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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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9/13/2017

PRG Production Tips #3

PRG Production Tip - #3 - "Don't Mix Software"
by Chris Conti

Software.  In this modern age, everything uses software to make it work.  What used to be limited to computers and cell phones has proliferated throughout our industry.  Lighting and audio consoles, moving and LED lights, audio and video processors, they all require software of varying types to work properly.  Even some of our core infrastructure like power distros, chain motors and networking gear now require software to run properly.  Software enables our equipment to continually improve with new features and capabilities through continued updates from the manufactures.  However, this is a double edge sword…especially when, mixing versions of software.   Trying to network something like lighting or audio consoles together with different versions of software can lead to all kinds of unintended consequences. Consoles can drop offline, lock up, crash, fail to store information, and even lose information and settings.  Basically, all things that lead to a show-killing disaster. 

So, Production Tip #3 is … Don’t Mix Software!  Things like consoles are relatively easy to manage software versions since we generally don’t have very many of them with us on a show. However, things like moving lights or LED’s are a lot more challenging as it’s not uncommon to have hundreds of them on a show.   This is further complicated when equipment is sub-rented from other shops to backfill shortages, as software versions can differ from one shop to another.  A show with a rig full of identical lights but with different versions of software can behave as if they were different types of lights.  To combat this, do yourself a favor, as you go through resetting the defaults and addressing your lights - take an extra minute or two and check the version of software that is being used.  If you find that your lights do have different versions of software, don’t freak out.  Obviously, you can upload and or cross load software so that everything is consistent.  You can also do some due diligence and go online and look at the manufactures notes on the software and compare the versions.  Sometimes, manufactures release different versions that are specific to hardware updates they may have done.  They also do updates that improve internal menus and settings.  If that is indeed the case then that would be my one exception where it would be ok to have a mixed rig of software.  As I said in the beginning, everything uses software to make it work.  To make sure that it all does work and that you have an uneventful show, check your software and avoid mixing if different versions cause different performance.


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Bat Out of Hell The Musical. Photo: Specular.
9/4/2017

PRG Supports Bat Out of Hell The Musical with Lighting and Video Technology

When Bat Out of Hell-The Musical Co-Producer Michael Cohl stood on a make-shift stage outside the London Coliseum at the press launch of Bat Out of Hell-The Musical in November, he declared his latest project, along with fellow Producers David Sonenberg, Randy Lennox and Tony Smith, and Production Manager, Simon Marlow, to be the biggest rock musical to premiere in London since We Will Rock You. He wasn’t wrong, positive reviews are plenty, with The Times calling Bat Out of Hell: ‘a crazy, wild child of a rock ‘n’ roll musical’, The Guardian declared the: ‘roaring choruses and fairy-tale plot are built for the ENO’s stage’. The Stage said: ‘Bonkers it may be but, hell, it’s pretty brilliant too’, adding: ‘although set in the future, in many ways it feels old-fashioned, like a huge, 1980s arena gig, intensified by Patrick Woodroffe’s blazing lighting.’

With Jim Steinman’s Iconic soundtrack, made famous by Meat Loaf, one of the most ambitious set designs to ever grace the stage of a theatre by Jon Bausor, an innovative use of video by Finn Ross, and an up-scaled, operatic lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe—Bat Out of Hell-The Musical has made a big impact on the UK musical theatre scene, which it will attempt to emulate when the show transfers to Toronto in October.

 

Set against amidst the ruins of a post-cataclysmic city, Bat Out of Hell-The Musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love. Jay Scheib directs this stampeding musical, which sees wild-eyes Strat, leader of street gang, The Lost, fall for Raven, the daughter of the dictatorial leader of dystopian city, Obsidian amidst the bombastic soundtrack, featuring classics such as: I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), You Took the Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad; and, of course, Bat Out of Hell.

Peter Marshall, Director of Theatre for PRG XL, oversaw the provision of kit to Bat Out of Hell: The show initially opened for a twelve-week run in Manchester at the start of the year, before transferring to the coliseum for the summer season from June to August. It was brilliant to continue our relationship with Producer Michael Cohl and General Manager Julian Stoneman again—after supporting them on Rock of Ages, and very exciting to work with Patrick and Finn, providing some of the latest technology on the market, including the Panasonic PT-RZ31K laser projectors. Bat Out of Hell was one of the first installs of these fabulous projectors in the world, which came straight from the Panasonic factory in Japan to the Opera House in Manchester.”

