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.
This summer, PRG Argentina proudly supported the III Edition of the Premios Platino, the most important movie award show for spanish speaking countries. This inaugural event was held at the brand new Punta del Este Convention and Exhibit Center in Uruguay
Punta del Este is known as the “St. Tropez of South America”, due to its beautiful beaches, upscale resorts and nightclubs. This new venue features 25 acres of land, can host 4,000 attendees, has a 72,000 sq ft exhibition hall and 646,000 sq ft of outdoor spaces.
The Award Show is organized by the Entidad de Gestion de Derechos de los Productores Audiovisuales (EGEDA) in collaboration with the Federacion Iberoamericana de Productos Cinematograficos y Audiovisuales (FIPCA). Eight hundred movies from 23 countries participated in this edition of the Premios Platino. The gala was televised through CNN Español, TNT and TVE showcasing in 50 countries, reaching approximately 50 million homes.
Some of the most important acts were: Paulina Rubio, Natalia Oreiro, Diego Torres, Jesse & Joy, and several others.
PRG provided support for this prestigious event with lighting (indoor and outdoor), rigging and full technical services. Eight technicians were onsite for 14 days to assemble and support this event including: 223 moving lights, 154 Conventionals, 90 LED Lighting fixtures, 6 Spotlights and 515 meters of truss
Top 5 reasons you should upgrade to the NEW Mbox v4 Software.
1. Mbox’s revised user interface provides new controls for patching, output setup, mix setup, and preferences. And the UI now supports independent windows for each output plus the setup window.
2. Mbox v4 increases the number of playback layers in each version of the software, increases the maximum content size and output size to allow for 4K playback and output, enhances the pixel mapping (more pixels and new sources), allows for up to 32 independently mastered outputs (Mbox Designer).
3. Synchronization between outputs and servers has been greatly improved, allowing for perfect playback sync across multiple outputs of multiple servers.
4. As with previous versions of Mbox, v4 continues to support the ability to perform single-layer crossfades on every layer.
5. The texture effects in Mbox v4 have been enhanced to allow for better control with up to five modifiers per effect.
Check out some of the new features:
NEW Patch tab has the ability to see what universe/address each component of the server is patched to, as well as the current value for each parameter.
NEW Outputs tab shows the ability to add outputs, arrange those outputs on the Global Surface, assign outputs to displays, and finally assign output masters to the outputs.
The Mixes tab can be arranged on the Global Surface similarly to outputs. Mixes are used to help position, crop, scale, and rotate content.
Within the Preferences tab, all of the server’s preferences can now be edited in the Mbox application itself (and in Mbox Remote). Those preferences can be compared between servers and easily copied from one to another.
Seen below are three independent outputs in window mode. Six layers are currently playing, one spread across the Global Surface and the other five assigned to Mixes.
The same three outputs and highlights have the ability to have independent control over color, brightness, contrast, keystone, and shuttering for each output.
NEW capability of the Mbox Remote application to monitor Mixes.
Revised Pixel Mapping interface in Mbox Remote. As in previous versions of Mbox, pixel mapping Contexts can use the Global Surface as their source.
The pixel mapping in Mbox Remote shows that Contexts can also use Layers as a source - instead of the Global Surface.
The pixel mapping in Mbox Remote shows that Contexts can also use Mixes as a source.
Mbox v4 is available for download here!
License keys can be purchased from your local PRG office.
Updated Mbox hardware, running the Mbox Designer v4 software, is available for rental.
2016 marked the 30th anniversary of Dragon Quest, one of Japan’s most popular role-playing computer game series, and for the first time, Dragon Quest was created into an original spectacle live show titled “Dragon Quest Live Spectacle Tour”. The show toured with great success in 5 cities from July 22 through August 31.
PRG Japan provided technical direction and production services for lighting, video, scenery, rigging, stage automation, flying effect and LED wrist bands.
London-based STUFISH designed the set and PRG Scenic Technologies in New Windsor made the DMX-control hoist system for the roll-down screens. PRG V476® control console was used to control the 52 roll-down screens to rise and lower individually and in groups, changing formations at each scene, and mapped video images projected on the screens created the digital scenery as the story on adventurous journey rolled on the stage.
PRG is announcing the appointment of Joseph T. Cirillo as its Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Cirillo will oversee all of the company's financial affairs and work closely withJere Harris 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, Cirillo was Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer at Blyth, Inc., a multi-national consumer products company, where he was instrumental in the company’s growth and managed a variety of mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and IPOs. Previously he held the role of Vice President, Reporting & Planning at Blyth, Inc.
