International News

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23/04/2019

PRG sets the tone and convinces with new, high-quality audio technology

At the end of March 2019, there was a new arrival in PRG's Hamburg warehouse: state-of-the-art, high-performance and high-quality audio technology! The equipment was first used at this year's LEA Awards and went on to be used at Prolight+Sound 2019 in Frankfurt's Festhalle — and the difference could be heard! Not only did the Highlight Show impress audiences with a magnificent light show and spectacular special effects, thanks to the new technology, the sound quality was also excellent.

In the USA, PRG has been a pioneer in world concert touring for several years already, equipping large concert tours with its high-quality audio technology. It is not only the quantity and variety of the technology that is impressive, above all it is the performance! PRG in Nashville has developed a special process which is used to put the equipment through its paces before and after each use.

  

After every tour, the equipment is subjected to quality control checks, tested, serviced and cleaned. In the specially developed "Boom Room" the loudspeakers undergo various frequency and sound tests. These are used to ascertain that every loudspeaker corresponds to the specifications of the original manufacturer. In addition, the functionality of all cables is systematically tested by trained staff. With the help of unique, web-based software the quality control processes are standardized for each piece of equipment, so that all PRG locations across the world can have access to this data, ensuring uniformity among quality control testing. Packing is also an important issue: PRG guarantees packing and storage that is "tour-ready", since, above all for tours with changing locations, it is important that the technology is competently and protectively packed to ensure that the audio equipment can be loaded and unloaded quickly, without becoming damaged in the process.

Through all the standardized processes and checks, PRG ensures that the technology it uses functions without any problems, the sound is delivered in the best quality and an efficient workflow is made possible.

And the best part: as of now PRG can also offer the same service to its customers in Europe, the same quality standards and the same high-performance, modern audio products, which are suitable for every production size. Alongside Meyer Sound LEO and Meyer Sound LYON loudspeakers, PRG now has the LFC 1100 in its inventory. In addition, the console inventory has been expanded to include the digital SD10 and SD12 models. More equipment will follow. In addition to these new products, customers will also benefit of specialist knowledge and support.

With this know-how, the large pool of technology, knowledgeable personnel, and the specially developed processes, every concert, every tour and every event can be supported. The goal is to develop a first class touring and audio event division in Europe. With this extra division, PRG can now offer full 360-degree audio service in Europe too.

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PRG invests in Clay Paky
12/04/2019

PRG invests in Clay Paky Scenius Unico and Scenius Profile

PRG brings fresh impetus to their moving lights range and invests in Clay Paky Scenius Unico and Scenius Profile fixtures.

Clay Paky, part of the OSRAM group, is a world level reference brand in the sector of professional lighting systems. Over the course of its history the Company has been awarded a total of 45 prestige international prizes, recognitions of the innovation and quality of its products and manufacturing processes. Clay Paky's headquarters are located in central-northern Italy, in one of the nerve centers of the European industrial system.

Scenius Unico

This fixture is renowned for its multifunctionality and quality of light. It can be used as a powerful spotlight as well as a beautifully performing wash light, and therefore is a top choice for lighting designers and clients in a wide range of professional sectors of the event industry. It is a highly appealing fixture for its light quality, which has a very high CRI and 6500 K output color temperature, generating a powerful beam of concentrated light with a minimum beam angle of only 5°.

Scenius Profile

The Scenius Profile is the top of the range beam shaper. Its optical reflector was especially designed to make the beam uniform avoiding herewith the typical hotspot and its focus tracking system will concentrate the light efficiency that you wish to project, including the focus that can be set to fully automatic.
With 6 rotating gobos and 8 fixed, this CMY fixture is perfect for any set, be it theatrical, tv studios or large events.

These products are now available for our clients in our PRG equipment pool.

To round up this acquisition, Clay Paky and PRG have reached a collaboration agreement testifying the evidence of the mutual respect that binds both companies, after so many years of constant relationship articulated in different forms and having supplied PRG & VER with their fixtures and know-how.
Through this agreement, PRG will benefit of direct access to Clay Paky & ADB products, dedicated technical support and technical trainings to PRG staff to optimize lighting fixture usage, maintenance and priority spare part delivery.

Pio Nahum CEO of Clay Paky states: ‘“Our Global Account Agreement, in addition to being an opportunity to strengthen the reciprocal position on the market, where both Companies already operate globally and with success, represents a unique occasion to improve our skills and offer our customers innovative solutions with higher added value”

Gary Boyd, Executive Vice President & COO EMEA of PRG adds: ‘Clay Paky has developed professional lighting fixtures since 1976. The lighting designers were increasingly wishing for the Scenius Unico and the Scenius Profile fixtures and we are convinced that this will perfectly serve our customers’ needs and add an extra dimension into the PRG fleet!”

