, but the rest of the live events world is still firmly shut with little positive news on the horizon.

However, just before the pandemic television and live events were becoming more intwined with many of us lighting more Live Events for the wider audience on Television. As such, JLLighting seized the opportunity to in mid-2020 to build upon this and created a new live events company, JLLive, to ensure our focus remained firmly on building strong partnerships between Television and Live Events.

We knew that when live events did return, they would be forever changed, they would largely become hybrid and that they would need a more televisual style of lighting, set and filming production than ever before to engage both the in person and virtual [broadcast] audiences. MD Jack Linaker adds “We know TV and I’ve lined up a small team from Blitz to help us take forward our existing event and TV work and tell our new story to the rest of the event world while they have time to listen,”

And so JLLive was formed with Phil McMichael heading up the day-to-day commercial activity in preparation for the future. Since then, JLL has gone from strength to strength delivering Video, Media servers, Lighting, power and rigging solutions for multiple agencies, corporates, and technical directors for such trusted brands as

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| Sponsor News
| Above: JLL Celebs Go Dating

Disney, Airbus, GSK, Ocado, Snapchat and Financial Times. With this growth has also come investment in Absen LED video wall solutions, over 100 Samsung 4K commercial screens, a suite of Blackmagic backend systems, vMix IT solutions, multiple 4K Cameras, additional sound equipment and an exciting investment in Netgear’s new AV Line series aimed specifically at the Broadcast and Live event market.

With our portfolio of existing and new event work now being driven by Phil and his team, JLLighting has continued to focus on expanding and diversifying its television delivery from Light Entertainment into reality and scripted drama; investing in the right type of new equipment to support the ever-changing world of our TV clients. This included purchasing a significant number of Ayrton Eurus, Astera Hydras & Titan Tubes, Gemini Panels, My Method Clone lamps, Daylight 4way Banks and JLL being one of the first suppliers in UK to stock a suite of the incredible Ayrton Cobra phosphor laser lights.

With the volume of event production work growing rapidly and our portfolio of television production lighting, power, rigging and media server support work similarly growing we needed a new, bigger warehouse and office space to accommodate our expansion. So, in March ‘22 we took the opportunity to move into one of the most sustainable new premises in the UK at Verda Park in Wallingford; this being an EPC A+ Certified Net Zero Carbon development housing a Solar Photovoltaics system whereby 100% of our regulated energy requirements are now generated by renewable and LZC technologies. As members of ISLA and ALBERT we continue to do all we can to work toward a net zero carbon future across our entire operation by 2030.

With more and more demand being placed on our event team for video production, vision mixing, postproduction editing as well as a significant growth in our delivery of lighting solutions for scripted drama and film, the start of 2023 has seen JLL acquire Darren Cook and his Scruffy Bear Pictures team to further expand our fullservice technical production offer.

So, with 3 companies now all working as one team under one roof to help deliver exceptional experiences for all our clients we are simplifying our identity and taking this ‘one team’ approach to present our technical production partnerships under the new single banner of JL GROUP (also fondly presented as Team JLL).

We can’t wait to work with you and show you how a production partnership with JL Group can now further help you be ever more creative and engage your audiences better than ever before.

Kino Flo Lighting Systems


The MIMIK is a patented full spectrum solution video lighting tile that mirrors video content and doubles as a light source on virtual sets. Driven by the Megapixel Helios processor, the MIMIK maintains the colorimetry of the incoming RGB video signal. The three color RGB video signal is translated to full spectrum five color

Warm White 2700K, Cool White 6500K, Red, Green and Blue LEDs.

Since the MIMIK video tile uses the same video signal, it can be synchronized with other video displays. The MIMIK tile operates at a high refresh rate of 30kHz and 16-bit depth enabling camera speeds of up to 960 fps with no flickering at low light levels. A lighting desk can be used to control light levels and select the video image used on the MIMIK through the Helios processor. The MIMIK can be configured to work in parallel with other video displays / processors.

The FreeStyle Air is a lightweight fixture series compatible with Kino Flo’s existing FreeStyle systems, twist-on mounts, extension cables and LED-140 & LED-150 series controllers. The 3 available sizes range from 20.7” to 39.6” in length with a narrow profile of less than 2”. This portable panel series offers the advantages of easy deployment and favorable cost of ownership to current FreeStyle owners and operators.

In addition to its compatibility, the FreeStyle Air offers corner bumpers for 4-point rope hangs. Its rigid construction prevents any flex when handling and safeguards the integrity of its components. Usable LED life is extended with a proven passively cooled design that ensures color and luminosity remain stable over the rated life of the LEDs.

