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This section contains field reports, case studies, whitepapers, reports from tradeshows, backgrounders, and other articles we consider interesting. When you sign up for our newsletter, we will email you articles that match your interests.

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05/05/2016

Shakespeare Live! from the RSC with Technical Support from PRG XL Video

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 theatre 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 theatre 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.”

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PRG Projects
25/04/2016

Production Resource Group Announces New Brand For Its Creative LED Solutions Team

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 go to: https://projects.prg.com

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Grimes - Brixton Academy - April 2016. Photo: Matt Rakowski
22/04/2016

Grimes Tour Supported With Lighting From PRG XL Video in the UK and Germany

Canadian singer-songwriter Claire Boucher, who performs under the moniker of Grimes, recently made several appearances in the UK as part of her Ac!d Reigns tour. The production, in support of her critically acclaimed 2015 album Art Angels, used a versatile floor lighting and console package from PRG XL Video in Germany as they played venues across continental Europe before shows in Manchester, Dublin, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow; but for the sell-out extravaganza at London’s iconic Brixton Academy, Lighting Designer Sarah Landau called on PRG XL Video’s UK Senior Account Manager Roy Hunt to help add a little additional razzmatazz to an already impressive light show with an overhead lighting rig.

Roy said “Sarah’s artistic and creative reputation is exceptional and the opportunity of working with her on any project is exciting, especially something like this.”

With the tour starting off in Berlin, it made sense for the main lighting system to be supplied by PRG XL Video’s facility in Hamburg, where Account Manager Marco Mahl took care of Sarah’s needs. Discussing her choice of lighting products, Sarah said “I needed versatile fixtures that could create a variety of looks with minimal fixture counts. I was excited to try Clay Paky Mythos for the first time; they are the best of a Sharpy and Pointe with colour mixing as well. I used Martin Mac Vipers for backlighting and projection through the camouflage netting—we needed a bright fixture with a wide zoom and interesting gobos, and they’re very reliable. The Robe Robin 300s were a bright, fast wash, perfect for backlighting and with a wide enough zoom for us to use as cyc lights too, I selected four Sharpy washes to provide sculptural side light from the downstage and midstage edges, they were very bright, even using UV filters!”

When asked how lighting the Brixton show differed from other dates on the Ac!d Reigns tour, Sarah explained “Because Brixton is an empty room, I was able to hire in an overhead plot. PRG XL Video supplied Best Boy HP and Robe Pointe moving lights, Solaris Flare LED strobes, Martin Mac Aura LED washes and an RGB star cloth. The star drop added depth and made the relatively small rig onstage look much bigger and added lots of ambience to the ‘pretty’ songs in the set list.”

Grimes’ stock has been steadily rising since her emergence with the albums Geidi Primes and Halfaxa in 2010. Her name has been included on numerous shortlists and has been marked as an artist with extraordinary potential. Boucher cites her musical influences as being drawn from video game music, k-pop, Japanese composers, and artists as varied as Christina Aguilera, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Beyonce, Marilyn Manson, Enya, Dizzee Rascal, Aphex Twin, Mariah Carey and Outkast. Hermione Hoby of the Guardian described Grimes’ layered style as “sounding a little like everything you’ve ever heard, the whole sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard.”

NME magazine chose Grimes’ fourth album as their album of the year for 2015, writing “Art Angels is an album everyone should own, that everyone can take something from. It’s bold, angry and provocative—a statement of intent from an artist coming of age and imprinting her singular worldview on the mainstream.” Grimes’ idiosyncratic brand of electro-poppy sounds almost defy categorisation, Sarah Landau refers to her work as art-pop, “It’s catchy and beautiful, but also very weird and experimental. Her latest record combines many disparate musical, literary, cinematic, artistic influences, and ends up representing Grimes’ eclecticism perfectly.”

Claire Boucher’s a creative force to be reckoned with, in addition to her musical talents, Claire also directs some of her music videos and creates her own album artwork. Regarding the aesthetics of the Ac!d Reigns shows, Sarah commented “Claire and I collaborate on the set designs—it was her idea to incorporate the camo netting, but I chose the colour and shape of the structure. When we first started working together, Claire and I had general conversations about the aesthetics and vibe, realised we were on the same page, and she has trusted me since.”