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09/04/2019

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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01/04/2019

PRG supplied lighting for the ENO’s 
outdoor rooftop corporate event at the London Coliseum in support of Comic Relief

PRG once again was at the forefront of outdoor corporate events, by lighting up the London Coliseum/ENO in support of Comic Relief (Red Nose Day) back on the 14th March. The lights were installed as part of a switch on, to celebrate the national charity event which took place on the rooftop showcasing an impressive, set up, one in particular to mention, was lighting up the rotating ball (the Coliseum emblem), inspired to look like a round red nose, giving the event an interesting, and quite quirky take on promoting the charitable cause. Since its formation the ENO has been instrumental in giving opportunities to entertainers and promoting entertainment around the world. It seemed fitting to do something at the London Coliseum to promote Comic Relief in a way that would make the them stand out in a positive light. PRG’s corporate division, delivered a solution to make the event a complete success.

 

What was supplied to light up the Coliseum for Comic Relief?

PRG used VL3500 Washes to light up the rotating ball, to make it appear as if it was a lit up red nose. SGM P5’s were used to wash the sides of the ENO tower. In addition to this, Colour Blast 12’s fixtures were used to fill in the Lion details on either side of the ENO tower.

 

#SeeWhatWeCanDoTogether
PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions. To find out more about what we could do for your next event, get in touch at prg.com/uk. 

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23/03/2019

PRG Supplied Lighting, Video, Rigging & MoveCat Motion Control for Fatboy Slim’s 
‘In The Round Show’ Arena Tour

Fatboy Slim recently launched his hugely immersive “In the Round Show Tour”, where he scheduled to play 6 cities throughout the UK! Fatboy Slim’s aim was to create the biggest dance floors turning our favourite arenas into unique nightclub experiences full of rave ushers & a live smiley face experience. 
It’s been 20 years since ‘You’ve Come A Long Way’, 17 years in fact, since he played the infamous Big Beach Brighton. The man behind the alias, Norman Cook, rose to prominence as part of The House-martins in the 1980s before, forming Beat International, finally adopting the name “Fatboy Slim” for his solo work. His debut album, ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’, was released in 1996 and was followed rapidly by 1998's ‘You've Come A Long Way Baby’, which included the major smash hits 'The Rockefeller Skank', 'Praise You', 'Gangster Tripping' and 'Right Here, Right Now'. Slim, is well known for being at the centre of spectacular live shows, innovative music videos and huge report-to-the-dance floor tunes. As a solo act, Cook has won 10 MTV Video Music Awards & Brit Awards throughout his career to date!

Fatboy Slim’s 2019 ‘AT THE ROUNDHOUSE’ UK tour, kicked off in London on Thursday 21st Feb, at the SSE Arena in Wembley, and followed subsequently at Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester before he concluded his final arena stops on the 1st March, at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham & finishing up in Dublin.

Lighting Designer, Stephen Abbiss (who has worked alongside Fatboy Slim for nearly a decade) alongside Proper Productions, was keen to ensure the video on stage during the performances, became a prominent feature within the design. Since Norman mixed completely live on stage, the success of the show’s visual element relied on clear, direct communication between Steve and the tour’s digital content creator and video operator Bob Jaroc, which needed a lot of preparation in terms of knowing exactly which tracks Norman was going to play. A Robocam was used on stage next to the DJ set up, to allow a live feed of the upcoming tracks, so that the right video content could be shown on screen.

 

So what was provided to bring the rave to life?

PRG’s highly experienced and dedicated crew provided lighting, rigging & on-stage video, and 𠊊lso installed the revolutionary ‘MoveCat’ Motion control create such a high-quality live arena scale event. The following lighting equipment provided consisted of: 32x Icon Beam’s, 12x Strike 4’s, 30x Sunstrip Batten, 16x Viper AirFX, 24x Q7’S, 6x GLP X4’s and 44x Clay Paky K20’s. Also included were 18 x 10ft Tyler Pre-Rig Truss. The control was an Avolites Arena. For Video, a Win Air9, curved screen was used as the main focal point above Norman. The video content was played through a Resolume media server.

One of the highlights was the new & in demand, MoveCat motion control automation system, which had 12 active 500kg hoists - controlled on an Expert-T III. It was deployed on the 6x lighting fingers (2 motors per finger) which were designed to go around the audience. All of the MoveCat components were optimised for particularly quiet operations, which was essential since they were going around the audience, thus creating, a much more physical immersive experience, not done in a live arena setting before.

 

#SeeWhatWeCanDoTogether

PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions. To find out more about what we could do for your next event, get in touch at prg.com/uk. 