Ease of maintenance is built into a user serviceable design. The FreeStyle Air delivers Kino Flo’s renowned Color Science LED technology in this lightweight addition to the range.


Martin Professional appoints UK Ireland Account Manager

Martin Professional continues their expansion with the appointment of Chris Munn as Account Manager for UK and Ireland.

With almost twenty years of experience in the industry, he brings extensive knowledge and in-depth experience to the team. His passion for Martin products evident, particularly in his lighting design work, Chris joins Martin from working as an Energy Zone Manager on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, leaving early to grasp this opportunity.

Chris previously worked across many roles in various venues, including Technical Manager of various producing and receiving regional venues. Also, a qualified electrician, he brings with him a wide range of skills gained from working on events, festivals and tours in every discipline; along with his already proven can-do attitude and hands-on approach!

Chris comments, “I am excited to be part of the Martin team. This role will give me the ability to utilise and leverage the skills and knowledge I’ve gained in my career so far. With my hands-on experience and knowledge, I can help to add value and further improve the support Martin offer to the UK and Ireland.

Ben Payne, Director of Lighting for EMEA adds, “Chris has already proven himself to be a huge part of the Martin

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Professional team. His hands-on skills and on-the-job knowledge really lend themselves to being able to offer the best support and service and we are delighted to have him on board!”

Martin Professional appoints Installed Lighting Consultant Relationship Manager

Martin Professional continues to grow their dynamic lighting team with the appointment of Sean O’Callaghan as Installed Lighting Consultant Relationship Manager, EMEA.

With over twenty years’ experience of specification lighting sales, Sean has a strong track record in delivering projects in locations as diverse as Dubai Creek Harbour, Kuwait Tennis Courts, Oxford Street Projections, SAKS 5th Avenue & The Peak Hong Kong – to name a few.

Having started his career with HID products in exterior applications, Sean was increasingly drawn to working on projects that created themes with light, noting his love of the range, challenges and uniqueness associated with these projects. Along with the pleasure of seeing them in operation over the years. Sean adds, “I am thrilled to be working with the Martin Professional team. The passion that I have for lighting is really echoed throughout the team. Martin is the natural fit for my interests and skills.”

Ben Payne, Director of Lighting for EMEA says, “Sean brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge. Martin has really exciting times ahead. In the creation of Sean’s role, we are expanding a dynamic and passionate team. We are delighted to welcome Sean on board”


Matthews C-stands have been a mainstay on sets for over 50 years. Now there’s one that literally fits in your pocket. Matthews 5” Pocket C-Stand offers familiar features in a super-compact form:

• Rugged steel build

• Double riser

• Sliding leg

• 2 functioning aluminium grip heads with 3/16 holes

Ideal for tabletop or miniature photography, this 13oz/368.5g C-Stand raises to a maximum height of 13”/33.02cm without the included Arm or 18”/45.72cm with the Arm.

Matthews 5” Pocket C-Stand is an easy way to support standard dot and finger flags as well as scrims, and other mini gear.


ams OSRAM signs agreement to sell its entertainment lighting business Claypaky to ARRI AG

ams OSRAM (SIX: AMS), a global leader in optical solutions, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Claypaky entertainment lighting business to Germany based ARRI AG.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Claypaky, established in 1976 and acquired by OSRAM in 2014, is headquartered in Seriate, Italy

and is recognized as a leading global provider and worldwide reference brand in the professional high-end entertainment lighting market. Claypaky has strengthened its technology leadership through LED and Laser based portfolio extensions, and offers an innovative, awardwinning portfolio of moving body and moving mirror projectors, colour-changers, followspots, projectors and various lighting effects. Claypaky is a leading partner for the world’s most renowned shows, global events, and theaters.

AG, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems as well as system solutions for the film, broadcast, and media industries, with a worldwide distribution and service network.

“The acquisition of Claypaky is a strategic, long-term investment into our lighting business,” said ARRI CEO Dr. Matthias Erb. “Claypaky enjoys premium recognition in the entertainment lighting market while ARRI is recognised as a premium manufacturer in motion picture and broadcast lighting. This premium position of the two brands shows, that both companies are an ideal match and can further expand their respective businesses under the unified parent company.”

Dr. Wilhelm Nehring, EVP Business Unit Digital at ams OSRAM commented: “ARRI AG is an ideal new home for the Claypaky team in Seriate and all around the world. ARRI’s global footprint, strong technology track record and market understanding will offer a very attractive long-term perspective for Claypaky and their customers.”

