For the recent Canadian elections, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) took the opportunity too make some permanent upgrades to the production facilities in its Barbara Frum Atrium with the support of PRG. The atrium has been used as a remote studio location for special coverage as well as a rental facility for events held in the building, which is located at the CBC headquarters in Toronto, Canada.
The existing system was a mix of semi-permanent truss that covered about half of the atrium and was ground supported along with a mix of lighting, audio, and video equipment for events or television production that took place in the atrium. The CBC staff, led by CBC Technical Producer David Allmark and Lighting Director Tom Gall, worked closely with the PRG Toronto office who provided technical solutions for this project. “We had a semi-permanent truss system installed in the atrium,” explains Allmark. “What we ended up with for this show, is that we took the legs away and flew the truss from our skylight monorail system, which is 10 stories above the atrium. We also increased the size of the truss so it essentially spans the majority of the atrium now. This will be a permanent installation that will live on after this event.”
The CBC owns most of the production equipment that is being used in the atrium space and is supplementing with some additional purchases and some rental equipment. “We have a 12-panel screen along with 80 television monitors mounted on the trussing system from 40” up to 60” units,” Allmark continues. These will all stay in the space. For this event, we are using six projectors that will be projecting onto the scenic risers. All of the video is controlled via PRG Mbox media servers. We own two Mbox rack systems that PRG has built for us, a six-channel and a four-channel system along with three new Mbox licenses we just bought for this production.”
In addition to the Mbox media servers, the CBC team has rented a number of the PRG Best Boy Spot luminaires for Gall’s lighting for the election night production as well as supplementary LED luminaires. “We’ve rented the Best Boys a number of times,” Allmark says. “Our lighting directors really like them for television lighting; they have really good punch and color choice. We have spent a lot of time with the color correction in the Best Boys, which you can really tune in well for television work.”
Along with the Best Boys, PRG provided Martin Auras and Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlasts to match up with the lighting equipment that the CBC already owns in order to meet the needs of the election night design’s scale and scope.