“Joe comes with a strong finance and M&A background,” comments Jeremiah J. Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “His experience with a multi-product, multi-national company will be an excellent fit for PRG. Joe will bring good experience and 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.”
Cirillo also sees the connection between his career background and his work now at PRG. “I have extensive experience working with multi-national companies both at the corporate and operational levels, and I look forward to working with PRG to help address the exciting challenges of this rapidly expanding global business.”
He sees his role as CFO for PRG to include strengthening and growing PRG’s business. “Today’s CFO has quite logically evolved into much more than a number crunching, analytical assignment. It’s about rolling up your sleeves and carefully listening, partnering and collaborating with all disciplines within the organization to yield real value-added benefits -- better plans, better decisions and increased profits. And that's exactly what Jere and PRG want and something I intend to deliver”.
A graduate of Fordham University, Joe is a Certified Public Accountant and resides in New York where he has lived and worked throughout his career. He will be based out of PRG’s New Windsor, NY office. When not at work, he can be found running, mountain biking and spending time with his family.
PRG was onsite to #KickItTrackside in London, Ontario during the inaugural Trackside Festival, celebrating country music. Acts like Florida Georgia Line, Chris Young, Randy Houser, and more rocked Ontario’s Western Fair District July 1-2. PRG Canada was pleased to provide audio, lighting, and video support for the festival. Lighting for this event was designed by PRG Canada. Mike Manuel served as production manager for design. Branden Charlton served as production manager for PRG Canada. Produced by Live Nation Canada, Budweiser Gardens, London Music Hall and Western Fair District.
ELeague, the new professional eSports league formed by Turner & WME | IMG, celebrated their first championship in style. The event was held at Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta on July 29th-30th and broadcast live on TBS network and digital platforms. Pro competitive video gaming teams Fnatic, Virtus Pro, Na'vi, and Mousesports faced off in front of a captive crowd, where Virtus Pro emerged the victor of the inaugural season, and PRG got a front row seat, proudly supporting with integrated solutions for scenic, LED video, and lighting.
PRG invites you to come try out the award-winning PRG GroundControl Followspot System and other proprietary PRG products at the PRG Lighting Product Showcase August 9-10 at our Atlanta location. This showcase will feature a full demo of the PRG GroundControl Followspot System, as well as PRG Best Boy, Bad Boy, and Series 400 products.
The PRG GroundControl Followspot System won the Live Design 2015-2016 Products of the Year Award for Best New Followspot and is continually getting buzz in major trade journals for its innovative applications.
The two-day showcase will take place at the PRG Atlanta office at 1053 Willingham Drive, Atlanta, GA. The August 9th showcase is from 1 PM - 4 PM, by appointment only. Please contact Kerry Keenan at email@example.com to make an appointment for a private demonstration (limited availability). The August 10th showcase is open to the public and runs from 9 AM to 2 PM EST.
PRG Atlanta Lighting Product Showcase
Demo PRG GroundControl, Best Boy, Bad Boy, and Series 400
August 9th - 1 PM - 4 PM, By Appointment Only; Contact Kerry Keenan firstname.lastname@example.org
August 10th - 9 AM - 2 PM, Open to the Public
Hosted at the PRG Atlanta location, 1053 Willingham Drive, Atlanta, GA
GroundControl on Springsteen's Take Me to the River Tour via Lighting and Sound America - Excerpt: "It can do anything a regular followspot can do, but a lot of those functions also can be controlled by the console operator; for instance, if you want an extremely smooth fade that's insynch across five lights, it can happen in a way that five human operated lights rarely can do in lockstep with one another." Jeff Ravitz, Production Designer for Springsteen
Shakespeare Live! from the RSC with Technical Support from PRG XL Video - Excerpt: "We do not have traditional followspot positions in the auditorium, so this new GroundControl technology, enabled is to include bright spotlights in the production without having any seat-kill. It really helped us achieve the result we wanted without adversely affecting the production." David Tanqueray, Theatre Production Manager for Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Production Resource Group (PRG) is proud to announce they have joined the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) sponsorship family. PRG’s New York-based Media Services group will serve as the official video partner for CEMA and the 2016 Summit by providing video production services.
