News Blog

This section contains field reports, case studies, whitepapers, reports from trade shows & backgrounders.

We also publish articles selected by our means in the media.

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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01/02/2017

PRG at the SIHH in Geneva for Van Cleef & Arpels

For the fourth year in a row, PRG brought its expertise to its prestigious customer Van Cleef & Arpels during the 27th International Fine Watchmaking Exhibition, which opened its doors from the 16th till 20th of January 2017 in Geneva.

PRG highlighted the felted and friendly space where their newest and older models were exhibited, representing the excellence of the Fine Watchmaking of the brand through lighting and audiovisual services realized in its magnificent showroom. The ensemble giving the place an atmosphere where "Each watch tells a moment of grace, luck or happiness, inscribed in Poetic Time™."

The whole of the space, the Showcases, the Historical Gallery, the Trade Zones, as well as the magnificent Rotunda were illuminated by PRG using 800m of LED ribbons (RGB, RGB White, Warm / cold white), 200 mini LED spotlights 3W Lunéo (Hallier Process) and 40 Q7 LED projectors (SGM).

The traditional press room was highlighted from the ceiling by a video mapping activated with 2 video projectors HD 20K (Barco) and piloted by a Watchout V6 (Dataton) system.
PRG France is proud to have once again been part of this prestigious project by offering its professionalism and technical skills to its client Van Cleef & Arpels.

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29/01/2017

PRG at the Red Bull Crashed Ice in Marseille

For the opening ceremony of Marseille’s European sports capital, Red Bull transformed the city center into a giant ice skating track.

PRG was technical supplier for the lighting, the power distribution and energy (Aggreko), sound system (in collaboration with Match Event) and video for this spectacular speed skating race that overlooked the old harbor.
PRG installed more than 180 moving lights for the architectural lighting around the skating track, 30 Best Boys, 25 Bad Boys, 30 Icon Beams and 20 K20.
For the lighting of the track, which was of a length of 340m and 8m large, PRG used 320 LED flood strobe SGM Q7 to illuminate the competitors.

Watch the video!


In terms of video, PRG installed more that 300m2 of LED screens, of which 1 LED trailer of 100m2, 2 of 50m2, 2 LED trucks of 30m2 and one modular Roe MC-7H screen, in order to share all the highlights of the competition with nearly 30 000 spectators.

We would like to thank the entire Red Bull team for the confidence they have placed in us by entrusting us with the technical services for this final of the Red Bull Crashed Ice Championship.

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09/01/2017

Safety, Savings, and Creativity with the GroundControl™ Followspot System

While innovation is the hallmark of PRG's award-winning GroundControl™ Followspot System, GroundControl also offers multiple cost saving benefits to event budgets. In this animation, go on a visual tour of GroundControl in a show setting and see side-by-side comparisons of how GroundControl measures up to a traditional followspot setup. Designers will be interested to hear how savings accumulate thanks to GroundControl's reduction in space, weight, fuel needs, and overall load-in times. In addition, GroundControl also uses the same power distribution as automated lighting fixtures, doesn't require any special cable, reduces seat kills (increasing ticket revenue), and reduces rigging costs.

For questions and rental or sales inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us.

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UAE 45th National Day. Photo: Luca Parisse for Balich Worldwide Shows - www.balichws.com
12/12/2016 Photo: Luca Parisse for Balich Worldwide Shows - www.balichws.com

Production Resource Group Supports Balich Worldwide Shows with Technology for United Arab Emirates National Day

Hamburg, Germany, and Dubai, UAE: Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) was honoured to work with Balich Worldwide Shows (BWS) to supply a huge multi-surface video projection for the United Arab Emirates National Day celebration in Abu Dhabi.

The event, held at the request of the Crown Prince’s Court, celebrated 45 years since the unification of the United Arab Emirates, and took place in the presence of a selected crowd of dignitaries.

Tom van Hemelryck, VP Global Sports and Special Events was contacted by Balich Worldwide Shows to provide both the technical expertise and technology for this special commemorative show.