Associate Lighting Designer, Rob Casey worked alongside Patrick Woodroffe: “The overarching theme of the lighting for Bat Out of Hell is to achieve big, operatic backlighting which compliments Jon Bausor’s rugged set. We took a basic set of ideas from Patrick and theatricalized it using numerous positions overhead and around the set. The trusses are trimmed to around thirty nine feet, well out of view and capable of giving a steep-angled backlight, which Patrick is a really big fan of.”

Lighting Programmer Chris Hirst added: “The main workhorse lights we’re using are the Martin Mac Viper Performance moving lights, as well as GLP X4 and X4L LED lights, which we use to achieve a lot of the looks seen on stage. Additionally, we have Martin Atomic and HES Dataflash strobes, a variety of different sized Colorblaze LED battens, Icon Beams, Colorblast CB6 LED lights, and a substantial package of generic lighting fixtures in the rig. All the lighting cues are pre-programmed on a GrandMA2 console to timecode, which allows all the big, strobe looks, yet can still be cued through by a DSM.”

Bat Out of Hell-The Musical makes innovative use of the latest projection technology from Panasonic to add to the overall look of the set and lighting design. Peter Marshall explained: “When we specified the equipment needed for the show, it was clear that only the highest performance projectors would suffice. We opted for the Panasonic PT-RZ31K laser projectors to take on the bulk of the projection work. Being a laser light source, these units are incredibly efficient with a maximum lifespan of around 80,000 hours, suffering minimal light output drop off over the life of the lamp.”

Emily Malone, Video Programmer on Bat Out of Hell added: “The Panasonic laser projectors are brilliant, they’re very bright but also very quiet for a projector of that size, which means they are perfect for theatre. We’re running all the content through a d3 media server, triggered by a GrandMA2 console. The d3 is an incredibly versatile media server which gives us the ability to integrate content across three dimensions, and tie in to Notch, which we feed live camera footage through to apply real-time effects. The combination of using d3, Notch and a GrandMA2 console gives us the maximum amount of flexibility and allows the show to be run by one person, on one console—activating both lighting and video cues.”

Video Designer, Finn Ross, of FRAY Studio design, commented: “The video design for Bat Out of Hell summons the ruined world of Obsidian, the neo-futuristic city in which the show is set. The set is fully video mapped and constantly textured by video to shift us from location to location, in an abstract style inspired by the ruined Bronx of the 1970s. We also use a lot of live camera to present certain aspects of the show as if happening in a dream. We process the camera through Notch to give the image a heightened, dream-like atmosphere. Everything is sequenced in d3, making it very easy for us to rework whole segments of the show in visualization.” Working alongside Finn and Emily was Video System Engineer, Jonathan Lyle and Video Engineer, James Craxton, who designed and implemented the system to realize Finn’s artistic vision.

General Manager Julian Stoneman commented: “Once again it was a pleasure to be working with PRG on such an epic production as Bat Out Of Hell The Musical. The expectation from an audience pointof-view was going to be huge and with the designers that were employed, it meant that the finished product was going to be a class of its own. The designers along with PRG worked as a family, so the time and effort that was put in was never wasted."

Rob Casey described the challenges of adapting the set-up when moving between the two venues: “Moving from Manchester to London was a really big change, the Coliseum is considerably bigger than the Manchester Opera House, so some adjustments were always going to have to be made. That said, we had both venues in mind when designing the show, so very little of the lighting rig changed, with the exception of reconfiguring the way some of it was rigged overhead. When we were in the Opera House, the additional width of the proscenium arch in the Coliseum was marked on the wall, so we knew what would and wouldn’t be visible when we arrived in London. The transition between the venues was very smooth, because the core team was kept the same for both theatres. Production Electrician Rich Mence lead a team of seven production electricians to bring this mammoth production to the stage.”

 

Rich discussed: “I was really excited about working on Bat Out of Hell, I remember listening to my dad’s copy when I was really little, so to be given the opportunity to see it brought to life on stage was an exciting prospect. It’s not like a regular musical theatre show, being so loud and rocky. The load-in schedule for London was fairly quick compared to Manchester, where we had an additional couple of weeks to build everything and technically rehearse it, with the show still being tweaked during preview shows. Because we already knew how the show would run, we spent most of the time before previews adjusting the position of the lights to accommodate the Coliseum stage, which is much bigger than the one in the Manchester Opera House. I’s been a pleasure working with the whole team on Bat Out of Hell; everyone has played a vital role in making the show what it is.”

