News

As the leading global production services solution provider PRG is continually working on some of the most creatively challenging projects; developing the next generation of technology and redefining the industry as well as our company. Keep track of it all in our news updates and case studies. We will also be posting articles and videos featuring some of our industry's compelling creative thinkers; designers and luminaries.

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5/6/2019

Notch & Disguise Controlled Kinetic LED Cubes Stun Audiences on Metallica’s “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” Tour

 

A dizzying array of flashing LED cubes descended from the truss above Metallica’s 360-degree mainstage setup on the Las Vegas stop of their “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” tour. This was a show designed with the entire crowd in mind - even the nosebleeds had a great view.

A photographer raced by with purpose, sweating bullets to get all the shots – no easy feat when the band members rotate positions at their own will. Microphones were set up on all sides of the stage while Lars Ulrich and his drums sat in the center on a circular platform. Fitting, as Ulrich is the heartbeat of the band as well as the one who put out the ad in the pages of The Recycler looking for “other metal musicians to jam with” back in May of 1981. Of course, vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield answered that ad. Thirty-seven years and 11 albums later, they stood together onstage with guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo to play to a sold-out crowd of 17,000.

 



Show Director and Set Designer Dan Braun has been with the band for 23 years and is responsible for the immersive design on this tour. Four-hundred and sixteen CB5 tiles made up 52 4-sided kinetic LED cubes that hovered above the stage, seamlessly rising and falling to form a labyrinth of shapes, echoing the complex instrumental arrangements that make Metallica great. Below, a 44 by 44-foot square mainstage served as platform for the band as they grinded out hit after hit for a solid two hours. There’s nowhere to run when the stage is a square in the center of the arena, and there are no breaks when there’s nowhere to hide.


Four-hundred and sixteen CB5 tiles made up 52 4-sided kinetic LED cubes that were featured in the arena portion of the “Hardwired..To Self-Destruct” tour

The pulsing opening track of both the 2016 album and the tour, “Hardwired” kicked off the night with roaring energy. The cubes were high in their initial positions, transformed to become television sets from the 1980s. Live footage of the band played on the television screens, all in static and black and white. This acknowledgement of the band’s nostalgic appeal paired with new music the crowd was audibly excited to hear was a power move. Very few bands of this age continue to command an audience with new material.

Video Director Gene McAuliffe sat like a pilot backstage in video world behind his control desk, queuing the live footage of the band from 16 different Robocams. Using all robotic cameras on this tour was a unique idea that solved one problem, while also posing its own set of challenges.

“The benefit was that we could place so many cameras around the stage and still have a very discreet presence to the fans,” McAuliffe explains. “It allowed us to cover the entire stage without any operators being in the way of the fan experience.

They had an operator’s station set up back stage where three techs controlled four cameras each. This was where things got a little tricky, because operating four cameras off one controller is no easy task, and they could only see what the camera saw. Having skilled operators was imperative.


PRG camera operators backstage, controlling the 16 Robocams used to capture footage.

“This plan added a lot of infrastructure needed to get all those video signals and camera control sent from the stage to the video production system. We had some bumps in the road, but we found the tricks and people needed to make it work.”

McAuliffe started off as an engineer with Metallica in August of 2016. He quickly moved up to become Assistant Director, and has since moved over to the Director’s chair, where he sits now.

“Gene has done a fantastic job combining his experiences to fill so many roles with this band,” says Mark O’Herlihy, PRG Account Executive for Metallica. “Very few people could do this job the way he does.”

“I worked quite a few shows with some of the original creative team and current production crew, so we spent a lot of time in the trenches together already,” McAuliffe explains. “When we started up the stadium tour, I spent a lot of time programming the Mboxes and helping the design team get their ideas into reality.”

As Video Director, he works closely with the other visual departments to continually put out successful shows, night after night.

“It was quite a different show during the arena run, where there aren’t large IMAG screens as a main focus of the set. But we still capture the entire show for archiving purposes for the band and any sort of media releases they put out,” he continues. “During the build process for the show we all found the victories and challenges with the original design. It’s a really complex project that continually grows and changes over time.”

One of the biggest challenges was to give every song its own individual look. 

 


Video Director Gene McAuliffe’s workstation, next to the custom Ingest System that PRG created for Metallica.

“This was the hardest yet most exciting part of the project,” explains McAuliffe. “It allowed for video, lighting, and automation to all be a part of the creative discussion. Constant discussion between Dan Braun, Lighting Designer Rob Koenig, Automation Director Michael Pettit, and myself about the looks of the show created a huge pool of ideas, some that worked and some that didn’t. Over the course of the tour we have all continued to discuss the looks and new ways we can play with the show that we have been given. The design as a whole opened up so many possibilities that it continues to grow and change over time.”

Warped faces of the band faded into red. Red became neon imagery from the Las Vegas strip. Cubes rose and fell into shapes that were unique from every vantage point. The ever-changing video content on the cubes was controlled by Disguise operator Cameron Pigou, a soft-spoken Kiwi with some serious video chops.

“I look after everything that goes onto the screens, so the video infrastructure and fiber system to deliver the outputs to LED, as well as operating the show every night,” explains Pigou. “I have to know the music by heart, be able to adapt to any challenges the band may give us setlist-wise as well as update content daily and do programming for additional looks we need. I also look after the integration of the automation and lighting systems into the servers and make sure everything is operating as it should be.”

Disguise is the core of the entire video package on the tour, provided by PRG.

“It enables us to effortlessly output eight 3G SDI feeds to all the LED screens, and because Disguise is a full 3D environment, we could use the various mapping types, particularly parallel mapping, to virtually project multiple pieces of content up to 4K resolution across multiple faces of each screen,” says Pigou. “No other product on the market allows us to utilize that vast amount of canvas in such a comprehensive package.”


PRG Disguise Operator Cameron Pigau controlling the LED cube content on the Las Vegas stop of Metallica’s tour.

Pigou set the system up to be highly adaptable to the needs of Lighting Designer Rob Koenig, who was able to use the screens as lighting fixtures. Because they could be turned into a lighting or video element, this gave him a whole other design surface to play with.

“The system took multiple Art-Net inputs for lighting as well as automation. With the servers, we set certain perimeters of the content that Rob had control over such as color and intensity to match his various looks,” Pigou continues. “We run a custom version of the D3 software in which our programmer Andrea from Nocte Studio created some modules that allow Rob to control the individual faces of each screen, essentially turning the 52 Video surfaces into LED lights with the push of a button.”

This added an extra depth to the overall visual design, as Pigou could run content in the background while Koenig ran lighting effects over the top to achieve chases or strobes timed perfectly with the music and the rest of his lighting rig.

Disguise was also used to seamlessly integrate the automation, provided by TAIT Towers, so the crew could see and program to the movements of the cubes in real time.

“We also made extensive use of Notch throughout the show - at least one third of the possible songs the band performed had Notch effects or Notch-generated content running,” Pigou says.

When he mentions “possible songs,” Pigou is referring to the band’s setlist, which changed every night of the tour.



“We didn’t see a setlist until five minutes before the show begins because there were rotating spots,” explains Pigou. “So, the show was designed around the concept of having slots where the band can change the songs and we can have looks that fit into those songs without conflicting with the staple songs that are played every night. Most of these slots are where Rob and I play around with the cubes as lighting fixtures and I have songs and content that we can utilize while still maintaining a unique design and experience for the crowd every night.”

All the thought that went into this really made the difference for the crowd. GA seats got an intimate, classic concert performance. Mid-level tiers saw the cubes transform into different shapes, while the top tier got the full experience of the LED design.

“With this design, Dan has pioneered the best way to make an arena show both unique and enjoyable from every seat in the house and has set the benchmark for other shows to follow,” says O’Herlihy. “There isn’t a bad seat in the house.”