Tom brought together video and technology specialists, Yves Winand, from PRG in Belgium and his counterpart Bill Ainley from the group’s UAE operation to work with the design specification from Balich Worldwide Shows. Starting with the mapping of the surfaces, d3 was identified as the media server for this project. It was used to design, and previsualise the projection, and whilst on site used for line-up and playback of the content created by Charles Darby and the team at Clonwerk.

Yves Winand explains: “We needed a strong partner for this challenging project, and we worked closely with d3 to improve some processes on site in order to save time in the line-up. We had to share preparation nights with lighting programming and rehearsals, and waiting for the arrival of large moving elements, so time for the set-up was limited.”

The projection covered over 6500 m2 of floor, which was a particular challenge due to the flat angle and positioning of the projection towers. Either side of the stage, two wing screens of 600m2 were also covered with projection. Four sand dunes, each measuring 35 metres by 8 metres, which tracked across the stage, and a rising sun of 16 metres by 8 metres, which rose from behind the dunes were also projection mapped and covered perfectly as they moved into place during the show.

Panasonic PT-DZ21KE projectors were used for the floor and wing projections, and a combination of Barco HDF-W30 and HDF-W26 projectors covered the dunes and rising sun. In total 126 projectors were used across the event to create the spectacular effect.

Bill Ainley commented: “Whilst this event presented many challenges, we are proud of our team’s ability to seamlessly draw upon design, technical and logistical expertise from three PRG operations across three countries to ensure our approach at the design phase would achieve our client’s expectation on site. This, along with the team of expert technicians who worked very hard in a challenging environment, ensured we could deliver the project to an exceptionally high standard.”

Tom van Hemelryck concludes: “We are delighted to continue our working relationship with Balich Worldwide Shows, and honoured that they chose PRG as a partner in delivering this prestigious, high-profile show. Everyone involved in this show worked in great collaboration to deliver a show which looked truly spectacular.”

Credits
Photo Credits: Luca Parisse for Balich Worldwide Shows

Show Credits: Creative & Executive Production Balich Worldwide Shows

For further information on Balich Worldwide Shows go to www.balichws.com.

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MTV EMA 2016. Photo: William Gallegos.
02/12/2016

PRG XL Video Provides Lighting and Rigging Technology for MTV EMA and Red Carpet

Continuing a long working relationship with Production Executive, Andy Derbyshire, Event Manager, Maggie Mouzakitis, Event Production Manager, Lisa Shenton, and Show Lighting Designer, Tom Kenny, PRG XL Video has supplied lighting for the 2016 MTV EMA.

This year’s event was held on November 6th, at the Rotterdam Ahoy, Netherlands, and was hosted by US artist Bebe Rexha.

The event opened with glamorous red carpet arrivals from the star presenters and performers, hosted by Laura Whitmore and Sway Calloway, and PRG XL also supplied lighting, rigging, and video technology for the red carpet event.

PRG XL’s Account Managers, Kelly Cornfield and Mat Ilott were initially contacted by Line Producer, Sophie Huda, and Red Carpet Event Manager, Sean McNally, to supply an outdoor video wall, high impact lighting, and supporting rigging for the red carpet area.

Working with Set Designer, Adam Neville, and Lighting Designer, Stuart Pring, PRG XL’s Head of Rigging Services, Q Willis specified the supporting structures for the video and lighting. Rigging crew chief, Chris ‘Karrit’ Harris delivered the show on-site.

Creating a glittering arrivals area for the stars, Adam and Stuart’s designs incorporated a video wall formed from Barco C5 outdoor LED. Content for the video wall was supplied via one of PRG XL’s own Mbox media servers, and included live feeds from the OB truck, social media feeds, and playback content.

Stuart Pring’s lighting design used a combination of fixtures, with Encapsulite LED stick lights built into the set, and PRG Icon Beams lighting the way for the VIPs as they made their way into the venue. PRG’s Sam Healey was Crew Chief for the red carpet lighting team.

Inside the iconic Rotterdam Ahoy, production designer Julio Himede created a vast set filling an entire side of the venue, curving around to create an immersive arena for the audience in the venue, and stunning visuals for the TV broadcast.

Acclaimed lighting designer Tom Kenny worked closely with Julio to create his lighting design for the show. Tom Kenny has designed the lighting for MTV VMA and EMA events for more than a decade, as part of highly creative and much-talked about show designs.

