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17/08/2018 eSport / Special Events

Taking on PUBG's eSports Battlegrounds! – Event Technology for eSports

PUBG’s e-sports Battlegrounds are conquering Berlin: the world’s 20 best PUBG teams were competing for 2M dollar prize money at the Global Invitational Meeting 2018 in Mercedes-Benz-Arena Berlin from July 25th-29th. Despite only having been published in December 2017, the game has already gained a huge fan base: the tournament was commented live in four different languages and streamed online which attracted up to 60M spectators at the same time. PRG provided all the event technology (rigging, static calculation, sound, video and lighting technology), including related video processing components.

See our video: 
 

 
”At this event, the spectators expect to become part of the game”, says Ingo Rehnert, Head of Sales & Account Management – Sport & Special Events at PRG. Players and fans want to experience what happens on the stage ”as emotionally and directly as possible”. To facilitate this, a cube-shaped LED screen was installed above the stage in the arena’s center where the teams were competing. More than 1,300 lights and 680m² LED screens were installed in only three days.

 

 

2.600m² projection screen fabric cylindrically veiled the circular stage construction with the gamer zone for the barnstorming opening ceremony. PRG provided the kinetics that enabled the movement of the projection cylinder. 48 Panasonic PT-RZ31K laser projectors displayed the video content onto the cylinder (360°) as well as onto parts of the stage floor. For the mind-blowing finale of the opening ceremony, the projection cylinder was pulled up as part of the show revealing the team boxes.
 
  

 
“This is one of the points why we do shows with PRG: the lights, the audio, the video and everything else is going to behave and look exactly the same as visualized and planned in the studio beforehand”, says Michael Thuney, Producer at PA Event and Broadcast Services. “We do shows all around the world and PRG has been working with us all along.”

Just like Michael, we are happy about the fantastic success and thank him and his team for the great cooperation at this amazing event!
 

In total, about 300MT material were used. The event was realized using the following technical items:

Rigging Services

  • 331 x Chain-hoists
  • 20 x BGV C1 hoists
  • 82m Catwalk-truss
  • 1,226m Truss 
     

Lighting Services

  • 144 x LED Strobe Lights
  • 1.204 x Moving Lights:
    – 610 x Moving Light Beam
    – 90 x Moving Light Spot
    – 20 x Moving Light Wash
    – 484 x Moving Light LED


Video Services

  • 580qm2 5mm LED Wall 
  • 100qm2 2mm LED Wall
  • 50 x Laser Projectors
     

Audio Services

  • 60 x Line Array Speaker
  • 20 x Subs
     

Logistics

  • 30 x 40t Trailers

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Car glazier WM
15/07/2018 Automotive Event

Best of Belron - Best Technology for the World Cup of the Car Glass Repairs 2018

Focused jurors, finalists competing for the title and an expert audience following the competition closely: This was the ‚Best of Belron‘ at the ‘Festhalle’ in Frankfurt. The event aimed to find the best fitter and glass repairing professional of Belron International (CARGLASS®).

PRG was in charge of the lighting, audio, video and rigging and staged this event according to an ingenious concept by Uniplan – watch our behind the scenes video:
  


Felix Börner (Uniplan – Director Hamburg Office): “Our and PRG’s biggest challenge was the immense size of the venue (almost 20,000 m²). Furthermore, the time frame for the set-up and the dismantling were both extremely short and an alteration had to be conducted on the last day. We needed an experienced partner striving for perfection, just like we do at Uniplan, to put everything into balance and are thrilled to have succeeded together with PRG.”



The participants of the competition were welcomed frenetically by about 1,000 guests from all over the world at the opening event.



The LED tubes above the competition workshops creating the typical workshop neon-atmosphere were a special highlight and were customized for Uniplan by PRG Projects. The LED tubes, of a length of 3m were controllable down to the pixel via media server and therefore offered a variety of effects that blended in seamlessly into the different scenarios during the event.



A conference took place simultaneously in an adjacent exhibition hall, during which the audience could learn about interesting topics, e.g. the latest developments in the industry. The complete conference technology was provided by PRG as well. Fohhn Audio A provided a new sound system which, due to an elaborated technology, resulted in a wide spread broadcast and therefore sparing the utilization of delay lines.



The event went over two days and ended up with the honors of the new world champion, followed by a gala dinner and a party with live music.
  

Robert Sterke (Global Sales Development Director at Belron):: The way people worked together was just fabulous, like clockworks! Since we have to consider so many elements during the event ourselves, we are happy to work with partners that give us the insurance of having everything under control and that everything works perfectly. One worry less for us!“

We thank Uniplan and Belron for their trust in PRG and our fantastic collaboration!

#BestOfBelron

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05/07/2018

PRG Announces New Concert Touring Innovations

Updated PRG SPACEFRAME™ and new Ingest product on Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “On the Run II” Tour

LONDON and LOS ANGELES – July 9, 2018 - Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations – Infinity SPACEFRAME™ and Ingest – which are supporting Beyonce and Jay-Z's "On the Run II" Tour. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME which serves as a kinetic backdrop on stage and Ingest, a new technology that archives camera images created on tour, are industry firsts.

