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.
Innovative Touring Frame and 4K Broadcast Camera System Elevate Operational Performance, Stage Design and Fan Experience
Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today that a new product innovation along with the application of an industry-first technology solution – SPACEFRAMETM and a 4K Broadcast Camera System – have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that anticipate the needs of tour managers, designers and artists seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience onsite or virtually.
“SPACEFRAME and the 4K Broadcast Camera System perfectly demonstrate how PRG excels at seeing an opportunity for innovation that will add operational, economic and creative value from a customer’s perspective, allowing artists to more freely tell their story,” said Steve Greenberg, PRG’s CEO of Global Music/TV/Film.
SPACEFRAME is a revolutionary touring frame design seamlessly integrating LED panels to provide industry-changing operational efficiencies and the opportunity for unlimited creative expression. The carbon fiber touring frame is ultra-lightweight, collapsible and fully wind braced creating an intensive built-in structural strength. This allows for a free-form approach to stage designs enabling artists and designers to think outside the conventional LED box. This latest patent-pending technology from PRG also dramatically reduces pre-tour engineering time, shipping footprint/weight, carbon emissions, load-in and load-out times, as well as labor required on tour and locally.
SPACEFRAME features and advantages:
Carbon fiber fabrication and built-in wind bracing reduces overall weight increasing safety and savings
10 times stronger when compared to conventional fabrication
15 percent overall weight reduction
35 percent weight reduction including wind bracing
Integrated wind bracing up to 72 kph
Profile reduction and integrated wind bracing results in up-to 50 percent savings in shipping cost in some cases and a massive reduction in the tour’s carbon footprint
Specifically for this U2 tour, truck loads are reduced from seven to three - or one less airplane - when compared to conventional LED frame load
Compact, lightweight design offers up-to 30 percent reduction of installation/dismantle time and a 25 percent reduction in overall labor cost
“The quality and resolution of LED products have vastly improved over the last decade, but the frames have basically stayed the same. At PRG Projects, we saw an opportunity to innovate the way in which LED walls were assembled and transported, to rethink the construction of the frame and how it might impact the operational side of the business as well as the design experience,” stated Frederic Opsomer, PRG Projects' Managing Director and innovation leader.
Leveraging in-house talent and partnerships already in place, PRG was able to produce the carbon frames from prototype to final product in just 17 weeks, enabling U2 to be the first to take advantage of the innovation. SPACEFRAME has allowed U2’s designer to create a 200 foot wide screen¬, custom painted in silver and gold to mimic the original artwork of their 1987 album.
4K Broadcast Camera System
The U2 tour also marks the introduction of PRG’s 4K (UHD) Broadcast Camera System as a first for concert touring. The PRG broadcast system, developed and integrated over three months, is a combination of products that can operate in 4K (UHD) and 3G SMPTE Standards. This design philosophy allows concurrent production to operate at the highest level of broadcast standards. The system delivers 60 frames per second (fps) with a UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
The concert touring system interconnects cameras and LED wall processors on fiber because of the enormous amounts of data and length of signal distances. The entire broadcast touring system can be set up within an hour and is designed to be operated by one video engineer, eliminating the need for four-to-five onsite engineering positions.
“PRG has been a part of every U2 tour since 1992 and the band always challenges us with pushing technology to its limits,” said Wolfgang Schram, PRG’s director of video engineering. “We have to be creative and that is the fun part.”
PRG Brings Polaroid’s 80th Anniversary to Life at CES 2017
For the past six years, PRG has partnered with Polaroid’s team to design and develop the CES show site experience to attract and engage thousands in a meaningful way. As attendees move in and around Polaroid’s 110’ X 80’ exhibit space, PRG has been able to artfully integrate sound, light, video projection and movement to showcase a wide array of products, create discreet engagement experiences; and; establish a reasonably quiet zone for a suite of private meeting rooms.
Moreover, PRG has been able to leverage these solutions to deliver award-winning experiences while using an existing exhibit structure. This approach has saved Polaroid a tremendous amount of time and money.
CES 2017–Launch of Polaroid’s 80th Anniversary
In celebration of Polaroid’s 80th anniversary, PRG honored Polaroid’s iconic look by centering the exhibit experience around it–using new and existing technology in unconventional ways to give the experience a new look and feel.
Six months prior to CES, PRG met with Polaroid to discuss the vision for the launch of the anniversary celebration. To enable the client to visualize the proposed solution, PRG rendered the space along with proposed lighting and movement in 3D. This is referred to as the pre-visualization phase, allowing clients (like Polaroid) to actually review the lighting and movement in situ, simulating the actual experience to be delivered at show site.
