As the leading global production services solution provider PRG is continually working on some of the most creatively challenging projects; developing the next generation of technology and redefining the industry as well as our company. Keep track of it all in our news updates and case studies. We will also be posting articles and videos featuring some of our industry's compelling creative thinkers; designers and luminaries.
Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today that it has closed its acquisition of assets from DigitalSound Production Services, Inc. (DPS). PRG will use these assets to strengthen and expand its inventory across a variety of its locations including its Los Angeles and PRG Paskal Lighting facilities.
Having filed for chapter 11 protection on Nov. 30, 2015, DPS immediately sought court approval to sell its assets. After a broad solicitation of offers from multiple production technology companies in a sale ordered by the Bankruptcy Court, PRG has successfully acquired the bulk of DPS’ lighting and film equipment assets. The purchase of DPS’ well maintained, quality equipment will enable PRG to fulfill its ever expanding client demand in the vibrant Los Angeles markets.
“Adding these assets to our inventory goes a long way to supporting our current clients as well as the increasing number of new customers who are learning about PRG and what we can do to address their production needs,” says Brian Edwards, CEO PRG North American Television. “Bringing on board this quantity of lighting products will give our customers greater access to fantastic technology. Plus these assets, including a large inventory of the Cineo Lighting HS Remote Phosphor luminaires, align well with our existing inventory - especially as we’ve been expanding our green screen capabilities with portable green screens.”
Evan Green, CEO PRG Film, looks forward to working with the DPS clients who are very familiar with this inventory. “I know that they will find PRG and PRG Paskal to be a tremendous resource. We have some of the best people in the industry along with an array of the best solutions and equipment.”
Across all market segments, PRG continues to add to its vast list of long-term clients, thanks to its well-earned reputation for quality and innovative support with a broad range of production technology solutions.
Touareg Prod’ joins the leading global network for technical event production.
There is one more pin in the map of PRG Alliance’s global reach – they are now present in Morocco with the addition of its new member Touareg Prod’.
Founded in 2001, Touareg Prod’ offers a range of sound, lighting, rigging, and backline solutions to entertainment industry customers as concerts, TV shows, sports, corporate and private events. The company has now about 70 technicians working full time, a head office in downtown Casablanca and a 2,000 square meter warehouse in the industrial zone of Casablanca.
“I am certain that being part of the PRG Alliance will help Touareg Prod’ to do even more amazing things,” says Squalli Farid, Partner/Owner of Touareg Prod’. “We have been in close collaboration with some of the PRG Alliance members already for a few years but now that we are officially in the group we can’t wait to partner with all the members and welcome international events in Morocco, as well as getting the support for our clients abroad.”
Touareg Prod’ is very eager to fully participate in all PRG Alliance activities and to bring as much technical knowledge and business opportunities as possible to Morocco. “We are very busy with several projects recently. It gives us confidence that now is a good time to invest in our business expansion and join PRG Alliance,” continues Farid.
“Morocco was a natural extension to our presence since it is an important destination for corporate events and concert touring in North Africa,” says Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of the PRG Alliance. “We are happy to welcome such a proficient player as Touareg Prod’ to our global team.”
With this new addition to its member’s pool, the PRG Alliance is present today in 25 countries in all continents. The complete list of participant companies and news are available on the PRG Alliance website: www.prgalliance.com.
As Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG) continues to grow globally PRG has continued to extend its Senior Leadership Team. As previously announced, Scott Hansen, who had previously served as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Asset Strategy will focus on the asset side of PRG’s business. Today, PRG is announcing the appointment of Ryan Schroeter as its Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Schroeter will oversee all of the company’s financial affairs and work closely with Scott Hansen and the other members of PRG’s Senior Leadership Team directing the company’s strategic growth and assisting in the Company’s capital market transactions.
Prior to joining PRG, Schroeter was Vice President Corporate Finance at Intrepid Aviation, a commercial aircraft leasing company, where he was instrumental in the company’s growth and debt origination activities. Previously he held the role of Assistant Treasurer at JetBlue Airways and was responsible for capital markets activities and aircraft programs.
“Ryan comes with a strong aviation background,” comments Jeremiah J. Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “On the surface, Ryan’s experience at JetBlue and Intrepid may not seem like a natural fit for PRG, but there's a number of similarities between a transportation business and PRG. The transportation industries are, like us, asset intensive, so Ryan will see familiar patterns in our business, but also bring a fresh perspective to the team. We ran an exhaustive search process to find the right person to fill this important role and I am confident we have found that person in Ryan Schroeter. Scott Hansen has done two great jobs but as the company has grown it has become apparent that the two positions needed to be separated.”
Schroeter also sees the connection between his career background and his work now at PRG. “I think what's intrigued all of us, certainly myself, was the very real similarities between PRG and my experience in the aviation industry at JetBlue and Intrepid,” says Schroeter. “Both industries rely on high value assets, are highly capital intensive, and often have to work with limited resources. So with PRG, there is a similar model, but with the unique operational challenges of a rapidly expanding global business that I can help address.”