The final North American leg of the tour wrapped on March 13, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From there, “Hardwired” will move onto a full European stadium tour and finally, Australia and New Zealand. The majority of the crew will continue on the road together, with some additions to accommodate for the completely different stadium design.

“We have had some really tough days in the cold and rain that nobody enjoyed but we can all look back on them now and chuckle,” says McAuliffe. “That’s one of my favorite parts of touring, there are good days and bad days but all of them together create friendships and memories that you will always have.”

That positive sentiment echoed throughout the crew.

“Everyone is pretty much one big family out here,” says Pigou. “Each department works so closely with one another, that there’s no room for people who don’t get along. We all have a good time while doing our job and getting paid to tour the world. Can’t get much better than that.”

Written by: Erin Bates

Photo Credit: Brian Friedman

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PRG Unifies Global Research and Development Operations into PRG Innovation

NEW YORK – April 30, 2019 - Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology and solutions, announced today that it will integrate its global research and development efforts into a new operating group, PRG Innovation. PRG Innovation will encompass efforts in Belgium, China and the United States which include facilities in Dallas, New Windsor, New York and Los Angeles. By connecting its people, assets and innovation initiatives – including PRG Projects, PRG Research and Development, and VER product development initiatives – the company will maximize its technological impact on the industry.

PRG Innovation will be led by Chris Conti in his new role as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer. Conti has experience in concert tours, tradeshows, corporate events, TV shows and special events like the Olympics and Super Bowl Half-time shows. As Product Manager for PRG proprietary luminaires, he led the development of the highly successful Bad Boy® Spot and Best Boy® Spot fixtures, as well as PRG’s Emmy-award winning GroundControl™ Followspot System. Conti is listed as an inventor on 15 U.S. patents.

Additionally, Clay Powers will become Chief Operating Officer of Innovation, overseeing all financial and logistical aspects of both proprietary product development and custom show solutions. Gary Boyd, Chief Operating Officer of EMEA, will have ongoing responsibilities related to product-development operations in Europe and China. Frederic Opsomer will continue to lead the Belgian team in developing groundbreaking new technology in LED and video, and Simon Kayser will continue to lead operations in Shenzhen, China, which are instrumental in sourcing video and lighting technology. Anne Johnston, Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy, will collaborate with PRG Innovation on all aspects of marketing, from product ideation to roll-out.

“PRG Innovation brings all of our talent focused on product development into a single, global team, allowing us to anticipate market trends, move with agility and align product development with our larger strategic objectives,” said Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “I believe that our investment and performance in market-driven innovation is one of the most powerful points of difference separating our brands from the competition. Now, that advantage will become even more significant.”

In every market PRG serves from music and theatre to television, film, broadcast and corporate events, it has defined itself as the innovator in technology, responding to a client request or an industry need. With more than 170 issued patents as well as 70 trademarks, the company’s legacy of proprietary technology has opened new creative possibilities, improved safety, created cost efficiencies and reduced environmental impact. Examples of PRG’s industry-changing technology include:

  • Ground Control Followspot System: A high output followspot that can be safely operated remotely from the ground from distances up to 2,000 feet. Gives designers creative freedom to put followspots in places that were either previously unusable or involved complex rigging.
  • PRG SpaceFrame®: A touring frame design that seamlessly integrates LED panels for operational efficiencies and creative possibility. The carbon fiber frame is lightweight, collapsible and fully wind braced, allowing for a free-form approach to stage designs.
  • Pure10: A revolutionary lightweight and highly transparent touring LED screen. Printed circuit boards (PCB) are sliced in strips and turned 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side, resulting in 75 percent transparency and allowing artists to interact with video content in real time.
  • Mbox®: A family of media server products that are affordable and easy to use. Mbox software offers powerful and flexible control of video content by working seamlessly with media playback, composition, effects, and transitions. The user interface provides fast and intuitive setup for outputs and content positioning.
  • Front Row Cam: A robotic, periscope solution that provides a low camera shot of the sports playing field. At just 6 inches wide x 16 inches deep x 32 inches high, this custom designed system, developed with ESPN, is equipped with a telephoto lens for use in baseball or a wide version for use in tennis and other sports.
  • PRG Stage Command® System: An automated, cue-based motion control system that gives operators the ability to execute the most complex motion control cues with accuracy, repeatability and unparalleled attention to safety. Provides seamless transitions of scenery in full view of the audience.
  • Bullet: A family of focusable, compact LED luminaires available in White Light, Daylight and UV versions. Offering high output with precise beam control, the adjustable focus mechanism requires no lens change, no tools, and is lockable for permanent installations.

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4/9/2019

Production Resource Group, L.L.C (PRG) acquires UAE-based Delta Sound, L.L.C.

Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG), the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology headquartered in New York, is acquiring the Middle East division of Delta Sound, Delta Sound L.L.C. UAE, a specialist provider of live audio and event communications technology based in Dubai and operating across the Middle East. Peter McCann, CEO for PRG in the Middle East and Andy Jackson, the Managing Director of Delta Sound, jointly announced the acquisition today.

Delta Sound LLC, founded in 2006, is the leading specialist audio and communication company in the Gulf Region and will join forces with PRG’s operation in Dubai, forming a welcomed union between the two companies who have collaborated successfully for many years across a broad range of corporate, government and large-scale special events. Like PRG, Delta Sound provides technical design and technology support to both local and international production houses who benefit from the high standard of service and delivery offered.

For PRG’s worldwide clients, this acquisition means that they will have access to additional expertise and technology when working with PRG in the Middle East and beyond. They can continue to be confident in the quality of product, experience, and professionalism whilst enjoying the addition of world-class event communications through the provision of fully scalable wired and wireless solutions.

“By acquiring Delta Sound LLC, we have bolstered our existing offering for our many customers who produce events and shows internationally”, said PRG’s McCann. “I’m also delighted that this acquisition integrates comprehensive event communications into our product offering thus ensuring that we can present a truly turnkey solution to our customers and partners. With events such as Expo 2020 on the horizon these are certainly exciting opportunities for a company that can operate at scale and this acquisition demonstrates both a significant level of commitment to the region and a continued appetite for growth.”

“As Delta Sound LLC, we have worked on some of the region’s largest and highest profile productions,” commented Andy Jackson. “We have established a loyal client base that has become more appreciative of the standard of audio production and event communications being delivered today by Delta. Having worked closely with PRG for several years across many of these events, our partnership has naturally evolved into a trading relationship and today we solidify this to the benefit of both our clients and teams.” It will be business as usual and Delta Sound will retain its existing operational format and be officially titled ‘PRG deltasound” during the transition process. 

Stephan Paridaen, PRG’s Global President and Chief Operating Officer, concluded, “PRG and Delta Sound are extremely well positioned to provide a multi-disciplined, integrated solution. Making the UAE Delta Sound team part of the global PRG family will be extremely valuable to our clients and this has been our top priority from the start.”

Paul Keating, MD of Delta Sound UK commented, “Myself, Mark & Andy go back 40 years together and Andy has been involved with Delta since our humble beginnings back in 1988. He has done an amazing job in building and managing the business over the past 12 years. We have always had a very good working relationship with PRG both here in the UK and in the Middle East and this is a great fit for Delta UAE becoming part of the extended PRG family. We very much look forward to continuing this relationship together in the future”

 

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3/4/2019

Revisiting Drake’s 2018 Tour as Production Prepares for their European Run

Drake’s 2018 Aubrey & The Three Migos Tour wrapped in November, but the superstar and his production team have been busy preparing for their next outing in the United Kingdom and Europe. The Assassination Vacation Tour kicks off Sunday, March 10, 2019 in Manchester with support from fellow Canadian rapper, singer, and songwriter Tory Lanez on all dates. In anticipation for the upcoming run of Drake shows, we decided to take a look back at his North American tour – co-headlined by Migos - which featured a 360-degree LED stage the size of an NBA basketball court, a flying Ferrari, two hundred drones and 28 Barco UDX 4k32 Laser phosphor projectors double stacked in eight positions within the rig.