Rich continued: “The most challenging part of prepping for the show, was that we always had to have in mind that the production was going to move between two different theatres. Usually a show of this size would go into a venue and sit down for a prolonged period of time. We treated Bat Out of Hell like a tour in terms of infrastructure needed, the show tours all its own cable, distro and control networks, which isn’t always the case with a big West End show. Every element of the rig—electrics, smoke effects and pyro, needed to work in both theatres, and be practical to move. Building the rig in the modular way that we did, enabled us to move the whole lot between two cities with only minor alterations needed. Soon, the show moves to Toronto, so we will need to go through the process again, and then probably again after that when the journey continues.”


Peter Marshall concluded: “It may sound like a cliché to say that it was delightful to be involved with the show, but everything about Bat Out of Hell has been brilliant and a real privilege to be part of it. The music, design, people and experience have been amazing. The out of the box creativity shown by all the creatives involved have allowed us to showcase exactly what we can do combining lighting and video in the theatre. We wish everyone involved in Bat Out of Hell all the best for the remainder of their time in London, for the transfer to Toronto and beyond.”

Bat Out of Hell The Musical will play at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre from October 14th to December 3rd 2017.

Photo credit: Specular.

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8/28/2017

World Class Support for Mr. Worldwide

PRG has supported Las Vegas entertainment venues for two decades and in July one of the biggest names to hit the “Strip” called upon the company to provide lighting and video equipment - quickly. Pitbull was scheduled to launched his “Time of Our Lives” residency show at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in just three weeks’ time when PRG got the call to provide screens, cameras and media servers to support the initial eight-show run. Due to its large presence in Las Vegas and the ability to provide video and lighting, PRG could handle an expedited timeline. PRG set up a portion of the equipment in its facility and worked through previsualization which made the process easier for Pitbull’s design team.

We spoke with Pitbull’s Lighting and Production Designer, Tom Sutherland, about the show and how PRG helped bring his vision to life for the one and half-hour, high-energy concert.

PRG: What inspired the staging vision for Pitbull’s “Time of our Lives” show in Las Vegas?

TS: We wanted to play on the idea of the night club party scene - it is a high energy show with music all the way through. There is a big curve in the auditorium that means the stage is fully exposed from all angles - I wanted to create an immersive environment that the audience could feel involved in no matter where their seat was. In that way, the design worked to ensure that every seat got a different experience of the show. To help immerse the audience, we had a wraparound video screen broken up in sections with trusses full of a variety of lighting fixtures.

PRG: Tell us about the staging, lighting and video used?

TS: The AXIS is an 85-foot wide stage, the biggest theater stage in Vegas. There is a curved stage ramp outlined with Sceptrons where the dancers mainly are and a lift stage center for Pitbull. The stage gives a wraparound feel as it goes wall to wall and the curve really helps define the space.

I love putting as many elements into a design as I possibly can, I want to always be building and leading into something else. Features for this non-stop party show included strobes, color blocks, 24 lasers, pyrotechnics and lots of lights including, Icon Edge, Best Boys, X4, Sharpies and Spikies - everything was built to follow the 85-foot stage curve. I felt that every element of the design had to have its own moment. Lasers were used in contrast to the lights, video had big moments where the lights pulled back and vice versa. Programming is challenging for a 40-song non-stop concert but we used all the elements to take the audience on a journey throughout the show.

PRG: How did you work with PRG to bring the vision to life?

TS: I design with a range of products in mind both old and new. Once I put my design on paper, I am locked into that vision even though I know it isn't going to necessarily fit the budget. It then comes down to working with PRG to refine the equipment list, tweak and swap fixtures to fit the budget without compromising or stripping back my vision too heavily. This understanding is invaluable.

Having PRG’s presence in Las Vegas was a great help on this production, I was able to work in Pre Viz with my two programmers, Nick Hansen and Craig Caserta, while Todd Erickson [PRG] and his crew prepped the kit next door. This meant I could oversee the build and answer any questions easily before we arrived on site.


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8/23/2017

PRG Production Tips #2

PRG Production Tip #2 – “One Is None, Two is One” - Always Run Redundant Data Cables
by Chris Conti

When it comes to data cable I have a mantra I like to follow “One is none, two is one.”  Data cable is the central nervous system of lighting, audio, and video systems.  Without data cable the lights won’t turn on or move, nothing comes out of the speakers, and the LED video wall is just a big dumb Lite-Brite.  Redundancy is king…whenever I run one data line I always run a spare.  Obviously, it’s not practical nor cost-efficient to have a duplicate cable for EVERY data cable in the rig.  However, it is reasonable to have a spare on home runs from lighting trusses, speaker arrays, or video walls.  “One is none, two is one” was born out my experience that a critical data cable would, for whatever reason, fail several minutes before the show was about to start.  Having a spare in place, ready, and available enabled our crew to remedy the problem as quickly as possible while minimizing any potential delay to the show.  So, remember … “One is none, two is one.”