Following the pre-visualization phase, PRG staged the exhibit and proposed technology solutions for final approval and to eliminate any surprises at show site. The staging experience, like a dress rehearsal, ensures a successful outcome and typically creates tremendous labor efficiencies–especially for an exhibit of this size and complexity.
As part of the 80th design, PRG incorporated its Magic Panels to create living Polaroid Cubes, a modern lighting showcase of their classic logo. While these Magic Panels are typically seen in concert touring, PRG brought them in for CES, stretching experiential lighting solutions across market segments. (great advantage!)
The team at PRG understands motion and light are two things the human eye quickly detects. Leveraging that knowledge, content ribbons displaying brand colors, strong imagery and campaign headlines were weaved overhead, as well as vertically and horizontally throughout the booth design creating a more immersive experience, constantly changing to maintain interest. Twelve state-of-the-art projectors, hung in unconventional orientations on overhead rigging and truss, distributing imagery without worry of the projection being blocked. The key to executing a projection design of this magnitude is ample preplanning and engineering, an important aspect of PRG and Polaroid’s partnership success.
One of the exhibit highlights was the Monkey Tree, an ideation formed to promote one of Polaroid’s newest products, the Monkey Mount. The custom-built treehouse featured an array of monitors with content pushed over the booth’s wireless network. Managing sustained connectivity and bandwidth wirelessly is a considerable challenge for a show with over 100,000 attendees and hundreds of exhibitors. For context, during show hours CES uses the same amount of Wi-Fi as a midsize city. To ensure sustained coverage for this attraction, PRG took over the exhibit’s networking function, setting up Wi-Fi hotspots supported by Wi-Fi mesh technology.
Audio control is always a challenge on any tradeshow floor, even more so at CES. With meeting rooms, activity areas, the product stage, the Monkey Tree and evening press conferences, audio zoning within the exhibit was imperative. The overall sound system was designed with five dedicated zones within the exhibit, each with individual switches to manage audio levels based on the ebb and flow of the traffic and ambient noise in the hall. Because the audio was controlled independently, the entire booth could push an isolated audio message or the system could manage a complete audio takeover.
Because the Polaroid experience is and was so heavily dependent on audio and video projection, PRG managed all onsite labor–directing teams and tracking of all labor services at show site, saving Polaroid thousands of dollars. This is one more way the PRG Team added value to the relationship.
Overall, CES 2017 was another sweeping success for Polaroid and PRG, and we look forward to continuing this partnership moving forward.
PRG, in conjunction with the local Producers Guild, the American Society of Cinematographers and the International Cinematographers Guild, held its first workshop in Atlanta — a growing television and film market. The purpose of the late-February workshop was to educate local and incoming talent on the latest technology innovations, products and services being used in productions around the globe.
Led by Cinematographer Shelly Johnson and Lighting Designer Jared Moore, over 100 attendees learned about intelligent lighting, LED immersive environments and more. Shelly demonstrated the benefits of PRG’s OverDrive solution, including shooting traditional location shots on a stage with LED backdrops featuring video of the location (anywhere–day or night) within a controlled environment. With the assistance of the PRG team, Shelly showed attendees how cinematographers collaborate and work through the technology while framing and composing within a monitor. Shelly’s presentation clearly demonstrated why filmmakers and actors alike get excited about the PRG OverDrive solution. Using this solution, enables both parties to walk away with confidence their shots are complete–executed hassle-free while saving significant production time and money. Shelly is best known for his work on Category 5, Captain America: The First Avenger, Jurassic Park III, The Wolfman and Hidalgo.
Jared addressed the advances in Intelligent Automated Lighting, showcasing how the technology used on FOX’s highly rated TV show Empire has increased the show’s production value. The presentation also highlighted the functionality, advantages and lighting effects achieved from a variety of PRG’s lighting solutions chosen as the technology of choice for not only the TV show Empire, but also for other features and television shows shot or produced in Atlanta. Jared is recognized for his work on Divergent, Empire and Mind Games.
PRG’s team reviewed the company’s newest technology designed for the television and film industry. Case studies were shared detailing how the latest solutions (OverDrive, HoloGauze and Intelligent Lighting) brought the visions of filmmakers to life.
Attendees were also engaged in an outdoor presentation introducing AirCover’s inflatable green screens known as Airwalls. AirWalls, an attractive alternative to traditional set construction for visual effects shoots for television and film, have already been used on recent shoots for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, and Star Trek Beyond, to name a few.