Steve Kidd has been working as Tour Director and Designer for Drake for the past seven years under his company with Guy Pavelo, GP-SK Design. The duo designed the critically-acclaimed 2017 Boy Meets World Tour and the Summer Sixteen Tour for Drake the year prior, and are currently in the process of designing the 2019 Fortnite World Cup. This time around, Kidd focused on tour direction while The Aubrey and the Three Migos tour design was creative directed by Willo Perron.


Seamless, transparent screens enclosed the stage at points in the show and projected close-up footage of Drake’s performance.

The creative team brought Drake’s dream of a flying LaFerrari, just like the singer’s own car, to life, while Kidd figured out how to get it into the arena every night without breaking it or taking out an audience member. The flying car was achieved by creating a model car filled with a giant helium balloon that was controlled by a fleet of drones. “Two guys from Madrid controlled those with a remote like you would use for toy cars,” explains Kidd. “We had to turn off the air conditioner in the arena when it was time for the car to come out because it was so sensitive to air and turbulence. One little gust and it would totally go off its path.”

The finnicky, floating luxury vehicle replica ended up being worth all the challenges. It was a big hit on social media last summer. “Drake really wanted it, and the fans liked it too,” Kidd said. “And I am pretty sure we are taking it to Europe.”


The flying LaFerrari replica was 110% the size of Drake’s own vehicle and was powered by a huge helium balloon and drones.

The LED stage, which will definitely be going to Europe, is one of the most impressive parts of the production. With 1,152 YesTech Magic Stage MG7 5.9mm tiles, a surround of 116 Roe CB8 LED tiles, four Flown LED Screens of Roe CB5 tiles, 3D content and motion tracking, there were so many things that could potentially go wrong. Drake wore a small motion detector that tracked his movements and fed them back to Blacktrax sensors installed on the stage. Two techs spent the duration of the show underneath the stage on mechanics chairs, ready to fix any issues with the panels immediately.

“We had a few people on the team who were always keeping an eye on the tiles. As Front of House Technician, I could see most of the stage so I would call out any issues I saw over the intercom system,” explains David Diamond, who worked as both FOH tech and the overall Systems Programmer for the tour. “It definitely takes a few people making sure you have eyes on everything. We had a few LED techs underneath the floor who would slide immediately over to that section in case of any problems. Drake is a stickler for making sure everything runs perfectly every single night.”


The LED stage floor includes 1,152 YesTech Magic Stage MG7 5.9mm tiles, motion tracking and displays 3D content.

Drake hired multiple independent content teams who had the challenge of developing 3D content for the stage and tailoring it to be enjoyed in a 360 environment. During “God’s Plan” a huge hand seemed to emerge from the stage. Typically, 3D content is only visible from one vantage point, but the content team made the image rotate to display the effect from four points of view, which gave a more democratic viewing experience to audience members. While its full depth wasn’t visible from every seat, the entire show was designed with the concept of “no bad seats” in mind.

“Drake’s inspiration for the stage was an NBA basketball court without any of the site line issues,” explained Kidd. “He wanted the entire audience to have good seats, and for them to feel close to him. He performs for two hours straight and it’s a long time for him to be up there alone, for the most part he’s just one guy on the stage, no band, just a brief moment with dancers and a few guest features, but his persona is so magnetic, and the design allows that warmth to shine through. Everyone feels it and stays engaged.”

It was rather fitting for the singer, whose lyrics often refer to sports and have drawn parallels between musicians and athletes, to perform alone on a basketball court. His more sensitive, introspective songs speak of the insecurities he faces within his own head and heart, meanwhile he has had one of the most successful, dominant years of any popstar, perhaps ever. When Drake’s fifth album “Scorpion” was released in June of last year, he broke single-day streaming records on both Spotify and Apple Music. He was the first artist to have an album pass 1 billion streams in its first week. With 12 Top 10 Billboard singles in 2018 alone, Drake surpassed the Beatles for the most in a year. The numbers don’t lie - Drake is at the top of his game, and only has himself to compete with. 



The setup for the tour demanded that the 136-person crew also be world-class, and according to Kidd, they brought their A-game to every stop in North America. The show build was a grueling 16 hours, so there was a pre-rig day when they could fit one into the schedule. If there wasn’t time for that, then the crew went in at 1 AM to start rigging and wouldn’t finish until 5 PM the day of the show. 

“With the amount of gear we had on the show, we started load in at 1 or 2 am for rigging,” Diamond explains. “Once we were able to get in around 7 am we would start getting all of our dimmers set up and putting video walls in the air. Lighting was tightly integrated with the video in that we were hanging lights off the bottom of the video tiles. We had to coordinate interdepartmentally to make sure that everyone was able to get their jobs done and that everything flowed smoothly.”

The early load ins ensured there would be time to do the projection mapping, get all the LED sources up and running, and make sure that all the Blacktrax systems for Drake were fully operational.

“We had a tireless crew and a great staff of people that ultimately made a show that was challenging production-wise feel seamless once we got it out on tour and figured out all the little bugs,” says Kidd.

Kidd pushed for as many of the PRG crew members as possible to return for the European and United Kingdom run.


Migos opened the 2018 tour and performed with Drake midway through his performance, along with various special guests including Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Lil Baby, 21 Savage and others. 

“We had a very large video team and a reasonably-sized lighting team, all from PRG. The overall crew was probably one of the best crews we have ever had for a Drake tour,” says Kidd. “The combined effort from everyone was so impressive.”

Diamond says this was achieved by hiring crew that could be lighting or video people interchangeably.

“We all worked smoothly as one big team to embody PRG as a whole. Besides being techs, we are friends as well, so when we had an issue, we went the extra mile to help each other. It’s great when multiple disciplines are done by PRG,” says Diamond.

Kidd attributes the ongoing success between PRG and Drake’s team to the quality of the products, reliability, maintenance, and dedication. 

“The relationship I have with Curry Grant, Jennifer Christiansen and Randy Hutson and the smart budgeting they all do keep me coming back. The staffing is another strong point - we always get great crews, and as everyone in the industry knows, sometimes you have to make changes. Someone could be coming off a long tour and maybe it doesn’t work out, but it always gets handled right away,” Kidd says. “Everyone at PRG is committed to Drake and committed to us as a client. For me, that keeps us coming back.” 


Written by: Erin Bates
Photo Credit: TINY HOUSE PHOTO

 

PRG Crew List

Account Executive – Curry Grant
Jennifer Christiansen – Lighting Project Manager
Brian Bateman – Video Project Manager

Video Crew:
John Hayes – Director
Dustin King – Crew Chief
Lewis McMillan – Engineer
David Keipert – LED 1
Pia Eerikainen – LED 2
Mason Braislin – LED 2
Noel Galan – LED 2
Ryder Darcy – LED 2
Austin Colby – LED / Cam
Roger Rubey – Cam / LED
Victor Davis – Cam / LED
Jordan Wesolek – Utility
Matthew Ortiz – Utility
Mark Barrow – D3 / Utility
Lorenzo Loche – Projection
Rachael Hudson – Projection
David Bartlett – Projection
Daniel Chayra-Nieto – Projection

Lighting Crew:
Scott Amiro – Crew Chief Leg 1
Dave Diamond – FOH / Systems Programmer
James Keegan – Dimmer Technician
Scott Naef – Crew Chief Leg 2
KY Dobson – Lighting Technician
Dave Roman – Lighting Technician
Matt Shelz – Lighting Technician


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2/25/2019

Broadcast Industry Veteran, Andrea Berry Joins PRG

LOS ANGELES – Feb. 25, 2019 - Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, is pleased to announce that broadcast media veteran, Andrea Berry has joined the company as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Broadcast and Television. In her role, Berry will oversee PRG’s live sporting and special events and scripted and unscripted television teams.