Schroeter sees his role as CFO for PRG to include strengthening and growing PRG’s business. “I think the CFO, especially a CFO today, is not just bean counter,” Schroeter maintains. “The CFO is a thought partner in growing the business. That's what Jere and PRG want - a CFO that can roll up their sleeves, help the business solve problems and find ways to do things better and more profitably.“
Schroeter, who went to Rutgers University, is from New Jersey and has lived and worked in the Northeast throughout his career. He will be based out of PRG’s New Windsor, NY office. When not at work, he can be found, “spending time with my family and chasing my three kids around,” he laughs, “we like to ski in the wintertime so I am looking forward to the season coming up.”
Award-Winning Composer, Bruce Aronson, Joins New York Facility
PRG POST, a subsidiary of Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG) the world’s leading provider of production solutions for events and entertainment, announced today that they will now offer original music creation on site as Bruce Aronson, renowned composer for film and television, has joined their New York studio. Aronson is available to write and record original music during the post-production and production processes. PRG POST is a video post-production facility and production center based in Midtown Manhattan.
“It’s a major advantage to PRG POST’s clients that I am now located at a facility where last minute changes to music tracks can easily be made,” says Aronson. “It’s also tremendous gaining access to PRG POST’s leading-edge surround sound audio mixing suite. Clients already come to PRG for their post-production and production needs, making use of PRG’s state-of-the-art video editing rooms, color-grading rooms, and the 5.1 surround sound audio mixing suite. Now for the first time, they can enjoy the benefits of original music scoring at the same time and in the same place.”
According to one client, John Sands, Music Director at IMG and owner of Zero Point Productions, “Bruce is one of the most gifted composers and musicians. I have been producing main title themes and custom scoring with Bruce for 12 years, and he is a huge talent. PRG POST is lucky to have him on site and I am looking forward to the amazing work that will come from having both original music and leading post-production services in one place.”
Aronson brings passion and a lifetime of making music to every project. From earning his degree in classical composition to performing as a band leader and singer/songwriter on the Manhattan club circuit, Aronson brings his eclectic background to his work as a composer. An accomplished guitar, bass, keyboard player and vocalist, as well as a mad scientist-programmer, audio engineer, and producer, Aronson loves every aspect of creating music. His work can be heard all over network and cable TV, as well as in films and video games.
“Now we can offer original music services to our clients,” states Bob Barzyk, PRG POST’s Vice President of Post Production. “Productions that already come to us for our edit rooms, color, and mix services can now get the help they need with music composition all under one roof.” PRG POST’s Senior Video Content Producer, Chris Albert, adds, “We’re also ramping up our corporate, advertising, and marketing production business within the PRG family. Now the videos we produce can have original music that is specifically written for our clients and their projects.”
In this video Jaguar attempts to undertake the Guinness World Records title for Largest Ever 'Loop-The-Loop' using the new Jaguar F-Pace. The successful attempt took place ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show debut of the F-Pace on a custom-built structure. Lighting Designer Douglas Green designed the lighting for the record attempt, and reception which followed, for creative agency, Imagination. Working to Douglas's specification, PRG XL Video supplied lighting for the structure and VIP reception.
PRG XL Video was on deck as the video provider for popular drum ‘n’ bass group Rudimental’s larger shows on their 2015 tour, which also marks the first tour where the band incorporated video as part of the show. The tour started in March and culminated in a characteristically energetic performance at London’s Alexandra Palace, complete with a vibrant visual design by Jonny Gaskell.
For the Alexandra show, we supplied LED screens and Catalyst media server control, a side projection system plus IMAG cameras and PPU. This video system, including screens and IMAG, also appeared on the band’s festival appearances through the summer including their headline performances on Glastonbury’s Other Stage, at Wildlife and Parklife, Love Box and Boardmasters festivals. Jonny has used PRG XL Video on many previous projects including Richard Ashcroft, Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Kasabian, and Orbital.
The Tech Perspective
The fundamental concept of Rudimental’s full design was to make the stage an interactive and theatrical environment with several contrasting visual layers which peeled back as the all-action set developed, revealing more depth and new eye-candy every few songs. The space was defined by several impressive scenic pieces including a large replica of the Hackney Central railway bridge, and a tabbed double-sided back cloth which was in for the first few numbers depicting a Hackney skyline, the band’s home territory.
A few numbers into the set, the tabs opened to reveal a huge upstage video screen built from ROE MC-7 LED which was masked in the Catalyst to appear as three circular outputs, each filled into the centers of three circular lighting trusses.
Jonny wanted circular trusses and video screens to make the shapes more interesting and the whole effect had a big impact. IMAG was also added, two operated Sony HXC-100 HD broadcast cameras and four of PRG XL’s proprietary HDiye mini-cams, for the Ally Pally gig.
A combination of this and the tour’s playback video, created by Ben Sheppee of lightrhythm visuals, and stored on the Catalyst, was played out to the three circles and to two 21 x 11 ft projected side screens also installed for the London show. Each of the side screens was fed by a doubled-up pair of rear-projecting Barco HDW-W14 projectors.
PRG XL Video asked Phil Woodhead, one of the leading UK video directors, onboard to direct the IMAG for Alexandra Palace, where he opted for one of our large Kayak PPUs. Working with the band for the first time, Woodward keyed into Rudimental’s vibe and created an edgy camera mix to match the lively collage of urban, street, electro, and international sounds.