On a local note, Base Camp ATL owners Tony Bradley and Tim Kelley shared the company’s full-service options for production support while shooting in Georgia, including sound stage opportunities, production offices, fabrication of set design and visual effects.
Overall, the workshop was a wild success. Among those in attendance were Georgia Film Academy students who participated and filmed the event. PRG hopes to continue hosting workshops in Atlanta as well as other TV/Film industry-focused markets.
We are excited to announce that PRG’s own, Chris Conti, has been named to the 2017 StudioDaily50 for his work in advancing technological achievement in the entertainment industry.
The StudioDaily50 is an award that spotlights 50 “key creatives and technologists whose leadership and influence are breaking new ground in media and entertainment. The StudioDaily 50 is populated by executives and producers who make great work happen; directors, cinematographers and editors who push the creative envelope; and scientists, engineers, inventors and other innovators who keep pushing the state of the creative arts.”
Chris Conti, representing PRG Dallas and his team, has been recognized for his leadership in the development of the patented PRG GroundControl Followspot System. Among the four categories of award recipients, Chris has been named as a Technologist, and joins a list of accomplished industry professionals from companies such as Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures. “Being recognized by StudioDaily is a great honor,” said Chris, “and I am truly thrilled to be representing the whole PRG Dallas Team that developed the cutting-edge technology that went into GroundControl and its success.”
Congratulations to Chris and his team on this achievement!
In partnership with Gearhouse Broadcast, PRG’s turnkey solution successfully debuted the advancement of crane/jib technology, SkyTechno, at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show held April 24-27. SkyTechno is a new remote camera crane capable of providing 360-degree sweeping camera moves without ever revealing its base–enabling operators to capture every possible angle up, down, around, over and under; literally from the floor to the ceiling, and from wall to wall with impeccably smooth movement.
A technology unveiling of this magnitude called for a custom outdoor stage design inclusive of truss, roofing, moving lights and high-resolution LED screens.
President of PRG Television North America, Brian Edwards, added, “We have seen firsthand the need for SkyTechno. Its powerfully designed and engineered functionality, developed by experts who have years of experience, will be an incredible alternative to many productions. PRG is looking forward to our continued collaboration with the team at Gearhouse.”
With the support of PRG’s truss structure, SkyTechno was suspended above a motorcycle, showcasing its extensive reach and ability to film an object from all axes. Two of PRG’s Best Boy moving lights lit the motorcycle to amplify SkyTechno’s coverage. The lights were controlled in-booth via two of PRG’s innovative and newly patented GroundControl™ Followspot Systems.
The three ROE 5mm LED screens were controlled by PRG’s scenic automation solution for in-booth positioning, creating either one large LED display or three separate displays. Girraphic joined the unveiling collaboration and generated live camera, prerecorded media clips and augmented reality graphics to play on the LED displays. To provide the various feeds, PRG’s Mbox media server was integrated in the Gearhouse Broadcast OB truck.
Now that SkyTechno is debuted, AR/VR production can take a step forward. PRG is proud to have been a part of this exhibit, winning SkyTechno a ProductionHUB Award of Excellence, and looks forward to continued collaboration with Gearhouse Broadcast.
Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) organized its annual summit for the members of its global partner network program – PRG Alliance – during the Prolight + Sound 2017 trade fair at Messe Frankfurt.
Currently in its third year, the PRG Alliance has 15 members in 28 countries delivering high quality technical production services worldwide.
The theme for this meeting was “Building on Success”, and celebrated numerous collaboration projects among the members, including some from Italy, Poland, and Portugal. During the summit they shared success case studies and discussed future initiatives to promote greater business and information exchange.
“The PRG Alliance is praised by our clients and the market in general. What started with a recognition of PRG partners three years ago, today is a substantial network of remarkable companies – and the largest resource pool of knowledge, qualified professionals and inventory in the world,” said Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of PRG Alliance and PRG’s CEO Central Europe.
“We invited the lighting and video designers from The Voice Portugal, Marco Silva and Ricardo Maia, who shared their experience of using PRG’s proprietary products, Bad Boy moving lights and MBox media server, for the TV show,” continues Van Hemelryck.
The summit provided the ideal occasion to welcome the newest addition to the group, Gil Teichman - the largest audiovisual provider in Israel. The company has been active for over two decades, leading the field of concept creation, designing and executing audiovisual systems, power and electrical work for the industry of entertainment and live events.