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8/3/2017

PRG Production Tips #1

Production Tip #1 – Reset Defaults On Your Gear Before You Do Anything Else!
by Chris Conti

Providing technical advice and assistance to clients and colleagues in our industry is a big part of what I do. It’s a labor of love…mostly labor, but I actually do love it. A common inquiry that I receive is about control issues with their lighting systems. Often the problem or problems they have can be attributed to some esoteric setting that a previous user buried deep somewhere in a menu. So, here’s my tip: Reset Defaults on all your gear before you do anything else. Whether it’s a dimmer, a moving light, an Ethernet switch, a node, or a console, by resetting the defaults you are restoring the device and all other similar devices in your rig to their factory settings. This does three things: (1) Restores the device to a known state by wiping out any odd settings a previous user may have used; (2) Generally restores the device to its most basic configuration; (3) Gives you a fighting chance that everything in your rig will behave the same way, since they will all be configured similarly.


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Tableau Conference On Tour 2017 London. Event Technology supplied by PRG. Photo: PRG/Alison Barclay
7/25/2017

PRG Provides Conference Technology Globally for Tableau On Tour

Premium business and analysis software company Tableau has a growing worldwide audience for their software. Supporting this audience, the organization holds conference events for their clients in a variety of locations around the world. Combining product presentations, education sessions, software surgeries, networking, and social events, Tableau Conference On Tour has spanned North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, with events in Tokyo, London, and Berlin taking place in 2017.

Supporting this program of events, PRG’s Director of Global Accounts, Nick Barton, is Tableau’s key contact for live event technology and services. He has worked with Tableau since early 2015 and has delivered 14 events for them to date.

For the events outside of North America, Nick leverages PRG’s global network, working with account managers in PRG’s locations worldwide to deliver Tableau Conference On Tour providing matched equipment and services across several countries. He travels to each event to oversee the production and ensure that the final delivery of the show meets the expected high standards.

Each of the larger events consists of a plenary keynote room, with smaller breakout rooms and social areas. To deliver their design, Tableau relies on Production Resource Group (PRG), who supply staging, lighting, rigging, and audio-visual technology and services for the events, as well as expert production staff and technicians.

For the most recent conference at London’s Tobacco Dock, Nick worked with UK Account Manager Rich Pow to provide all the show technology requirements locally in the UK.

Tableau aim to keep the design of their events clean and modern, and PRG support this, providing technical drawings and renders in advance, which can be refined to the client’s requirements.

The design for the London show included custom-built stage set and lecterns, and the use of large video screens in the plenary and across the breakout education sessions. Two large high resolution LED screens, used in split screen format, were situated on each side of the presenter. These displayed playback content and IMAG footage from the live camera. The live mix and output to screens was delivered using a Barco e2 screen management system.

To light the show, PRG utilized a combination of Tobacco Dock’s in-house lighting rig supplemented with a range of their own fixtures, including scenic floor lighting across the main stage. Crew Chief for Lighting was Dana Read, with Nathan Avery overseeing the video elements. Sennheiser radio channels were supplied for the presenters and a combination of wired and wireless Telex comms system was used for the plenary.

Breakout rooms across the site varied from a four-screen wide set-up in the Little Gallery, using Barco projectors and individual screens across the width of the room, to single Panasonic laser projector and screen pairings in the multiple education rooms.

Each breakout room included a custom-built lectern with in-built onstage switching system for presenting from a variety of inputs. Sennheiser radio channels were also supplied in each of the breakouts. Ben Monk oversaw the technical setups for all of the breakout areas.

A ‘surgery’, with Tableau Doctors on hand to help attendees with specific software issues, contained more than 20 workstations, and PRG supplied a pair of matched monitors for each PC.

Multiple plasma screens were used around all the Blend and Beats social and networking areas, including a rigged circle of plasmas in a central walk-through area. All of these displayed information, sponsor logos, social media feeds, and were used for relays of the keynote sessions.

d&b audio speakers were spread across the site ensuring all attendees were fully informed at all times, and between sessions could enjoy some chilled tunes from the Tableau DJ.