PRG will be providing video support for the duration of the event, including lighting, grip, cameras, and editing needs. The result will be a selection of videos created exclusively for the event, including kickoff, daily recap videos, promotional videos, recorded interviews, and custom CEMA animations. In addition, PRG will create video content to help promote CEMA through social media channels.
PRG intends to create a case study based upon the results from the video content marketing strategy they created in collaboration with CEMA. PRG then plans to present this case study during a breakout session at the CEMA Summit in 2017. In the future, PRG and CEMA hope to work together to provide new educational content for the event marketing field, including additional video content and curated catalogues of presentations based upon the success of this partnership.
“We’re delighted for the opportunity to serve as a CEMA sponsor,” says Matthew Carson, Vice President of Agency Channel Support at PRG. “CEMA is one of the top professional event organizations in the country, and we’re excited to work with them during this year’s Summit, and on additional upcoming events. Our team is known for bringing world class integrated event solutions to our clients, and we’re excited for the opportunity to promote awareness of CEMA’s educational offerings through content produced by PRG Media Services.”
The CEMA Summit 2016 took place July 17-19 at the Mariott Newport Beach Resort and Spa in Newport Beach, CA.
Above: Day 2 video from CEMA Summit, shot and edited onsite by PRG Media Services
About CEMA A voice for the industry, CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association) is the premier community for event marketing professionals, association peers and partners. CEMA promotes professional networking opportunities, facilitates peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and drives industry standards. Through strong relationships with strategic partners, CEMA creates solutions to business issues. For more information, please visit http://www.cemaonline.com or call (916)-740-3623.
The Bud Light Digital Dreams 2016 Festival in Toronto, billed as "the adventure of a lifetime," was just that for many festival goers who came to see a lineup featuring acts like Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, Above & Beyond and more. We supported Electric Aura Lighting Designers Robert Sondergaard and Jason McKinnon's designs on the Main Stage and Bacardi Bass Tent and TD Echo Beach Stages. PRG proprietary products in the setups included 32 Best Boy Spots, 10 Bad Boy Spots, and 2 Mbox. All photos courtesy of Robert Sondergaard.
Lighting Design – Robert Sondergaard and Jason McKinnon, Electric Aura
Pete Lawlor – Festival Director/Production Manager, Digital Dreams
Produced by – Live Nation
24 x B-Eye K-20
58 x Sharpy
32 x Best Boy HP Spot
32 x Robe Robin 1200
52 x Atomic Strobe
48 x Impression X4
290 x Colorblast TRX
18 x ColorForce 12
16 x 4-Lite Blinders
Virtuoso Node for DMX over Artnet Distribution
MA2 for Main, Backup and Touring LD Control
Chamsys for Touring LD Control
Bacardi Bass Tent Stage
16 x B-Eye K20
16 x Sharpy
6 x Bad Boy Spot
56 x Impression X4
47 x Elation ACL-360 Bar
16 x Altman UV Light
24 x 2-Lite Blinder
MA2 for Main, Backup Control
Echo Beach Stage 16 x B-Eye K20
29 x Sharpy
32 x Mac Aura
4 x Bad Boy Spot
2 x Mbox
6 x ColorForce 72
240 x Versa Tube
16 x Atomic Strobe
MA2 for Main, Backup Control
For PBS's A Capitol Concert annual July 4th televised program, PRG supported the team at Full Flood and Capital Concerts, Inc. on lighting and audio solutions. For audio, our setup included DiGiCo consoles for FOH and Mon as well as a full L’Acoustics K2 rig for the main stage with KARA and ARCS for additional locations. We also provided L’Acoustics wedges for the bands and in-ear monitors, plus wireless as well as wired microphones.
Organized by PRG’s Senior Business Account Manager, Zoe Borys, and President of the Studio Mechanics Local 476, Bradley Matthys, over 50 people were in attendance for a special open house training day at our Chicago location. The day was filled with opportunities for members of the 476 to learn about PRG’s innovations and collaboration with filmmakers. Introductions and presentations on PRG’s services were led by the General Manager and VP of Audio Services in Chicago, Randy Hutson, our COO Of Television, Brian Edwards, and Senior Business Development Account Managers, Daniel Hammond and Zoe Borys. The group was broken down into two groups and taught by Daniel Hammond, Bryan Besterfeldt, Terran Belue, David James (GM of PRG Canada), Trisha Maas (North American Sales of Cineo Lighting), and Jared Moore (Dimmer Board Operator for the 1st Rated Television Show, EMPIRE).