PRG SPACEFRAME
PRG SPACEFRAME is an innovative carbon fiber touring frame created by PRG Projects, a division of PRG which specializes in developing and integrating proprietary solutions to the rigors of the production and entertainment industry. It was launched on 2017’s U2’s “Joshua Tree” Tour and “On the Run II” is the second concert tour to feature the product. For this tour, Stufish (the designers of both “Joshua” Tree and “On the Run II” tours) wanted to have a clean look, visually eliminating all support structures and rigging. To do that, PRG Projects came up with a solution called “Infinity SPACEFRAME” where the rigging and support structure are integrated on the back of the SPACEFRAME, invisible from audience view. Video content on the screen is now edge-to-edge without visual barriers as a classic screen would have. It gives it a monumental look and creates a new type of immersive viewing experience. The Infinity SPACEFRAME makes the most of the PRG SPACEFRAME concept by utilizing the structural capabilities of the video screen as part of the automated tracking support. It ultimately saves truckloads of additional support structure.
“Designing custom LED and video solutions for live events is a core part of what PRG Projects does. Beyond what we develop for PRG, we work directly with designers to create unique staging solutions that allow them and performers to be as creative as possible,” said Frederic Opsomer, managing director, PRG Projects. “We are constantly thinking of what is next, how do we improve on what we’ve already done. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME allows for moveable LED screens in an operational effective set up which aids the dynamic energy Beyonce, Jay-Z and other performers create during the show.”

The stage design for “On the Run II” Tour includes two LED screens with SPACEFRAME. The secondary – or upstage – screen is a 16,8-meter-wide and 10,8-meter-high screen (55 feet x 35.4 feet) with ROE’s CB8 LED. The bottom section of the upstage screen is automated with three SPACEFRAME panels that open like garage doors, enabling the musicians’ rolling risers to enter and exit the main stage. The upstage screen stands behind a four-tiered opera box style performer platform. The main - or downstage - screen is divided into 12 automated sections. This allows for different dramatic scenes and settings and provides Beyonce and Jay-Z different entry and exit scenarios. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME screen, with GALAXIA’s WV9 air transparent LED, measures 52,8-meter-wide and 13,2-meter-high (173.2 feet x 43.3 feet) when closed and hangs on motorized carts that move left and right on a track. The carbon fiber fabrication and built-in wind bracing provides the stability that structural engineers demand in order to have a screen of this size move around on a track.
“There is currently no other framing system that can do this, it’s a perfect example of designers really pushing the product to the limits and having free reign for their ideas. A symbiosis rarely seen in our industry,” said Opsomer.

INGEST
“On the Run II” Tour is also implementing PRG Ingest. Ingest is a new technology that allows the capture of concert footage in real time from up to 24 isolated camera feeds. Each camera feed - or channel – will be ingested in the server, processed, and via the network pushed to an external storage drive.

Traditionally, footage from a single camera is captured on a single recorder, then after a show, each file on the drive is copied over to a separate hard drive. This is an intensive process that can take many hours as the transfer can take up to one hour per camera.

“With the Ingest system, we can create a show record on an external drive of all channels in nearly real-time and still have a back-up copy on the server should anything go wrong,” said Wolfgang Schram, director of video engineering, PRG. “The servers also get time coded, so all recordings have real time and can be used in an edit right away.”

In order to handle the 6.2 TB of data that “On the Run II” Tour generates per night, PRG uses six media servers which make copies of what is recorded, transcode it to a pro res 422 file and push it over a 10GigE network on an external NAS drive.

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08/06/2018

PRG invests in AOTO Mini LED technology with 2nd generation of CLD P1.5mm product

Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), invests in a new, ultra high resolution rental LED screen. The first 1.5mm COB Mini LED on the rental market!

As the technology pioneer of the LED industry, AOTO has always has been a high quality manufacturer with extremely good processing features and very much focused on image quality.
PRG has followed their product developments closely and amongst which the development of the AOTO Mini LED screen, on which AOTO has been working for the past 5 years. Now the product is finally ready and has convinced PRG by its’ unique LED packaging technique to be ready for the rental market.

 

 
The patented Mini LED technology with 2nd generation of CLD P1.5mm product characterizes itself by an extremely high contrast ratio, super robust and its 180-degree viewing angle, which will impress and seduce the automotive sector and the high-end corporate market.

With the AOTO COB Mini LED 1.5 screen, customers can take advantage of these following benefits:

  • Pixel pitch of 1.5mm
  • 20 Bit processing depth
  • 3840Hz refresh rate
  • HDR Support
  • Rental cabinet
  • 4K Processors
  • 3G & 8G support
  • Support 3D

This product will be available for rental in our PRG equipment pool as from August 2018 with its’ full processing system and the stacking/suspension.

 

 
Steven Shen, General Manager AOTO states: ‘We are very excited about this product and having PRG first to market We are convinced that this will be the highest resolution rental LED screen in the world and that it will attract great attention to itself!"

Gary Boyd, Executive Vice President & COO EMEA of PRG adds: ‘AOTO has developed technology and products at highest level for the past 25 years. With the new Mini LED we are convinced that this is the right product for the rental market. It will perfectly serve our customers needs and wishes in terms of high resolution indoor LED screens.’

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14/05/2018

PRG’s New Concert Touring Products on U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour

PRG’s New Concert Touring Products on U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour

Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers elevate the touring industry

LOS ANGELES – May 14, 2018 – Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations - Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers - which have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that respond to the needs of artists, tour designers and managers seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience.

“PRG has supported every U2 tour since 1992, and they always challenge us to be innovative with available technology or to create something new,” said Jeroen Hallaert, director of PRG Projects North America.

U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour is a follow up to the 2015 Songs for Innocence Tour for which PRG provided the video cage on the moving catwalk between the video screens. However, for the 2018 tour, U2’s creative team required high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens and an independent automated kinetic catwalk between the video screens. The purpose of the transparent LED video screens is to allow band members to perform amidst the LED walls (as during the 2015 tour) without creating a visual divide in the arena. It also provided the ability to integrate Augmented Reality into the show.