To ensure clarity of signal, PRG used an audio fiber system to feed into the plasma circle-truss area, as it was a considerable distance from the plenary.

Tableau’s next event will take place in Berlin later this year, where Nick will work with PRG’s team in Germany to deliver the show.

Photo credit: PRG/Alison Barclay

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6/5/2017

PRG Partners with Hudson Gray to Produce 2017 NBC Upfront at Radio City Music Hall

In May, PRG collaborated with Hudson Gray and production designer Julio Himede to provide scenic, lighting and audio visual solutions to create the architecturally-inspired backdrop for this year’s upfront pitch. Our team caught up with them during the installation of the set at Radio City Music Hall for a quick interview to discuss the inspiration for the set design and the PRG partnership. Here’s a quick recap: 

What was the inspiration behind the design for this year’s NBC Upfront? 

Julio: “The inspiration behind the design for this year’s Upfront was influenced by two things. First and foremost, the NBC brand and what it represents. The brand persona coupled with the understanding the large center screen was to be the real hero and focal point for the pitch, we began to look at how we could enhance the stage design without competing with the screen. We were definitely inspired by the building itself. To enhance the stage design, add depth and complementary visuals, we created descending panels reflective a Radio City Hall’s sun-like amphitheater design–drawing more focus toward the screen. The architecture of Radio City Hall influenced our color choices and scenic elements enabling us to present a very inspired, modern, yet cohesive look and feel. 

 Describe your relationship with PRG while preparing for the Upfronts:

Darren: “We chose PRG because of their ability to come up with solutions and to keep us informed every step of the way. The PRG team is in constant communication with you enabling me to keep NBC informed and confident everything is going according to plan. With PRG, there are simply no surprises. Because of their prep time and solutions mindset, they are anticipating potential challenges and managing them during the design and planning process. They are great about giving progress reports and photos that really give you a great sense of confidence and peace of mind, which is really important when you do something of this scale.”

This was a great partnership and team effort! We enjoyed working with the Hudson Gray team and with Julio Himede and look forward to a continued partnership.

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PRG Spaceframe
5/16/2017

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

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

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

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

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

SPACEFRAME features and advantages:

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

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

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

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

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

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5/9/2017

PRG Brings Polaroid’s 80th Anniversary to Life at CES 2017

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.

Magic Panels
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. 


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PRG-Atlanta-Workshop-1
5/3/2017

Technical Visual Effects Showcase of Cinematic Innovation Held in Atlanta Attracts Over 100 Area Lighting Designers

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. 

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5/2/2017

PRG's Chris Conti Named to the 2017 StudioDaily50

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! 
 
Browse the winners of the 2017 StudioDaily50 here: http://www.studiodaily.com/studio-50/
 
Check out the recent GroundControl Followspot System animated video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cihLz1YcCzw

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Gearhouse Broadcast at NAB 2017
4/27/2017

PRG Supports Gearhouse Broadcast Launch of SkyTechno with Exhibit at NAB

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.

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3rd PRG Alliance Summit 2017 - Frankfurt - photo: Detlev Klockow
4/11/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4/7/2017

Event Marketer, PRG North America ink exclusive Partnership for 2017 Experimential Marketing Summit

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.

ABOUT PRG

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.

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PRG Overdrive Teaser Image
4/3/2017

PRG OverDrive Interactive LED Lighting Solution Reinvents the Wheel for Car Process Trailer Sequences

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:

  • Iron Man
  • Oblivion
  • Hunger Games
  • Insurgent
  • Tupac - All Eyez On Me
  • Star
  • House of Cards
  • Apple
  • Pepsi
  • Toyota
  • Nissan
  • Volkswagen

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.

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Drake live at The O2, London. Show and lighting design by Steve Kidd and Guy Pavelo. Photo: PRG XL Video/Alison Barclay
3/10/2017

PRG Works with Drake’s Team to Deliver Lighting and Video Solutions for Boy Meets World Tour

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

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VectorWork at Rock In Rio 2016
3/8/2017

PRG and Vectorworks Talk Previz for Rock in Rio

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.


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PRG XL Video Favourite Video Rental Company TPi Awards 2017
2/28/2017

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

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.

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PRG Event Production Solutions for PTC
1/25/2017

Bringing A Big Idea To Life for PTC

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.


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andrea-bocelli-header
1/16/2017

Whirlwind December Tour with Andrea Bocelli

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.

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