The four HDiye cameras, each with a 2.1 megapixel DSP chip producing full HDI 1920 x 1080p resolution at 60 FPS and 3G HD / SDI output, were positioned along the front of the stage with one behind the drummer, running into the Catalyst and output to screen by programmer/operator Jack Banks. A feed of this mix, running via an ImagePRO scaler, was also sent to Phil’s Kayak for outputting to the side screens.
The two operated cameras were positioned at FOH (with HD86X lens) and hand-held in the pit (with HDI 4 lens) and output directly from Phil’s PPU to the side screens. Jack received a sub-mix of this via the Kayak system for blending onto the LED screens. He commented that when working with PRG XL “The service is always impeccable.”
Joining Phil and Jack on the video crew were Mike Dorrie (projection & cameras), Steve Grinceri (LED & cameras) and system engineer Dhanuka Karunanayake.
Phil Mercer, PRG XL’s Director Music Group, and Project Manager Nilkanth Patel headed up the video package for all the festival shows as well as the tour. Mercer comments: “It was great working with David Sheppard, Matthew Roberts and Jonny Gaskell on this tour. We’re very happy to work with bands when they start to use video for the first time. Their ideas are often highly creative, and we enjoy helping them to bring those ideas to life.”
The ceremonies in honor of the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, organized by VO Communication in partnership with Verhulst Events and Partners and Luc Petit Creation, won first prize in the European Best Event Awards (EuBEA). The track record of Waterloo 2015 is impressive. Apart from the renowned “Best European Event”, it was also elected “Best Public Event” and “Best Celebration/Festivity.” The opening show "Inferno" was voted to be the "Best Cultural Event" and "Best Art Direction.” PRG Belgium is very pleased to have participated in the production of this project and send our congratulations to everyone who helped make it such a success.
For the recent Canadian elections, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) took the opportunity too make some permanent upgrades to the production facilities in its Barbara Frum Atrium with the support of PRG. The atrium has been used as a remote studio location for special coverage as well as a rental facility for events held in the building, which is located at the CBC headquarters in Toronto, Canada.
The existing system was a mix of semi-permanent truss that covered about half of the atrium and was ground supported along with a mix of lighting, audio, and video equipment for events or television production that took place in the atrium. The CBC staff, led by CBC Technical Producer David Allmark and Lighting Director Tom Gall, worked closely with the PRG Toronto office who provided technical solutions for this project. “We had a semi-permanent truss system installed in the atrium,” explains Allmark. “What we ended up with for this show, is that we took the legs away and flew the truss from our skylight monorail system, which is 10 stories above the atrium. We also increased the size of the truss so it essentially spans the majority of the atrium now. This will be a permanent installation that will live on after this event.”
The CBC owns most of the production equipment that is being used in the atrium space and is supplementing with some additional purchases and some rental equipment. “We have a 12-panel screen along with 80 television monitors mounted on the trussing system from 40” up to 60” units,” Allmark continues. These will all stay in the space. For this event, we are using six projectors that will be projecting onto the scenic risers. All of the video is controlled via PRG Mbox media servers. We own two Mbox rack systems that PRG has built for us, a six-channel and a four-channel system along with three new Mbox licenses we just bought for this production.”
In addition to the Mbox media servers, the CBC team has rented a number of the PRG Best Boy Spot luminaires for Gall’s lighting for the election night production as well as supplementary LED luminaires. “We’ve rented the Best Boys a number of times,” Allmark says. “Our lighting directors really like them for television lighting; they have really good punch and color choice. We have spent a lot of time with the color correction in the Best Boys, which you can really tune in well for television work.”
Along with the Best Boys, PRG provided Martin Auras and Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlasts to match up with the lighting equipment that the CBC already owns in order to meet the needs of the election night design’s scale and scope.
Sound and Visual is ready to give support to the PRG Alliance with high quality services in audiovisual, lighting, rigging, and translation systems
Greece is a great destination for corporate events, with year-round favorable weather conditions, beautiful nature, and a large number of hotels and conference facilities. The company Sound and Visual - K. Papathanasiou S.A. was invited to join the PRG Alliance due to its wealth of experience in providing technical production services for corporate events and conferences in Greece, such as the EHRA 2013 (European Heart Rhythm Association) and the meetings during the Greek Presidency in the EU in the 1st semester of 2014, showing professionalism and attention to details in their integrated solutions for all technical needs. Sound and Visual also offers services for the live music and television markets, with large events as Mad Video Music Awards, Ermis Awards and others in their portfolio.
Sound and Visual is joining the PRG Alliance to be able to provide their clients with an even higher level of service taking advantage of new opportunities to access high-end technology equipment – following their commitment to focus on technology and new media.
“One of the major values that Sound and Visual embraces is teamwork,” says Konstantinos Papathanasiou, CEO of Sound and Visual. “The company is keen on sharing knowledge with the top professionals in the event industry around the world and on the opportunity to be able to cooperate with them in Greece and abroad.”