Tom explains his initial approach to his design: “Working with Julio, and with PRG’s Lighting Crew Chief, Rich Gorrod, we looked at the set design. This year, the huge wide set featured a massive wall of video, built from multiple elements. We wanted to cover the whole set and create a layered effect with plenty of back light and presence. With that in mind, and with one eye on the budget, we used a lot of strong beams, spread across the set, big wash lights at the back, lots of Icon Beams, PRG Bad Boys and Robe Robin 100s. We added Solaris Flares for extra strobe effects – they’re a real workhorse.”

Tom continues: “As part of the design, I look at the line-up of artists performing and try to tailor the fixtures to what I think they’ll need. In some cases artists will have specific requests, but often we’ll already have their needs covered in the main rig.”

Some artists do have special requests, based on their individual performance. Tom explains: “Martin Garrix wanted a particular fixture for his set, so we brought in a load of GLP X4 Bars to satisfy that need. For One Republic, who included rain in their performance, we needed to find some waterproof LED lamps for the pool, and Rich Gorrod sourced custom-built fixtures for that purpose.”

“For Green Day’s ‘Global Icon’ performance we needed to give them a really huge look, so we added a bunch of Par Cans.”

“Another fixture I was keen to use was the ACL 360 Matrix from Elation, which includes 25 4-in-1 RGBW LEDs. We arranged a demo of the unit, were suitably impressed, and that was used scenically to create colour and depth.”

With an array of star performers, followspots were also a key consideration, and Tom Kenny was keen to use PRG’s GroundControlTM Followspot System, which includes a remote followspot, flown from the lighting rig and the operator is located with control unit at ground level elsewhere within the venue. Tom has used the system on multiple shows: “I first used GroundControl on Desert Trip festival and was really impressed by it. It’s a very flexible system and allows you to place followspots in locations that wouldn’t usually work. I love it!”

Lighting console operators on the night were Alex Passmore and Jonathan Rouse, who Tom Kenny described as “two of the best programmers/operators I’ve worked with. Alex took care of the majority of the pre-programming, and on the night looked after the cueing on the main set, and Jonathan focussed on the keylighting for the bands, live elements, and audience lighting.”

PRG XL’s Lighting Crew Chief Richard Gorrod led a team of twelve lighting technicians and operators for the show. Tom Kenny comments: “The MTV EMA is a big beast of a show. There’s never enough time, but Rich and his brilliant PRG crew have high standards and work really hard to make it all happen. Rich is a total workhorse – he does the job of three people, and he has such a positive attitude. You couldn’t have a better person on an event of this type.”

Richard Gorrod summed up: “We’re happy to continue our long relationship with Maggie, Andy, Lisa, Tom, Julio and the whole MTV EMA team. The show always looks amazing and really pushes the boundaries for a live event show. It’s a huge production, and there are lots of suppliers all working side by side, harmoniously to make it happen. We’re proud to be a part of bringing it all together!”

Photos: William Gallegos

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17/11/2016

PRG Alliance announces new member in India

The award-winning company DynaMix Media is one of the leading audiovisual technical production agencies in India.

With ever increasing demands for events in India, the PRG Alliance is pleased to announce a new partner in the region.

The new addition to the membership of the PRG Alliance is passionate about great results and meticulous in execution. DynaMix Media is a company recognized in India for their remarkable contribution to events and entertainment, having introduced the 270 degrees projection format to corporate presentations, and the first 300’ wide projection to the local market. The company has a growing number of immersive projection and projection mapping jobs under their belt.

DynaMix Media was founded in 2005 and is led by Mr. Suresh Madan. The company brings to PRG Alliance its vast understanding of video playback and networking systems, and its one-stop rental shop and services across India – offering complete services in video, audio, lighting, trussing, project management and content design.

“Our position in the Indian market is not only that of a company capable of delivering complex audiovisual projects, but also one which is attentive to international standards in processes and safety. It is a constant effort for us to implement these aspects in projects in India, but slowly the clients are accepting this is the right path. We know that PRG Alliance has the same principles and tapping into this great resource and knowledge pool will be very beneficial for our company”, declares Suresh Madan, Founder & CTO of DynaMix Media.