During the event, a variety of activities for PRG Alliance were presented and these included training in project management; PRG’s Global Sales Officer Jens Zimmerman hosted a session on global account initiatives; opportunities for participation in international exhibitions were discussion; and the latest PRG proprietary equipment purchase options were delivered. The event ended with a demo of the new PRG exclusive Icon EDGE lighting fixture, and a lively networking dinner which gave the members further opportunity for networking and to discuss collaboration.
The current PRG Alliance members are:
Brazil: Alliance BR
Greece: Sound and Visual
Hungary and Romania: Visual Europe Group
India: DynaMix Media
Israel: Gil Teichman
Italy: STS Communication & New Light Group
Morocco: Touareg Prod’
Portugal: FX RoadLights
Qatar: Esme Entertainment Services
Singapore and Malaysia: The Show Company
South Korea: Ally&Co and Total Korea
Worldwide: DB Schenker and Production Resource Group
Leading event production and technology solutions firm becomes official producer of general sessions and Ex Awards at the world’s largest executive conference on face-to-face marketing
Event Marketer today announced a major new production partnership with PRG North America positioning the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions as the official producer of general sessions at the 2017 Experiential Marketing Summit (EMS), the world’s largest executive conference on event and experiential marketing.
“We’re thrilled to work with PRG to bring to life the newest event production technologies at EMS,” said Event Marketer business director Jeff Fortmann. “Our attendees are going to be wowed by an all-new general session experience, and our Ex Award celebration is going to be taken to an all new level.”
PRG will design, direct, produce and manage all general session technical production elements and activities—including four keynotes featuring the heads of experiential marketing at American Express, Twitter, IBM and Adobe—and the historic 15th anniversary Ex Awards gala recognizing the best experiential marketing campaigns in the world.
“As PRG continues to introduce new products and services for the event and experiential marketing industry, there’s literally no better way for us to bring our creativity, capabilities and passion to life than live at the EMS general sessions,” said Jim Kelley, VP Sales & Industry Relations, PRG. “We are thrilled about this partnership and cannot wait to work hand-in-hand with Event Marketer to dazzle and delight the industry this spring.”
EMS, which takes place May 3-5 at McCormick Place in Chicago, will provide a live platform from which PRG will be able to showcase its creative vision, technological leadership and production expertise in front of the more than 2,000 marketing executives who attend. PRG will activate the partnership with a year-long marketing campaign with Event Marketer the company will use to raise awareness, generate leads and develop deeper relationships across the event industry. The campaign includes online marketing, traditional awareness advertising, live editorial roundtables, newsletters, new product promotions and content marketing.
ABOUT EVENT MARKETER
Founded in 2002, Event Marketer is the world’s largest content resource on event and experiential marketing—the brand’s portfolio serves more than 100,000 Fortune 1000 marketers and includes Event Marketer magazine, eventmarketer.com, the Experiential Marketing Summit, EventTech and the Ex Awards. Event Marketer is owned by Access Intelligence. Learn more at eventmarketer.com.
PRG is the world's leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions. PRG provides comprehensive and discreet services to an array of clients in the live music, TV/Film, Broadway, sports, gaming, corporate experiential and live events markets. Clients and partners depend on PRG’s innovation, experience and depth of experience in audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging, and scenery and automation systems to bring their stories to life. With 44 offices across North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia, PRG has capabilities to provide services worldwide.
PRG OverDrive is a creative solution that brings a scripted location in television or film to any stage in the world. It saves production time and money while offering directors more on-set creativity, like the ability to change locations with a push of button or instantly shift scenes from a day to night sequence. Using this technology removes traditional obstacles location managers and directors face, such as closing streets, weather delays, obtaining permits, hiring police escorts as well as costs associated with multiple location moves. OverDrive can also light the set and actors within video while producing an organic in-camera visual effect. The controlled environment also allows the director to more easily interact with the actors who can more readily respond in a location they can actually visualize.
By engineering in-camera imaging tailored to the specific needs of any production, the illusion of actors and static vehicles actually in their media-chosen environment is created. PRG’s team can engineer, provide and install multiple LED resolution panel arrays and projection systems displaying driving plate footage based on input from the production’s creative team. OverDrive is controlled on set from PRG’s media playback servers, creating a truly interactive and immersive environment.
While this is the latest technology used primarily to replace traditional car process trailer sequences, PRG already has tremendous experience in engineering and executing this solution for many productions, including:
Tupac - All Eyez On Me
House of Cards
To leverage the full value of PRG OverDrive, consider these seven questions while planning a production:
1.) Does the production only require the reflection of media playback from LED arrays on the surfaces of the vehicles surrounded by green screen, or does it require projection and LED array walls in-camera to replace green screen and capture all environments simultaneously? The second option offers more creative control on set while saving time and money.