“We have been collaborating with Sound and Visual for many years and it is a great pleasure to have them in the PRG Alliance now”, says Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of the PRG Alliance. “Our members’ international clients who choose Greece for their events can count on high-level local support now and dedicate more of their budget to event technology rather than to transportation costs.”
Greece is a promising and continuously increasing market in the event industry and the presence of PRG Alliance in the country can contribute directly in leading it to excellence.
The PRG Alliance today has members in 24 countries – the complete list of participant companies and news are available on Alliance website: www.prgalliance.com.
As Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG) continues to grow globally, the ability to strategically source and manage the global assets of the business becomes increasingly critical. To effectively guide PRG’s global asset strategy, the company today announced that Scott Hansen will be transitioning from his current role as Chief Financial Officer into the role as Chief Asset Officer. Since joining PRG in May 1997, Hansen has held a number of key executive positions at PRG and his work throughout his career at the company has kept him involved in both its financial and operational management.
In his new and expanded role as CAO, Hansen will be responsible for the global annual capital expenditure plan, and the development and implementation of strategic asset initiatives. Hansen has for some time been involved with the asset management of PRG, so this move helps to clarify and focus the roles of CFO and CAO. Hansen’s background and multi-layered understanding of PRG’s overall business goals uniquely qualify him to handle the vital role overseeing PRG’s asset strategy.
“Scott Hansen is a unique resource,” says Jeremiah J. Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG, “As we continue to grow, the new CAO position is strategically critical to PRG. This role requires a wide range of skills to successfully manage every aspect of the asset lifecycle - from acquisition to optimization to disposition. This is especially challenging for a global organization such as PRG. The combination of Scott’s deep financial skills and breadth of operational experience makes him singularly qualified to direct our asset strategy. We are fortunate to have him on the team."
Hansen states, “As PRG continues to grow globally, our logistical operations and asset management will be critical to PRG’s ability continue to deliver exceptional customer service and financial success. It is essential to PRG that asset optimization be handled in a thoughtful and strategic manner. That means consistently assessing and carefully balancing purchasing decisions; ensuring asset allocation to the right locations and regions; while always considering the entire scope of our varied markets and industry usage cycles for asset deployment. That is one way PRG can leverage our global platform to drive growth and operational efficiency."
A large part of the role of CAO will include working with the many different PRG locations, which Hansen looks forward to. “I have enjoyed building relationships with all the general managers over the years and will continue to do so even more as CAO. I want to help the PRG GM’s strengthen their infrastructure to support depots. Our asset strategy needs to relentlessly evaluate the best approach for the company as far as asset purchasing, asset turnover and regional asset deployment while at the same time supporting the exceptional standard of customer satisfaction we provide to our clients on every job we do throughout the world."
Hansen plans to embrace the challenges and the opportunities presented him as he takes on the role of Chief Asset Officer at PRG. “I've been fortunate enough to be able to wear multiple hats along the way at PRG—many at the same time. Being CAO will be another great challenge for me. I believe in the vision of PRG; our goals for the future and most importantly, the positive impact PRG can have for our employees and clients. On a personal note, I thrive on my work at PRG, yet I also enjoy the simple life at home. I love spending time with my family. Along with my wife, I am very involved with my children, their sports and schooling and I just enjoy the day to day family chaos that comes with having 3 kids. The balance of hard work at PRG and great family at home is a good one that works well for me. I am excited that as CAO I can help PRG achieve continued success. This will be fun for me. I love the challenge of it."
Jim Hutchison of JimOnLight stopped by the PRG booth before the floor opened to learn more about GroundControl from PRG’s Chris Conti. The new PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System launched at LDI to great response from the attendees of our PRG Solutions Studio booth. GroundControl gets followspot operators out of the truss and safely on the ground, plus allows designers to use followspots in more places than have been used in the past. The response to the new unit was overwhelmingly positive from designers, production managers, and spot operators, many wanting to put GroundControl units onto their shows as soon as possible.
PRG was once again selected to provide full production support for the Longines Masters of Los Angeles Horse Jumping Show. The prestigious event presents some unique challenges, like loading in enough equipment to span 12 football fields and then lifting that out of the way while 60 or 70 dump trucks are brought in to create the 8 inch dirt footing. In addition to the logistics, lighting was a key concern. The horses are used to sunshine and with any shadows or variations of light in the convention center, they may get scared and refuse to jump. PRG’s Brian Edwards and his team worked successfully to create the right effect. In CNN’s coverage of the event, Edwards states that the team had to create just the right light level, one that was intense enough so that the cameras could take the pictures and also an “even field of light without any shadows or variations” so the horses were at ease and able to put on an amazing show.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, landmarks across the world were lit blue to highlight the UN's message of peace and dignity for all. PRG was proud to support the global event in New York City. Account Executive Dan Dubofsky and team headed up the project for PRG, working with Lighting Designer Simon Cleveland for design. The result was a seamless lighting solution that dressed the facades of the General Assembly, Secretariat and Dag Hammarskjöld Library sections of the United Nations Headquarters in #UNBlue for the weekend-long celebration.
