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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PRG Adds New Absen Aries Series to Rental Inventory

PRG the first rental provider of AX 1.5 LED product in North America

NEW YORK – AUG. 19, 2019 – Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, has added 100 square meters of the recently launched Absen Aries Series - AX 1.5 - to its global rental inventory. Absen AX 1.5 is a narrow pixel pitch (NPP) display designed to meet the growing demand for sub-2mm fine pitch LED in rental staging.

“We are delighted to be the first to offer our rental clients around the world the Absen 1.5 LED,” said Scott Hansen, PRG’s Chief Asset Officer. “We’ve seen an increase in the demand from our corporate clients for a reliable, high-resolution LED screen and with its superior definition and color purity, the Absen will be a valuable addition to our LED product offering.”

The AX 1.5 supports HDR10 (high-dynamic-range) standard allowing for a much broader range of colors. It also features the latest in Integrated Matrix Device (IMD) and Common Cathode (CC) technologies. IMD offers four-in-one-pixel installation and a panel that is 2.5 times stronger and more robust than conventional LEDs. CC improves brightness and contrast with better heat dissipation, consuming 20% less power. The panels are provided with corner edge protection, increasing reliability and reducing maintenance on-site. And the 16:9 aspect ratio (384 x 216 pixels per panel) that means that clients can use 4K and 8K resolutions at a standard size without customizing their video source. The Aries AX 1.5 is ideal for high-end corporate events, auto shows, e-gaming competitions and the broadcast industry with its reduced pixel pitch, high resolution and good off-axis viewing angle.

“We are thrilled that PRG will be amongst the first companies in the world to be able to offer customers the new Aries 1.5mm. With PRG’s breadth of clients from broadcast to corporate meetings, it will be exciting to see all the possibilities that PRG has in store for the AX 1.5,” said Larry Lipsie, Senior Sales Manager of Rental and Staging for Absen North America.

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Backstreet Boys BTS Video Series

Join us for an inside look at the Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour in this exclusive 6-part series. PRG goes behind the scenes with the producers, designers, choreographers and the boys themselves as they have their first look at the stage design and dance their way through rehearsals. Producers walk us through design concepts, share what it took to visually represent 25 years of Backstreet Boys songs, and explain how PRG has become a part of this tour’s DNA.

Interviews include Lighting Designer Graham Anderson, Production Designer Dan Mercer, Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, and PRG’s own Randy Hutson and Michael Drew.


View the full series here.

Production Designer / Production Manager: Dan Mercer 
Lighting Designer: Graham Anderson 
Creative Directors: Rich+Tone Talauega
Videographer: Edward Platero, Platero Visual

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Fortnite World Cup

Fortnite World Cup's Executive Producer Steve Kidd and Show Designer Guy Pavelo wanted to make every one of its 13 million live viewers feel like they were inside the game. They take us through the numbers: 240,000 pounds, 240 hanging points, 1,300 fixtures, and 38 trucks to bring this rapidly growing gaming phenomenon to live audiences.

Check out how they accomplished their mission with PRG's support.

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PRG Opens VER Camera Prep Facility in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK—July 22, 2019 – PRG, the global leader in entertainment and event production solutions, and its division, VER Camera, known for industry-leading expertise and inventory in cine and broadcast camera, lenses and accessories, announce the opening of a new camera prep facility in Brooklyn, New York. With an eye to the burgeoning Brooklyn and surrounding media community, the new 25,000 square foot facility is designed to meet the unique needs of film, scripted and unscripted television, sports, music, special events and live broadcast production professionals working in the New York area.

Located on the third floor at 147 41st Street, in the Industry City complex, the well-equipped facilityincludes camera check-out bays, an oversized freight elevator, and a convenient ground floor loading dock. The easily accessible location also provides clients with savvy, factory-trained camera prep staff, experienced lens technicians and camera engineers, as well as 24/7 tech support. 

Clients have access to one of the world’s largest inventories of professional motion picture and television cameras, lenses, and support gear. Whether the need is for ARRI, RED, Sony, Panasonic or other specialty cameras for a feature film or episodic, a dozen camcorders for reality programming, an array of LED walls for an Enhanced Environment, a 35Live! 4K cine-style package, or other production challenges, the Brooklyn facility and expert team is at the ready.

 “We love Brooklyn and the creative vibe that’s all around”, says Carl Cook, VP of Television & Film.“We understand that this is not a one size fits all business. That’s why we offer such a diverse array of the finest motion picture equipment and support it with our experienced staff who really get what it takes to meet our clients’ specialty requirements. From small productions to major features that benefit from our global network, we plan to become a valuable asset of the Brooklyn production community.” 