2.) What is the type or size of the vehicle(s) that will be placed into the projection/LED interactive lighting set-up?
3.) Are there storyboards illustrating camera angles of these shots? PRG’s engineering team will need to determine the overall dimensions required for each LED array wall.
4.) Stage dimensions. Does the stage have existing truss structure?
5.) Which camera(s) and lenses will be used?
6.) What are the frame rate(s)?
7.) Will the ground-supported LED walls need to be mobile if the LED walls are in-camera?
Before creating a sequence with PRG, all the plate shots will need to be prepared before shooting starts. To begin, capture, color correct and edit all plate shots prior to ingesting in our media server for playback on set. The higher the frame rate the plates are captured, the smoother the images are displayed, should we agree to slow down during playback. After the plate shots are captured, editorial will need to start clips in the same scenes at the same time, saving production time. They should all be in the ProRess 422 LT or ProRess 422 codecs with less than a 150 Mb/s bit rate.
Finally, the naming convention for the folders should be Folder Number.SceneNumber, starting at 101. For example, all clips associated with Scene 20 would be in folder 101.Sc20. Likewise, the naming convention for files should be FileNumber.SceneNumber_CAM, starting at 001. For example, the individual files in the 101.Sc20 folder would be 001.Sc20_Forward002.Sc20_Rear003.Sc20_Left.
With any production, the key to collective success, both creatively and budgetary, is to begin the planning and engineering as soon as possible. Contact PRG today to discuss using the OverDrive Interactive LED Lighting solution.
DALLAS – MARCH 16, 2017 – Production Resource Group LLC, the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today that it has been issued a United States utility patent for the award-winning GroundControl™ Followspot System. The patent (number 9,593,830) is the culmination of a multiple-year development effort by the PRG Research and Development team based in Dallas. This patent is the first issued of the four patents filed by PRG related to the GroundControl system.
“We are very happy and proud to have our first claims granted on the GroundControl Followspot. PRG’s innovation is driven by our clients’ needs and this is just another example of our extensive technical capabilities,” said Chris Conti, product manager for PRG and one of the inventors. “This product is revolutionizing a category that has seen very little innovation in the past 30 years. We have been overwhelmed with the success and demand for the product.”
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 now 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 now 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 also minimizes “seat kills” – the need to remove seats to create traditional followspot positions – a revenue bonus for clients.
The GroundControl Followspot System, introduced to the market in 2016, has been well received by the industry – awarded Live Design’s Products of the Year for Best New Followspot in 2015-2016 and AV Awards Production Product of the Year in 2016 – and it has been quickly integrated into live music, TV and corporate productions. The technology has been used on tours by artists including Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Drake, Elton John, Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers and has been integrated into TV productions such as “The Voice”, “MTV Awards” and “iHeart Music Awards”. It has also been used in the Tom Ford Fashion Show and in events and exhibits by corporations such as Adobe, Microsoft and SAP.
The GroundControl Followspot System consists of three parts: a GC Spot Luminaire, a GC Truss Box, and a GC Followspot Controller. It is currently compatible with PRG’s Best Boy HP, Bad Boy HP and the new GroundControl™ LongThrow luminaire.
Tour Director and Designer, Steve Kidd, and Lighting Director and Designer, Guy Pavelo, have both worked with Drake for more than five years, designing multiple tours across the globe. During this time, PRG has partnered with Drake’s team to deliver lighting and video technology solutions to achieve visual experiences that push the boundaries of creativity and defy the norm.
Steve and Guy sat down with PRG to talk about the current tour design elements and PRG’s role, including the integration of a kinetic LED lighting system, curved video wall, array of lighting fixtures from high brightness beams to remote followspots along with video projection.
What was your approach to the design concept for the tour?
Guy: This was the fourth master rendition of a design we spent five months planning, reflective of inspirations gathered and a conglomeration of different elements Drake liked most. For example, one of his team members found a stop-motion video of an art installation in Japan, featuring little baseball-sized shapes moving in one pattern over the course of about six hours, but since it was stop motion it looked like it took 20 seconds. This video served as the inspiration for our ball and winch set-up enabling us to recreate the look and feel of the art installation. To actually execute the concept on tour, we had to develop a gridwork for the spheres so they would not spread out across the whole venue. Otherwise, the visual effect wouldn’t make sense to anyone except in the last row.
How do you create a design easily toured around the world, packed back into trucks and then loaded into different venues?