Further, the design team wanted the catwalk to be accessible by a moving staircase, and therefore the catwalk should move independently from the video screens. This added automated catwalk required more motors and equipment, thus adding weight. This meant PRG Projects had to find a solution to make not only high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens but also make it super light-weight.



PURE10

In response to U2’s challenge to create a transparent LED wall, PRG Projects revolutionized the way LED screens are built and created the patent-pending Pure10. Rather than mounting the printed circuit boards (PCB) holding the LED in standard clunky frames, PRG Projects sliced the PCB in strips and turned them 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side. This resulted in 75 percent transparency.

The added specially curated Augmented Reality scene-setter - triggered by the LED screen – required a transparent, high-resolution screen. The way PRG Projects chose to build the screen allowed for a 10mm pixel pitch. A pitch far superior than what PRG Projects initially imagined.

“The creative team and the band were looking for a LED screen that allowed them to use AR in the way they envisioned. Pure10 works so well thanks to the magic combination of the pixel pitch, the high transparency and the brightness,” said Hallaert. “The band now calls the screens and catwalk the barricage.”

Additionally, rather than metal fabrication to house or frame the Pure10, PRG Projects used knowledge gained from developing the SPACEFRAME® and engineered a fast-building system in carbon fiber. This resulted in the weight savings that the tour’s production team was looking for. It also gave free reign to the designers and the band to further use the automated catwalk creatively.

As with the innovative transport design for the SPACEFRAME, PRG Projects has advanced the way concert touring is taken on the road with Pure10 by maximizing space and volume in trucks, airplanes and sea containers. The number of trucks needed is cut in half compared to the 2015 tour. Further, when the equipment is used during the show, empty transport dollies fold, stack and roll away in the tiniest spaces. This allows for other departments to move around the venue more freely and makes for ergonomic and superior logistics for load-ins and load-outs.



Rolling Video Floor Riser

The Rolling Video Floor Riser is a revolutionary system in how it’s built and disassembled. Initially revealed last year, PRG Projects updated and upgraded it for U2 to be used as the round stage. Each riser is fitted with 2 LED modules offering a high resolution 4mm pixel pitch during performances. Each riser has integrated magnets to enable a speedy assembly - an LED Floor of up to 1,076 square feet can be set up in less than 20 minutes.

“The Rolling Video Floor Risers were developed to meet the short set-up and change-over times of LED flooring which is perfect for the concert touring and festival segment,” said Mark O’Herlihy, vice president of PRG Global Entertainment.

Not only do the Rolling Video Floor Risers dramatically reduce the set-up time for an LED floor on stage, they also are transported in especially fitted dollies, which contain six risers each. The dollies are 1.6 m in height, allowing shipment via airfreight on the lower deck, which drastically reduces the shipping costs.

Credits Pictures © Steve Jennings

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18/01/2018

Holiday on Ice - The Anniversary Tour

A technical symbiosis of light and video

It is the most visited ice show in the world - Holiday on Ice! This year, the production celebrates its 75th anniversary. "Atlantis" is one of two shows currently touring Germany and France, exciting its audiences with spectacular costumes, great choreography and impressive scenography.

Once again this year, PRG will return to Holiday on Ice’s frozen world and support the show in terms of event technology. In addition to rigging and audio technology, PRG also provides lighting and video technology.

Adam Bassett of Woodroffe Bassett Design is the lighting designer of the show. Among other things, he and his team have worked on the lighting for the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and the Olympic Games. Adam Bassett explains what aspects played a role in the implementation of the current tour:
"Whenever we develop projects, it's the interplay between the design and what we have available in terms of budget, equipment and technology to meet the specific design challenges. It was very helpful to work closely together with PRG from the start, trying to find technical solutions to the complexities, within our budget."

One of the technical highlights of this year’s tour are the ten automated Roll-up screens in the middle of the ice rink. For this, PRG uses six Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors. The Roll-ups are controlled via DMX by the GrandMA2 console. The GrandMa2 console also controls the WO media server to track the different positions during the show. A completely redundant WO system is used as an output.
As a backdrop of the ice rink, we installed a large video projection. Two Barco HD projectors W f 26K project in different depths so that with the help of the WO system, the data is mapped and a 3D effect is created. The projections also emphasize the costumes of the figure skaters and thus create the magical atmosphere of the lost city of Atlantis.

Kjell Peersman, Technical Manager of Holiday on Ice, is delighted with the successful video-technical implementation of the show content:
"We had to find a tailor-made solution to deliver video content on the automated roll-ups. PRG developed a great solution for this, making all boards and media servers communicate with each other. The result is just great! "

In addition to video technology, the lighting has been carefully adapted to the scenario of the show. A total of 40 Icon Edges were used. This moving head is a fast beam, spot and wash luminaire; it contains a wide range of gobos and offers a lot of lighting effects, which benefits the tour.

Bob Walpot, Director of Operations and Asset Strategy PRG, is satisfied with the technical solutions the team has created for the show:
"The combination of these video and lighting elements in synergy with the sumptuous costumes creates a wonderful and immersive show."

Holiday on Ice's Anniversary Tour is also a great success! In total, over 90 shows are performed. Till the end of February, the ice skaters will still enchant the audiences before Atlantis sinks back into the sea.

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04/09/2017

PRG launches opening ceremony of Southeast Asian Games 2017

International production team for lighting, video and rigging in the National Stadium of Malaysia

The 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2017 took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 19th to 30th August 2017. A total of eleven nations, including the host country Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, fought for medals in more than 38 sports in the largest sporting competition in the Southeast Asian region. For the opening ceremony in Bukit Jalil, the event management service provider Memories Entertainment had extensive support from PRG.