“Andrea is one of the most successful and respected executives in the broadcast space today and I could not be more thrilled that she has joined PRG. We are committed to growing our presence in broadcast and television, and Andrea is uniquely qualified to lead that effort,” said Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG.

Berry’s arrival continues PRG’s strategy of major investments in talent, technology and services focused on these markets. In August 2018, PRG acquired VER and, in January, VER’s camera and broadcast divisions were incorporated into PRG, resulting in a full-service offering for entertainment clients. Berry will report to Morten Carlsson, CEO of PRG Entertainment.

Berry joins PRG from The G.A.P. Media Consulting Group, Inc., of which she was founder and CEO. There, she developed and executed strategic initiatives for clients focused on live and non-live productions, supporting various categories, facilities and operational structures.

Before that, Berry spent 19 years with FOX Networks Group in Los Angeles. While there, she served as the Senior Vice President of Broadcast Media Services for FOX Networks’ Engineering and Operations (Fox NE&O) organization. She also held the job of Senior Vice President, Broadcast Operations, managing all broadcast operations and transmission that supported the broadcast network and all its cable entities. Prior to that, Berry spent eight years at Fox Sports and Fox Sports Net in the roles of Senior Vice President, Field Operations and Vice President, Field Operations Fox Sports Net. Berry began her television career as a studio technician in Chicago at NBC and, later, in New York, as a field technical manager at CBS.

“I am pleased to join PRG in this new and exciting role and to work closely with such a talented team,” said Andrea Berry. “With technology, the industry and consumer behavior evolving so rapidly, PRG’s depth of expertise and commitment to innovation are more valuable than ever to broadcast and television customers.”

Berry is an inductee in the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and is a four-time Technical Emmy Award winner. She also is the recipient of the “Women with Solutions Award for STEM Leadership in the Media” (Alliance for Women in Media); the “Technology Leadership Award” (Broadcast and Cable Magazine); and the “Women in Technology Leadership Award” (TV News Check).
Berry serves on the Board of the NAB Educational Foundation (NABEF), is a member of Women in Sports and Events (WISE) and sits on the Executive Committee of the Sports Video Group.

Berry holds a bachelor’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Computer Science with a minor in Electrical Engineering; an Executive Certificate in “Management and Leadership” from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Business; and an Executive Certificate in New Media Management from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. She is also a graduate of the Los Angeles African American Board Leadership Institute and the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute.

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1/28/2019

PRG and VER Move Forward with New Corporate Structure

New structure leverages expertise, people and technology for global entertainment and event production

NEW YORK – Jan. 28, 2019 -Following its acquisition of VER in August, Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG) is moving forward with a new organizational structure - one enterprise doing business under two brand names. PRG will continue to be service-driven, providing production solutions in entertainment while VER is gear-driven, returning to its roots as the leading rental supplier of production equipment.

“This is the blueprint that provides the best alignment of our capabilities with our customers’ needs,” said Jere Harris, PRG’s chairman and CEO. “It also offers us the potential to strengthen our position in every one of our business units and better respond to the industry as it evolves.”

PRG
In entertainment, VER Camera, VER Tour Sound, VER Tour Lighting, VER Tour Video, and VER Broadcast, as well as PRG’s Paskal Lighting division will be incorporated into a single comprehensive resource serving the music, film, scripted TV, unscripted TV, sports, special events and live broadcast markets. As a result, customers can engage PRG as a 360° resource or for a specialized technological solution in a single discipline. In corporate events, PRG’s offering expands with the largest selection of production equipment and award-winning technology to support any kind of event anywhere in the world.

VER
VER is refocused on its legacy business of providing the largest and most comprehensive inventory of rental equipment for production professionals in the hotel, staging and production industries.

VER began as a company focused solely on the rental of equipment to production professionals who, in turn, used it to create their own solutions for their clients. Over time, it evolved into other directions. We believe the path to success is to recommit to this legacy mission,” said Harris.

VER enters this chapter with the financial backing of new equity partners GSO Capital Partners, a division of the leading investment firm The Blackstone Group, allowing it to operate and thrive in a capital-intensive business.

VER is also the proprietary rental provider of PRG’s cutting edge technology. VER and PRG have approximately 70 locations across five continents offering clients access to an extraordinary array of equipment from all major manufacturers as well as specialized and proprietary equipment.

"PRG and VER are distinct brands serving very different needs within the production community. What they have in common is the best talent and technology available and a commitment to the success of every project they undertake,” said Harris.

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1/14/2019

Catching Up With Nine Inch Nails Lighting Designer Paul Guthrie

Nine Inch Nails closed out their Cold and Black and Infinite North American Tour - and 2018 - with six consecutive shows at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. The 3,700-person capacity venue held the right kind of space for the wildly popular band - both intimate and grand enough to maintain their polished yet industrial aesthetic.

Being at a Nine Inch Nails show feels exactly like listening to an album sounds, with meticulous production that still bites hard and feels raw, it somehow strikes a seemingly unattainable balance of elements and influences. PAR Cans cast ghostly shadows against a stark fabric backdrop. Lasers danced along the walls and a haze of smoke filled the space between band members and instruments. Used cables that were taken from PRG backstock acted as scenic elements, hanging haphazardly along the circular feature of the theater ceiling.

Trent Reznor, founder, primary musician and songwriter of Nine Inch Nails, is regarded as a genius, perfectionist and an artist who oversees every element of his production and performance. Paul Guthrie is who he trusts with his band’s lighting design.

Guthrie, who is also known as Arlo, is one of those people who you immediately feel acquainted with - warm, sharp and full of snark. He went out to help the band when they were in a pinch back in 2013 and has been involved with their productions ever since. Guthrie describes working with Reznor as “intimidating but rewarding - when you don’t screw up.”

Guthrie’s favorite lighting fixtures are “a beat up, old, stubby PAR Can,” or “a GLP JDC-1 in Aggressive Mode.”

You would have seen both fixtures on the Cold and Black and Infinite tour. Aggressive Mode pairs well with Reznor’s driving electronic breaks.



“Trent and Atticus (Ross) wanted PAR Cans, smoke and something that didn’t rely on video screens, gadgets and technology,” Guthrie explains. “Their main inspiration was let’s do the opposite of everyone else. They wanted this entire run to be very adaptable both physically and, in its execution, so we could travel all over the world doing any scale show and turn up and smash everyone’s face.”

In order to accomplish this, he designed moving carts with the fixtures.

“They wanted to feel the heat off the PAR Cans so in some songs we have the carts right up against them on stage,” says Guthrie. “They wanted to be able to do any song, including the 70 in current rotation, at any time without constraints.”

Guthrie did not use timecode, choosing instead to control all the lights live. This, along with the carts, allowed him the freedom to adapt to the ever-changing setlists and the nuance of live performance.

“I love tours like this where I can get in there and really be a part of building the show every night,” he says.

PRG supplied lighting for the Cold and Black and Infinite tour, and has a long-standing relationship providing gear and production services for Nine Inch Nails by the way of Music Group Vice President Curry Grant.

Grant and Guthrie have been working together for more than 30 years and have developed a close friendship in that time.

“We met back when Curry was an account manager for Crowded House,” says Guthrie. “When I got hired to work for Sheryl Crow I became his client. Then when I did my first Fleetwood Mac tour in 2003 he was very much involved. He knew all the necessities for that band, which have always been really complex, so he was a great help to me.”