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PRG and 3D Live Bring Holographic 3D to Live Events

LOS ANGELES – JULY 29, 2019 – Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, and 3D Live, Inc. announce an exclusive partnership to provide 3D LED technology to live event clients. Via this partnership, PRG will offer Los Angeles-based 3D Live’s patented “holographic” 3D LED display technology to concert, corporate events and e-sports clients and 3D Live will exclusively use PRG’s LED walls on its productions.

“PRG is known for providing clients with the most innovative technology so we are excited that PRG is the only production company in North America that can offer 3D Live’s 3D LED display technology,” said Nick Jackson, senior vice president at PRG. “Most people have never experienced augmented reality such as this in any setting. Our clients will certainly want to incorporate this holographic technology for an entertainment experience like no other.”

3D Live’s systems deliver an immersive visual experience with far superior brightness, color, contrast, and extreme 3D depth relative to projection-based displays. 3D imagery leaps off the screen, enveloping performers and immersing audiences in a way not possible with any other visual technology. The experience can be compared to augmented reality without the expensive headsets, easily scaling to thousands of audience members simultaneously with low-cost, customizable 3D glasses.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with PRG, a renowned leader in the live events market, to deliver a whole new kind of experience for audiences,” said Nathan Huber CEO of 3D Live. “The type of holographic realism our technology offers creates a level of immersion that is truly unrivaled and we can’t wait to start sharing it with PRG’s clients. “

Incorporating 3D LED display technology is relatively simple, cost effective and provides a huge impact on audiences. It has a flexible, easy-to-use design, is based on modular LED tile technology and can be built to any configuration on a display that has dual 2D and 3D functionality.

3D Live was recognized with the Pollstar award for Tech Enhancement of the Year (2018) for its work with the musical artist, Flying Lotus, and the company’s technology has been featured in concerts and tours with Big Gigantic, 2 Chainz and other musical acts.

PRG and 3D Live’s partnership will support upcoming Flying Lotus dates in Chicago, New York San Francisco, Toronto and other cities this Aug. and Sept. as well as Big Gigantic in New York in Aug.

For more on the partnership and technology visit us here!

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Wild ‘n Out Designers and Producers Talk Mbox® Workflow, Lighting and the Benefits of Shooting in Atlanta

MTV’s hip hop cypher meets comedy club show, Wild ‘n Out, premiered it’s 13th season on July 7. Creator Nick Cannon hosts a team competition with celebrity guests including Wiz Khalifa, Monica, and Marlon Wayans this season, with each episode also featuring a musical performance. PRG provides lighting, rigging, LED, and media servers for the long-running show, which has made Atlanta its home for the past four seasons.

Screens Producer Eli McKinney

Screens Producer Eli McKinney was brought on the Wild ‘n Out team the first year they decided to upgrade to a bigger video set.

“I brought in the PRG Mbox®, at that time it was the 3.5 machines, and PRG consoles for control. It was a completely new workflow for them. Being able to have unlimited resources where you could just change the graphics and be in a completely different location or environment was amazing for the gaming and comedy elements,” McKinney explains. “We worked with the executives to really set the look for them.”

Screens Producer Eli McKinney working on content that is ingested into the Mbox system

Three seasons ago, the executive producers requested to put a video behind the entryway with the contestants. McKinney came to PRG Account Executive Lauren Paul and told her that he’d love to see something bright that would still allow them the ability to do the video.

“Lauren suggested hybrid walls, brought them in and everyone loved them. We still have them in today. It’s a really cool collaborative client-vendor-client relationship working together to create new stuff.”

Mbox programmer Darren Barrows actively programming video cues on V676®

The benefits of the Mbox workflow is something McKinney returns to in conversation.

“I could have an animator in Germany working on something, render it directly to the Mbox, and have an image up for approval in minutes,” he explains. “This is a beautiful part of the Mbox workflow: it gives us flexibility so we are never in a place where we feel we cannot do anything due to technological limitations. Six or seven years we switched over and have not looked back.”

The screens are a vital part of the set, as they are used for game clues, music performances, and creating environments.

“The screens have almost become a part of the cast! PRG was able to offer cool options with the new Mbox with more layers and more responsiveness. This has worked out great because Nick Cannon and the executive producers are really forward-thinking, open-minded people. When we pitch things to them, they are open to it. And when they pitch us ideas, 99% of the time we are able to do it because of the technology. It’s been a really cool progression with them.”