Sarah has handed over to the brilliant lighting director Michelle Sarrat as Grimes tours North America, stopping off for two appearances at Coachella festival before the band returns to play a number of European dates in the summer, including a handful of UK shows and appearances at Glastonbury and Latitude festivals.

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15/04/2016

PRG Alliance Marks 2nd Year with Summit at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt 2016

Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) recently marked the two year anniversary of its global partner network program with the second PRG Alliance Summit. Under the theme ‘Gearing Up For Success’, the Summit took place during the Prolight + Sound 2016 trade fair at the Festhalle Messe Frankfurt.

Since its inception, the PRG Alliance has grown in both size and reputation, and now offers technology, services and support to event producers in a total of twenty five countries.

There are now fifteen member companies which make-up the PRG Alliance. The newest addition is DB Schenker – the first member supplying services other than audiovisual. DB Schenker supports the Alliance members with specialized logistics for events with a large worldwide presence and multi-modal transportation requirements.

The PRG Alliance Summit is already a key date on the calendar for members, allowing them to meet face to face, share knowledge and best practices, and increase their collaboration. The location of the Summit at Prolight + Sound also enables them to meet at an event where the newest and most exiting technology is on display.

This year’s Summit included a presentation of the PRG Alliance’s future plans from Alliance Director, Tom Van Hemelryck, and Account Manager, Luciana Rosa, which include expansion into new regions, opportunities for training, and the aim to include a wider variety of service companies. There are also confirmed regional summits around Infocomm in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Palm Expo in Beijing, China.

After the introduction, members of the Alliance shared their experiences and knowledge acquired during the past year, including a custom-shaped large-scale LED floor and wall for concert touring; special lighting for fashion shows; and the logistical issues facing shows located in unusual or remote locations. 

Following this the PRG Projects team shared examples of their work with custom LED projects for major opening ceremonies including wireless hex panels and pixel tablets seen by millions around the world.

“Watching the presentations, we see the potential applications for these technologies in Italy – we are always eager to bring new services to our clients and we see the potential for customized LED solutions in our market,” commented Alessandro Rossani, CTO of STS Communications in Italy.

Members also enjoyed a presentation from Chris Reed of Restless Communications on the best ways for technical production companies to use social media to promote their brands; and this was followed by sessions from Minesh Pore, General Manager of Pico Europe on working with corporate clients and managing expectations, and Lee Charteris, VP Operations, Flash Entertainment on the challenges of producing concerts and events in emerging markets.

Alliance member Ally Yoon, CEO of Ally & Co. in Korea commented: “The content of the summit is very helpful to us in Korea. We are right now in the middle of a production with PRG for a corporate event in Seoul and getting the insight on client expectation helps us to improve our services.”

The Summit concluded with a dinner in the Festhalle which further enabled the members to network with each other.

“We see how the PRG Alliance is well established and continues growing through making personal connections between the members and with the market,” said Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of PRG Alliance. “We carefully select the members and I am happy to have such an unprecedented group of companies with high-quality technical production services working together on several events in the last year – success always comes from collaboration.”

The current PRG Alliance members are:
Brazil: Crialed Producoes Visuais, Loudness Sonorizacao, and LPL Lighting Productions
Greece: Sound and Visual
Italy: STS Communication & New Light Group
Malaysia: Orange Events
Morocco: Touareg Prod’
Portugal: FX RoadLights
Qatar: Esme Entertainment Services
Singapore: The Show Company
South Korea: Ally&Co, Total Korea, and Basictech
Sweden and Denmark: [Lite]com
Worldwide: DB Schenker and Production Resource Group.


Members at the 2nd PRG Alliance Summit

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24/03/2016

PRG ProShop Will Hold a Used Equipment Mega Sale in Frankfurt 4-8th April 2016

PRG ProShop are hosting a mega sale of used equipment at the Prolight + Sound trade show in Frankfurt. We are operating pop-up warehouse close to the exhibition grounds for the five days Prolight + Sound is on. The sale will run from 4th to 8th April and will be open from 11:00 to 19:00. PRG XL Video are offering a huge selection of high-quality lighting, audio, video, rigging, LED and broadcast technology for sale, including moving lights, LED panels, audio consoles, overhead lights, speaker systems, lighting control consoles, microphones, conventional lighting, video cameras, network technology, followspots, trusses and much more.