Production Resource Group (PRG) was responsible for the Rigging, Lighting and Video as part of the large event in Malaysia's national stadium. This was a joint effort between PRG Germany, PRG Belgium, PRG Projects, PRG Gearhouse and PRG Japan, with the support of the PRG Alliance partner "The Show Company”. PRG Germany supplied the complete rigging and lighting technology, PRG Belgium the Video Technology and PRG Projects around 40,000 Pixel Tablets, which were developed in 2012 especially for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games in London. The team of PRG Gearhouse and PRG Japan supported the colleagues with event technology and manpower.

In addition to the 40,000 Pixel Tablets, the event technology package included 88 Panasonic video projectors, five D3 media servers, around 800 Moving Lights from PRG, Vari-Lite, Clay Paky and GLP, 250 SGM Q7 LED floodlights, as well as a grandMA2 system.

The international PRG team comprised 43 people from Germany, Belgium, France, England, Spain and Dubai. In addition, 12 event students from Singapore worked as followspot operators during the live broadcast on TV and Internet. Despite the hot temperatures, the extreme humidity in Kuala Lumpur as well as the tight production time window, including constantly revised directories, PRG, in cooperation with other service providers, ensured a flawless and smooth running of the opening ceremony of the SEA Games 2017.

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01/09/2017

EDM Festival "Nature One" Puts the Audience in the Center

56,000 music fans, 100 hectares of camping grounds, 350 DJs and four days of beats, bass and applause – the result is EDM Festival "Nature One". This year once again, visitors were able to celebrate three days watching various stages at one of the biggest electronic dance festivals in Europe.

Before the 23 floors were opened for the crowd on 4th August, a large team of technicians put in five days of hard work. PRG was commissioned by the client i-Motion GmbH to set up the OpenAirFloor, the largest floor of the festival. PRG Account Manager Jan Sander and his team were responsible for the rigging and installation of lighting, video and sound technology. And the stage was also built by the PRG crew.

 

At a festival usually the stage is the main focus, but not at Nature One 2017. On the OpenAirFloor, a large part of the technology was designed in such a way that the audience played a central role. Lighting designer Thomas Gerdon explains: "What makes the lighting design special here is that we do not have a stage with a lighting system like a normal Rock'n'Roll Festival, but the lighting system is mainly above the people - so it is a floor concept and no real stage concept."

Also for Jan Sander (PRG Account Manager), this was an extraordinary show, which he set up with his team of technicians: "The audience was offered a great choreographed show, with top DJs and a full multi-media show behind it. Great lasers and spectacular pyro effects were used as well."

The PRG team needed 280 man days, spread over five days of construction and rehearsal time.

The lighting show used mostly moving lights and LED fixtures. 34 Icon Beams were used as stage lighting, with 48 SGM Sixpack and 52 SGM Q-7 and 24 SGM Q7-W. Additional lighting technology that was used included: 124 GLP GT-1, as LED strobe light, 108 GLP X4 L and 48 GLP JDC-1.

For the right beats and bass the PRG team installed on the OpenAirFloor 24 x Meyer Sound Melody, 32 x Meyer Sound Mica, 16 x Meyer Sound Milo and 32 x Meyer Sound 700 HP. The customer's request was that a special sound performance should be generated in the bass range. The bass was set up accordingly in a certain formation so that the kick and sub bass could be optimally reproduced.

From the FoH (Front of House) the show was controlled by three Grand MA 2 Fullsize, 2 GrandMA Light and 14 Grand MA 2 NPUs. These also triggered the media servers, lasers and pyro effects.

The video technology of the large OpenAir stage was also integrated into the overall concept. Among others, P30 LED panels covered an area of 160 square meters, as well as ROE MC7-HB modules installed as a 30 square meter DJ booth. The entire technology was attached to almost 1,000 meters of truss.

 

Despite the difficult weather conditions - there were storms, thunderstorms, rain and sun - the technology worked perfectly. Thomas Gerdon added: "From Thursday evening to Sunday morning, not one lighting fixture had to be exchanged. This is extraordinary in such weather conditions and speaks for the top quality of the material and a very good installation."

The Electronic Dance Festival (EDM) “Nature One” was a success once again in 2017. On the former rocket station Pydna there were fireworks, electronic music, lasers, pyro and a multi-media-show.

Lighting designer Thomas Gerdon is delighted about the successful festival and praised the cooperation with PRG: "The advantage of working with PRG is that during pre-planning I can select the best possible lighting equipment from the portfolio because of the size of the company and the size of their inventory. The second big advantage is that the people who work at PRG have great experience when it comes to projects as big as this."

Photos: Ralph Larmann

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Islamic Solidarity Games 2017 in Baku. Photo by Natalia Tsoukala
20/07/2017

PRG Supplies Lighting for Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games

The Islamic Solidarity Games is an event which involves elite athletes from countries who are part of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. Despite the names, non-Muslim citizens in the member countries are also allowed to compete. The first was held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 2005, with the most recent event taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan in May 2017.

PRG was selected as an official supplier for the opening and closing ceremonies, providing lighting for both large-scale events. The lighting design was created by Adam Bassett of Woodroffe Bassett Design, with associate designer, Terry Cook, who worked with PRG Account Director, Yvonne Donnelly Smith, and Head of Event Services, Richard Gorrod to specify the lighting requirements of the huge visual production.

The design in the Baku National Stadium made use of all levels of the stadium for lighting, as well as the stage built in the centre of the athletics track.

PRG used a combination of its own PRG Bad Boy, VariLite VL35kw, and SGM P5 15 fixtures around the roof trusses, of which there were 30 in total. At balcony-rail level high brightness Icon Edge and VL35k wash fixtures were added into the mix, creating maximum impact with beams reaching up into the sky and across the stadium.