This attitude has been recognized by the industry and DynaMix Media was awarded as the “Best Video Rental Company” by Palm Sound & Light Awards 2014.

“We believe DynaMix Media is the best partner for PRG Alliance,” said Tom van Hemelryck, PRG Alliance Director. “When our clients go to India they need a reliable supplier, and DynaMix Media’s credentials and reputation is impeccable.”

For more information about DynaMix Media and PRG Alliance visit the website www.prgalliance.com.

Projection Mapping Case: Fortis Memorial Research Institute Launch, New Delhi

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Simon Kayser - General Manager, PRG Sourcing and Product Centre
03/11/2016

PRG Announces New General Manager for Its China Sourcing and Project Centre

Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) – the world’s largest supplier of technology and services for events and entertainment has announced the appointment of Simon Kayser as General Manager for its Sourcing & Projects Centre based in Shenzhen, China. Simon will report to Gary Boyd, Executive Vice President and COO, EMEA.

A Chinese-speaker, Simon already has extensive knowledge of the Chinese market from his role as Technical Director at PRG in China, where he has been the project manager for key inbound corporate and large automotive sector projects. His first PRG project in China was the Beijing New Year Lighting Show in 2000/1. In 2007 he returned to Shanghai for the World Summer Games, and in 2008 for the Beijing Games. In 2009 Simon moved to Shanghai for the World EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, and he has been based there since.

Putting his technical knowledge to use, Simon will now take charge of the Shenzhen operation, which is instrumental in sourcing video and lighting technology in China. Simon will work closely with Frederic Opsomer and the team at PRG Projects, who specialise in the development of custom LED for special events, touring projects and installations.

Simon’s appointment will enable PRG to expand its offshore sourcing projects, reinforcing its commitment to innovation and new technology.

“After spending the past eight years in Shanghai, I am looking forward to the new role and challenges. I leave behind a excellent team in Shanghai and look forward to the new team in Shenzhen. Developing, sourcing and especially customizing lighting and video gear for our customers and projects, is where I see great potential for PRG and our team in Shenzhen to deliver enhanced services to our customers”

“We are very pleased Simon has agreed to take on this new role in Shenzhen,” said Gary Boyd. “His technical expertise, coupled with his hands-on commercial experience of delivering projects in China, make him ideally placed to take on this new role, and further expand our ability to source and develop new products directly at the heart of China’s technology capital.”

Simon holds a Master of Engineering degree from University of Applied Science Hamburg (Dipl. Ing. (fh)), and he will relocate from his current role in Shanghai, settling in Shenzhen with his family.

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AV Awards 2016 trophy and plaque.
03/10/2016

PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System Wins at AV Awards 2016

On Friday 30th September 2016, the AV Awards took place at a glamorous event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. The awards, which celebrate the best product, projects, and people in the AV industry, was attended by a team from PRG XL Video, led by Executive VP & COO, EMEA, Gary Boyd.

Following the announcement of the shortlist for Production Product of the Year, sponsored by DB Systems, PRG’s GroundControl™ Followspot System was announced as the winner in the category which included products from Barco, Elation Professional, Sennheiser, X-Rite Photo and Video, and NewTek Inc.

The revolutionary product is already making waves across the production industry, particularly in the concert touring, theatre and television markets, and the judges commended the way the product is having a huge effect on the way lighting designers and producers design their shows and events.

The GroundControl™ Followspot System consists of a specially customized PRG Bad Boy spotlight which includes an in-built camera, and can be flown from rigging or mounted in locations around a venue which would not normally accomodate a followspot; a truss box which provides the link between the fixture and the controller; and the ground-based controller unit which can be operated from up to 610 metres away from the fixture.

GroundControl™ allows designers huge flexibility in where to locate their followspots and the operators can be safely located on the ground within the venue, without the need to climb rigging. In addition to the safety benefits, the GroundControl™ Followspot System also negates the need to remove seats to create traditional followspot positions – a revenue bonus for venues.

Gary Boyd comments: “I was delighted to accept the award for Production Product of the Year for GroundControl. The product is making huge waves across our industry, and we’re very proud to have developed this in-house. Our R&D team in Dallas have done an excellent job in creating a followspot system which is rapidly growing in popularity and demand!”