Event Safety Alliance, a nonprofit safety trade organization serving the needs of the live event industry, is delighted to welcome Production Resource Group (PRG) to our family of sponsors. The world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, PRG, is affirming their commitment to ensuring safe events worldwide through their premier, diamond-level sponsorship of the ESA.
“We’re thrilled and humbled by PRG’s generous support of the mission, “stated ESA founder and Chairman Jim Digby. “Safety has been a key priority throughout all segments of PRG’s operations, and their support of the ESA is yet another testament to that fact. PRG's sponsorship will help the ESA secure vital resources needed to continue expanding our training initiatives, guidance development, and global outreach. Most importantly, PRG has stated their commitment to encouraging their employees to become involved in and uphold the values of the ESA throughout their professional lives.”
Bobby Allen, PRG Music Vice President of Special Events who has crafted safety plans for many complex events said, “Safety is of the utmost concern at the live events we support everyday around the world. We believe in the ESA’s mission to foster a culture of Life Safety First in our industry and we’re proud to sign on as a sponsor to assist the ESA in achieving their training and advocacy goals.
He continued, “Running a successful show starts with the safety and security of our people as well as those who will be attending. We’re excited to partner with the ESA and will do our part to ensure our employees’ involvement and training in their programs.”
PRG was proud to support the 2016 Billboard Latin Music Awards that were held at Bank United Center in Miami, Florida.
PRG XL Video provided the 5,375 square feet of LED technology with products including Unview 6mm floor modules, Absen 6mm, Pixled F-11, Pixled F-9L, ROE MC-18 Hybrid, and Barco FLX pixels.
The special Duets show was stage to a record setting 38 performers including Marc Anthony, Juan Gabriel, Don Omar, and Daddy Yankee. Almost everything on the stage was built custom to the needs of the scenic design team, including even removing tiles from their power supplies and frames to create a video driven light box for a set change.
PRG additionally supplied the lighting for the Red Carpet.
Special thanks to our team at Telemundo:
Abe DeJesus – VP of Production Services
Tony Mojena – Executive Producer
Alex Perrera – Scenic Designer
Pilar Lamadrid – VP Specials
And our PRG XL Video Team:
Aberaham Tilahun – XL Technical Director
Viktor Martinm – XL Project Manager
The new members in Poland, Hungary and Romania will support growing PRG Alliance demand for technical production services in the region.
The market is changing and major producers are bringing more projects to Eastern Europe. The region is hosting major international events in segments such as sports, music festivals and corporate events.
In order to keep up with this demand, PRG Alliance welcomes two new members to its international network: ARAM Multimedia in Poland; and Visual Europe, covering Hungary and Romania.
ARAM is one of the largest companies in Poland specializing in full production solutions with an emphasis on event design; creative video technology applications; and project management for large scale events, offering a wide range of services from concept to delivery.
Visual Europe is a new group in Hungary created by the merger of the companies DCN Rental and AV Control. The company today is owned by Garangold Venture Capital Fund, a private equity fund that is now investing in new technology, and soon in the acquisition of another company in the country. They will open a new office in Romania to follow its vision to be the largest technical event production company in the region.
The two companies explain the benefits in being members of PRG Alliance: “Now that we have invested in the creation of Visual Europe as one company, we need to have a strong partner in Europe to learn from them and to generate new business opportunities for both parties. We believe that our clients will be the ones to gain from the application of the technical knowledge we will get from the relationship with the other members”, says Szabolcs Botond, CEO of Visual Europe Group.
“ARAM has a similar strategy as PRG as we can support larger, more complex productions. We see a lot of synergy also with the other members of PRG Alliance and we believe this partnership will bring many benefits for both Polish and international markets”, comments Rafal Mrzyglocki, Managing Director of ARAM Multimedia.
“We are pleased to welcome these new partners in Eastern Europe,” said Tom van Hemelryck, PRG Alliance Director. “Our clients and Alliance partners are seeing a growing demand for events across the region, and the addition of these new rental suppliers to the PRG Alliance ensures we can expand our high quality of service into even more countries.”
The partnership has already started with the companies collaborating with the PRG Alliance members for support in productions in their regions and abroad across this busy summer season.
With 2016 marking the Diamond Anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the Charity is undertaking a variety of special fundraising events and initiatives during the year.