Grant was Fleetwood Mac’s lighting designer from 1975 to 2002 and continues to manage their touring lighting needs, including the current North American run. Ask him about his successor Guthrie, and he’ll tell you he’s hilarious and incredibly intelligent.

With decades of experience under his belt, Guthrie easily recounts the moment of inspiration that led him on the path to becoming a lighting designer.

“I recently saw Bohemian Rhapsody in theaters and in that shot from behind Freddie Mercury where all of Wembley Stadium is clapping – there was a second there where I was watching and was like, ‘Oh God I’m going to cry.’ I remember being 16 and staying up all night in Melbourne to watch that show because of the time difference. I remember that shot and I remember every hair on the back of my neck standing up. I’d been to a lot of shows, but I hadn’t been to one where someone had that much control or was that staggeringly amazing,” Guthrie recalls. “Then Queen came to Australia the next year and I had the chance to go see the show and look at the ridiculous racks of PAR Cans they had, and I was kind of hypnotized by it.”

Guthrie shares this love of Mercury with Reznor, who has referred to the late icon as one of his greatest influences in multiple interviews.

“I’m a musician myself and when I started doing gigs, I did live music,” Guthrie continues. “I loved the idea that I could do something that had an effect on the music without being a performer. That’s what drew me in.”

Now that the Nine Inch Nails tour has wrapped, Guthrie is already busy working on something totally different - the Red Bull Crashed Ice sporting event in Boston that will take place on February 8th and 9th.

“I always enjoy getting a job that no other gig I’ve done has prepared me for. It’s fun to do something different,” he says.

Looking out to the future of his field, Guthrie is most interested in self-programming consoles.

“I will be excited when the computers are helping us and not getting in our way. GDTF is a great idea that I hope gets implemented and adopted.”

General Device Type Format (GDTF) is an open data format to help streamline the process of linking a fixture profile from CAD through previsualization and onto a console. It was developed to change the way lighting designers and programmers work and makes lighting fixtures, visualizers and consoles work together in a more seamless way by utilizing a standard format.

“When I explain to any of my younger friends in IT that we still have 512 channels per universe they ask if the lights are made of stone. Or if our network settings are on loan from the Smithsonian.”

Written By: Erin Bates
Photo Credit: Brian Friedman

 

 


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1/9/2019

PRG Case Study: Chipotle All Managers Conference

When Unbridled Solutions set out to produce an unforgettable attendee experience for the Chipotle All Managers Conference at the Venetian Las Vegas, PRG was the go-to production services partner to support in the delivery of the general session. PRG’s expertise and creativity came into play as the technical engine supporting the immersive show environment for over 3,000 attendees. As the production partner, PRG’s involvement included integrated Audio, Video and Lighting systems, custom fabricated scenic, as well as the technical management and crew for the successful delivery of the show. In addition to the dynamic use of some off the shelf technology, PRG used its proprietary Best Boy® Lumineers and a custom fabricated 198 ft wide x 18 ft high projection screen to help deliver the desired live experience. In the end, it was PRG’s understanding of the experience goals and its sophisticated understanding of the technical solutions needed, that helped make a truly unforgettable experience.

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11/27/2018

PRG & VER Together Support Shepherd's Hope "Night of Broadway"

Shepherd’s Hope is a faith-based organization of volunteers providing access to health care for the uninsured. Since 1997, they have provided over 237,000 free medical visits and patient services.

For the past three years, PRG and VER have come together to sponsor the lighting, audio and video solutions for their annual Masquerade Ball. PRG also provided pre-event support to the Shepherd's Hope Planning Committee and designed solutions to support the venues rigging capabilities as well as the audio and lighting needs for various performance locations.

Shepherd’s Hope relies on strong partnerships such as PRG and VER to raise money to benefit their mission of providing free and compassionate healthcare to the uninsured and to ensure its services reach those most in need.

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11/26/2018

PRG Production Tips #6

Types of Fiber Optics
By Chris Conti

Let’s talk about Fiber Optic cables, their standard uses and the quick and hopefully not dirty pros and cons. For PRG, there are a few main standard usages of Fiber Optics including; the transmission of ethernet, lighting, and control data over distances longer than 100’, eliminating the risk of electromagnetic interference from high voltage power runs, and the ability to reach bandwidths of 40GbE. Neutrik® opticalCON Fiber is PRG’s choice for many Lighting and Video applications. Watch the video below for a quick rundown on the benefits of Single Mode vs Multimode and the proper applications for both!

 


 

Stay tuned for more Production Tips with PRG Creatives and Innovators! 


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11/20/2018

PRG Ingest - Archiving Made Easy

PRG’s innovations are industry-changing and the recently debuted PRG Ingest system – which captures concert footage in real time – is revolutionizing the concert touring industry. PRG Ingest is a scalable, live ingest system for video and audio signals, allowing the recording of a concert in less time and with less man power.

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 PRG Ingest, the capture is done simultaneously. With a minimum of four channels – or camera feeds – and up to as many as you want, you can ingest live, transcode and push the converted signal via a 10GigE network to an external hard drive. Each server can handle either 1x 4K at 60P as quad link square division, 2SI or four separate 3G single link channels. Audios embedding and Matrix routing for SDI signals is part of the package, time code distribution comes with the system. Further. the PRG Ingest system can transcode to all common codecs in film and television.

PRG Ingest was used on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “On the Run II” Tour. In order to handle the 6.2 TB of data that “On the Run II” Tour generated per night, PRG used six media servers which made copies of what is recorded, transcoded it to a pro res 422 file and pushed it over a 10GigE network on an external NAS drive.
“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.”

PRG Ingest was on the road with U2 for the “eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE” tour. U2’s head Video Engineer, Jim Toten stated, “PRG’s Ingest is extremely accurate and high quality with full resolution and frame rate. PRG are innovators when it comes to technology, video, LED, anything to do with concerts.”
“Part of what we do at PRG is making the impossible, possible,” said Schram.



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11/19/2018

PRG and VER supported the record breaking 2018 Latin American Music Awards

The Latin American Music Awards gives millions of fans a voice and a platform to vote within 21 categories including Artist of the Year. On October 25th, popular Latin artists flooded the Dolby Theatre throwing down their absolute best performances. These artists left it all on the stage and left the audience wanting more.

PRG/VER recognizes that each show is carried out under certain constraints, including; budget, time and scope. We were able to provide the Latin AMAs with a variety of high demand gear completely catered to the needs of the production. This one-night event, and the incredible designers and technicians, utilized a rental package of just over 600 products to cover lighting, control and effects. Check out the full crew and gear list below! 

Lighting Team:
Lighting Designer: John Daniels
Set Designer: Rodrigo Proal (Darmah)
LED & Video Vendor: Darmah
Lighting Director / Programmer: Felix Peralta & Kirk Miller
Gaffer: Alex Flores
Lighting Account Executive: Anthony “Looch” Ciampa
Lighting Project Manager: Andrew Sanchez

Latin AMAs Gear List:

Lighting
108 Chroma Q Color Force II 12”
4 Chroma Q Color Force II 72”
26 Vari-Lite VL5
88 GLP X4 Bar 20
12 GLP X4 Bar 10
77 TMB Solaris Flare
16 TMB Solaris Mozart
55 Robe BMFL Blade
2 Robe BMFL Spot
2 Follow-Me Systems
38 Robe Mega Pointe
8 Portman P2 Hexaline
14 Ayrton Magic Dot
4 Ayrton A.Leda B-Eye K20
16 Ayrton Intellipix R
30 Ayrton Magic Blade R
30 Vari-Lite VL3500 Spot
9 Clay Paky Mythos
24 GLP X4
78 GLP X4s Small
58 Chroma Q Color Block 2 Plus
54 Martin Mac Aura
10 Lycian M2 2.5k Spot Light

Control
2 MA Light GrandMA 2 Full Size Console
1 MA Light GrandMA 2 Lite Console
12 MA Light NPU
7 MA Light 8-port Node
10 ProPlex GBS 8port w/ opticalCON Tac4 OM3

Effects
4 ReelFX DF-50 Hazer
2 Martin Jem ZR44 Foger
6 ReelFX Turbo Fan

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11/13/2018

Catching Up With AGT’s Award Winning Lighting Designer, Noah Mitz

Since its creation in 2006, many different skills have been showcased on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” While the majority of winners have been singers and musicians - acrobats, ventriloquists, mentalists, magicians, choirs, comedians, dancers, and countless other acts have also graced the AGT stage which has called Hollywood’s iconic Dolby Theatre home for the last three seasons, each supported by a specialized creative team. The variety of acts sets AGT apart from many other televised talent competitions, while also presenting rigorous production challenges.