PRG helped realize visitor’s selfie jumps at world’s largest motor show
For ten days – from September 17 to 27 – visitors to the Opel booth at IAA 2015 could create their own personal ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ – a Bullet-Time tracking shot with solutions provided by Production Resource Group LLC (PRG). Bullet-Time, a visual effect method of shooting with multiple cameras creates an image frozen in time yet can be rotated around and is well-known from the Matrix films and numerous commercials.
Opel relied on the experience of PRG for the planning, design, and technical implementation of their exacting requirements. Bellprat Associates AG was responsible for the idea and the concept. The graphical user interface of the terminals, the Facebook connectivity, and implementation of the barcode scanners was realized by bluelemon Interactive GmbH. The Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA - International Automobile Exhibition) is the world’s largest motor show and is held in Frankfurt, Germany.
For the Opel Selfie Jump, PRG developed a system using 75 digital SLR cameras arranged in a semi-circle of 270 degrees, which was aligned with millimeter precision with the booth visitors in the center of the circle. As a visual aid to the participants, a monitor with countdown was displayed below the cameras. The shutter release of the 75 cameras was done manually using a remote control by an employee at the Opel booth.
The instantly-created three-second video sequence from the 75 simultaneously acquired images was incorporated into the interactive content displayed on high-resolution LED screens and 3D objects around the Opel booth. At the same time, visitors could access their own Selfie Jump posted on the Opel Facebook page.
PRG faced enormous technical requirements for this engaging interactive display during the two-month design and production phase. The company had to respond to a variety of technical challenges including automating the post-processing of the camera images as video to make the sequence available immediately.
During the production phase of the event, PRG developed, specifically for this purpose, an innovative modular system of opto-couplers and a microcontroller. These were able to synchronously trigger all of the cameras, start the countdown over the network, begin the rendering process, and display any error messages. This allowed the error detection mechanism to autonomously utilize the fallback system.
Since the installation of the cameras was covered to protect against unauthorized access and to avoid dust entering the mechanisms, PRG also developed a custom software solution that enabled technicians to remotely configure the cameras both individually and collectively. In addition, the team had to allow for sufficient manual access to the camera hardware to enable servicing and recalibration.
The Opel Selfie Jump project was a complete success. Over the ten days of IAA 2015 more than 3,500 video clips were created by visitors on the Opel booth – meaning the 75 cameras clicked and produced a Bullet-Time tracking shot every 2 minutes.
Working with international visual artist Simon Mckeown, PRG XL Video supported the outdoor building projection and mapping system for Cork Ignite, a special arts exhibition which left a huge crowd of onlookers wanting more.
Mckeown was originally invited by the directors of the National Sculpture Factory and Create Ireland to meet with them in Cork to discuss the project. He proposed that they create an outdoor projection event to be held on Culture Night 2015, a national event in which hundreds of art events take place throughout Ireland. With funding from a various partners1 whose collective aim is to showcase the talents of people with disabilities, including artists and performers, McKeown began designing. He worked with a group of participants from COPE Foundation and other disability organizations to create a collaborative work based around stop frame animation, shadow puppetry, artwork, and video.
Work from this workshop directly and indirectly influenced the content created by Mckeown’s team for the Cork Ignite projection onto the College of Commerce at Union Quay in Cork, Ireland. His creative team included Craig McMullen, sound specialist Nigel Crooks, concept artist Kameliya Minkova, Phillip Wray, and David Archibold.
To realize Simon’s idea of creating a building projection on the exterior of Cork College of Commerce, he contacted PRG XL Video Senior Account Manager, Paul Wood who put together the technical specifications for projection and playback.
In Simon’s words “This was a big outdoor project which carried a lot of risk and uncertainty and expectation. The project formed the ambitious centre point to Culture Night Ireland in Cork. It had prestigious support from organizations in Ireland and the UK and was hoped to have a very large audience. Expectations were high and combining this stress with my own exacting standards meant that I could only consider working with PRG XL and Paul and his team… As nearly a quarter of a million lumens hit the College of Commerce I was, and still remain, absolutely certain I made the correct decision. Simply stunning.”
1Funding for the event came from Teesside University, and Ignite – a partnership of the Arts Council, Arts & Disability Ireland, Cork City Council, Galway City and County Councils, and Mayo County Council, whose collective aim is to showcase the talents of people with disabilities, including artists and performers.
PRG Takes Home Both an LDI Product Award and a Parnelli Award as “Video Company of the Year”
This past weekend, Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG) took home two big wins on Saturday night while exhibiting at LDI 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. Following an enthusiastic response and non-stop crowds in the PRG booth all Friday and Saturday, the LDI team was awarded the LDI Best Debuting Product – Staging and Rigging for the new PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System. Presented at the LDI Awards event on the show floor and accepted by PRG Product Manager for Luminaires Chris Conti, who thanked PRG’s Technology Development team, based in Dallas. He also thanked the industry colleagues who contributed feedback during development, especially Lighting Designer Bob Barnhart and the Full Flood team for their inspiration towards developing this revolutionary product.
The PRG GroundControl Followspot System allows the spot operator to be in a remote location up to 2,000’ away while operating a high output PRG Bad Boy® Spot automated luminaire as a followspot. GroundControl quite literally places the spot op safely on the ground and the physical footprint within the rig of the luminaire is just 30 inches round and weighs only 172 lbs. Because of this small footprint and low weight, followspots can now be placed in a wider variety of positions than they ever could before, reducing the weight and cumbersome challenges sometimes faced when incorporating a followspot into certain designs.