The Charity, which transforms the lives of young people through volunteering, physical, expedition, skill and residential challenges, held a unique Gala event in early June at the beautiful Stoke Park venue in Buckinghamshire.
Celebrating the 60th anniversary, the ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ Gala was held in the presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and included a dinner and entertainment including a performance from Sir Tom Jones.
The event was produced by Jeremy Hartley of Entertainment Industries, with production design by acclaimed creative Nicoline L. Refsing of Rockart Design, who has previously delivered iconic stage designs for major events such as The BRIT Awards, League of Legends Worlds 2015 and creative direction for Eurovision.
PRG XL Video’s Special Events specialist, Steve Greetham, was contacted by Hartley and Refsing to supply video and lighting technology for the event. Greetham has previously delivered event technology for other high profile events including the Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert, and the visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Wembley.
The event design was created by Refsing and themed as a sophisticated, spectacular event that James Bond himself would attend. There were several surprising elements, guests were greeted by a selection of 007’s famous vehicles outside the entrance and a row of sculptures of Bond girl dresses arranged on glitter plinths. These were lit using an array of LED fixtures from PRG XL.
Inside the venue, six large arched windows were covered with vinyl and transformed into shaped projection canvasses. Using six pairs of Panasonic 21k high brightness projectors and with content fed from a Catalyst media server, the shaped windows displayed a precisely mapped projection of graphics and logos from supporters of the event.
The main and central stages and rigging for the lighting and video were supplied by Blackout Ltd and PRG XL Video worked closely with them to ensure a seamless production.
Across the main room and above the stage, an array of PRG XL Video’s Varilite moving light spots and washes, and additional LED fixtures were used to light the space according to the lighting design by Svend Pedersen, and switched to an active design for the live performances. Philips Colorblast LED uplighters lined the walls around the hall, creating decorative effects on the golden drapes.
Lighting for the event was managed by PRG XL Account Manager, Mat Ilott, with Tony Fagan acting as lighting Crew Chief on site.
Upstage PRG XL Video supplied a large 11mm resolution LED screen which formed the backdrop for the live performances. Downstage, a roller projection screen from Blackout dropped down to show playback content including information films, and house right a further wall projection screen from Blackfriars Scenery mirrored the content.
To capture the live performances PRG XL supplied a four-camera Panasonic portable production unit paired with Sony HD cameras. A recording of the event was also captured for later use by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award organisation. The video set up of LED, camera system and projection was specified by PRG XL Video Senior Account Manager, Paul Wood.
Refsing created a unique look and experience beyond other event designs to distinctively brand the event, delivering a transformation that also retains some of the unique venue characteristics. By cleverly working with the venue’s architecture and weight limitations of the roof, Refsing created and supplied the integrated window and screen content, the gold and diamond colour palette and a unique, centralised gold drape design radiating from a central stage that would allow an inclusive, 360 degree vantage point for the audience.
“We were delighted to be asked to supply technology for this Gala event,” commented Steve Greetham. “Whilst events of this nature always present some specific challenges, working closely alongside experienced companies like Blackout, make the production run more smoothly. With Jeremy overseeing the event production and with Nicoline’s beautiful design, it’s no surprise the evening was a success.
“PRG XL Video would like to congratulate The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award on this milestone anniversary!”
Nicoline Refsing, Founder and creative force behind Rockart Design added “It’s a huge privilege to be working on this incredible event with Jeremy and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award team. I started with the essence of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award brand to come up with the event design, so that all the elements integrate to give an exciting 360 degree total theatre experience. It’s always fantastic for Rockart Design to work with PRG XL, the best in the business, it has been a great partnership which has seen us work together to deliver a true visual spectacle. I have collaborated with Paul Wood from PRG XL for years across many huge events, the company has always delivered outstanding results whether it has been LED or projection solutions.”
PRG had the privilege of providing production support for the 2016 Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds presented by the George W. Bush Institute. The Symposium took place in Orlando where representatives from around the world gathered to discuss solutions to help returning servicemen and women overcome their invisible wounds and improve outcomes for their transition back to civilian life. For more information, including a complete video of the panel discussion from the event, please visit the official site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) – leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions is working with global entertainment design software developer Vectorworks, Inc. to ensure a seamless Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal. The Rock in Rio festival collaboration between PRG and Vectorworks will demonstrate the realization of workflows using ESP Vision software to previsualize each lighting designer's concept. As in previous years, PRG will be supplying lighting technology and all related rigging for the festival. The event technology specialist is now in its 13th year of working with Rock in Rio.