Theatrical lighting plays a pivotal role in telling the story of each act and keeping the excitement high on AGT. Lighting designer Noah Mitz, member of the Full Flood creative team, is responsible for this task. With a background in theater design and a degree from Carnegie Mellon University, he found his way into the TV world as an intern for Bob Dickinson, one of the industry’s most celebrated lighting designers. “I found the work in TV to be attractive because it is so fast-paced and has technical challenges that can be rewarding to solve,” says Mitz. “And almost everything we do by reputation is still theatrical.”



Mitz’ resume includes lighting design credits for many award shows including the Golden Globes, MTV Movie Awards, BET Awards, and the Grammy Awards. He also worked as the lighting designer for CONAN from 2010 to 2014 and has been with AGT for four seasons.

The production value of this summer’s most popular television show is astounding. “Once we get into the live shows, it’s like producing an award show every week for six weeks,” explains Mitz. “We have six weeks of builds, fixture adds, ordering things, and we do a lot of custom LED tape projects, lots of little parts.”

All that attention to detail hasn’t gone unnoticed - on October 21, Mitz was awarded the inaugural “Knights of Illumination USA” award for AGT Season 12 in the Live for Broadcast, unscripted category. KOI is a showcase of entertainment lighting and video design, judged by three panels of industry experts in conjunction with the ALD and STLD organizations.

Just under 13 million people watched the final two episodes of the 13th season of the NBC competition, where former concert pianist turned magician Shin Lim took the top prize. Lim performed his stunning close-up magic tricks that demonstrate an absolute mastery and reimagining of sleight of hand techniques on a dark forest set, where he walked amongst a foggy floor bathed in blue light.

During that same episode, nine other acts competed, each with a completely unique lighting and set design. “There’s a creative production department that comes up with ideas for screens content, special effects, wardrobe, vocal performance and song choice,” says Mitz. “That team consults with the acts and then comes to us to present the overall concept and work on a lighting approach for each performance.”

This season, the final 10 included 14-year-old rock n’ roll singer Courtney Hadwin, electric violinist Brian King Joseph, comedians Vicki Barbolak and Samuel J. Comroe, aerial dance group Zurcaroh, trapeze act Duo Transcend, winning magician Shin Lim and singers Glennis Grace, Daniel Emmet, and Michael Ketterer.

Mitz and his team enjoy the challenge and the excitement of working with so many different types of acts and lighting looks. “This season we had a 160-person choir, a 30-person dance troupe, acrobats, singers, everything. The variety is nice for us because somewhere in there we will get a stand-up comedian and maybe get to take a breather.”

In an interview for Carnegie Mellon University’s website, AGT Executive Producers Jason Raff and Sam Donnelly explained to reporters that Mitz’ lighting design work is essential to the overall visual success of their show.

"Week after week Noah and his team make an instrumental creative contribution to the show - combining their artistic vision with their technical knowhow," Raff said.

"It's about communicating the proper mood and feeling to the viewer,” Donnelly added. “Our phenomenal lighting team grasps more than just the basic lighting tricks, illusions or techniques; they have an artist's eye for color, shadow, light, depth and have sincerely mastered the practices for replicating such artistry."

Watching the performers on their journey is one of the most rewarding aspects of working on the show for Mitz. “We start working with them in March during their first auditions for the judges, and really get to see them develop through the various phases of the show,” he says. “Part of the challenge is that you don’t know who is going forward because America is voting during the live rounds.”

This means Mitz and his crew sometimes have as few as five days between results shows and the following live show to get everything together during those intense weeks. “We will call Travis Snyder at PRG and tell him we think we need one set of fixtures for an upcoming performance, but then when the voting comes in, a different act will move forward,” explains Mitz.

Mitz says that these kinds of surprises happen all the time and in combination with guest performances on the live Results Shows, this means lots of last-minute change orders and a need for 24/7 support. “Travis and Tony Ward are in daily communication with us even on the weekends. We are constantly changing things and it’s always handled really well. Travis will find gear across the country for us, and if we need it, do last minute custom orders,” explains Mitz. “The show is very well supported.”

PRG has supported AGT since its first season in 2006. Season 13 concluded on September 19, 2018.


Photo Credit: David Holmes

Crew List

Full Flood Team
Noah Mitz – Lighting Designer
Michael Berger – Lighting Director
Will Gossett – Lighting Director
Ryan Tanker – Lighting Director / Programmer
Andrew Webberley – Conventional Board Op
Matt Benson – Gaffer
Mason Bell – Best Boy
Scott Beck – Best Boy
James Beaghan –Lead System Tech
Hannah Kerman – Lighting Intern
Nikki Baltzer – Lighting Intern

PRG Team
Patrick Brazil – PRG Chief Tech
Flavio Kim – PRG Lead Tech
Travis Snyder – PRG Production Coordinator
Tony Ward – PRG Account Manager

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11/12/2018

The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles - Veterans in Art

“The most important factor that contributes to successful transition to civilian life is a Veteran’s ability to secure a good job.” Ben Donenberg, Founder & Artistic Director – The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

This summer, the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles presented “Henry IV,” a new version of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV Parts One and Two” by Tony Award® winning director Daniel Sullivan. The play featured a first-rate cast on stage: Anthony Mark Barrow, Raffi Barsoumian, Josh Clark, Harry Groener, Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater, Joe Morton, Chris Myers, Rondi Reed, Emily Swallow, Geoffrey Wade and Time Winters.

The crew, however, was comprised of a group of veterans participating in Veterans in Art, a Shakespeare Center program which helps veterans learn new skills. From load in, through the run of the show and load out, the veterans learned about the inner-workings of a production and can take that knowledge and skills into their job search. As to be expected for a Shakespeare production (presented in The Japanese Garden at the West Los Angeles VA Campus), the staging and lighting was exceptional. PRG donated gear for the production, as it has done for the last seven years. This year, PRG provided them with the largest rig to date; including a complete rig for the production as well as lighting for the garden. 


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11/8/2018

Exploring New Options: An Open Letter to CEMA Members

I have a confession to make. I am a “Keynote Speaker Groupie.” For me, it starts with hearing a speaker at an event (i.e., the power of face to face events). I then look for any content they have published such as books, e-newsletters, blogs, podcasts, TED Talks, etc. and I engage and indulge myself in their stories and intellectual banter.

So no surprise that I did this following this year’s Summit with Rohit Bhargava. There are many pieces of great information I uncovered by reading his books, newsletters and watching his videos since we left Terranea. However, there is one thought that I wanted to focus on and share.

Rohit makes a great observation about generations that we as event professionals can undoubtedly apply to our event design, how we interact with each other, and how we can shape the industry.

“A major problem today is that while demographics were never intended to describe how people think, marketers mistakenly make use of demographics to attempt to do so,” Rohit said. “When you target the 18 to 34-year-old demographic, you make an assumption about how everyone in that group thinks and behaves solely on that person’s age. As most of us know, people’s behavior and motivations don’t fit neatly into those well-defined boxes.”