A detailed list of the equipment available for sale in Frankfurt can be accessed through the PRG XL Video website. Further information with regards to the exact location will be provided on the site. All products are fully tested prior to being put up for sale, and are sold as seen without any warranty or option to exchange after the event. We will be accepting payment by debit or credit card as well as cash. For visitors to Prolight + Sound, PRG XL Video will have an information counter in the Festhalle where further details can be found, as well as information about the shuttle bus service we will be running from Prolight + Sound to the ProShop mega sale.

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21/03/2016 Show in “Festhalle“ accompanied by additional hall for used equipment sale

PRG XL Video presents innovations at Prolight + Sound 2016

PRG XL Video, event services and event technology specialist, will be present at this year’s Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt and will be showcasing a broad program as well as various innovations. As in previous years, PRG will be located in the “Festhalle“ hall, which also hosts the PRG Live Entertainment Award on 4th April 2016, the evening before the exhibition officially opens.

For the first time, this year’s award ceremony will include acts from the entire German-speaking DACH region, consisting of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The awards will be presented in front of 1300 guests during a “carbon neutral“ event.

For the duration of the Prolight + Sound the “Festhalle“ will be the exclusive presentation and showroom area for PRG XL Video and their cooperation partners. During this time, visitors can expect a show that will be even bigger then last year's event, including more than 1,000 light fixtures, video mapping, lasers, special effects, sound systems as well as kinetic solutions. The show will demonstrate the latest event technology in action. Visitors can also look forward to a backstage tour that includes a look at the equipment used for the PRG LEA award ceremony and also the 3D projections of the “Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis“ and a virtual warehouse tour, which is brought to live by ten projectors in the “Festhalle“.

At this year‘s Prolight + Sound PRG Video XL will also focus on presenting its wide service range. The division PRG Alliance will be present and inform visitors about the company’s global network. The PRG Subrental Portal division (http://subrental.prg.de/en) will also be attending. The portal aims to connect with suppliers, who would like to offer their equipment for rent to PRG. Also at the exhibition will be the newly launched PRG Crew Portal (http://crew.prg.de/en), an online portal that makes connecting and working with PRG easier.

There will be demonstrations of PRG’s Ground Control System and a range of technology innovations by SGM and EAW. The development division of PRG, PRG Projects, will present the latest custom-build LED and control technology products.

One of the highlights of this year‘s PRG XL Video attendance will be a used equipment sale hosted in a 3,000 sqm hall outside the exhibition grounds. More information about this event can be obtained at the ProShop information counter located in the “Festhalle“. A shuttle service to and from the hall will be provided.

In addition to PRG XL Video‘s services and equipment, several sponsors and partners will also be present with stands in the “Festhalle“. Please refer to our Prolight + Sound website for up to date information on our program at the exhibition.

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PRG Logo
18/03/2016

PRG XL Video opens new branch in Austria

PRG XL Video, event service and event technology specialist, has opened its new branch in Vienna, Austria. The new location allows for closer proximity to Austrian-based clients which include companies, agencies and institutions.

PRG XL Video in Austria will be managed by Christian Wymetal and René Rarrel. The experienced LED specialists join the company as directors of “Outdoor LED” and will be the main customer contact. Due to their extensive experience in the field of international sport, the main focus of the new branch will be Outdoor LED and sporting events.

The new branch allows Production Resource Group to be physically present in the Austrian market. “Austria is an attractive market for our company“ says Carsten Zwerg, member of the board at PRG, “With Christian Wymetal and René Rarrel we have found two very knowledgable specialists who complete the Austrian team and enable us to support our customers nationally and internationally. We are pleased to have them on board.“

Christian Wymetal and René Rarrel will be present at (the) PRG XL Video (area) in the “Festhalle“ at the Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt.

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16/03/2016

PRG XL Video LED Truck Travels to Republic of Congo for Presidential Elections

Following a recent client enquiry to Pierre-Guillaume Tomasso, Project Manager at PRG France, our team have prepared our LED trailers ready for travel to the Republic of Congo where they will be used for public viewings for the upcoming Presidential election. 



The elections will take place on 20th March 2016.

In the capital city Brazzaville, a number of public events will take place in the run up to the election, and to enable a large-scale rally for 300,000 people on 18th March, two of PRG XL Video’s large truck screens, each with 50m2 of LED screen, have been shipped via a huge Antonov cargo plane to the African country.

“Our truck screens are used for a wide range of outdoor events from sports to public spectacles, beach parties and musical events,” said Jan Sören Eckert, Fleetmanager LED Trucks at PRG XL Video. “They travel to many locations across Europe throughout the year, but this is the first time we have shipped them to Africa."