For a full list of the AV Awards Winners follow this link.

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03/10/2016

PRG at the 71st Congress of Accountants and Tax Consultants

In September, PRG provided the technical services for the 71st Congress of Accountants and Tax Consultants, held in Brussels at the venue Hall 12. The congress was a 3-day event that we realized in collaboration with our colleagues from PRG Belgium. We provided the whole of the rigging structure, lighting and video, as well as all the equipment needed for Michael Gregorio’s show during the gala evening on Thursday.


The lighting set was built with Mac Viper Wash, Mac Viper Profile, Robe Robin 1200 Wash, Sharpy Wash, PRG Design Led Stands and PRG LED uplighters. Behind the stage, a large projection screen of 16m by 6m was set up. Two more screens screens were also installed on both sides of the stage. We used 4 Panasonic 21K video projectors and 3 Watchout systems, an Encore system and a capture system with 4 cameras.

Client : Moma Event
Director Général Moma: Michel Rivet
Production Director: Stéphane Adrien

Special thanks to Thierry Kra & Michel De Breucker (PRG Account Managers), Greg Douglas & Denis Andrien (Production Managers), Nathalie Mathy (Lighting Crew Chief), Charles Hoebanx (Dimmer Man), Jean Marc Pitance (Lighting Operator main room), Pianos Vafidis (Lighting Operator after party), Joao Prates (Video Crew Chief), Joris Beel (Video Techician), Arnaud Delamare (Encore Operator), Vincent Herbert (Watch-out Operator)

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02/09/2016

PRG Paris Provides Robust Audio Solution to this Years' Geneva Lake Festival

PRG, in collaboration with the Geneva tourism, proudly presented the new Geneva Lake Festival. This year's festival featured ten days of the very best of the city’s nightlife blended with outstanding cuisines from around the world plus rides, attractions, fireworks, and entertainment for everyone.

PRG Paris was the primary provider for this event, setting up a large-scale sound system around the harbor of the Léman Lake in Geneva, Switzerland. This project was a large undertaking, requiring a crew of twenty two over an almost month long time period for load in, show time and load out.

PRG supplied of a total of forty-one sound towers over 2 miles (3 km), which comprise of the following equipment:

• 30 x towers equipped with Panasonic WS-LA3 (total of 148) and L-Accoustic SB28 Sub (total of 25) and Meyer 600-HP Sub (total of 6)
• 7 x towers equipped with L-Accoustic Kara ( total of 72) and L-Accoustic SB28 Sub (total of 7)
• 4 x towers equipped with Meyer Mélodie (total of 12) and LS Sub Cabinet TTS28A ( total of 2)
• 6 x towers equipped with LS Adamson S10 (total of 36) and LS-Adamson Sub E-219 (total of 4)

PRG Paris was proud to help make the Geneva Lake Festival a great experience for all the people that came to this years' event and are ready to do it all over again next year!

Client : Fondation Genève Tourisme & Congrès
Production Director/ Producer: Emmanuel Mongon
Artiqtic Director & co-producer: Ric Birch
Technical Director:Eric Sauvain
Technical Director & scenic: Christian Lhôte

Thanks to Laurent Boillot (Account Manager PRG), Greg Douglas (Production Manager), Bertrand Taussac (Chief Sound Projects Manager), JB Di Tomasso (Chief On-site Manager), Raynald Zvunka (Chief Site Manager and electrical distribution), Romain Montagnon (Electrical Distribution), Matthieu Rhodes (Network Manager), Frantz Domoizon (Responsible sound left bank), Tonio Diebold (Responsible sound left bank)

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02/09/2016

Dragon Quest Live Spectacle Tour

2016 marked the 30th anniversary of Dragon Quest, one of Japan’s most popular role-playing computer game series, and for the first time, Dragon Quest was created into an original spectacle live show titled “Dragon Quest Live Spectacle Tour”.  The show toured with great success in 5 cities from July 22 through August 31.

PRG Japan provided technical direction and production services for lighting, video, scenery, rigging, stage automation, flying effect and LED wrist bands. 