“We are very happy to be joining the ARRI family. Both companies have a leading position in their field, thanks to a deep market knowledge, innovation power and customer understanding. We both share a rich heritage of, and unconditional passion for technology and innovation in a professional industry that fascinates thousands of people around the world. Together with ARRI, we will continue to deliver on our vision – to create the best in class lighting equipment, services and offer world level reference products to an even broader customer base,” said Marcus Graser, Managing Director of Claypaky.

With this agreement, ams OSRAM implements the last of the divestments which the company had communicated to pursue following the acquisition of OSRAM. ams OSRAM will continue to focus on the high technology semiconductor business and its automotive specialty lamps business and the announcement represents a further milestone in the implementation of ams OSRAM’s strategy to focus on core technology areas in illumination, visualization, and sensing and to divest businesses that are not core to the company’s strategy.

For more information on ARRI AG please visit For more information about ams OSRAM please visit our website at For more information about Claypaky visit

Set & Light | Winter 2022 37
Michel Arntz Joins Robe Michel Arntz joins Robe’s international sales team as key Account Manager for Europe. He will be co-ordinating | Above: Martin – Sean OCallaghan

Robe’s activities in 18 countries across Europe including Ukraine, and his area will also include all of Scandinavia, Poland, the Baltic states, Austria, Switzerland and most of the Balkan countries. Netherlands-based Michel is already a well-known and respected industry figure in Europe.

In addition to sales, the scope of his work will cover product communication and marketing, plus relationship building with the distributors and end users.

Michel commented that he is “super excited” to be joining Robe’s international sales manager Ingo Dombrowski and his team of regional sales managers, noting that their “drive, passion and enthusiasm for their work and the industry that we all love so much” was a major reason for him accepting the position.

Previously, Michel’s work experience included 13 years at sales and distribution company Fairlight, most latterly as general manager for sales, so he has a great perspective on the needs and requirements of a successful distribution operation. He is known for his energy and enthusiasm as well as for being a skilled communicator with excellent social skills. He has an innate love of people, a penchant for networking and a reputation for engineering win-win solutions, all of which are major assets to Robe, noted Ingo. Ingo adds, “Robe has spent many years building a strong, stable, and reliable distribution network with outstanding support for our brand. For us, it is so much more than just delivering goods. Michel shares this vision and commitment that has made Robe a market leader, and we are delighted to have him onboard and confident in his ability to grow future business and explore a diversity of opportunities!”

Michel is already familiar with Robe and several of its key players. He stated, “Price, quality and innovative products are fundamental to this success; however, Robe has always equally valued the people and long-term relationships involved, which is a great MO for our future development.”

Michel joined Robe’s family on January 1st , 2023, and his work immediately kicked off on the road, travelling extensively, and focussing on getting to know key companies and players on a list of inspirational and dynamic distributors.

New Roles at Robe

Two key individuals who have been integral to Robe lighting s.r.o’s international sales team for many years … will be taking on new roles in the company!

At 70 years young, globe-trotting industry maverick and sales guru, Harry von den Stemmen, announces that he will be taking life slightly easier in the immediate future as he steps back from his post as international sales director to continue working as a global key account manager as well as taking an ambassadorial role within the company.

Says Harry, “I celebrated my 70 th birthday last month and after 50 hard working years in this amazing industry, the last nearly 20 as a public face of Robe, I felt it was the right time to adjust my work-life balance, turn in a few less hours and air-miles every month, and spend more time with my grandchildren and the many other

hobbies and activities I enjoy in addition to work!”

Since 2003, Harry has been at the forefront of Robe’s push to become a market leader in the world of moving lights and LED technology. His zeal and passion for the industry and the brand, coupled with his understanding of diverse cultures, mindsets, and approaches to commerce, plus an amazing set of connections have helped build Robe’s dynamic long term worldwide distribution network from the ground up. This has been the bedrock of the company’s success, together with Robe’s innovative product development strategies.

Josef Valchar, Robe s.r.o.’s CEO stated, “Harry has been absolutely pivotal to building our brand on a global scale. His massive fund of experience, insights, attention to detail and unparalleled diplomatic skills have been among our greatest strengths, so we were all delighted when Harry indicated that he would like to continue being a valued part of our Robe team in an adjusted role.”