McKinney says PRG’s worldwide presence and knowledgeable, dedicated sales team keep the relationship between vendor and client strong.

“It’s been really great having PRG in the back pocket when we want to try new things. Last year, we did the video floor which was something John Gilles studios was very interested in. Lauren jumped in and showed us different product options and it became a reality. It looked great and added a lot to the show. Having a vendor who is willing to be part of the collaboration and conversation and is able to suggest ideas and technology allowed us to see a potential we would not have otherwise known.”

Lighting Designer Matt Ford

Matt Ford started as the Lighting Designer for the show in 2016 and has been with Wild ‘n Out for four seasons. The rig has grown substantially to currently have close to 300 moving lights.

“When you see this set, the scale is more like a large arena rock concert than what you’d imagine for a sketch comedy show,” Ford says. “We shoot the stage as if it is an arena and line it with vertical sections of Sunstrips. We have 230 of those, which give a lot of the visual backbone to it.”

Wild ‘n Out episodes usually feature four games per show, with three of them changing from show to show, so an important part of the creative process is giving every game a different look. At the end of every show there is always a musical performance, so there is a need to be able to seamlessly transition from an improv environment with game play to a performance environment. Ford designed the rig to be able to accommodate all of this.

“The challenge always from show to show is budget,” he says “It’s always a challenge of trying to accomplish your lighting goals with the amount of money you’ve been given. PRG is always great at finding creative ways to achieve those goals. Jeff Javier helps us look at substitutions that achieved both our aesthetic and monetary goals.”

Javier has similarly positive things to say about the Wild ‘n Out crew.

“What we do in our industry is very challenging but Matt, his gaffer Tommy Carey, best boy Juan Romero and the rest of the crew make it a pleasure,” Javier says. “They are all so talented, flexible and fun to work with.”

The need for flexibility is also imperative in the rig itself, because each act can be different, and the performers tend to run all over the place.

“In this particular show, it’s important that literally everything in break is automated so we do not have any conventional fixtures. Key lighting and everything are automated,” Ford says. “The meat of the key lighting is done with VL3500s as spots. The PRG Best Boy® GroundControl™ Spots are the other very important fixture we have.”

Ford described a particular moment this season where one of the performers went out into the audience during a musical performance.

“Because we had an automated fixture that could flip around and light the guy, we were able to follow him. Had it been a traditional Follow Spot, the operator would have been restricted by the basket. So, the PRG GroundControl has really been a life saver on this particular thing.”

Ford estimates that this is one of the largest lighting rigs on any MTV series.

“The support that we get from PRG is fantastic and having one vendor that supports both the lighting and rigging is very helpful. I love using them,” he says.

Lighting Programmer Paul Lennon programming on PRG’s proprietary V676 lighting console.

PRG’s Atlanta Presence

“Having a large footprint in Atlanta has been really beneficial in allowing us to respond quickly to any last-minute needs and requests for the Wild ‘n Out Team,” explains PRG Account Executive Lauren Paul. “We also have a deeply cultivated network of local technical talent that allowed us to support the LED video portion with 100% local talent – saving production thousands in travel costs.”

“When the show moved to Atlanta, we were able to roll out there with the same gear and level of support that our team had come to expect,” McKinney agrees.

Now in season 13, the show keeps getting bigger every year.

“With the help of PRG and Lauren, we have really helped the team evolve and grow the show into something amazing.”

LED Crew:
Luke Lewis – Project Manager
Eric Petty
Pablo Moreira
Curtis Luxton
Tyler Korsak
Nic Roc

Lauren Paul – PRG Account Executive, Video

Lighting Crew:
Matt Ford – Lighting Designer
Paul Lennon – Programmer
Tommy Carey – Gaffer
Juan Romero – Best Boy
Marco Padilla – Lead Tech

Jeff Javier – PRG Account Executive, Lighting

Written by: Erin Bates
Photos by: Peter 

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Q&A With Steve Lieberman: From Underground King to One of the Most Respected Lighting Designers in Electronic Music

Steve Lieberman designs the lighting rigs for multiple stages at Insomniac’s installments of Electric Daisy Carnival all over the world, from Las Vegas to Tokyo. The lighting designer has been there to illuminate the rise of electronic music in the mainstream. He got his start producing and lighting underground dance parties in the 90s. Today, his designs for tens of thousands of festival attendees still manage to capture the industrial grittiness of the raves his career started with. 

We sat down with Steve to talk about his recent design for the Circuit Grounds at EDC Las Vegas which featured 1,100 active fixtures, his inspirations as a designer, and what he’s got coming up this year.