Framing the colourful projections on the main shaped rear screen, brand new ultra-bright Icon Edge units were mounted on the edge of the screen on custom T bars. Icon Edge and Icon Beam units were also used to surround the stage floor. Philips iW Blast, and Color Blast TRX fixtures were used in the VIP Box as a quality front light, and coloured backlighting respectively. SGM P5s were used to backlight the audience on Levels 1 and 2.

Eight of PRG’s newest version of its revolutionary GroundControl™ Followspot System – the Long Throw - were used to as high level followspots mounted on separate trusses around the roof catwalk. These units are as bright as a 4k Gladiator followspot, and can be rigged on a truss, so improving safety and reducing weight by negating the need for operators in baskets. A combination of standard GroundControl Best Boy units, and M2 traditional followspots were used in the closer positions.

Two side light positions were populated with PRG Best Boy and Bad Boy units, and either side of the stage two architectural columns were lit up using a mixture of Floor Cans, 650kw Fresnels, and Birdies.

In total more than 1,100 lighting fixtures were used for both ceremonies. PRG Crew Chiefs Mark England and Luke Jackson led a team of highly expert technicians. Alex Passmore and Ben Hornshaw programmed the lighting on GrandMA consoles, and a WYSIWYG suite was used for pre-programming at PRG’s Longbridge location, and on-site during the build phase, and for pre-programming of the Closing Ceremony.

The control and networking was all managed using a S400 data distribution system with S400 fibre switches and a combination of Supernodes and Node+ units.

Richard Gorrod commented: “Our PRG Best Boys are still one of the best fixtures for a harsh stadium environment. The new Icon Edge performed brilliantly – it’s very reliable and a true work horse! The new GroundControl Long Throw followspots also performed well – they’re super bright and give you the advantage of hanging them in positions where you would not be able to site a conventional 4k followspot. The S400 system again performed brilliantly, as the glue for the whole system. Our crew were true stars – installing and maintaining the equipment on site under many different pressures.”


Adam Bassett commented: “Once again we were blessed with a great level of support, technical expertise and most importantly a brilliant crew. The PRG team in Baku, and behind the scenes back in the UK, were great and made a technically challenging production go very smoothly. The system lived up to every expectation and the ability to use the new GroundControl Long Throws massively changed how we were able to light the shows. By having the ability to place followspots in locations otherwise inaccessible with conventional spots, it enabled us to achieve the optimum angles and as a result protect the video projected surfaces which were so crucial.”


All photos: Natalia Tsoukala

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16/05/2017

PRG Launches New Technology Solutions as Concert Firsts on U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

Innovative Touring Frame and 4K Broadcast Camera System Elevate Operational Performance, Stage Design and Fan Experience

Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today that a new product innovation along with the application of an industry-first technology solution – SPACEFRAMETM and a 4K Broadcast Camera System – have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that anticipate the needs of tour managers, designers and artists seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience onsite or virtually.

“SPACEFRAME and the 4K Broadcast Camera System perfectly demonstrate how PRG excels at seeing an opportunity for innovation that will add operational, economic and creative value from a customer’s perspective, allowing artists to more freely tell their story,” said Steve Greenberg, PRG’s CEO of Global Music/TV/Film.



SPACEFRAMETM
SPACEFRAME is a revolutionary touring frame design seamlessly integrating LED panels to provide industry-changing operational efficiencies and the opportunity for unlimited creative expression. The carbon fiber touring frame is ultra-lightweight, collapsible and fully wind braced creating an intensive built-in structural strength. This allows for a free-form approach to stage designs enabling artists and designers to think outside the conventional LED box. This latest patent-pending technology from PRG also dramatically reduces pre-tour engineering time, shipping footprint/weight, carbon emissions, load-in and load-out times, as well as labor required on tour and locally.

SPACEFRAME features and advantages:

  • Carbon fiber fabrication and built-in wind bracing reduces overall weight increasing safety and savings
    • 10 times stronger when compared to conventional fabrication
    • 15 percent overall weight reduction
    • 35 percent weight reduction including wind bracing
    • Integrated wind bracing up to 72 kph
  • Profile reduction and integrated wind bracing results in up-to 50 percent savings in shipping cost in some cases and a massive reduction in the tour’s carbon footprint
  • Specifically for this U2 tour, truck loads are reduced from seven to three - or one less airplane - when compared to conventional LED frame load
    • Compact, lightweight design offers up-to 30 percent reduction of installation/dismantle time and a 25 percent reduction in overall labor cost

“The quality and resolution of LED products have vastly improved over the last decade, but the frames have basically stayed the same. At PRG Projects, we saw an opportunity to innovate the way in which LED walls were assembled and transported, to rethink the construction of the frame and how it might impact the operational side of the business as well as the design experience,” stated Frederic Opsomer, PRG Projects' Managing Director and innovation leader.

Leveraging in-house talent and partnerships already in place, PRG was able to produce the carbon frames from prototype to final product in just 17 weeks, enabling U2 to be the first to take advantage of the innovation. SPACEFRAME has allowed U2’s designer to create a 200 foot wide screen¬, custom painted in silver and gold to mimic the original artwork of their 1987 album.

4K Broadcast Camera System
The U2 tour also marks the introduction of PRG’s 4K (UHD) Broadcast Camera System as a first for concert touring. The PRG broadcast system, developed and integrated over three months, is a combination of products that can operate in 4K (UHD) and 3G SMPTE Standards. This design philosophy allows concurrent production to operate at the highest level of broadcast standards. The system delivers 60 frames per second (fps) with a UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The concert touring system interconnects cameras and LED wall processors on fiber because of the enormous amounts of data and length of signal distances. The entire broadcast touring system can be set up within an hour and is designed to be operated by one video engineer, eliminating the need for four-to-five onsite engineering positions.