Guy: A good part of that planning effort involved working closely with SGPS to build some of the design elements, from the curved video wall to a custom truss. We went with a 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. Yes, the truss is 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 thinner, we would have a cart with pipes and poles, and we’d have to hang everything each day. It saves time, personnel, potential for failure and truck space.
Steve: When building a new production, we’re always up against time. Time and space are the two things we consider – particularly how much time we have to build the show and how much space assembling will take inside the venue.
Guy: We’re at venue capacity in terms of what we can actually rig, but crew members aren’t killing themselves to load everything in. We were fortunate the budged allowed extra spending on a custom truss, so we could save the crew a little.
Let’s talk about the curved video wall built from 9mm LED. How did you come up with that idea?
Guy: We started with the curved wall, then we created the set with the lifts and other elements Drake liked and added the overhead structure which encompassed some of the house rig. With the kinetic addition, the last pieces were finally tied together to create the system over the deck.
Steve: That’s 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. We then create a reality, knowing what our vendors are capable of and realizing how we can actually tour it.
Back to the kinetic moving spheres -- they are such a notable part of the show and wow the audience at multiple points during Drake’s set. How was the system developed?
Guy: The kinetic spheres are a collaborative project. Glow Motion Technologies (GMT) gave us all the pieces. It’s actually two different components: the physical plastic sphere and the LED chip inside. The winch is from Stage Kinetik, the hard-powered winch, data and control. However, GMT handled acquiring all the necessary elements of assembly.
Steve: The winch 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 sitting in storage from being used at an auto show in Germany. The spheres are the design showcase, but without the winch, they simply don’t work.
Guy: It’s like an art installation where the lights just go on and off. After a few seconds, you’re done looking at it. With the winch, you continue watch the different look with each song
A major addition to the show design for the European leg was the projection globe. Drake wanted to give everyone in Europe a different show than in North America. The addition of a B-stage and the globe with projection meant some adjustments to the kinetic system. Can you talk about the inspiration behind the European projection globe?
Guy: That inspiration came from an art installation that happened in Toronto this past season. It was called Death of the Sun, a 45-ft round sphere on top of a projection-mapped pedestal over a 12- to15-minute progression on the different stages of the sun. Fortunately, the creator had worked with Drake before, so one phone call secured the ideas and the original needed to 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 drive the globe itself; four double-stacks in quadrant; and d3 and Blacktrax to map and track the ball as it’s 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. How’d we do?
Guy: We called up Yvonne and said, “we’re going to need a substantial amount of adjustment to the design.” PRG opened the shop back up at the weekend, had personnel loading the truck loading on a Sunday and we had the equipment that Monday, which I know doesn’t usually happen. It was a rush, but every single fixture worked and every one of them was clean, waiting for us to show up that morning. It was fantastic. PRG 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. How are they used?
Guy: They are a concept High End designed in lieu of lasers. Barco projectors are not laser projectors, but you can put content into them to make them look like a regular laser. You can broadcast out over the audience with no regulations, health or safety restrictions, and it gives a different look and color. You don’t get the super-vivid green laser beam but, past that, you get a unique effect, which works really well toward 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. What thoughts were behind choosing the lighting fixtures?
Guy: We have a range of fixtures – PRG’s Best Boy Spot HP and Washes, a small boat load of the Icon Beam, 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, firing through the winch and spheres to cover the deck. We went with the Icon Beam, because it is bigger than Sharpy and Drake wanted a different look. We needed a very specific size range to fit in the truss, so the truss could fit in the truck. In result, the beam’s width and compact head really worked out. For Europe, we added the P5 and Q7 to give a different mood and house coverage. The team chose PRG’s GroundControl™ Followspot system to situate the fixture on the truss, but with the control unit on the ground. They have two operators at the front of the house and four backstage, because the show is built in two halves – a forward U, which includes the B-stage and the main stage package.
You both have worked with PRG globally for a number of years to support tours you design. In your opinion, what is the key to the success of this partnership?
Steve: PRG has been an excellent solutions provider for every aspect of all our designs. What I love is the support, not only from the sales side, so Guy can achieve the dream he’s trying to deliver to the artist, but also the ability for PRG to stay on budget. We can say, “what do you have that nobody else has used yet, or that has just come out and looks amazing?” In result, we get amazing crew support and a great product. PRG has been great for us, both domestically and worldwide, and a great supporter of Drake. Now that PRG owns video companies, we can get lighting and video solutions all from one source. One of the hardest things in touring is getting different vendors to blend together.