“We started working with Rock in Rio back in 2004; during this time, we were able to supply lighting and video technology at festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Las Vegas and Lisbon,” said Christoph Hahnl, Senior Account Manager at PRG. “This year’s festival marks the 30th anniversary of Rock in Rio, and we are excited to be on board.”
Now owned by Vectorworks, Inc., Vision puts the power to previsualize and cue your show at your fingertips. The software enables entertainment designers to rehearse the look of a show before they arrive at the venue. Adaptations and changes can easily be made in advance, allowing for more efficient working.
"With the increasing need to simulate a lighting design before it's ever executed on a live stage, our collaboration with PRG at Rock in Rio Lisbon provides the perfect venue in which to demonstrate our commitment to empowering today's entertainment designers," said Stewart Rom, chief marketing officer for Vectorworks. "We look forward to showing the world how our two companies can contribute to the ultimate show experience in Lisbon this year and enable today's visionaries in lighting design to advance the way they work."
As part of their ongoing collaboration, PRG is working with Vectorworks' R&D department to create leading solutions and is among the first to use the companies latest software technologies. Vectorworks® Spotlight users are able to work with a catalog of PRG-owned gear in the software, making the design development and documentation process even faster for lighting, production and scenic designers. The close working proximity to designers allows PRG an active exchange of ideas to identify the latest requirements and be involved in leading the development of future technology. Spotlight is the industry-leading software for entertainment design that allows designers to work in 2D and 3D with integrated worksheet functionality and rendering capabilities.
“The collaboration with Vectorworks is well underway, and we have already identified ways to improve internal and external working processes,” said Götz Bauer, Special Operations Director at PRG. “By incorporating PRG’s gear into the Spotlight software library, users are able to work increasingly efficiently and improve working processes. Our close relationship with designers from around the world enables us to really make a difference by using their feedback, and our experience to create solutions from which the whole industry can gain.”
The festival will take place over two consecutive weekends starting on May 19, 2016. The lineup features acts like Queen + Adam Lambert, Maroon 5, Korn, Ariana Grande, Hollywood Vampires and Avicii. The lighting design for the festivals in Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon was created by lighting designer Terry Cook for Woodroffe Bassett Design.
On Saturday 23rd April 2016 the world celebrated the life and work of William Shakespeare, on the 400th anniversary of his death. The commemorative events included Shakespeare Live! From the RSC – a live production including music, drama and comedy, which took place at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Hosted by David Tennant and Catherine Tate who, as well as appearing together in Doctor Who, shared the lead roles in a West End production of Much Ado About Nothing, the show took place in front of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and a specially selected audience.
Shakespeare Live! was also broadcast live on BBC2 in the UK, and was recorded for later screenings on TV and in cinemas worldwide.
Working with RSC Production Manager, David Tanqueray; Production Designer; Robert Jones; Lighting Designer, Vince Herbert; Video Designer, Alex Uragallo; and BBC Television Lighting Director, Nigel Catmur, PRG XL Video provided some key elements of technology for Shakespeare Live! including their GroundControl™ Remote Followspot system, and LED for a flown back wall and proscenium arch.
The GroundControl™ Remote Followspot system allows a specially customised PRG Bad Boy spotlight to be rigged and flown above the audience, whilst the control unit is situated on the ground. The light fixture includes a camera, and the control unit includes a live feed from the camera, enabling the operator to have local control of lighting intensity, iris, zoom and edge.
Peter Marshall, Account Director for PRG XL Video, was contacted by Lighting Designers Vince Herbert and Nigel Catmur to discuss the best options for adding followspots for this one-off event, and Marshall recommended the innovative GroundControl system. Peter comments: “We were pleased to be able to contribute to this special event, and to demonstrate the difference that the GroundControl Remote Followspot can make in a theater environment.
Peter continues: “We gave Vince, Nigel and David a demonstration at our warehouse in Longbridge, and they were sold on the concept.”
David Tanqueray explains, “The Royal Shakespeare Theatre does not usually have a requirement for roving high brightness followspots, but the nature of this unique production, including lighting it for television broadcast, meant that we needed to bring in spotlights, as they were a vital part of the show design.”
“We do not have traditional followspot positions in the auditorium, so this new GroundControl technology, enabled us to include bright spotlights in the production without having any seat-kill. It really helped us achieve the result we wanted without adversely affecting the production.”