London-based STUFISH designed the set and PRG Scenic Technologies in New Windsor made the DMX-control hoist system for the roll-down screens.  PRG V476® control console was used to control the 52  roll-down screens to rise and lower individually and in groups, changing formations at each scene, and mapped video images projected on the screens created the digital scenery as the story on adventurous journey rolled on the stage.

Key parts of the expansive stage layout were the main center stage and island stages connected with a network of bridges.  The four bridges linking to the center stage were designed to fly and PRG SpeedStar™ Variable Speed Chain Hoists were used to fly the bridges.  PRG V-Command™ automation console controlled the movement.

 

 

For lighting, PRG provided around 300 moving and conventional fixtures including PRG Best Boy 4000 Spots, VL3000, Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700 and Impression X4.

 

PRG was proud to take part in this production that raised the bar in the Japanese live entertainment. 

 

Photos © ARMOR PROJECT/BIRD STUDIO/SQUARE ENIX All Rights Reserved.

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08/08/2016

FAN ZONE EURO 2016

PRG France, as partner of Lagardère Sports, was selected to deliver all the audiovisual facilities of the Paris Fan Zone for the EURO 2016 football championship.

For the main zone on the grass strip, no fewer than 150 Line-Array Adamson speakers were installed on 12 towers as well as 200 moving lights including PRG BestBoys HP.

Around this central space, 2 concert stages, a media center, pavilions for partners and a VIP area were equipped with sound, lighting and LED and LCD screen were installed for the transmission of the soccer matches. The whole of the site was covered with HF cameras and a control room to share all of the highlights.



The electrical distribution represented a 6MW power recovered from the ERDF network per 3 high-voltage substations and distributed throughout the site.

We also installed a signal distribution network for the sound and the video-feed, which represented several kilometers of optical fiber.

For the opening concert, PRG has equipped the stage with 1000 robotic searchlights (Sharpy, Mythos, Magiqpanel Ayrton, Viper, Q7 ... SGM), 250m2 of video screens of which 3 were suspended horizontally with Kynesis servo-motors, 100 subs for Adamson in order to strengthen the deep tones ...



PRG also insured the technical installation for the Muse concert and the assured host the concert of Muse & the symphony concert on July 14th.

This event represented the equivalent of 3,000 days of work technicians over 3 months.

More pictures and videos

Client : Lagardère Sports – Laurent Moretti
Project Director Lagardère Sport : Thomas Lavenant
Site Managers: Mediadrop – Stéphane Nicolas / Stephane Convert / Stephane Lesvigne / Philippe Colin

Special thanks to Thierry Kra & Laurent Boillot (Account Managers PRG), Antoine D’Halluin (Chief Project Manager), Stéphane Schlatter & Greg Douglas & PG Tomasso (Chief Project Managers Concerts), Théodora Redmond, Mathieu Bruni, Frederic Mougin, Bertrand Taussac, Vincent Merot, Bill Bloquet & Rodolphe Dubreuil (On-site Managers)

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15/07/2016

audioborn and PRG Lab create VR experience for the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival

The Swiss lakeside town of Montreux will once again host its famous Jazz festival. Over the past 50 years, the festival has seen some of the greatest acts in music history, including Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Prince and David Bowie, among others.

For this year’s festival, audioborn has developed a project allowing the festival to be captured through 360° / 3D video and sound recording technology for the first time. This content can later be rendered and used in virtual reality applications, permitting users to experience the selected acts in real-life quality.

Commissioned by the Metamedia Center of the University École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) together with the Montreux Jazz Festival, project lead and official technology partner audioborn is partnering with PRG Lab for the video expertise. audioborn is responsible for capturing and reproducing all concerts in 3D audio with its software real-time processor called Auratorium. The software system is designed for 3D audio and virtual reality applications. It uses a ray-tracing approach to calculate physically correct and 100% natural sound.

PRG Lab, a division of PRG XL Video, based in Germany, develops customized interactive and leading software solutions for the event and exhibition market. PRG Lab will be supporting the project with a 360° / 3D Nokia OZO camera system to capture a 360° spherical video of chosen acts at the festival.
The cooperation between audioborn and PRG Lab will be one of the first commercial uses of the OZO system in a production of this size. In addition to the standard multitrack recordings, audioborn will capture the sound in the form of a 3D recording, using the Sennheiser VR microphone prototype, and be able to reproduce highly realistic 3D audio for the recordings.