PRG has a cohesive team that works together. It was important for us to work with people who wanted to be partners, and I know a global partnership means a lot to both Curry and Yvonne – we can count on them. Drake 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.
Drake’s Boy Meets World Tour ended March 28. More information on Guy and Steve's work www.gp-sk.com
Photo credits: Brian Friedman and PRG XL Video/Alison Barclay
In Vectorworks' new case study, take a look back at how our experience at the 2015 Rock in Rio in Las Vegas led to our collaboration at the 2016 Rock in Rio show in Lisbon. Hear how Vickie utilized Vectorworks’ Vision Previz Studio to prep for the Las Vegas and Lisbon Rock In Rio events.
PRG XL Video, the UK operation of Production Resource Group (PRG), has been awarded Favorite 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.
Go behind the scenes with PRG client PTC and our partners to see the challenges involved in bringing a massive and aspect-ratio-challenging 10 feet x 100 feet screen to life for our client's big vision.
When PTC, a global technology provider in software and the Internet of Things (IoT) space set out to plan for their annual global sales meeting, the primary goal was to take their meeting and attendee experience to the “next next next level,” according to Lisa Casello, Sales Enablement Director for PTC. To get the job done, PTC turned to PRG for partnership in delivering 360 production services, which included audio, video, lighting, scenic, labor, as well as custom content creation through PRG’s Media Services division.
With a massive 10’ x 100’ screen as the main visual attraction and conduit to deliver the PTC message, PRG was faced with engineering content and a custom production solution that would meet the unique aspect ratio of the screen.
“Most video in television is 16:9; this is 10:1. So it was being projected onto a screen that was ten feet high by a hundred feet wide.” said Chris Albert, Senior Content Producer, PRG Media Services division. “Everything had to be done in 4K so that when it blew up to this one hundred foot wide by ten foot high screen, it looked crisp and clean.”
PRG and its partners worked alongside PTC through every stage of the production process by taking creative direction provided by PTC and set it to motion on a pixel accurate canvas, creating an immersive and intimate visual experience for the programs attendees.
Commenting on the 360 partnership with PRG, client Doug Hodge, Content Development & Production Manager for PTC, said, “To take our company vision to the next level, you have to find a company that has the ability to do all of it. Not just the production side, but also to be creative and help me collaborate on a new vision to tell the PTC story.”
How will PTC and PRG out-do a heightened attendee experience at next year’s sales kickoff event? “…you guys have your work cut out for you,” said Lisa Casello.
In December of this past year, Andrea Bocelli was on tour hitting eight cities–Las Vegas, Anaheim, Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Boston and Newark–within 24 days. The PRG Team, familiar with both the artist’s needs and the venues, provided audio, lighting and rigging solutions for the coast-to-coast tour. While the schedule was challenging enough, producing pristine concert hall level sound and an unforgettable concert performance and experience within large arenas like the MGM Grand and The Garden provided another layer of complexity–especially with only a few short hours available to load-in, install and be rehearsal-ready.
Alan Henig, PRG’s audio crew chief who has supported the Bocelli tours since 2011, fully understands each venue comes with a new set of challenges. “When the world’s most popular touring opera star happens to be blind, the pressure to have pristine audio is even greater,” Alan stated. “In addition to meeting Bocelli’s sound requirements, we were also challenged to address the audio and lighting needs of a 70-piece orchestra, guest violinist, pop singer, and dancer. The only way we pull this type of magic off is through the exceptional expertise of the PRG Team.”
Due to the unique size of the venues and large audiences, providing a concert hall level of sound took an exceptional amount of experience and audio engineering. “To achieve pristine sound enjoyed by the individual concert attendee equally, we hang an enormous amount of PA and run it at low levels. This approach provides a sound field effect–leaving no seat uncovered,” said Henig. The PRG Team only had a few hours to create this sound experience, sound check it and turn it over for rehearsals. Trucks unloaded at 7 a.m. with the floor and local crew on hand at 8 a.m. to move into the venue. Working quickly and efficiently, the team installed a small, stadium-sized PA system, including 160 to 172 boxes, while also setting up an orchestral show with 85 inputs from the stage. In order for PRG to hand over the system to Bocelli’s Italian sound team by 1:00 p.m., full installation had to be completed within a four-to five-hour window. The experienced PRG crew making this possible included: Tomasz Gagewski, Armando Montalvo, Paolo Mangones, Andre Roy, Justin Willmon and Artur Janota.
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.
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.”
Photo Credits: Luca Parisse for Balich Worldwide Shows
Show Credits: Creative & Executive Production Balich Worldwide Shows
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.