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PRG XL Video wins TIPI Award 2016 for Favourite Video Rental Company
25/02/2016

PRG XL Video Wins Favourite Video Rental Company for the 12th Time

PRG XL Video, the UK operation of Production Resource Group (PRG), is today celebrating winning Favourite Video Rental Company at the 2016 TPi Awards.

The event, which took place on Monday 22nd February at Battersea Evolution in London, is attended by a wide variety of companies from the entertainment and events industry both from the UK and worldwide.

The Favourite Video Rental Company award was presented to the PRG XL Video team by Sarah Cox, from category sponsor, d3 Technologies.

This win is the 12th time in the TPi Awards history that the UK video team have won this category, and brings the total number of TPi Award wins to eighteen for Production Resource Group companies.

“Winning this award yet again only goes to confirm that the coming together of PRG and XL Video is a winning combination!” said Lee Spencer, PRG XL Video Commercial Director. “I would also like to thank our teams at all the UK locations whose hard work won us this year’s award.”

PRG XL Video UK CEO Lucas Covers comments: “We are delighted with the recognition for our video services, and particularly honoured as this award is voted for by our colleagues and peers in the industry. We will continue to strive to supply the best possible video service in the market.”

Other winners on the night included some important PRG XL Video clients. Oli Metcalfe won two awards for Best Set Designer, and the Des Fallon Video Visionary category, for his work with Muse; and the Best Lighting Designer was Ed Warren for his work with Mumford & Sons.

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PRG Gearhouse invests in more LED equipment 800x200 project picture
24/02/2016

PRG Gearhouse Increases Stock of LED Due to Increased Demand

The world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions, Production Resource Group has increased its stock of 7.5mm LED within its Dubai operation to help support a growing demand for a high quality outdoor screen. The company recently took delivery of over 300 square metres of ROE MC-7 LED, which is a recognised touring product for large scale events.

Shortly after arriving in Dubai the screen was put to immediate use to support the opening ceremony of the 2016 Dubai Tour.

“The ROE was the perfect choice of screen for the event” said Bill Ainley, PRG Gearhouse’s Head of Video. “The client’s design and creative concept was based on a curved upstage screen and we had very little time to construct and then de-rig the screen given the location of the event.”

The event was held at the Westin Mina Seyahi Amphitheatre and included an intricate lighting design to make the stage an interactive area for choreographed live entertainment which including world famous cyclists performing stunts.

The lighting design included PRG’s proprietary ‘Best Boy HP’ moving lights. This sort after profile fixture is only available through PRG Gearhouse and uses a 1,500 watt HTI lamp to produce over 33,000 lumens.

Just two weeks later, more than 200sqm of the ROE MC-7 was used to support Dubai’s largest 2 day festival, Redfest DXB.

PRG Gearhouse were appointed to provide full lighting and video for the event which took place at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre and included performances from international artists including Rita Ora, The Vamps, Steve Aoki, Eva Simons and many more.

PRG Gearhouse’s Head of Lighting and project manager for the event, Damien Jackson commented; “It’s always a pleasure working with Done Events and their team. During the fit-up the ROE really shone through given the complex layered approach taken on the upstage screen design. It’s a fairly lightweight product, comes in and out quickly and its performance is rock solid”.

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PRG & Vectorworks Logos - Press Release Partnership
23/02/2016

Vectorworks and PRG Partner to Add Content and Capabilities to Vectorworks Spotlight Software

New PRG Lighting Library features growing repository of content that will enhance the user experience 

As a part of their shared commitment to empower today's entertainment designers, Vectorworks, Inc. and Production Resource Group (PRG) announce that they will collaboratively develop and implement new features for Vectorworks® Spotlight software. More specifically, PRG will work with Vectorworks' research and development team to develop new tools and object libraries for Spotlight, the standard for CAD software in entertainment design, as well as drive efficient workflows that are crucial to the industry.

"Our goal is to provide state-of-the-art technology and tools that enable designers to explore their ideas so they can ultimately develop, document and communicate designs that create memorable entertainment experiences," said Dr. Biplab Sarkar, CTO of Vectorworks. "We gravitate toward strategic industry partners such as PRG because they are uniquely qualified to provide the resources and services required for our customers."