“PRG has been a part of every U2 tour since 1992 and the band always challenges us with pushing technology to its limits,” said Wolfgang Schram, PRG’s director of video engineering. “We have to be creative and that is the fun part.”

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3rd PRG Alliance Summit 2017 - Frankfurt - photo: Detlev Klockow
11/04/2017

PRG Alliance Builds on Success at the 3rd Annual Summit at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt 2017

Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) organized its annual summit for the members of its global partner network program – PRG Alliance – during the Prolight + Sound 2017 trade fair at Messe Frankfurt.

Currently in its third year, the PRG Alliance has 15 members in 28 countries delivering high quality technical production services worldwide.

The theme for this meeting was “Building on Success”, and celebrated numerous collaboration projects among the members, including some from Italy, Poland, and Portugal. During the summit they shared success case studies and discussed future initiatives to promote greater business and information exchange.

“The PRG Alliance is praised by our clients and the market in general. What started with a recognition of PRG partners three years ago, today is a substantial network of remarkable companies – and the largest resource pool of knowledge, qualified professionals and inventory in the world,” said Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of PRG Alliance and PRG’s CEO Central Europe.

“We invited the lighting and video designers from The Voice Portugal, Marco Silva and Ricardo Maia, who shared their experience of using PRG’s proprietary products, Bad Boy moving lights and MBox media server, for the TV show,” continues Van Hemelryck.

The summit provided the ideal occasion to welcome the newest addition to the group, Gil Teichman - the largest audiovisual provider in Israel. The company has been active for over two decades, leading the field of concept creation, designing and executing audiovisual systems, power and electrical work for the industry of entertainment and live events.

During the event, a variety of activities for PRG Alliance were presented and these included training in project management; PRG’s Global Sales Officer Jens Zimmerman hosted a session on global account initiatives; opportunities for participation in international exhibitions were discussion; and the latest PRG proprietary equipment purchase options were delivered. The event ended with a demo of the new PRG exclusive Icon EDGE lighting fixture, and a lively networking dinner which gave the members further opportunity for networking and to discuss collaboration.

The current PRG Alliance members are:
Brazil: Alliance BR
Greece: Sound and Visual
Hungary and Romania: Visual Europe Group
India: DynaMix Media
Israel: Gil Teichman
Italy: STS Communication & New Light Group
Morocco: Touareg Prod’
Poland: aram
Portugal: FX RoadLights
Qatar: Esme Entertainment Services
Singapore and Malaysia: The Show Company
South Korea: Ally&Co and Total Korea
Worldwide: DB Schenker and Production Resource Group

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PRG at the Prolight + Sound 2017 in Frankfurt 220x150px
23/03/2017

PRG Presents New Products and Services at the Prolight + Sound

Live broadcast of the LEA gala via HD and 360-degree live streams over Internet

The Production Resource Group (PRG) will have a significant presence at this year's Prolight + Sound from 4 to 7 April in the Festhalle Frankfurt. The action gets underway in the evening before the show with the presentation of the PRG Live Entertainment Awards (LEA), for which PRG is responsible as overall technical service provider. The creative responsibility, as in previous years, will rest with Jerry Appelt and bright!. From the opening day of the show onwards, visitors to the Festhalle will be able to examine the stage used, including all the installations and effects, and attend regularly scheduled demo shows. This year, the music for the demo show was composed by the band FOXOS, which will also be performing it live in the Festhalle.

360-degree live broadcast over the Internet

One of the dominant themes of this year's event will be 360-degree streaming. Not only will the LEA gala be broadcast for the first time as a Full HD live stream over the Internet, using the right devices it will also be possible to follow it as a 360-degree event. At the location itself, a 360-degree/3D virtual reality signal will be available. The equipment required for the VR moving images—including a Nokia Ozo 3D/360° camera—will be provided by the VR and media technology specialists PRG Lab.

The 1,400 guests in the hall also have much to look forward to: in addition to the award winners in the 15 event categories, the performance of Udo Lindenberg will be among the major highlights of the 12th Live Entertainment Awards. The musical programme on the newly designed PRG stage will further include performances by Schiller, Max Giesinger and Helmut Zerlett, who will be accompanying the exclusive gala with his band.

New products at the Prolight + Sound

As well as various VR demonstrations, the full service provider will be presenting a number of its own products. These will include the updated PRG Mbox® Extreme media server, the Icon BEAM moving light and the revolutionary GroundControl™ Followspot System. One brand-new attraction will be the prototype of the GroundControl Longthrow (LT) followspot, which, too, can be controlled from the ground at a distance of over 600 metres. This year's PRG partners will also be presenting a number of new products. Among them will be the BlackTrax live tracking system from Cast, which makes the interaction of performers, stage kinetics equipment and media content possible. Stage Kinetik will be showing its magnificent "ballet of balls": Winch One. GLP will also be demonstrating the new JDC1 hybrid strobe, the new version of the GT-1 hybrid lamp, and the X4 atom Sixbar in live action.

PRG's partners at the Prolight + Sound 2017 are: Jerry Appelt Lichtdesign, bright!, GLP German Light Products, Stage Kinetik, RIEDEL Communications, Gerriets, ROE Visual, Sennheiser, CAST Group, MDG, allbuyone, Notch, PMS Crew Support, Elements Entertainment, laserfabrik, Apleona HSG Event Services, ComputerWorks, Lighting Tools, inline Kurierdienst, the City of Frankfurt am Main, Wirtschaftsförderung der Stadt Frankfurt (Frankfurt Economic Development), Musikmesse, Prolight & Sound.