Alive Coverage for Insomniac

PRG: Hey Steve! Thanks for sitting down and chatting with us. EDC Las Vegas looked awesome this year and we were so excited to work on it with you. Can you tell me about this year’s Circuit Grounds design and what you drew your inspiration from?

Steve: Circuit Grounds is Insomniac and EDC’s main production stage, so it needs to be large format, very edgy, electronic and digital. As the name suggests, it’s a very in-your-face, aggressive style of environment. This doesn’t necessarily reflect the style of music that is played there, but the show is meant to be very avant-garde and production-based. Philosophically, we always start knowing that it is going to be metal work, LED video, special effects, lasers and will have zero scenic elements.

Photo credit: Alive Coverage for Insomniac

PRG: I’d say that it has a more industrial feel than some of the stages that incorporate elements of fantasy. You say this doesn’t necessarily reflect the lineup, but what artists played there this year?

Steve: Industrial is definitely the perfect descriptive word for the stage design. Sonically, it’s heavy dance music, not techno, but more popular EDM-style music, people like Martin Garrix who played this year is the style of artist performing there because we can support 40,000 to 50,000 people in front of the stage. We can accommodate at least as many people as EDC's Kinetic Field.

PRG: How long have you been working with Insomniac and how did that relationship start?

Steve: I’ve been with Insomniac for 18 years or so, maybe a little longer. I’ve worked in the rave scene and the dance music scene since the early 90’s. When I moved to California, I had a lot of connections in common with the people at Insomniac and there weren’t a lot of people from my side of the industry who worked in this field. Lighting design is a small industry, so when I came out here it was a natural progression of the relationship for business.

PRG: How has it been seeing the growth of electronic music over the past couple of decades?

Steve: It’s been absolutely exponential, like a rocket ship.

Photo credit:Graham John Bellfor Insomniac

PRG: That must be exciting for you since that’s where you got your start.

Steve: Well, you know, when you make decisions based on passion and your own drive and interests as opposed to just purely financial ones - and then they still turn into success - it feels a lot better.

PRG: I bet that’s very rewarding. Speaking of financial decisions, do you have a favorite lighting fixture you’re using right now or anything you’re excited about in terms of gear?

Steve: It’s tools of the trade, not the individual pieces of equipment I get excited about. It’s the application and execution of a design. If I were to pick equipment for large shows, I like the Robe MegaPointe, Robe BMFL, Mac Viper, VL10s, Clay Paky Mythos. I really like the Color Force II LED Strip from Chroma-Q. I also like the Chauvet Strike Saber, it’s a pretty slick little fixture. Those are cool tools and we like those, but as a designer I totally accept substitutions. We don’t put a design and say we have to have this exact fixture; we will get something else from the vendor and save some money as long as it’s comparable, reliable and will do the job.

PRG: As a vendor, we appreciate that because it saves everyone money and resources. In your experience, what keeps vendor-client relationships strong in this industry?

Steve: Everything in this industry, and I think probably most industries, are relationship-based. So, while company A and B may have the same equipment, I’d rather do business with my friends if there isn’t a difference in the quality of the product. When you have someone like Burton Tenenbein involved, who is one of the nicest, kindest human being you will ever come across and also gets things done no matter what, that is a winning situation all around. He’s also a great team leader. He comes in, he’s got his hard hat on and gets a lot of respect from the guys. If he needs to get in there and help facilitate, he has no problem doing that. He’s got tons of experience and understands what it takes to get the job done. From a leadership perspective, he leads by example and is with us until the end. With myself as a part of the client team, and him as part of the vendor team, it’s a great relationship with a lot of connection there.

PRG: He’s a great guy, we are lucky to have him. What is next for you?

Photo credit: Graham John Bell for Insomniac

Steve: With Insomniac, we have EDC China, EDC Korea, and EDC Orlando. We are also doing Beyond Wonderland in Bogota, Columbia. SJ Lighting is building clubs – we just designed a place in Dubai, and another in Shenzhen, China. We are updating Prism Nightclub in Chicago. We are designing Wall Nightclub in Miami, and doing updates for XS in Las Vegas, the Hard Rock in Florida. I could go on! We are busy.

PRG: You sure are! I’m glad you could make time to connect with us.

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PRG Hires Jennifer Loef Forlano as Marketing Director, Entertainment

LOS ANGELES – July 19, 2019 - Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, is pleased to announce that Jennifer Loef Forlano has joined the organization in the newly created role of Marketing Director, Entertainment. In her role, Forlano will lead PRG’s marketing and communications efforts for the TV, film, broadcast and music markets.