Vectorworks is a global leader in developing 3D design technologies for the AEC, landscape and entertainment industries, including Spotlight software, which helps professionals in the lighting, scenery, set, event, theatre and exhibit design space balance the need for individual creativity with the requirement for synchronized, accurate design information.

Contributing more than 25 years of experience to the partnership, PRG is the world's leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions, providing integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging and scenery for clients all over the world. With more than 40 offices worldwide, the company has relied on Spotlight software for many years.

"In conjunction with the announcement of this partnership comes our initial efforts with creating a large catalog of PRG gear as library content for Spotlight users," said PRG's Special Operations Director Götz Bauer. "The increased content resources will be a tremendous efficiency gain, making the design development and documentation process even faster for lighting, production and scenic designers."

Initial content that will be shared through this partnership includes PRG’s own line of production equipment including lighting instruments, consoles, LED panels, trusses, motors and media servers. PRG is also adding other content from vendors that it represents and supplies, such as Prolyte Truss and Vari-Lite.

The growing content library is available initially as a first-access benefit for Vectorworks Service Select members and can be downloaded here. To learn more about the growing content library, Vectorworks Service Select members can visit this link

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PRG Alliance Announces new member in Marocco
21/12/2015

PRG Alliance announces new member in Morocco

There is one more pin in the map of PRG Alliance’s global reach – they are now present in Morocco with the addition of its new member Touareg Prod’. 

Founded in 2001, Touareg Prod’ offers a range of sound, lighting, rigging, and backline solutions to entertainment industry customers as concerts, TV shows, sports, corporate and private events. The company has now about 70 technicians working full time, a head office in downtown Casablanca and a 2,000 square meter warehouse in the industrial zone of Casablanca. “I am certain that being part of the PRG Alliance will help Touareg Prod’ to do even more amazing things,” says Squalli Farid, Partner/Owner of Touareg Prod’. “We have been in close collaboration with some of the PRG Alliance members already for a few years but now that we are officially in the group we can’t wait to partner with all the members and welcome international events in Morocco, as well as getting the support for our clients abroad.”

Touareg Prod’ is very eager to fully participate in all PRG Alliance activities and to bring as much technical knowledge and business opportunities as possible to Morocco. “We are very busy with several projects recently. It gives us confidence that now is a good time to invest in our business expansion and join PRG Alliance,” continues Farid.

“Morocco was a natural extension to our presence since it is an important destination for corporate events and concert touring in North Africa,” says Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of the PRG Alliance. “We are happy to welcome such a proficient player as Touareg Prod’ to our global team.”

With this new addition to its member’s pool, the PRG Alliance is present today in 25 countries in all continents. The complete list of participant companies and news are available on the PRG Alliance website: www.prgalliance.com.

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Reisende auf einem Bein (Travelling on one leg) 800x200px
14/11/2015 Theatre projects

PRG XL Video Supplies Theatre Video Solution for Travelling On One Leg at Hamburg Schauspielhaus

Working with Video Designer, Ingi Bekk, PRG XL Video supplied a video technology solution for a Hamburg theatre production of Reisende auf einem Bein (Travelling On One Leg), based on the novel by Nobel-prize winning author, Herta Müller.

Adapted for the stage by British theatre director Katie Mitchell OBE, and dramaturge Rita Thiele, and directed by Mitchell, the production incorporates a multimedia approach to theatre by the use of live cameras on the actors, the feeds from which are then cut live and projected on to screens above, creating the effect that a movie is being made live on stage.

Many of Katie Mitchell’s productions use multimedia, and this is used to explore the theme of detachment which is present in many of the plays she stages. In Reisende auf einem Bein the main character Irene, played by Julia Wieninger, begins life in Romania, but then takes a decision to move to Germany. The feeling of detachment is most prominent in Germany as she settles in an unfamiliar country. With the subject of refugees and migrants in Europe at the forefront, this makes the themes covered in Reisende auf einem Bein very topical.

Ingi Bekk has worked with Katie Mitchell on three occasions, with this his first as lead Video Designer. His design for the show technology was done in close collaboration with Director of Photography, Grant Gee, who then led the process of capturing the action on five cameras on stage.

To supply the cameras, media servers and projection technology, Bekk worked with PRG XL Video’s Senior Account Manager, Ed Cooper to satisfy the complex technology requirements.