Later in the evening at the 15th Annual Parnelli Awards, a gala event and dinner held at the Rio Hotel & Casino, PRG was named the Video Rental Company of the Year. The Parnelli, named after Tour & Production Manager Rick ‘Parnelli’ O'Brien, holds prestige in the production industry as it reflects being nominated and voted upon by colleagues industry-wide. The award was accepted by Nick Jackson, Senior Vice President, PRG Music Group.
“This is a real honor,” notes Mickey Curbishley, CEO of the PRG Music Group. “Though the award was for our work on U2, it's really a reflection of everything we do on every level. Congratulations to our entire PRG team, certainly to everyone who worked so hard on the amazing U2 tour and a big thank you to everyone for voting for us as number one. You all keep us at the top of our game.”
The U2 tour’s stunning video visuals, achieved by the tour’s Video Director Stefaan ‘Smasher’ Desmedt, leveraged the scrim-like qualities of the PRG V-Thru LED Video modules. Built into two screens, each 96’ long by 23’ tall, consisted of 240 individual 28mm V-Thru panels with a 66% transparency for true scrim-like effects. Placed on either side of a 96’ long flown catwalk, Smasher took full advantage of the product’s semi-transparency to allow the band members to appear to become part of the video screen and interact with the content. PRG is providing full video support on U2’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour.
Both wins reflect PRG’s dedication to "work smarter" solutions that are designed to address today's complex production needs with truly uncompromising commitment to innovation, value, and performance. At PRG our pride in results is seen when our solutions become creative tools that are incorporated as element of the audience experience.
During the LDI 2015 show in Las Vegas, attendees will find a range of lighting, video, and automation innovations in the PRG Solutions Studio (Booth #1438). This year Production Resource Group L.L.C. (PRG) is showcasing cutting edge developments that continue to provide practical yet inventive solutions to the unique challenges of production. PRG understands that true innovation must enable producers, designers, gaffers, cinematographers and technicians to work smarter – to accomplish more, with greater efficiency, at lower costs. Those visiting the PRG Solutions Studio at booth #1438 during LDI will be among the first to experience such solutions.
One of the innovations making it’s debut at LDI is the PRG GroundControl™ Remote Followspot System™. Followspot control hasn’t changed for decades. It’s time to take the truss spot operator out of the truss and put him on the ground where it’s safer and more efficient to operate the followspot.
The GroundControl Followspot System allows a spot operator to be in a remote location up to 2,000’ away while operating a high output PRG Bad Boy® Spot automated luminaire as a followspot. Designers now have total creative freedom to put followspots in places that were either previously unusable or involved complex rigging. With the GroundControl Remote Followspot System, the operator is on the ground so the physical footprint in the rig of the luminaire is just 30 inches round and weighs only 172 lbs. Because of this small footprint and low weight, luminaires can now be placed in a wider variety of positions then ever before.
With regards to scenic automation, PRG has two new innovations: the V-Command™ Automation Controller and the SpeedStar™ Variable Speed Chain Hoist.
The PRG V-Command Automation Console has a smaller footprint but all of the power and funstionality of the PRG Commander Automation Console, As a full-featured addition to the PRG Stage Command System, the V-Command adds precision tactile control with keys, faders, and encoders to any computer running the new PRG Commander V6.x software. Programming and execution of motion is intuitive to new users, yet familiar to the more experienced programmer.
PRG is also introducing the SpeedStar Variable Speed Chain Hoist. Working closely with Columbus McKinnon, PRG has added variable speed control, built-in load cells, and fast, smooth, and quiet operation. The SpeedStar has the quality of CM paired with the power of PRG’s Stage Command System, which has been performing flawlessly for over 25 years on Broadway, in corporate projects, television productions, and concert touring. The SpeedStar motors are available for use with metric 1/2 and 1 ton loads. (500 and 1,000 Kg / 1,102 and 2,204 Lbs.) As it’s name implies, the SpeedStar is built for speed - The 1/2 ton is 0-22 inches per second (0-110 feet per minute) and the 1 ton is 0-11 inches per second (0-55 feet per minute.)
For film and television projects, PRG will be demonstrating the OverDrive™ Digital Lighting Solution. The PRG OverDrive system offers cinematographers and lighting directors the flexibility to use LED video modules and luminaires to create digital lighting effects, reflections, and skies in an easy and flexible way, live with performers. By using LED panels to provide digital fill light on talent or vehicles paired with a high-resolution LED screen for the background allow filmmakers the ability to create lighting and motion effects in camera while shooting. There’s no need to fix it in post with time-consuming and expensive visual effects technologies.
Also at LDI will be the PRG RH+A will be introducing the new Line Dim ReNEW™ LED Retrofit Assembly in booth #1830. Now the well regarded ReNEW can be controlled from any standard dimmer, without the need for DMX control. Perfect for retrofits, the Line Dim ReNEW can be dropped onto any ETC Source Four lens tube assembly and controlled quickly and easily.