Forlano joins PRG from NBCUniveral where she spent 15 years in various marketing roles. For the last four years, she was Director, Franchise and Marketing, Universal Brand Development. In that role, Forlano led development of global franchise plans and marketing initiatives for priority film, TV and subscription video on demand brands including Fast & Furious, America Ninja Warrior and DreamWorks TV Spirit Riding Free, overseeing strategy and creative development for 360° campaigns to amplify content and brand extensions across traditional, digital, and experiential product categories. She also managed creative expression, brand strategy, and consumer and retail marketing activations to engage audiences and drive sales. Prior to that, Forlano served as Manager, Marketing Strategy, NBC Entertainment where she developed brand campaigns for NBC network primetime scripted and reality shows, including The Voice and Chicago Fire. She also executed marketing and communication strategies including multicultural, cross-company, digital, grassroots promotions, and event campaigns.

In her role, Jennifer reports to Jens Zimmerman, Global Sales Officer, who said, “We are delighted to have an accomplished marketing talent like Jennifer on our entertainment team. Her experience in TV and film marketing will be instrumental to PRG as we deepen our expertise in providing production technology for designers, technicians and artists across entertainment sectors to ensure their vision brought to life.”

Forlano earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UCLA and a Master of Business Administration from Woodbury University.

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How Billie Eilish’s Design Team Turned Her Dreams (and Nightmares) Into Realities

"Part of what makes Billie so interesting, sonically and aesthetically, is her duality: the velvety voice that envelops you juxtaposed with these pounding beats. Both the moments of loudness and the subtleties of the production are paramount during lighting programming."


Photo credit: Jonathan Kingsbury 

Billie Eilish is having quite the year, to such an extent, that introductions feel unnecessary. Her rise to fame has been chronicled extensively. The countless think pieces on her androgynous style, and how it makes her a very different kind of pop star - human and unpolished - but still impossibly cool. All the details of her extremely Los Angeles upbringing, how she was groomed for this - the homeschooling, the working actors for parents, the singing and dance lessons - have been detailed and shared. You know her brother’s name is Finneas, and that he’s in her band. You’ve probably heard that they recorded her entire debut album in his bedroom, how the songs sample broken glass and Easy-Bake Ovens. You know that she’s 17 years-old. You’ve been impressed by the subtlety in her vaporous voice, and either appalled or enamored with the candid self-deprecation in her lyrics.

What you probably haven’t heard about is the technical production and set design on her tour.

PRG and VER are providing lighting, rigging, LED, automation and cameras on Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep World Tour. We sat down to talk with the team that designed the sets, stage and lighting for her live performance. They delve into the creative process, gear and iterations it took to bring her visions, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, all around the world.

Photo credit: Melissa Madison Fuller 

Early Creative Direction

Erik Anderson and Gordon Droitcour of Cour Design started working with Billie Eilish in late 2017, before anyone could write presumptuous introductory paragraphs about her like the one you just read.

The design duo has always been more solutions-focused. Their company started when they worked together to develop a way to trigger lighting using Ableton, which gave them early entry to the market of people doing automated lighting systems, and in turn, up and coming artists.

“The first tour we sent Billie on was with one of our automated systems and her dad was setting up the lighting because there was no LD to operate anything. Now she’s doing seven trucks. That’s happened in a 12-month period,” says Anderson, co-founder of Cour Design.

That 12-month period was the year 2018. That was the year Billie sold out her North American tour in under a minute. It was also the year her songs were streamed more than one billion times.

“If we are all being honest, she’s exceeded expectations. I’ve never seen it happen this quickly or organically. She built that momentum and it took off because she’s identifying with a fan base,” Anderson says.

From the logistics and design side, her rapid rise created a lot of challenges.

“You’re dealing with very short turnaround time and Billie is an artist who likes to be involved as much as she can,” Anderson continues. “She has a very particular idea of how she wants things to look and she knows her brand better than anyone else. It’s been exciting but also challenging from that perspective.”

Photo credit: Melissa Madison Fuller 

Worldwide 360 Solutions 

“VER was with Billie from the beginning and we always push as much as we can to keep the artist working with that original team when they blow up,” Anderson says. “Account Executive Anthony “Looch” Ciampa worked hard to hit the numbers we needed to. It was obvious early on who was willing to invest and wanted to make this work.”
PRG and VER knew that Billie’s team had a lot on their plates tackling both Coachella and the tour, which had a hectic schedule jumping back and forth between Coachella, Australia, the United States and Europe.