Nigel Catmur agreed: “The GroundControl Followspot is a genius concept. We couldn’t have done the show without them.”
Production Designer, Rob Jones, whose credits include the RSC’s Hamlet with David Tennant, and The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse, both of which were filmed and broadcast on television, created a versatile layered environment for the performers. With the orchestra located upstage, during several performances it was masked by a flown LED screen, formed from PRG XL’s ROE MC-7 high resolution blackface LED.
The screen was raised and lowered as required, being used for segments including comedy from the Horrible Histories team; and scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. The LED screen was also occasionally masked by a semi-transparent drape which created an extra layer of depth to the production.
Slightly downstage, Rob Jones’ design included a proscenium arch, which was also populated with the MC-7 LED both to the front face, and with an angled reveal on both sides and across the underside of the arch beam.
Video Designer, Alex Uragallo explains: “With the 3D planes of the arch, one the hardest things was mapping the video content across the LED panels. It took some extra consideration to make sure the content flowed seamlessly, wherever the camera moved.
“The arch worked really well, seemingly having the content move with the performers, and was clearly visible from multiple camera angles.
Alex continued: “I was surprised at how black the LED screen face is when off, and this created an almost glossy surface which matched well with the black formica floor. For the scenes where the moon was displayed on the rear LED screen, I was particularly pleased with the quality and subtlety of the moon reflection. The LED was a great way of achieving this effect without having a massive light source, and I would definitely consider using this again in other productions.”
Oliver Luff, Senior Account Manager at PRG XL Video commented: “We were delighted to help the Royal Shakespeare Company with this very special celebration event. Our MC-7 LED is a versatile product, and the combination of live theater performance and television broadcast showed that it is ideal for many different uses. Alex Uragallo’s content looked fantastic, and we were happy to contribute to making this historic occasion a success.”
Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today a new brand for their creative LED special projects team, formerly a subsidiary of XL Video.
Now known as PRG Projects, the team, led by Frederic Opsomer and Kristof Soreyn, is renowned for creating and providing innovative custom video solutions. The teams are based at PRG’s location in Ostend, Belgium and in China. The new PRG Projects team will also incorporate, and work more closely with, the former XL Video research and development team based in Shenzhen, China. The combined expertise of the team has already been responsible for realizing some of the most technology-forward designs and custom installations in concert touring, large-scale spectacles, television, and sporting events, including ceremonies in Athens, London, and Sochi over the last several years.
In addition to working with the team in Ostend, PRG Projects in Shenzhen will continue to focus on sourcing LED products in China for PRG and for PRG Alliance partners.
“PRG Projects’ goals are now positioned to fit PRG’s overall vision to create bespoke creative LED products for all of the different market segments in which we are active,” explains Opsomer. “The designers and project managers that we have on our team, in both Ostend and Shenzhen, have decades of experience in creating and producing the world’s most innovative solutions.”
“PRG Projects leads the entertainment technology industry in advancing the creative application of LED technology and are an incredible asset for PRG and our clients,” says Stephan Paridaen, President & Chief Operating Officer, Production Resource Group. “The team, which consists of a range of creative and innovative experts in the field of custom video solutions, has a strong focus on innovation, product development, and system packaging. The team also works closely with strategic manufacturing partners to help develop and refine technology and options that meets the needs of producers and creatives in all of our markets.”
For further information, please visit the PRG Projects website.
PRG supported the inaugural Light City Baltimore, a week-long music and arts festival that took place on the inner harbor and surrounding neighborhoods. Working with The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, we provided all of the lighting support and projection support for over 23 artists' installations. To prepare for the outdoor event, which was meant to spotlight positive happenings in the city and promote international tourism, PRG needed to prepare for the weather as well. Projection screens were securely fastened to deal with the high winds by the water and, to protect the lighting fixtures, PRG's scenic team in New Windsor created custom enclosures for the 120+ lights lining the perimeter of the 2.5 mile art walk path along the harbor.
One of the biggest structures we supported at the Light City Baltimore was "The Beacon", a 16ft cube LED wall sitting atop a 12 ft base. The Beacon served as a visual hub for visitors by displaying schedule and sponsorship information that was easy to spot from a distance. While there were a number of projection installations that we supported at Light City, the Columbus Center's successful art display was a highlight given the challenge of working with its peaked topped pavilion. Come show time, our team was able to get the color intensity and fit of the image along the curved rooftop just right.