Linkin Park continues to break new ground, with a string of No.1s and platinum awards, and audiences are clamoring to see the band in action on The Hunting Party tour. The band’s tour is again in the expert hands of long-time production manager Jim Digby. Digby in turn was delighted to extend his relationship with video services vendor PRG Nocturne for the tour, along with video director Skip Twitchell and the band’s DJ and visual designer Joe Hahn. The tour specified PRG Nocturne’s V-Thru, PRG’s proprietary display product which offers a wide range of design possibilities due to its incredible 66% transparency.
“We saw V-Thru on Nine Inch Nails’ tour and were immediately bowled over,” says Digby. “The great thing about transparency in this form is that video content and lighting interact so seamlessly, that it’s a whole new ball game for show design.”
PRG Nocturne originally manufactured the screen at the request of Nine Inch Nails’ production designer LeRoy Bennett who was looking for a way of achieving his vision and wasn’t finding it with the existing ‘low-res’ transparent screens. Working with Ron Proesel, technical designer for PRG Nocturne, they designed and delivered the solution with V-Thru, and Linkin Park is the latest benefactor of the technology.
“It was Joe Hahn who initially saw the potential,” says Skip Twitchell, who pilots a Panasonic AV-HS400A switcher during the show, alongside video engineer Jason ‘Spikey’ Harvey. “Joe had seen some clips of it and was fascinated by the transparency, so we put together this cube design where we have both a back and front surface that surrounds Joe and the drum riser, plus another area in the middle.
Twitchell explains, “Being far enough in front of the tour, we set up a V-Thru demo at PRG’s LA facility and invited Ghost Town Media, Linkin Park’s regular content creators, to see exactly what it can do. They liked what they saw and were able to visualise what they’d achieve with one screen in front of another. Consequently, they were motivated to produce some 3D-looking content that took the best advantage of the product.”
The standard sizing of each V-Thru panel is 4.5 feet tall with a fixed six foot width. Its pixel pitch is 28mm, however, due to PRG Nocturne’s custom lensing method, the end result appears much ‘tighter’ than 28mm, according to Twitchell, who is also a fan of the product’s tourability. He comments: “Aside from the fact that the frames holding the pixels are 66% air, the reason that they can be so transparent is that the header above the screen contains everything – power supply and onboard transformer – needed to run a full column, with the cabling trunked down vertical support rails.” The tour’s video crew chief and LED technician is Jordan Goodfellow.