This will see Harry continue to travel, although not at quite such a furious pace, and spend time working on Robe special projects in selected regions. He will still manage specific global territories and will be engaging with some key communication and promotional activities that underscore Robe’s strong brand identity, customer loyalty and commitment to a sustainable future. “There are plenty of challenges ahead with much to

38 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Sponsor News
| Below: Robe Ninja Warriors Israel | Above: Robe Ingo Dombrowski

look forward to, most of all remaining in the industry and collaborating with people I admire and respect,” commented Harry, admitting that he intends to fully enjoy his additional time, although much of it is already allocated!

Stepping up as international sales director while Harry takes on the new role is Ingo Dombrowski, who has been with the company for 18 years and also played a significant role in Robe becoming a worldwide player.

Well known for his technical acumen, lateral thinking and organisational skills, Ingo will initiate, co-ordinate and spearhead international business together with the international sales force and Robe’s subsidiaries.

“I’m very honoured that Josef and Ladislav (Petřek, cofounder and; co-owner of Robe) are putting so much trust in me, and I look forward to dealing with the challenges and work ahead, and to proudly continuing the Robe success story!” he noted. Ingo feels that reliability and future proofing have contributed massively to the brand’s rising star, together with keeping a sharp ear to the ground, listening to client and end-user needs and incorporating that input into the products. This proactivity will continue to underpin the product development cycles ‘on his watch’ he confirmed.

Josef concluded, “I am confident that Ingo’s expertise and knowledge will help provide continuity in the international sales director role at this critical time.

“Robe’s market position today is the result of some highly creative and talented individuals with many specialities working together as a brilliant team. We have always believed in investing in ‘human capital’ and in putting its empowerment, energy, imagination, and inspiration at the core of our operation and our family.”

Robe Keeps up with Israel’s Ninja Warriors

The fifth season of Ninja Warrior Israel, the hugely popular endurance sport competition TV series, was recorded on the waterfront of the highly atmospheric Haifa port industrial setting, overlooked by giant cranes and massive container ships unloading at the adjacent docks.

All the action – as competitors negotiated a series of increasingly difficult obstacles against each other and the clock – was filmed overnight due to the extreme heat, and expertly lit by lighting designer / director Ofer Jacobi working in close collaboration with director Oren Levi. The site was a 20,000 square metre outdoor arena-like space, so Ofer needed powerful moving lights and chose Robe products to help light vital elements of the show.

The Robes included 14 x BMFL Blades, 30 x Spiider LED wash beams, 23 x Pointes and 12 x LEDBeam 150s, supplied by leading Israeli rental company Argaman Systems Ltd., along with approximately 1500 or so other fixtures on the rig. Fourteen substantial constructions / games were designed and built by the Ninja Warriors international team ATS. The concept originally started as a Japanese video game in 1994 then became a popular reality TV show Sasuke, which was the inspiration for the first US American Ninja Warrior (ANW) in 2009, with the UK version starting in 2015. It is now a worldwide

Set & Light | Winter 2022 39
“We have always believed in investing in ‘human capital’ and in putting its empowerment, energy, imagination and inspiration at the core of our operation and our family ”
| Above: Robe Michel Arntz


The games / obstacles, which consume several kilometres of trussing, change each season, with one constant factor across the whole Ninja Warrior franchise and that is Mount Midoriyama, a punishing final challenge that contestants must conquer to win the large cash prizes and the ultimate title of Ninja Warrior!

Ofer chose all these Robe fixtures for their power, functionality, and reliability. These factors are “key considerations” for a job like this which entails an exterior environment with high humidity and heavy usage. Apart from that, naturally, “they all look great on camera,” he stated.

Whilst obviously a TV show, this site requires a stadium lighting approach in so many ways to capture the scale, complexity, and rawness at the essence of all that adrenalised Excitement! Ofer also likes Robe as a brand, so there are usually some Robe products in most of his television work which also includes Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Master Chef, Hamerdaf (The Chase), The Next Restaurant.

Two of the BMFL Blades were positioned on the floor either side of the landmark Midoriyama Mountain and were used for following the action, with the other 12 on a circular central stage in the middle of all the games which had a video floor. From there, the BMFL Blades could beam around, searchlight style, and pick up contestants on all the surrounding games.

The Spiiders were dotted all over the site, rigged on various trusses and used for general washing and TV lighting. The entire central area could be illuminated with spiders – they produced a rich and colourful light carpet which looked amazing on the overhead drone shots – and they were rigged in positions where they could quickly swap between the different games’ sets, effectively replacing the need for substantial numbers of static Lekos and LED panels.