Bekk explains: “To pick up the detail of the performances, the period accurate props, and the performers facial expressions, it was important to place the cameras correctly. For example, throughout the play Irene builds up a collage of newspaper clippings and her own photographs, so it was important for the cameras to be able to pick-up the close-up detail of this key element, as well as the incredibly detailed props and scenery used in the show.

“We used a combination of professional camera people, and for some scenes also required the actors to handle the HD cameras. We utilised a mini jib, slider unit, and adapted grip equipment to achieve the right angles during the performance.”

Bekk continues: “Around the set twenty monitors were set up which displayed the shot number, the current live camera, and other show-crucial information - this enabled the performers to know exactly which camera was live and which shots were being shown on screen at any time.

“From the camera feeds, we edited the footage live, via the Catalyst media servers equipped with HDSDI capture cards. The shots were all processed with some pre-programmed colour-grading, to give the projected images a stark and cinematic appearance.”

In addition, one of PRG XL Video’s QLab media servers was used to provide synchronised triggering of audio, video and lighting throughout the show. Programming for the media servers was handled by Ellie Thompson, Associate Video Designer, and Iain Syme, a student from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, provided assistance to both Bekk and Thompson throughout the production. The cinematic element of the production was achieved with the use of three different projection screens. One, fed by one of PRG XL Video’s Panasonic 10k projectors, showed the images of Irene’s life in Romania, with a second, also fed by a Panasonic 10k unit used on stage for backgrounds for some of the scenes. A third Barco 20k unit, supplied by the theatre, was used for the segment in Germany. Ingi Bekk sums up: “This was a challenging, but exciting production to work on. The video set-up was central to the whole look and feel of the play. I was very happy to work with Ed Cooper and PRG XL Video to get the technology we needed to achieve the desired outcome.” Reisende auf einem Bein returns to the Schauspielhaus, Hamburg from 13-19 November 2015.


 


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Opel Selfie Jump PRG XL Video IAA 2015 800x200px
05/11/2015 Projects

PRG XL Video Realises ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ at IAA 2015

For ten days – from 17 to 27 September – visitors to the Opel booth at IAA 2015 could create their own personal ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ – a Bullet-Time tracking shot with frozen scenery, known from the Matrix films and numerous commercials. The automobile manufacturer relied on the experience of PRG XL Video for the planning, design and technical implementation of their exacting requirements. Bellprat Associates AG was responsible for the idea and the concept. The graphical user interface of the terminals, the Facebook connectivity and implementation of the barcode scanners was realized by bluelemon Interactive GmbH.



For ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ the full-service event provider developed a system using 75 digital SLR cameras arranged in a semi-circle of 270 degrees, which was aligned with millimetre precision with the booth visitors in the centre of the circle. As a visual aid to the participants, a monitor with countdown was displayed below the cameras. The shutter release of the 75 cameras was done manually using a remote control by an employee at the Opel stand.

The instantly-created three-second video sequence from the 75 simultaneously acquired images was incorporated into the interactive content displayed on high-resolution LED screens and 3D objects around the Opel booth. At the same time, visitors could access their own ‘Selfie Jump’ posted on the Opel Facebook page.

The technical requirements for hardware and software with which PRG XL Video was confronted during the two-month design and production phase were enormous. The event provider had to respond to a variety of technical challenges including automating the post-processing of the camera images as video to make the sequence available immediately.

During the production phase of the event, PRG XL Video developed, specifically for this purpose, a modular system of opto-couplers and a microcontroller. These were able to synchronously trigger all of the cameras, start the countdown over the network, begin the rendering process, and display any error messages. This allowed the error detection mechanism to autonomously utilise the fallback system.

This solution was made more impressive because of special provisions the ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ system required for its prototype. Drawing on experience from previous projects, the team managing the project had to install the camera rig separated from the jump landing-pad to avoid transmission of vibrations to the cameras.

Since the installation of the cameras was covered to protect against unauthorized access and to avoid dust entering the mechanisms, PRG XL Video developed a custom software solution that enabled them to remotely configure the cameras both individually and collectively. In addition, the team had to consider sufficient manual access to the camera hardware to enable servicing and recalibration.

The ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ project was a complete success! Over the ten days of IAA 2015 more than 3,500 video clips were created by visitors on the Opel stand – meaning the 75 cameras clicked and produced a Bullet-time tracking shot every 2 minutes!

More pictures from Opel Selfie Jump realised by PRG XL Video at IAA Frankfurt (Slideshow)

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