RH+A will also show new features and improvements to their popular LED Bullet™ line of compact LED luminaires. The line, which includes a daylight and tungsten white light version and a powerful UV blacklight spot, has been installed in a wide variety of themed entertainment, retail, and architectural lighting projects. New power supplies for the LED Bullets let designers and technicians mix and match different fixture types on one power supply as well as outdoor rated versions are available.
The main PRG booth, #1438 will be hosting Spanish language demonstrations with professional translators at each of the three product areas of the our booth on Friday Oct. 23rd and Saturday Oct. 24th from 2:00pm - 3:00pm.
The PRG Solutions Studio at LDI 2015 is all about true creative freedom and will highlight technology that interacts and enables production technology to not simply be a creative tool but an active element of the audience experience. PRG’s work smarter solutions were designed to address today's complex practical production needs with truly uncompromising commitment to innovation, value, and performance.
PRG’s teams in UK and Spain recently collaborated on an exciting promotional project for the new Lexus NX crossover vehicle.
Working in conjunction with film and commercial production company, Minds Eye Media and London communications agency Freuds, for the ‘NX on track’ commercial short for Lexus Europe, PRG supplied some key visual elements for Lighting Designer Matthew Button.
Filming took place at the Marugan Aerodrome near Madrid and featured a giant musical stave created with lasers and lighting. Three Lexus NX crossover vehicles driven by professional stunt drivers were used to trigger the audio sensitive lighting cues, at the correct tempo, to synchronise with the Will.i.am track.
PRG supplied 160 Clay Paky Sharpy Beams, attached to 240 metres of trusses, suspended from 8 cranes above the runway. PRG also supplied 150 GLP Impression X4 bar 20 LED Battens to light either side of the track. A real challenge for the project was to provide a constant level of haze across the track and to accomplish this we deployed 26 Viper smoke machines each fitted with a 10 inch fan and over 600 metres of ducting.
PRG UK’s Mathew Ilott was the Account Manager for the project, working with production teams in Longbridge and Madrid to realize Button’s design. He commented:
“This was a fantastic project to be involved with and was a real PRG team effort. Starting with Paul Elkin’s AutoCad drawing, we approached PRG Madrid who, under the guidance of Xavier Theys and crew chief Aitor Beloqui, sourced and tested smoke machines, liaised with the crane company, and then for eight very long days installed and maintained the rig. Aitor also coped brilliantly with the challenge of maintaining an even level of smoke across the runway, despite the ever-changing wind direction.”
A former executive at Dell, Greenberg brings both Fortune 100 discipline and entrepreneurial leadership to the PRG senior leadership team
Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG) the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, today announced that Steven Greenberg has been named as Executive Vice President of North American Operations and Business Development. New to PRG, Greenberg brings to the company executive leadership and extensive experience that combines entrepreneurial initiative with strategic corporate development and operational expertise.
“I look forward to working with the great team of people at PRG,” says Greenberg. “They have impressed me with the depth of their experience and dedication to client success. I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of PRG and will be focused on helping refine and enhance our solutions for entertainment and corporate events and continue to expand our best-in-class production expertise and services for our clients.”
Greenberg’s business acumen and leadership skills have been honed over a 20-year career during which Greenberg has worked across multiple industry sectors serving in a variety of senior leadership positions. Greenberg was an executive at Dell, Inc., where he was General Manager of the North American Retail and Distribution Channel. While running this $5B run-rate business unit, Greenberg led the division to more than 25% year-over-year growth by focusing efforts on transforming the supply chain, introducing new channels, and streamlining procurement processes.
Just prior to joining PRG, Greenberg was President of TCJ Consulting, an Illinois-based management consulting firm whose client list included Intel and Cricket Communication. Earlier in his career, as Co-Chairman of the Board for Crafts America, LLC his focused efforts doubled revenue within 16 months. In addition, he held several executive roles, including COO, at Promotions Unlimited; a family-run distribution business. The company saw exponential growth during Greenberg’s tenure, including leading the nationwide expansion of the customer base from 1,000 to 5,500 stores.
“Steven brings a fresh perspective to the PRG management team," says Jeremiah J. Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “His leadership abilities, entrepreneurial zeal, and tremendous operational experience, coupled with his proven record of driving revenue growth is a strong fit for PRG as we continue to better align our own operations, identify new markets and pursue untapped opportunities.
While one of every seven Americans watched the second 2015 GOP debate, it was what they didn’t see that made the difference. There were none of the usual line array speakers to obstruct the view of the debate stage. Production Resource Group (PRG) and VUE Audiotechnik worked together to deliver an innovative solution that addressed the unique production challenges of the event and the location.
The CNN-broadcast debate took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, CA, and averaged 23.1 million viewers, becoming the most watched televised debate in CNN’s history.
The GOP debate set was built atop a scaffold-type structure that was around 40’ tall and placed above the Marine One helicopter, with Air Force One as the backdrop for the candidates. Space on the set was limited and designed to handle the 11 candidates, moderators, live audience, and minimal technical crew. For this reason, all of the typical backstage equipment was allocated to one floor below the stage on the second floor of the library.