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“The methods we use to capture sound – which is the most important part of Montreux’s Jazz Festival – will be pioneering for 3D audio sound recording as well as reproduction. Using our 3D software audio processor Auratorium, we will be able to achieve the highest possible degree of immersion for the jazz archive.” says Dr. Dirk Schröder, CEO of audioborn.
“We will have to determine how each instrument and sound will react depending on the position of the camera in the room. When sound and video are combined for VR playback, the virtual user should feel as if he or she is actually at the festival in person. Our goal is a total immersive playback experience in sound and vision. We are proud to work closely together with PRG Lab as our professional partner for 3D video capturing.”

“This project is outstanding in its dimensions. We are going to record a huge amount of data during the 16 festival days with the OZO system. This will be the most demanding challenge we have to face during the project.” commented Michael Ochs of PRG Lab. “This is very exciting, state-of-the-art technology being used at the Montreux Jazz Festival. It is the first project of its kind and we can’t draw from previous experiences. ”

One of the challenges of this project is the large amount of data collected through 3D recording. A concert of three hours would create approximately 2 TB of compressed data. Uncompressed it multiplies later in postproduction by factor 12.

PRG Lab is continuously expanding its 3D capabilities and will be using OZO production computers as well as the audioborn Auratorium software to create immersive experiences. The audio mixes can be rendered for multichannel 3D audio systems or binaural headphone reproduction.

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PRG & Vectorworks support Rock in Rio with lighting
18/05/2016 Festivals

PRG and Vectorworks come together to provide lighting at Rock in Rio

Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) – leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions is working with global entertainment design software developer Vectorworks, Inc. to ensure a seamless Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal. The Rock in Rio festival collaboration between PRG and Vectorworks will demonstrate the realization of workflows using ESP Vision software to previsualize each lighting designer's concept. As in previous years, PRG will be supplying lighting technology and all related rigging for the festival. The event technology specialist is now in its 13th year of working with Rock in Rio.

“We started working with Rock in Rio back in 2004; during this time, we were able to supply lighting and video technology at festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Las Vegas and Lisbon,” said Christoph Hahnl, Senior Account Manager at PRG. “This year’s festival marks the 30th anniversary of Rock in Rio, and we are excited to be on board.”

Now owned by Vectorworks, Inc., Vision puts the power to previsualize and cue your show at your fingertips. The software enables entertainment designers to rehearse the look of a show before they arrive at the venue. Adaptations and changes can easily be made in advance, allowing for more efficient working.

"With the increasing need to simulate a lighting design before it's ever executed on a live stage, our collaboration with PRG at Rock in Rio Lisbon provides the perfect venue in which to demonstrate our commitment to empowering today's entertainment designers," said Stewart Rom, chief marketing officer for Vectorworks. "We look forward to showing the world how our two companies can contribute to the ultimate show experience in Lisbon this year and enable today's visionaries in lighting design to advance the way they work."

As part of their ongoing collaboration, PRG is working with Vectorworks' R&D department to create leading solutions and is among the first to use the companies latest software technologies. Vectorworks® Spotlight users are able to work with a catalog of PRG-owned gear in the software, making the design development and documentation process even faster for lighting, production and scenic designers. The close working proximity to designers allows PRG an active exchange of ideas to identify the latest requirements and be involved in leading the development of future technology. Spotlight is the industry-leading software for entertainment design that allows designers to work in 2D and 3D with integrated worksheet functionality and rendering capabilities.

“The collaboration with Vectorworks is well underway, and we have already identified ways to improve internal and external working processes,” said Götz Bauer, Special Operations Director at PRG. “By incorporating PRG’s gear into the Spotlight software library, users are able to work increasingly efficiently and improve working processes. Our close relationship with designers from around the world enables us to really make a difference by using their feedback, and our experience to create solutions from which the whole industry can gain.”

The festival will take place over two consecutive weekends starting on May 19, 2016. The lineup features acts like Queen + Adam Lambert, Maroon 5, Korn, Ariana Grande, Hollywood Vampires and Avicii. The lighting design for the festivals in Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon was created by lighting designer Terry Cook for Woodroffe Bassett Design.

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