“Having a single account representative we could go to and talk everything through with has been a huge time-saver for us,” explains Anderson. “It’s also been beneficial to have a company that has the ability to work with the numbers on lighting side so they can make the video side work and vice versa.”

Photo credit: Jonathan Kingsbury

Cour Design partnered with Fireplay when it came time to debut Billie’s new, more involved touring design at Coachella. Led by Lighting Designer Nick Whitehouse, Fireplay is collaborative design and production studio that has worked with some of the biggest pop acts including Justin Timberlake and Kylie Minogue.
“We’ve been friends with Cour for a while and looking for a reason to work together,” says Whitehouse. “When they started work on the Billie project and it was growing so fast it was a good opportunity to do that.”

“The design side of it was a real collaboration,” Whitehouse says. “They had a concept they’d worked through with Billie, so we took it and put our Fireplay spin on it and added some elements that were unique.”

These Fireplay elements included taking the original concept, a flat wall with a riser in front of it and figuring out how to practically turn it 45 degrees into an opened cube with a video floor that surrounded Billie.

“Fireplay came and gave us some helpful tips on how to achieve the forced perspective with the raised floor,” explains Anderson. “We presented it to Billie the second week of February, knowing rehearsals started the second week of March. She was really happy with it from the beginning. We scrambled in every possible way to get it together and it’s been wild. We were able to pull together a really good team for content with us handling the creative direction for the show.”

LED, Scenic and Rigging

Lyrically and thematically, Billie and Finneas have created characters in many of her songs, including “Bad Guy” and “You Should See Me in a Crown.” They are playing with the identity mirrored in other aspects of her brand. Her vocals are often compared to Lana Del Rey, and her personal style to Tyler, the Creator. She contains multitudes.

Photo credit: Jonathan Kingsbury

“We wanted to create this immersive video environment because every song is a different persona and a different feel,” says Whitehouse. “Content is created to reflect the mood of the music and to frame Billie in a different way for each single track, so we were able to do complete shifts for how the show looked and felt simply by changing the video content.”
Billie depicts herself as the monster under her bed for the debut album art and has an ongoing theme of nightmares and horror. A rigged bed that moved around the stage and took Billie midair became the ultimate, standout scenic element on the tour.

“She has a lot of ideas that came through in both the content and set pieces, the bed is definitely one of those. She was really involved in driving this forward and we were very happy with how that worked out,” says Whitehouse. “When she’s up there performing on it, that’s iconic. When you look at her trajectory and process as an artist, the way her production and album went down, those features are the ones that most associate her brand with what we’ve done, and to me, it’s the perfect design that fits with her story and everything she’s trying to do.”

Photo credit: Melissa Madison Fuller 

Lighting Design and Programming

Lighting Director Tony Caporale teamed up with Dominic Smith of Fireplay to program the show.

“Dominic has a very elegant touch and it was great to tandem with him because we both come from different styles,” says Caporale. “I am the ramrod that comes in and stirs it up, while he balances me. I’m a little bit country and rock n’roll, while he’s worked with a tasty bunch of pop artists, people like Pharrell. Once we figured each other out, we really began to get into a good programming process. Understanding Billie’s music takes a moment, in the best way. Once we got cruising, he built the song cores while I built the beats.”

Caporale runs the show on a GrandMA 2 and uses a lot of timecode. If only he had more hands, he says he would do it all live.

“With how the beats are commanded for us in the programming, we definitely have to timecode it heavily. Billie loves all the beats to hit hard,” Caporale says. “When Finneas is producing the music, he has really intricate stuff in there and we really push it louder in the live show to give the fans that detail from the album. All the eerie sounds you hear -whether it’s a dental drill or a staple gun sampled in the song – he and Billie both like to have that accented in the lighting and it’s so fun to program and timecode that in.”

Part of what makes Billie so interesting, sonically and aesthetically, is her duality: the velvety voice that envelops you juxtaposed with these pounding beats. Both the moments of loudness and the subtleties of the production are paramount during lighting programming.

“I really learned how to accent things like that from Lighting Designer Roy Bennet. He taught me how to listen for the intricacies in songs,” says Caporale. “I’ve realized that it is part of the bonding process you develop with the artists over time. As the show has gone on, I’ve listened to the music more and added new stuff in. Billie and Finn love when you find those little things in the music and create a way to visualize them.”

Photo credit: Melissa Madison Fuller 

Timing, heavy strobing and the use of color are the three lighting elements for which Billie has a very clear vision, given she has synesthesia.