Ofer likes the Spiider’s colour mixing and range of colours which include CT whites, although they were mainly used in the show’s signature electric blue. Some lighting cues were co-ordinated with the games action as everything flipped red when a contestant crashed out or hit the water pools underneath the games! “The Spiiders were a fantastic and a highly flexible option for these tasks and for this show,” he noted.

The Pointes were distributed around the set and the various games. “The beams look great and very dynamic on TV” said Ofer, and they were also ideal for creating big victorious look for the winners.

The LEDBeam 150s were deployed in two vertical lines ascending the mountain and used for making geometric beams in the air and filling the arena with effects as well as augmenting the Pointe beams in some looks.

Having all these Robes at his disposal gave Ofer “multiple options” to achieve the drama they wanted and follow the action, ensuring that all 29 cameras could get fantastic shots. He worked closely with his regular programmer Ronen Ben Harosh who operated the two Compulite Vector consoles (one for effects lighting and one for ‘conventional’ TV lighting) running a total of 24 x

DMX universes of control. Before getting to site, the pair worked through everything in WYSIWYG which give them the optimal lighting positions so they and the riggers could spend their time efficiently.

The lighting challenge – as always – was to make the action thrilling for TV audiences while lighting for a demanding multicamera environment. The exacting nature of the project and the tough scheduling are what Ofer thrives on, enjoying creating new ambiences and vibes every time.

The crew were on site for 3 weeks including the build and rehearsals, followed by 8 nights of overnight shooting with a crew recovery / sleep day in between each recording session.

The production company was Keshet, and the show will be broadcast on their Keshet12 channel.


Fernando Argüelles, ASC AEC is an acclaimed Spanish cinematographer based in the United States who has worked on feature films and countless television series, including Prison Break, Hemlock Grove, Grimm and Scorpion. He was also one of the first cinematographers to have used Rosco SoftDrop shortly after we launched the product in 2015. After his first experience using a SoftDrop on the FOX science fiction crime drama Second Chance in 2016, he was enthusiastic to use it again in 2021 on the post-apocalyptic horror television series Fear the Walking Dead. Below, Fernando shares how Rosco SoftDrop helped him create realistic background imagery in these two very different fictional stories.

Second Chance took place in Seattle, Washington but was shot in Vancouver, Canada. We built a massive set that comprised a two-story house with a real garden and swimming pool. Through the large full-wall, panoramic windows that surround the entire house you could see the patio with the swimming pool and the trees, followed by more trees, and the city skyline stretched at the end of the horizon.

The team at Rosco Digital Imaging captured the photo of downtown Seattle that produced the nearly 129 ft (40m) Rosco Day/Night SoftDrop that we installed outside of the house. Because the house was all in glass, every time we moved the camera or panned around, we were able to see the background imagery at day and nighttime. This backdrop length gave the actors more freedom to walk where they wanted and the directors more flexibility to set up scenes with different points of view and movement, whether we were using a Steadicam, a dolly, or a jib arm.

I had never worked with SoftDrop before. In my previous experiences with other backdrops, I always had two major problems: 1) they are shiny and 2) they show wrinkles. When you have a vinyl backdrop, it needs to hang for a certain period to get completely flat. If it is not flat and warm enough, there are wrinkles that are almost impossible to avoid because of the reflection of lights. When Production Designer Paul Peters suggested using Rosco’s new SoftDrop technology for this series, I agreed.

40 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Sponsor News

It seemed to me that it was the way to go. Two or three days after we installed the backdrop, it became completely flat. Thanks to its 100% cotton composition we didn’t have any of the problems associated with vinyl backdrops. I fell in love with Rosco SoftDrop. It suited my style of photography which is more naturalistic. The little shiny points that appear here and there when you photograph a vinyl material were gone. Plus, we didn’t have to fight them in post-production, which saved us a lot of time.

I also requested to have some smoke between the trees and the city to diffuse the atmosphere. If you look at any city, when there is natural backlighting, there is this atmospheric diffusion in the air, which could be mist in the air or pollution, or the combination of both. Using Rosco SoftDrop, which is already soft in itself, together with the smoke, longer focal length lenses, and some light filtration in the camera helped me achieve the desired softness and look for these scenes.

Many cinematographers were complimentary of the result saying that these shots looked real. To say that the house, the patio, and the city skyline are realistic, regardless of whether it is beautiful or not, is the best compliment we could get.