PRG provided the audio and lighting solutions for this debate and submitted an audio design by PRG Project Manager Mark Boettcher. He worked closely with PRG’s Senior Systems Engineers Bill Daly and Alan Henig, who both have many years of experience with similar systems for televised events. Boettcher explains his process. “I designed a system that would allow me to adjust on the fly using the techniques that we had used successfully in previous installations.” The audio system was installed, tuned, and tested in just two days. Daly and the team tuned the system and time aligned each row.
The audio design featured 24 isolated under-the-seat zones and 11 fold back circuits. Under-seat speaker systems have been used for decades on television projects; nonetheless, in working with the client, PRG recommended this to be the best choice as this was something they’ve had plenty of experience with. The final audio design was implemented with the help of the CNN-hired Mix Engineer Dave Tennant and Audio Assistant Chris Rucker. It featured 142 distributed VUE Audiotechnik i-2x4.5 speakers with 70˚ x 70˚ dispersion placed under seats, with a number of the speakers dressed in red silk speaker fabric to conceal them within the red carpeting for on-stage monitoring.
Working closely with the client, PRG’s solution addressed the fact that the venue was a very reverberant environment and allowed the audio team to keep the overall sound pressure level down low for the show, which in turn provided the best end-product for the television truck. “The biggest challenge of mixing on an event like this is simply knowing where you rank in the eyes of the producers compared to the rest of the production and being okay with it,” Tennant says. “First and foremost is ‘how it looks on TV’; and second would be ‘how it sounds on TV.’ Eventually you get way down on the list to ‘how it sounds in the house.’ However the house ultimately will affect how it sounds on TV, so a great sounding house mix equals a great broadcast mix. Mark and Bill's tuning and timing of the room was spot on. Any adjustments that I had to make during the actual event were extremely minor. Based on the reactions of the live audience, every syllable, nuance, and inflection spoken by the candidates were clearly heard and understood. What more can you ask for?”
In addition, with two JitaCams rigged above the audience, there was a concern in adding more obstacles for the camera crew to navigate around for clean camera shots. “While it was a very labor-intensive installation, visually the audience didn’t see any large PA clusters hanging in the camera shots and once the audience was seated it was very difficult to even notice the speakers under the seats. However, they did not hear a sacrifice in audio quality by using this system design technique,” says Boettcher. Tennant adds his thoughts on the audio solution. “Other than 142 speakers distributed across a 5,000 sq. ft. set, the install and setup was actually quite straightforward. Having amp, splitter, and wireless worlds all located on the floor below the set actually simplified the install.
The console of choice for this event was a Yamaha CL5. Boettcher explains, “This provided us with plenty of surface control for the show, plus enough matrix and mix output capabilities to handle the all the requirements.” The stage boxes were connected using Audinate’s Dante (Digital Audio Network Through Ethernet) network routed over CAT5e from the stage boxes (Rio 1608) to the console. “I broke the system out into four zones fed from the console to provide quick access for Dave to adjust on the fly,” continues Boettcher. “These zones were, the front row, remaining main floor, house right bleachers, and house left bleachers.
The speakers, console, and microphones were connected to the set via cabling that was dropped down to the second floor technical compound. For the speaker systems, Neutrik NL8 multi-line speaker cable was used to route four zones of the PA through each cable. “This number worked well, as the locations we chose to break the NL8’s out into separate zones corresponded well with the design,” says Boettcher. “It was even better when we got in the middle of the install and had to re-design on the fly; it offered us the ability to re-route several zones at a time with very minimal effort.
The zoning and fold back requirements were all controlled using four Meyer Galileo 616 loudspeaker management processors. Boettcher chose this specific processor for the large number of outputs and its internal matrix capabilities. “This allowed me to use fewer processors and route just a couple of matrix mixes from the console to the processors and then further matrix the feeds to the correct zones. Additionally, the Galileo processors offer a very solid and reliable network backbone.” Using a Microsoft Surface tablet, Boettcher was able to wirelessly connect through a WiFi router back to the equipment rack, allowing him to walk through the seats. “While Bill (Daly) and I were optimizing the system, I could very quickly, efficiently, and easily adjust any of the parameters within the PA system from the Surface. Historically with a system of this size it would require us to have an operator to sit by the EQ rack for efficiency.” This allowed them to optimize the entire system in less than six hours.
The amplification was entirely provided by Lab.Gruppen FP2400Qs. These were chosen based on their ability to easily run eight VUE i2x4.5 speakers on each amplifier channel. PRGs VUE i-Class loudspeaker inventory is made up of a custom-built model of the i2x4.5 that operates at 16-ohms, allowing larger quantities to run in parallel on each amplifier channel. “Using a four-channel amplifier meant I could use less of them, achieving a higher space to function ratio,” Boettcher explains.
The VUE i-2x4.5 is a compact, two-way loudspeaker designed specifically for near-field applications, offering high output and great low frequency response by combining the a 1-inch, silk-dome, Ferro fluid tweeter with two 4.5-inch, pro level woofers with large magnet assemblies. The drivers are in a "MTM" configuration for symmetrical coverage. All three drivers are mated to a high-quality crossover network to ensure flat frequency response.