When tech entrepreneur Gina Pell wrote about this problem, she suggested an end to the days of targeting people by their age or generational descriptors like Boomer, Millennial, or Gen Z. She stated, “Perennials get involved, stay curious, mentor others, are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded, risk takers who continue to push up against our growing edge and know how to hustle. We comprise an inclusive, enduring mindset, not a divisive demographic. Perennials are also vectors who have a wide appeal and spread ideas and commerce faster than any single generation.”

When reading this, it is hard not to think that this concept could easily have been written to describe the CEMA membership. We all have the common desire to share and learn as described above to make our industry and profession better.

P.S. As Rohit lives in the DC area, I took the whole groupie thing a little further I am having dinner with him at the end of the month…stalker or perennial?

###

Jim Kelley
VP Marketing & Industry Relations Corporate Events, PRG
CEMA Board Member


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11/1/2018

PRG Case Study: MGMA 2018

People & Possibility was the theme at MGMA18 The Annual Conference. PRG was proud to help them execute the theme by working with the MGMA staff to utilize audiovisual technology and solutions to create engagement and collaboration among the attendees. PRG helped MGMA attain these goals by providing a comprehensive 360˚ solution.

PRG provided audio, video, lighting, scenic and a suite of digital engagement solutions including presentation management and digital signage. In addition, PRG worked alongside MGMA’s meeting professionals to build creative content for their keynote general sessions. By working closely with MGMA on everything from the general sessions and creative content to exhibit floor and breakout rooms, PRG was able to deliver an on-budget experience for MGMA’s attendees that was immersive and cohesive.

 


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10/18/2018

The "Wow" Factor That Drives ICBA Event Engagement

In the years prior to 2011, The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) convention and meetings department worked with a small company to help them create and manage its event production. But like most growing national associations, the ICBA realized the need to enhance its events and make them more engaging. They needed to find a way to combine personal storytelling with technology and to enhance what their members experienced during their convention’s general sessions.

In 2011, Jan Meyer, the Executive Vice President of Operations, Conventions and Meetings met Jim Kelley, Vice President Marketing and Industry Relations. The rest, as they say, is history.

PRG had an opportunity to talk with Jan Meyer and Jim Mastey, Senior Vice President Conventions and Meetings of the ICBA, about its Convention and Meetings business, and their seven-year working relationship with PRG.

PRG: What is The Independent Community Bankers of America?

MEYER: We’re a non-profit association, founded in 1930, that represents nearly 5,700 Independent Community Banks across the US.

PRG: What does ICBA do?

MEYER: ICBA creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. We provide information to, and education for our members. Whether it’s offering certification on a new banking regulation, or helping our members stay ahead of the curve on the newest payments or fintech products, we provide information to, and education for our members. We also work with congressional leaders on matters that affect community banks and advocate on their behalf. And, we help to develop the future leaders of our industry.

PRG: In 2011, you started working with Jim Kelley and his team at PRG. Can you tell us why you decided to work with PRG?

MEYER: We were looking to add more wow-factor to our conventions and meetings. While the independent banking industry is sustained by personal relationships, it is also dependent upon existing and emerging technologies. So, we wanted to find a way to integrate both aspects into our meetings, to make them more engaging, to provide our members with valuable information in a manner that would be inspiring. When we met with Jim and the PRG team about our needs, we could see they had a proven track record for infusing energy and excitement into a show. Their insights, their creativity, their unique technologies, and most importantly, their understanding of our business, was unparalleled. They were so much more than a production company, or an equipment or staging company, they truly were, and continue to be, a valued business partner.

MASTEY: In addition to understanding our business, PRG showed us how to spotlight and celebrate it in all-new ways. They helped us create a video for our incoming chairman and completely raised the bar, exceeding our expectations. It was dynamic! It had movement and music, and overall, helped us tell our story.

PRG: Was there one thing in particular that PRG brought to the table that gave you the wow-factor you were looking for.

MEYER: Insight is a major thing PRG brings to the table. Jim Kelley is deeply engrained in the global meeting industry. He tells us what is happening in the industry, the trends, the technologies. He sees the work being done by PRG around the world from all of its divisions and recommends an approach that help us achieve f our production goals. Jim and Micah, who is our day-to-day contact at PRG, are truly engaged in all aspects of the production planning.

MASTEY: PRG helps us to inform, educate and inspire our members. Most of all, they help us motivate our members to use what they’ve learned at our events and put it to use back at their banks and in their communities. .

PRG: If you had to describe your working relations with PRG in one word, what would it be?

MEYER:
Collaboration.

PRG: Any final thoughts about working with PRG?

MASTEY: They have truly been fantastic partners, making the production process seamless so we can focus on our members’ experience.

MEYER: The Wow factor they brought to our show beginning in 2011 continues today, and whether it’s through industry-leading technology or other insights they bring to the table, we can’t wait to see what’s next!

Photo Credit: Preston Mack Photography


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10/16/2018

PRG Introduces SuperRay™ Luminaire and WonderWall

New multi-functional luminaires on display at LDI 2018

LAS VEGAS – OCT. 15, 2018 – Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two new innovations, SuperRay™ Luminaire and WonderWall. The SuperRay is a compact, hybrid luminaire with extensive features and effects that seamlessly transitions between performing as a Spot, Profile, Wash, Beam or PRG GroundControl™ Luminaire. WonderWall is a scenic modular product; an exciting multi-function, multi-use luminaire descended from the renowned and patent-pending PRG SPACEFRAME™.

SuperRay
With a 19.3-inch fixture body, SuperRay is significantly smaller than previous PRG Luminaires yet has an impressive output of 20,000 lumens. It allows designers to make the most of their limited rig space and do so with a feature-packed, bright, multi-functional fixture that can instantly double as a remote-controlled automated followspot with the combination of PRG’s GroundControl™ Followspot System. Further, SuperRay’s color features includes a CMY mixing system featuring three cross-fading color wheels, a variable CTO wheel with a range of 5600k to 3200k, and one designer color wheel (user-changeable) with six strong color choices selected to meet the needs of a wide variety of applications across production genres.

“The SuperRay is a multi-tool luminaire, combining a huge feature set with a powerful light source and functionality not before seen in a single fixture,” said Chris Conti product manager, PRG. “Unlike many other hybrids, SuperRay has access to all its features regardless of fixture mode, making it the ultimate designer’s tool.”

Key Product Features
• High-resolution optical system with a stunning 20:1 zoom from a very narrow beam of 3° to wide flood of 60° (with precise focus control throughout)
• Four-blade framing system on four planes enabling full field shutter cuts
• Mechanical iris providing continuous beam size control for both rapid and smooth beam size changes
• Fully variable diffusers for multiple wash effects
• Three distinct multiplying prisms for beam effects:
 one 4-facet prism
 one linear 4-facet prism
 one 8-facet prism
• Three independent gobo wheels:
 one rotating gobo wheel (with six rotating, indexing, user replaceable gobos)
 one designer gobo wheel (with seven replaceable gobos)
 one fixed beam gobo wheel with three fixed patterns and a fixed pixel animation range
• Lightning fast strobe with built-in random, pulse, and fan effect macros

The SuperRay’s full range of motion consists of a 540° pan and a 270° tilt and utilizes built-in LCD display with touchscreen menu system. It also integrates with the PRG GroundControl Followspot System.

WonderWall
The creative triangular design of WonderWall offers unique possibilities such as integrating high-resolution LED, lighting fixtures and scenic elements. Integrated in the revolutionary touring frame design of PRG SPACEFRAME™, WonderWall seamlessly incorporates LED panels and scenic elements to provide industry-changing operational efficiencies and the opportunity for unlimited creative expression.