Projection Mapping Case: Fortis Memorial Research Institute Launch, New Delhi
Throughout LDI, the PRG team rallied to provide hands-on demos at the packed booth, letting attendees experience the power of the growing family of GroundControl™ products, the refreshing user interface of the new Mbox v4 software, and a firsthand look at the new ReNEW-LD line dimmable LED Retrofit Assembly. Checkout our favorite photos from the show below.
The new GroundControl™Longthrow, which was previewed at the show (available February), lured crowd after crowd for it's slim footprint and full feature set.
Over at the Mbox stations, visitors had a chance to play with multiple outputs from the new Mbox v4 software.
And in the Retail, Hospitality + Architecture corner, RH+A was showing the new ReNew-LD line dimmable LED Retrofit Assembly.
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 Center 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 specialize 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.
PRG, the global partner of choice for the world’s leading entertainment and event producers, designers, and creative talents, announced today the debut of GroundControl Longthrow™ (GCLT), a revolutionary new product addition to PRG’s GroundControl™ Followspot System. In addition, PRG has announced Mbox v4 software for media server professionals as well as enhancements to the RH+A ReNEW-LD–a line dimmable LED Retrofit Assembly. PRG’s new product lineup will be showcased in Booth #2236 with daily demos and hands-on access to products provided during LDI 2016 held this week in Las Vegas, October 21-23, 2016.
“Our goal is to be the market leader across all product categories offering our customer a single-source solution for the most innovative, functional, high-performance, intelligent products and services,” stated Jere Harris, Chairman & CEO of PRG.
Chris Conti, Product Manager for GCLT, added, “At this year’s LDI event we’re very excited about introducing our new GCLT, a precision engineered automated luminaire, built from the ground up to have a small footprint, big feature set, high output, and fully optimized for long throw followspot applications. The GCLT is not just an incremental improvement of a traditional followspot. It’s going to revolutionize a category that has seen very little innovation over the past 30 years.”
GroundControl™ allows designers huge flexibility in where to locate their followspots and the operators can be safely located on the ground within the venue. In addition to the safety benefits, the GroundControl™ Followspot System also does away with or minimizes “seat kills,” the need to remove seats to create traditional followspot positions – a revenue bonus for venues.
PRG’s new GroundControl Longthrow™ (GCLT) Luminaire is a precision engineered automated luminaire, built from the ground up to have a small footprint, big feature set, high output, and fully optimized for long throw followspot applications. The GCLT feature set includes an ultra-narrow, 2º to 6º zoom, variable frost, a dichroic cross fading CMY color mixing system, variable dichroic color correction, framing shutters, and an iris; as well as full pan and tilt control. All of these features are remotely controlled by a GroundControl Followspot Controller from up to 2000’ away, keeping the operator safe while giving designers more creative tools and options for placement. The GCLT changes the fundamental way in which big long throw followspots are employed by changing the dynamics of safety, rigging, accessibility, and even trucking costs as well.
Experience the all new Mbox v4 software— With live in-booth demos in LED Video, projection, and multiple output systems. Recently used on the Drake ‘Summer Sixteen’ tour, Mbox v4 is a must-see for any media server user looking for a simple, robust solution that provides professional results.
Improved UI: Mbox’s revised user interface provides new controls for patching, output setup, mix setup, and preferences. And the UI now supports independent windows for each output plus the setup window.
Increased Playback Layers: In a dramatic upgrade from previous versions, Mbox v4 increases the number of playback layers in each version of the software along with the maximum content size and output size to allow for 4K playback and output, enhances the pixel mapping, and allows for up to 32 independently mastered outputs (Mbox Designer).
Updated Playback Engine: One of the most significant upgrades to the Mbox software is the heavily revised playback engine. The switch away from QuickTime technology to AVFoundation has unlocked new potential within the software, enabling more layers for simultaneous playback, playback smoothness, both 4K playback and output, and more outputs. With these updates, the software can more efficiently and effectively manage additional pixel mapping capabilities like group mastering and merging, plus the new configurable sources for pixel mapping.
Also on the LDI Show Floor from PRG:
The new RH+A ReNEW-LD— LD Line Dimmable LED Retrofit Assembly + the Bullet 2.0 focusable and compact LED luminaries for a range of architectural and entertainment applications.The line, which includes a daylight and tungsten white light version and a powerful UV blacklight spot, has been installed in a wide variety of themed entertainment, retail, and architectural lighting projects.
The all-new PRG ProShop— Professional Used Gear Website. Come by booth #2236 for a quick tour of the new site with expanded category offerings.