“She is quite specific in her color palette and we have to work to get the shading just right,” explains Caporale. “When she writes a song, she actually sees a color which is so crazy to think about from a lighting perspective. At the time, she’s not thinking about lights; she’s expressing a feeling.”

Billie’s music sounds different because it is, and that’s because the way she sees the world is different. She’s posted videos, explaining how she’s gone into a production session wanting to make something that “sounds like corduroy feels.” Eilish has used her synesthesia as a tool to make music that incites a physical response. She’s allowing her audience to perceive the world more like she does, by stimulating the senses in ways that blur the lines between cognitive pathways.

“On tour, we added the song ‘Bitches Broken Hearts’ and when we were programming the show, I turned the lights to red for this one, and she immediately told me it should be more of a maroon. So, on the MA2 console I just jogged my finger on the color picker and moved the shading around until she felt right, then locked in the color preset and knew we had our base hue to work with for the song.”

Caporale has learned that sometimes less is more, and that the best reward for all those hours of programming, tweaking and rehearsing is a visceral crowd reaction.

“It’s crazy how something so little can make the crowd go wild. There’s this part in that same song during the show, where Billie sings the second verse and there’s just this little “Uh” and the backlight turns to white to accent her and every single time there are girls in the front row who scream and lose their minds. It’s really cool and crazy to watch.”

Photo credit: Melissa Madison Fuller

World Tour

“The show is insane; the fans are insane. It’s been really fun to see the phenomenon grow around her as an artist. I don’t even know how to describe it because I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s a new teen pop idol, but a different type of pop idol,” says Caporale.

 “She feels like a once in a generation artist,” agrees Anderson.

Thanks to that, the tour has been extended and will continue through November.

“This tour, because of its success, has gone to multiple continents already, and the fact that PRG has been able to support this throughout the world has been integral to our ability to extend it,” says Whitehouse. “They’ve been a really great partner to Billie and to this team.”

Production Crew:

Production & Lighting Design - Cour Design / Fireplay

Creative Director - Erik Anderson (Cour Design)

Lighting Director & Programmer - Tony Caporale

Lead Programmer - Dominic Smith

Lighting Crew Chief - Jim Keegan

Lighting Techs - William "Flash" Roger’s, Lindsey Norman,

Nate Plotsky

Tour Manager - Brian Marquis

Production Manager - Bill Leabody / Nicole Massey (Leabody Inc.)

Set/Stage Designer - Cour Design / Fireplay

Stage Manager - Jayy Jutting

Video Designer - Cour Design / Fireplay

Video Content - Comix

Video Director & Disguise Programmer - Lewis Benfield

Notch Designer - Lewis Benfield

Video Techs - Tyler Thorton, Michael Boggs, Gerald "G" McDougal II

Rigger - Rai Rathor

Carpenter - Patrick O’Connell, Nate Poort

Automation - Ryan Mast

Production Companies:

Lighting & Video - PRG (Acc Rep. Anthony “Looch” Ciampa)

Staging - Gallagher Staging (Acc Rep. James Miller, Tye Trussel)

Video Content / Creator - Comix (Tom Brightman, Harry Bird, Sam Hodgkiss, Josh Gallagher, Lewis Benfield)

Trucking - Upstaging

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PRG Scenic Technologies Celebrates 100,000 Broadway Shows

NEW YORK – June 3, 2019 – PRG Scenic Technologies, a division of Production Resource Group LLC (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, is celebrating an important milestone in the company’s history – 100,000 Broadway performances supported. Founded in 1984 to develop new scenic fabrication and automation techniques for the live entertainment market, PRG Scenic Technologies is the longest continuously running theatrical automation shop in the United States. Its rich history of providing scenic execution and automation for Broadway and touring productions now includes more than 250 Broadway productions. Productions that Scenic Technologies has worked on have earned top industry honors including 30 Tony Nominations and 15 Awards for Best Scenic Design.

“PRG Scenic Technologies changed Broadway productions with the Stage Command® motion control system first used on “Phantom of the Opera” in 1988. Since then it has become the leading provider of rigging and automation, fabrication and technical and engineering services,” said Fred Gallo, President of PRG Scenic Technologies. “We are proud of our heritage in theater and our technological leadership.”

PRG Scenic Technologies’ master craftsmen and technical designers bring designers’ vision to life while pushing creative possibilities. PRG’s innovation and its ability to make the impossible a reality is demonstrated in current productions including “Frozen,” “King Kong” and “Wicked.”