“PRG SPACEFRAME™ can take more than LED, and this is the first step in evolving it from a stand-alone product to developing it into a platform for video, scenic automation and eventually staging,” said Jeroen Hallaert, director of PRG Projects North America. “It can also be integrated as part of a normal video screen, creating a surprise effect to the audience.”

WonderWall is a three-sided hybrid luminaire with ROE CB8 LED on one side, 2 x 4 array of 60W RGBW OSRAM LED on the other and a high-reflective mirror on the third side. Capable of 540° rotation on the tilt axes, the WonderWall can alternate between displaying high-definition video images and 3D volumetric lighting effects or reflect other light sources and laser of the mirrored panels. The 8 mm pitch of the video side offers the perfect balance of 1) definition required to display video media on stage, 2) screen size for enabling full HD, and 3) overall system brightness. It has a revolutionary optical zoom system with a range of 10° to 38°. The front face of WonderWall can be integrated into a modified ROE CB8 panel which offers exciting new possibilities for creating graphical effects.

PRG will be demonstrating these new technologies at the LDI Show in Las Vegas, Oct. 19-21 at VER’s booth #2715 and PRG demo room N252.

Products on display at the VER booth #2715:
• SuperRay Luminaire
• GroundControl family of products, featuring the 4-way Switch, Multi-Fixture
• Award Winning Transparent LED Screen - Pure10
• RH+A Bullet Series 2.0

Products in the PRG demo room N252:
• WonderWall
• PRG GroundControl
• Immersive 30’ PRG SPACEFRAME™ structure
• Mbox
• RH+A: featuring ReNEW-DMX, ReNEW-LD, Bullet Series 2.0 and ReNEW-UV

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10/5/2018

PRG’s GroundControl Followspot System Wins Engineering Emmy Award

PRG Honored for Development in Broadcast Technology

LOS ANGELES – OCT. 4, 2018 – Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces it won a 2018 Engineering Emmy Award for its PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System. The award is presented to an individual, company or organization for engineering developments that considerably improve existing methods or innovations that materially affect the transmission, recording and reception of television. PRG is one of five award winners of the 70th Engineering Emmy Awards.

“We are extremely excited and proud that our innovative GroundControl Followspot System has been recognized by the Academy,” said Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “In a category that has seen little change in 30 years, this product is revolutionizing how designers light shows and it is also life changing for spot operators.”

PRG’s GroundControl Followspot System allows a followspot operator to remotely operate a high output automated luminaire as a followspot from up to 2,000 feet away. Designers have total creative freedom to put followspots in previously unusable places or avoid complex rigging. With the GroundControl Followspot System, the operator is on the ground, so the physical footprint of the luminaire is significantly smaller than a conventional followspot. Because of this small footprint and low weight, followspots can be placed in a wide variety of positions. The GroundControl Followspot System consists of specially customized PRG luminaires which include a built-in camera and can be flown or mounted in locations around a venue which would not normally accommodate a followspot. In addition to the safety benefits, the GroundControl Followspot System reduces trucking space, saves operator time, allows for a single operator to control multiple follow spots and minimizes “seat kills” – the need to remove seats to create traditional followspot positions.

“It’s always been in PRG’s DNA to develop products that are creative solutions to unique production challenges,” said Chris Conti, Product Manager for PRG.

Introduced in 2016, the GroundControl Followspot System was quickly recognized with industry awards and was integrated into TV, live music and corporate productions. The technology has been used on a variety of TV productions including live shows such as “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Grammy Awards,” “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” and other productions including “The Voice,” “Dancing with the Stars”, “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Spin the Wheel,” and many more. It has also been used for concert tours by artists including Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Drake and U2.

For more information on the award-winning and patented PRG GroundControl Followspot System please visit:

https://www.prg.com/technology/products/luminaires/groundcontrol-followspot-system


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10/4/2018

PURE10 makes its debut during U2’s ‘eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour’

10 times lighter than a regular screen and with an unprecedented 70% transparency, the PURE10 is the eye catcher on U2’s stage.

Other tech innovations are the PRG SPACEFRAME™ and Domino for the round video floor.

PRG Projects was visiting some highly innovative companies in China only 1.5 years ago, when they met NEXNOVO – specializing in ultra-thin advertising solutions. Frederic Opsomer stipulated to have been especially impressed by the high level of focus of NEXNOVO”. Barton Lin, COO of NEXNOVO was immediately intrigued by the challenges: “Our product was initially designed for fixed installations, PRG Projects brought the professionalism and knowhow to use the advantages of the technology and adapt it for a concert-touring reality”.

From there, it all went very fast: the design phase started in November and was ready in January. The production started immediately in China, where the electronic components were built. Everything was shipped to Belgium mid March for the assembly and the mechanical part: a full carbon fibre structure.



Jake Berry, Production Director U2, states that without the PURE10, this setting for U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour would not have been possible: “After the Joshua Tree Tour, we wanted to raise the bar even higher. We wanted a wider screen, in combination with a flying catwalk. At that moment, it simply seemed impossible. The weight limits of the tour’s stadiums would have been exceeded”.
The P10 was constructed especially to minimize weight, at an uttermost high resolution and transparency. Weighing only 10 kg/m2, the design dream became reality.

Carbon fiber 

Frederic Opsomer adds “We think in solutions, for the PURE10, we pushed the technology to the limits of its abilities, doubled the regular width to limit the amount of pieces, and at the same time guaranteeing the highest possible transparency.”

It is fair to say that the PURE10, with its carbon fiber structure, reduced the suspension load of the screen by half in comparison to the technology that had been provided on the previous tour. This change of screen allowed to introduce more features on the catwalk, whilst even reducing the overall weight of the rigg. 

Carbon Fiber had proven to be an excellent choice for the PRG SPACEFRAME™, and its strong, reliable and very light characteristics made it perfect for PURE10 as well. In the future, the structural advantages of carbon fibre compared to aluminum or steel will further be explored. By investing and following up the continuous development, PRG will be able to create custom solutions in a much faster way.

Green

The revolutionary low weight of PURE10, combined with the smart stacking in custom designed dollies, saves space. That leads to an optimization in transport and reduction of the green imprint.

“In every development we do, we try to solve a green issue. It is actually one of our top 3 questions, together with: ‘are we making a creative solution? ‘and ‘are we allowing designers to propose an innovation to their customers?” explains Opsomer.

Not only it has a positive impact on transport, but we’re also facing limited storage space in most venues.

Stuart Heaney, PRG Crew Chief, is particularly happy about the set-up of PURE10: “The time to set-up the screen, including the interdependencies with other teams involved is 8-9 hours. If we would be solely constructing the screen, everything would be built up even faster, in under 3 hours. Tearing down takes 2.5 hours, and that again is with all integrations being removed.”

Ric Lipson – partner at Stufish – has been in charge of design and architecture for multiple U2 shows. He reflects on the collaboration with PRG: “in this long-standing relationship with PRG, we love how they are always innovative. They come with weird and wonderful ideas and make them happen”.

The PRG SPACEFRAME™ allowed the enormous screens of last year’s tour Joshua Tree Tour to resist wind loads. For Beyoncé’s and Jay Z’s tour there was even a moving element added, allowing the screens to open and close, despite weather conditions. PRG SPACEFRAME™ is also used in this year’s design and PRG Projects is already looking at the future: With PRG SPACEFRAME™ we incorporated structural elements into the video screens. We are now experimenting to do the same with lighting, automation and other combinations. The PRG SPACEFRAME™ technology definitely has a lot of yet unveiled opportunities.

Live Design Magazine has named PRG Projects’ PURE10 as the best LED Screen for this year's 2018 Video and Projection Product awards!

It was chosen by a panel of prestigious video/projection designers and programmers, from amongst a field of our esteemed peers. PRG is so proud of the talented team that made this innovative technology a reality.

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