For more Information please visit: Prolight+Sound

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Drake live at The O2, London, February 2017. Show and lighting design by Steve Kidd and Guy Pavelo. Photo: PRG XL Video/Alison Barclay
10/03/2017

Lighting and Video for Drake’s Boy Meets World Tour by Guy Pavelo and Steve Kidd with Support from PRG Worldwide

Currently one of the world’s biggest music artists, Drake is selling-out arenas around the globe. Following a hugely successful tour of North America, the show was brought to Europe.

Tour Director and Designer, Steve Kidd, and Lighting Director and Designer, Guy Pavelo, have both worked with Drake for more than five years, providing the designs for multiple tours, and use PRG to supply lighting and video technology for the tour worldwide, working with Curry Grant in North America, and Yvonne Donnelly Smith and Stefaan Michels for Europe.

The design incorporates multiple elements of lighting and video technology including a kinetic LED lighting system; a curved video wall; an array of lighting fixtures from high brightness beams to remote followspots; and video projection.

Guy Pavelo explains their approach to the design for the tour: “This was our fourth master rendition of the design. It was a conglomeration of different elements Drake liked. We spent five months on the design from the first plan. We would show Drake different elements and he would pick and choose what he liked most.

“One of his team found a stop-motion video of an art installation in Japan which was similar to our ball and winch set-up, and had little baseball-sized things which moved in one pattern over the course of about six hours, but since it was stop motion it looked like it took 20 seconds. They wanted us to recreate that.

“In order to accomplish this, we determined that we needed to make a gridwork for the spheres and not spread them out across the whole venue otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to anyone except in the last row.

The design started with a curved video wall built from 9mm LED. Guy explains: “We started with the curved wall, and then we created the set with the lifts and all of that stuff that Drake liked, and added the overhead structure which encompassed some of the house rig. With the kinetic addition, that’s what finally tied all the last pieces together and created the system over the deck.”

Steve Kidd continues: “That’s kind of our relationship with Drake. We come to him with our ideas, what we believe would be great concepts, he then takes those ideas and bends them a little, as all great artists do, and then we create a reality, knowing what our vendors are capable of, but we also have to be realistic about how we can actually tour it.”

Steve and Guy’s main consideration is making a design which can be easily toured around the world, packed into trucks and into venues quickly and easily. Guy explains: “A good part of that is how we worked with SGPS to build some of the elements, from the curved framework for the LED wall to the fact that every piece of truss up there which isn’t a cable bridge is custom made. We moved from 24 to 32 to 48-inch double-bay truss with a shorter leg set and cast assembly so that almost every lighting fixture on the show stays in the truss.

“The truss stacks three high in Europe in the trucks and four high in the States. It’s a time saver, personnel saver, and truck space saver. Yes, it’s big and consumes a little more floor space, but there are 700-800 winches up there that never need to be touched again.


“If we went with anything thinner to save on truck space, we would have a cart with pipes and poles, and we’d have to hang everything each day, which encompasses the potential for more failure, so this saves that.”

Steve agrees: “When building a new production, we’re always up against time. Time and space are the two things which we consider – particularly how much time we have to build the show and what it’s going to take space-wise to actually put it inside the venue.”

When planning shows, smaller venues or those with weight restrictions have to be taken into consideration. Guy Pavelo elaborates: “We’re up to the limit of the venue capacity in terms of what we can actually rig, but the guys aren’t killing themselves to load it in. We’re fortunate that a little extra money was able to be spent on custom truss so we could save the guys a little.”

A notable part of the show is the kinetic moving spheres which wow the audience at multiple points during Drake’s set. Guy explains how the system was developed: “The kinetic spheres are a collaborative project. Glow Motion Technologies gave us all the pieces - it’s actually two different components; the sphere, the physical plastic ball, and the LED chip inside all developed by Glow Motion Technologies. The winch itself is from Stage Kinetik, the hard-powered winch, data, and control, but Glow Motion handled acquiring all the necessary stuff to put it together.”

Steve Kidd continues: “The winch from Stage Kinetik does all the work. Initially when Guy and I first started talking about this design it wasn’t a sphere, but by luck we got these spheres from a mutual friend of ours. They were used on an auto show in Germany, and were sitting in storage. The spheres are what they are, but without the winch it simply doesn’t work.”

Guy explains: “Without the winch, it’s similar to an art installation where the lights just go on and off, but after a few seconds, you’re done looking at it. With this people watch it, and then there’s another number and it looks different, and people don’t stop watching it.”

A major addition to the show design for the European leg was the projection globe. Drake was keen to give everyone in Europe a different show to the one which had been seen in North America.

The addition of a B-stage and the globe with projection meant some adjustments to the kinetic system. There had been a fly rail as Drake flew for one song, but with that removed, the winch system could be tightened up.

Guy explains the inspiration for the new projection globe: “That was from an art installation that happened in Toronto this past season. It was called Death of the Sun and it was a 45ft round sphere on top of a pedestal which was projection mapped. It was a 12-15 minute progression which had the different stages of the sun – from the birth of the star, through the nebula, until it finally burns out.

“The guys who created that had dealt with Drake in the past, so we were fortunate that with one phone call we were able to secure the ideas and the original and get the ball rolling. Two days later we had an object to start playing with here in Europe.

“We have eight Panasonic 30k laser projectors which are what’s driving the globe itself – four double-stacks in quadrant, and the guys are using d3 and Blacktrax to map and track the ball as its inflated during the show, so we can realign and hit it completely.”