For “Frozen,” PRG Scenic Technologies was the lead scenic shop and provided all the automation including some of the special effects. PRG created 136 effects including two giant, sub-deck turntables from which ice spikes rise; for Olaf’s trip to the beach, it developed special equipment that rises out of the floor and unfolds like a pop-up book. Specially designed scenery also includes a rope bridge covered in ice on which Anna and Kristoff have a dramatic scene.

PRG brought its full expertise in scenic automation to bear for “King Kong.” In addition to providing structural modification to the theatre so it could accept the load of the gantry that moves King Kong, PRG built the boat lift that rises out of the stage floor and created the performer fly effects – large vines that descend from 30 feet above the stage floor for performers to climb – and an LED drum wall, the largest on Broadway.

For “Wicked,” PRG was the automation supplier and created the famous levitation effect for Elphaba utilizing a custom designed, telescoping hydraulic actuation system and a performer securing device. Elphaba is instantly secured onto the levitator and is raised 20 feet above the stage while simultaneously moving downstage 12 feet. Her ascension appears seamless and integrates with the action. PRG has also supported subsequent productions throughout the world including Korea, Japan, UK and European tour.

Current PRG - Supported Broadway Shows:

• Beautiful the Carole King Musical
• Come from Away
• Dear Evan Hansen
• Frozen
• Harry Potter
• King Kong
• The Band’s Visit
• The Book of Mormon
• The Phantom of the Opera
• The Prom
• Waitress
• Wicked

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PRG provides worldwide 360° Concert Touring Services for Post Malone

Post Malone, who has captured the zeitgeist through his unique genre-blending musical style and introspective songwriting, is on a global tour. PRG is supporting the superstar worldwide by providing 360 concert touring services, including sound, video, lighting and rigging.


One PRG team


The initial contact and contract in the USA was taken care of by VER, which recently joined the PRG family. Their expertise with big productions in the USA has been indispensable for this tour. Thanks to its unique global presence and network, PRG is able to provide worldwide 360° touring services and apply the same high standards in all countries, across continents.

The crew comes from both the US and Europe and can count on local support and gear in any of the countries on the tour’s agenda.

Production Manager for Post Malone, Dennis Danneels, put it this way: “The PRG team, between Los Angeles, Vegas, Germany and the UK, were basically just taking the project and handing it off like an assembly line all the way down. We were taking advantage of all these different time zones to be able to complete this project in time. People were working right until the last minute of load-in.”

Global reach, local support

For the European part of the tour, our UK and German teams joined forces, working closely together, with UK providing video and light and Germany being responsible for the sound. Thanks to their ample experience in cross-national productions and great communication, this resulted in a seamless and smooth collaboration in which the client benefits from both the scale of PRG Group and the local presence and understanding of the market in each country the tour passes.

Stephan Paridaen, President and COO of PRG says: ‘from day one, this project has been about a collaboration to define the best, most fully integrated technical production solution that realizes the artist’s creative vision. We take that even further and service the tour globally on the ground with local, highly experienced crew and state of the art gear. It’s a service and a 360-degree solution.’

Video Crew Chief ‘Topher’ (Christopher Davidson) was delighted about the seamless support in the various countries. “One advantage of having a worldwide support system, like you have with PRG, is that I am confident that I can go anywhere on the globe and have the same caliber of people, gear, and the same support virtually 24/7 that is required in this industry.”

A new standard in large-scale concert touring

This cutting-edge approach to servicing large-scale concert tours on a global level is made possible by PRG’s unique ability to combine high standards of gear with specialists who work seamlessly together.

“There is incredible skill level with the PRG crew. The gear has been consistent day in and day out. We’ve had very, very few failures, and this is all the stuff that we ran for almost 24 hours a day for three weeks,” Danneels adds. “I’m really pleased with it from a financial stand point, it made a lot of sense, and it saved a lot of money.”

PRG wants to thank our client PostyCo and PM Dennis Danneels. We would like to extend our appreciation for our own Burton Tenenbein, responsible for the overall AE and lighting kit, Brent Dannen, who took care of the tour’s sound, and Mike Drew, supporting the tour’s video package. Also, a big thank you to the whole

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That positive sentiment echoed throughout the crew.

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

Written by: Erin Bates

Photo Credit: Brian Friedman

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PRG Unifies Global Research and Development Operations into PRG Innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by: Erin Bates


PRG Crew List

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

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

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

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Broadcast Industry Veteran, Andrea Berry Joins PRG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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PRG and VER Move Forward with New Corporate Structure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Catching Up With Nine Inch Nails Lighting Designer Paul Guthrie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written By: Erin Bates
Photo Credit: Brian Friedman



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PRG Case Study: Chipotle All Managers Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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