My experience with Rosco SoftDrop on Second Chance in 2016 led me to recommend it to Production Designer Bernardo Trujillo for Season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead in 2021. We built a full circle set and needed a background that could envelop the set and enable us to shoot at any angle. We acquired two distinct SoftDrops for different episodes – one showing a red sky and the other a yellow sky with clouds. Rosco Digital Imaging turned our artwork into two SoftDrops that covered nearly 200° of the set so we could circle them wherever the camera or the action needed to go on set.

The design intent was to create a post-nuclear atmosphere - a surrounding that is lifeless, devoid of colours, with only brown and black tones. Each backdrop depicts a distinct place and time frame. We wanted to create a progression in the look that matched the progression of the story. The muted red sky backdrop, used in episodes one, two, and three, depicts a dark atmosphere after a recent nuclear blast.

The yellow sky SoftDrop was used in episode four to show time progression. To enhance the feeling of a post-nuclear apocalypse we backlit the backdrop with a yellow LED colour. We placed the lights underneath, about 10 ft (3m) from the backdrop, pointing up. There is smoke here as well, both regular and ground fog, that adds to the overall softness of the image.

I am very happy with how the SoftDrops worked out in both projects. The first one was a very natural, everyday situation inside the house, while the second was a completely different case. In both instances, the backdrops worked for me and created the artistic vision we were pursuing. From my experience, I can say that Rosco SoftDrop is a very important cinematographic tool - it is your image right there!


Vari-Lite VL2600 orchestrates an ensemble of looks for Jools Holland

The legendary Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra embarked on their Autumn 2022 UK tour in October, backed by a ‘big band’ lighting design by Paul Fairfield. His vision for the show swings from upbeat rock ‘n’ roll large looks to smooth solo instrument key lighting using VL2600 Profile luminaires from Vari-Lite, the originators of the modern moving head and a Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), entertainment lighting brand.

The VL2600 Profile fixtures were supplied by Peterborough-based Pearce Hire, which was the first company in the world to invest in them back in 2018. Pearce Hire has supplied the lighting rig to Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra tours for more than a decade and worked with Fairfield to specify the VL2600s. “We knew the VL2600s were just perfect for the needs of the Jools Holland tour,” says Fairfield. “The consistency of the smooth light output from the LED engine across the rig versus a discharge fixture was a game changer.”

For the tour, Fairfield has rigged 20 VL2600 Profiles in the standard rig, with a further six going out for the flagship show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Eight are being used as key light on the front truss, which Fairfield says is “working great as I use iris, framing shutters and the brilliant zoom range to achieve great key light without spilling out to monitors and mic stands and so on.” A further six VL2600 Profiles are hung on the mid truss and another six are on the back truss.

“There are around 27 numbers during the show and by end of it I’ve pretty much used every trick the VL2600s have to offer,” Fairfield continues. “The gobo range is really good, especially when used with some zoom effects. The beams in the smoke are really crisp and with just the 12 overhead I can encase the whole big band in a break-up curtain of light.

“The zoom range verses the intensity of the VL2600s also really impresses. When you zoom out, you usually see a reduction in intensity, but the light output doesn’t seem to reduce as much on the VL2600 Profile. The dimmer curve is also very impressive.”

Fairfield says he was free to design the lighting for the show as he wished, taking into account that the ‘big band’ feel of the show required dynamic looks for the songs that go big, involving all 16 performers in action, but also needed moody and textured looks for the slower numbers. “There are a few standout moments when the VL2600 really cuts through and looks really great,” adds Fairfield. “One particular moment is in a song called ‘Crushed’ that has guest vocals from [Fine Young Cannibals lead singer] Roland Gift. It’s a pop track and I use a lot of saturated color. The VL2600s are in a burst break-up and they cut through really strongly, using a smooth intensity chase.” “I adopted an approach of really paying attention to the musicality of the numbers to highlight the sections of the band relative to the song and where the audience focus should be. Having a fixture like the VL2600 Profile that can do everything from key light to strong color looks to nice break up beams was perfect.”

Pearce Hire’s John Huson comments: “The VL2600s were

Set & Light | Winter 2022 41

our first foray into LED moving profiles, and they’ve been a successful part of Pearce Hire’s inventory. Paul Fairfield is using them to the their full potential and creating some great looks. We are really pleased to have invested in them.” A plethora of big-name guests are joining the Autumn Tour, including Vic Reeves, Lulu and Celeste. Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra plays dates across the UK during November and December, with two nights at the magical Royal Albert Hall.