The addition of the globe meant a quick change to the set up in Europe, for which PRG needed to add projectors and media servers to the setup. Guy explains the fast response to their request: “We called up Yvonne Donnelly Smith (Director of Music, PRG XL Video) and said, ‘we have a situation where we’re going to need a substantial amount of adjustment to the design’. They opened the shop back up at the weekend, and got personnel back in for loading the truck on a Sunday, which I know doesn’t usually happen, and we had the equipment on the Monday. It was a rush, but every single fixture worked and every one of them was clean, and they were sitting there Monday morning waiting for us to show up. It was fantastic. It was no problem, they said ‘just give us the list and we’ll figure out how to deliver it’.”


Another addition for Europe was the use of Barco projectors and their moving mirror system. Guy explains how they’re used: “They are a concept which High End came up with originally in lieu of lasers. They’re not laser projectors, but you can put content into them which makes them look like a regular laser. You can broadcast out over the audience with no regulations, or health and safety restrictions, and it gives a different look and colour. You don’t get the super-vivid green laser beam but, past that, you get its own type of effect which works really well towards the end of the show.”

The lighting for the tour was designed to complement the kinetic sphere system with many fixtures chosen for their compact size, energy consumption, and high brightness and impact.

Guy Pavelo explains the choice of the lighting fixtures: “We have a range of fixtures – PRG’s Best Boy Spot HP and Best Boy Washes, a small boat load of the Icon Beam; plus Clay Paky Sharpy and Stormy; SGM P5 and Q7 LED fixtures; a quantity of the new High End Solaspot 1500 and LED Solawash 37, with Martin Atomics and GLP XBar 20 fixtures.

“The spots and washes are used for overhead coverage – the trick being the size of the units. We had a very specific size range as we didn’t want to take the fixtures out of the truss every day, and if they were any bigger, they wouldn’t fit in order to stack it and fit in the truck. The overheads needed to fire through the winch and spheres to cover the deck.


“We went with the Icon Beam because the beam that comes out of it is a step forward. Drake wanted a different look and the beam is bigger than a Sharpy. Having the beam with some width, but coming out of a small compact head really worked out.

“For Europe we added the P5 and Q7 to give different mood coverage and house coverage elements as well. For followspots, the team chose the use of PRG’s GroundControl remote followspot system which situates the fixture on the truss, but with the control unit on the ground. They have two operators out at front of house and four backstage because the show is built in two halves – a forward U which includes the B-stage and then the main stage package.

Guy found several benefits in using GroundControl for this tour: “We have the GroundControl Bad Boy Followspot – six of those. We always usually have truss spots up top but with pyros and having people up there kicking their feet around, that’s a problem when mixed with the kinetic, so the GroundControl is a saving grace in that regard.

“When we made the shift to Europe and having the B stage all we had to do was take two of the lights down, move them over 10 feet, plug them back in and we were done. It didn’t turn into a six hour process to move two truss spots with trees and flight lifelines.

“We’re already rigging close to max capacity in most of the venues. The fact that we would have to have six more guys up there with an extra 5000-6000lb overhead for safety was saved.”

Steve and Guy have worked with PRG globally for a number of years to supply tours they design. For them service and support is the key. Steve elaborates: “We find that PRG has been an excellent provider of every aspect of all our designs. What I love about them is that the support is there, not only from the sales side so that Guy can achieve his dream of what he’s trying to deliver to the artist, but also where I have to come in on a budget number. We can say ‘what do you have that nobody else has used yet or that has just come out and looks amazing’, and we also get the crew support which comes along with such a great product.

Steve continues: “PRG has been great for us both domestically in North America, and worldwide. PRG has been a great supporter of Drake, and now with them purchasing video companies, that has escalated our relationship because we can now get lighting and video all in one. One of the hardest things in touring is getting different vendors to blend together. They have a cohesive team which all works together.

“It was important for us to work with people who wanted to be partners, and I know with both Curry Grant and Yvonne Donnelly Smith that the partnership worldwide means a lot to them, but it means a huge amount to us because we can count on them.

“Our client is one of the biggest in music right now – selling more albums and selling-out more venues than any other artist currently, so his expectation is high, and as the designers, our expectation of our vendors is also high.”

PRG XL Video’s Yvonne Donnelly Smith comments: “We have worked with Steve and Guy for a while now and their designs always push the boundaries of creativity. We’re proud to be able to support them on a global basis, working with our colleagues in North America, across Europe and beyond. The current tour looks amazing and audiences are giving it a fantastic reaction wherever it goes!”

More information on Guy and Steve's work: www.gp-sk.com

Photo credits: PRG XL Video/Alison Barclay

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PRG XL Video Favourite Video Rental Company TPi Awards 2017
28/02/2017

PRG XL Video Voted Favourite Video Rental Company in the 2017 TPi Awards

PRG XL Video, the UK operation of Production Resource Group (PRG), has been awarded Favourite Video Rental Company at the TPi Awards in London.

This is the thirteenth time the company has been awarded the prize, which is nominated and voted for by production industry peers and clients.

At the ceremony held at Battersea Evolution in South London, the award, which was sponsored and presented by media server manufacturer d3, was collected by PRG XL Account Director, Steve Greetham.

Steve comments: “It was great to win this award for our video work, which covers concert touring and festivals, theatre, television and corporate events. We had a busy year with a variety of different applications including massive screens at Creamfields and Isle of Wight festivals, through to a custom curved screen for Big The Musical, and video projection for a Royal Charity Gala, and it’s great to see video being used in such diverse ways.”

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. It’s a really an honour to be recognised by our industry colleagues!”

PRG XL Video was also shortlisted in the Favourite Rigging Company and Favourite Lighting Rental Company categories.

PRG XL Video was also a sponsor at this year’s awards. The Live Production of the Year category at the awards was won by Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams World Tour.

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