Version 2 is delighted to announce a new sports partnership with Team GB’s Elise Glynn. Elise, a young amateur boxer boasts an illustrious junior and amateur career securing a multitude of European and National Championships. Her impressive rise through the 57kg weight division has recently been recognised by GB Boxing, awarding her a place on their podium squad.

Starting boxing at the age of 13, Elise spotted a poster advertising a local boxing club and asked her Dad if she could give it a try. Elise’s father Pete, is a major part of her story and when Elise found boxing, Pete did too. Pete learnt his craft gaining his coaching badges, and trained his daughter himself.

To help fund her passion Glynn holds down multiple jobs whilst training full-time, and studying for a degree with the Open University in Business Management and Marketing. Fresh funding from Version 2 provides a much welcomed addition to her training camp.

The Partnership with Elise represents Version 2’s third format partnership in sport after becoming the Official Partner of BOXXER, Savannah Marshall and Sky Sports Boxing in October 2021 and most recently Saracens Rugby Club in January 2022.

Version 2, a lighting rental specialist for the television, broadcast and event industries have supplied lighting to the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, The Jonathan Ross Show and are also active in the sports broadcast market supplying lighting to both the BBC and ITV for their studios at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The future of women’s boxing is bright, and shows no sign of slowing down. Over 2m sports fans tuned in to a historic night of women’s boxing back in October when Savannah Marshall fought Claressa Shields at the 02 Arena creating the biggest TV audience for a live women’s sports event ever on Sky.

The importance of Pete Glynn should never be forgotten in his daughter’s story. Sadly, Pete a single parent is suffering with incurable bone cancer, but Elise cites her father as the reason she gets up in the morning, and boxing gives her father a purpose.

Olympic hopeful Elise Glynn, is delighted to be supported by Version 2. “A massive thank you to Nick Edwards and Version 2 for their support going forward as my main sponsor. I’m immensely grateful to have Version 2 on board to take the financial pressure off myself, with the aim to qualify for the Paris 2024

Olympic Games”

“Version 2 also sponsor professional boxer Savannah Marshall who is my role model, so to get the support from the same company is amazing!”

Nick Edwards, Managing Director at Version 2 commented on the partnership. “We’re immensely proud to be supporting Elise and her Paris 2024 dream! The future is bright for Elise, a serious talent and at just 21, we feel is only just getting started. We’re excited to be supporting Elise on her journey.”


Quasar Science Add Dramatic Scalability to Linear LED Lighting with New Banking and Control Accessories

Quasar Science, a leading provider of advanced lighting solutions and a Videndum brand – has announced the launch of two new products designed to scale up its linear LED lighting range for large motion picture and content creation sets. Ossium Shells allow Crossfade X and Rainbow fixtures to be banked together in a unit with articulating doors to control shape and spill. Ossium Frames allow users to combine Rainbow fixtures in stacked arrays to create a wall of light with pixel-level control.

With the new Ossium Shells, users can combine either the 2’ or 4’ models of Quasar Science Crossfade X bicolor tubes, or Rainbow 2 and Double Rainbow RGBX tubes in banks of two or four fixtures. Articulating doors on Ossium Shells allows control of shape and spill. Each unit includes an Ossium Backplate to mount the tubes securely, and Ossium Baby Pin for rigging.

The larger 4-bank 4’ Rainbow kits include a new Super G Multi Axis Mounting System for maximum control over pan, tilt, and rotation. Tubes simply snap into, or bolt onto the shell to create banks and power is connected via the included multibank AC adaptor. For greater directional control, an optional 40° Eggcrate is available for each shell.

Ossium Frames are a strong and simple frame rigging system for both standard and virtual production environments. The frames allow users to combine 2’ or 4’

42 Set & Light | Winter 2022 | Sponsor News
| Above: Version 2 Elise Glynn

Rainbow fixtures into stacked arrays of twelve Rainbow 2, or six Double Rainbow fixtures to produce a large source of highly controllable light. Each pixel in the stacked arrays receives its own unique data, allowing the Rainbows to produce dramatic image-based lighting with realistic animation at scale. Direct connection of every industry-standard wired and wireless control option from DMX and Bluetooth though to sACN makes larger Ossium Frame arrays simple to set up and control. This direct control, combined with high quality light, unique VRGB profiles for virtual production engines and the ability to render in sync with volume walls, makes Ossium Frames a unique solution for achieving more realism in virtual production environments.

“Quasar Science’s industry-leading research into the physics and control of light has developed a color engine that produces dramatically more accurate colors and control than any other linear LED fixtures available,” said Quasar Science Product Manager, Michael Herbert. “With the introduction of the Ossium Shells and Frames, users can now take that highly accurate and realistic light output and scale it up powerfully in lightweight and flexible arrays”.

A range of DoP Choice accessories are available to offer additional directional control and diffusion for Rainbow fixtures and arrays in Ossium Shells or Frames.


Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance

Having first taken place in 1923, the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance is a commemorative event dedicated to those that have served and sacrificed from Britain and the Commonwealth. Each year it takes place at the Royal Albert Hall in London and, with the Royal Family in attendance, showcases a range of words, songs and storytelling in order to remember those who have fallen.

This year the event took place on Saturday 12th November 2022 and was presented by Huw Edwards and broadcast live simultaneously on BBC One as well as BBC Radio Two. As a company that has worked on this prestigious event for well over twenty years, ELP, a trading division of WL, was asked to once again provide the lighting fixtures.

The 2022 Festival of Remembrance was perhaps one of the most significant yet; largely due to the tragic passing of Her Majesty the Queen. As the British Legion’s Patron

for 70 years, as well as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, it was vital that the Festival served as a thank you for her for a lifetime of service. Similarly, this year’s festival also wanted to celebrate the RAF Regiment’s 80th anniversary, as well as the exceptional efforts of the NHS, which was recently presented with the George Cross and whose staff exemplify the core qualities of service by placing others before themselves.

ELP was tasked to work closely with the Festival’s Lighting Designer Nigel Catmur; a renowned industry lighting designer who has worked on similar broadcasts such as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Service and VE Day Commemorations. Darren Fletcher, Sales Director at ELP, comments: “Our role is essentially to work closely with Nigel, listen to his specific needs and make sure we bring his vision to life. The Festival of Remembrance is a large-scale event, which features a variety of different performances and parades across the evening; hence Nigel’s design had to be multi-faceted and versatile. Similarly, it also had to capture certain moods and even be somewhat intimate in places, given there were several moving moments throughout”.

With the Royal Albert Hall being an internationally renowned venue that hosts events all year round, this meant that Gaffer, Sinbad and his team had limited time on-site. He explains: “We managed to fit up most of the rig on the Thursday, get everything in place for the rehearsals on Friday before the programme goes out live on the Saturday night. With a project like this, time is of the essence which is why planning beforehand and knowing what you want to achieve on the night is vital”.

ELP supplied a range of fixtures, including MAC Encore Performances, MAC Quantum Washes, MAC Aura XBs, Ayrton Eurus and ETC Source 4 Series 2 HD Daylights. The performers on the evening included Andrea Bocelli, Luke Evans, Hannah Waddingham and the Fourth Choir.

White Light Certifies as a B Corporation

Following a rigorous assessment, technical solutions specialist White Light (WL) is now a certified B Corporation (B Corp), joining a socially and environmentally conscious movement of 1000 UKbased and over 6000 companies worldwide. This news comes just a few months after WL gained ISO14001 accreditation - the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS).

Set & Light | Winter 2022 43
“Nigel’s design had to be multi-faceted and versatile. Similary, it also had to capture certain moods...”
| Above: VL Jools Holland Better Quality 3

B Corp was conceived in 2006 by B Lab - the nonprofit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet. As such, the certification process comprehensively evaluates a business’s sustainability practices. Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. WL’s commitment to operating its business as a force for good was rewarded with an Overall B Impact Score of 88.8. While 80 qualifies for certification, the median score for ordinary businesses completing assessment is currently 50.9.

At the heart of B Corp’s ethos is a Theory of Change, guiding a mission to transform the economic system into a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative global economy. WL’s Managing Director, Bryan Raven comments: “Having first been introduced to B Corp whilst undertaking the ISO14001 accreditation process, we soon realised that we wouldn’t have to change any of our behaviours or policies to qualify - we would just have to formalise them. B Corp’s mission aligns perfectly with our own, to work as one to grow a profitable and sustainable business with an international reputation for excellence. After an extensive analysis of every element of our governance as a responsible business, we’re delighted to have joined this community working together to change the economy for the better. This is not a short-term exercise in sustainability measures, this is a driving force for long-term accountability and

ownership of these values by every stakeholder in our business.”

Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK, says “We are delighted to welcome White Light to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good. We know that WL is going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.”

B Corporation certification is valid for three years, during which WL is fully committed to striving for continuous improvement, leading to recertification under even higher standards.

44 Set & Light | Winter 2022
“This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates...”
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| Above: WL Royal British Legion FB
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