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19/02/2019

PRG Helps Celebrate Chinese 
New Year In Illuminating Style, For 
Its Parade In London’s Chinatown

PRG UK, were delighted to help celebrate Chinese New Year in illuminating style, for another consecutive year, for its annual parade in the heart of London’s China Town. On Sunday 10th February, an influx of people descended the streets of London’s West End to join in the vibrant celebrations – organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) with support from the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council, marking the Year of the Pig. The capital’s festivities are the biggest of their kind outside Asia, having begun as a small community event in Chinatown more than over 30 years ago. Today however, the occasion has evolved into something more full and bright, where it has become synonymous with colourful parades, and its, energetic live entertainment!

Our immensely, experienced crew provided lighting, rigging & onstage video, to bring 
the cultural celebrations to light and life. Consisting of the renowned GLP impression X4S (which features 7 RGBW high power LED’ – being 15 watts each, and has a 7-50 degree zoom optic), allowing for a quick pan/tilt movement onstage were one of the notable pieces of equipment to mention. In addition to this, Icon Beam lights were supplied, with an array of GLP X4 washes. All of the lighting equipment mentioned above, was controlled from the iconic & cutting edge and often regarded a favourite within the industry - Grand MA 2 desk. In terms of the video equipment supplied, a ROE MC7, 7mm Led was enlisted, which was controlled via Catalyst.

PRG UK, managed to supply cutting edge in-demand lighting/video technology and rigging to ensure
it remained the preferred supplier for technical event services, and to be a major player in bringing such an established main event, for everyone involved in Chinese New Year 2019 in London. #SeeWhatWeCanDoTogether

PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions. To find out more about what we could do for your next event get in touch today.

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18/02/2019

PRG Once Again Helps Create Light, 
With A Spectacular “Starburst” Display 
At This Year’s ICE Conference 2019

PRG UK, were enlisted by Cinimod Studios, one of the UK’s renowned agencies for cutting edge, experiential lighting design/creative installations, to help produce an imaginative, visual display as a physical, focal point for their client, Microgaming. Since Microgaming were the headline exhibitor at the ICE Conference 2019, the UK’s largest B2B gaming exhibition (at the ExCel centre), which ran from 7th-9th February. Our highly experienced crew, were eager to not disappoint and deliver something that would be a memorable highlight for everyone to see.

It took approximately two days to construct the intricate centrepiece dubbed: “The Starburst”. 𠊌onsisting of 576 x Revolution Blade LED Strips L 0.9m 9 (3’), which were then built into 72 x spokes consisting of 8 x blades per individual spoke, to form the iconic, shape. Behind the light and magic, what really makes the eye-catching fixture so “revolutionary” in its own right, is its limitless opportunity and wide variety of applications in which it can be used. Due to its unlimited mapping capability, it can allow for countless, creative looks, either in long lines or faceted curve shapes, making it a truly versatile, and exciting piece of equipment!

 

So how was the light show achieved?

Each blade was mapped using 2 Brompton Tessera M2 LED processors. The content was then played from a Resolume media server driving them. Not only this, Cimimod Studios had installed a 50-inch LED screen with an interactive element, where it allowed users to actually control the colour strips of the “Starburst” fixture, creating a more dynamic unique and experience – A wonderful display of Light & Technology, showcasing what they can do together. #SeeWhatWeCanDoTogether

PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions. To find out more about what we could do for your next event, get in touch.

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18/02/2019

PRG Supports Autosport 2019 in a Celebration of Motorsport at the NEC

January saw Network Productions showcase the latest innovations from the world of motorsport. Held at the NEC in Birmingham, the event took place from 10th-13th January 2019, and uniquely catered for both industry professionals and motorsport fans alike.

Headed up by Account Manager Richard Pow, the PRG team were on hand throughout, to support this show-stopping celebration of automotive and performance engineering technology. Helping to put the wow factor into many an impressive display, our team supplied cutting edge tech for the four-day event.

Rich Pow said, “for 2019 we utilised the large laser projectors, creating bigger, brighter and even better screens for the viewers in the live arena.”

PRG utilised two 45x8m screens, blended projection using 12 PRG Barco Units, as well as our cutting edge UDX 4L32K lasers. In addition, full catalyst video control ran through a lighting road hog desk during the event.

Network Productions took the capabilities of this impressive venue to the next level. Hall five was transformed into a Live Action Arena: the UK’s largest indoor race track. Seating 5,000 visitors, this was a true ‘petrolhead heaven’, where visitors could enjoy sixty minute shows featuring driving demonstrations, races, stunts and guest appearances from some the biggest talents of the racing world.

Dave Beel of Network Productions said, "it’s great working with PRG as their team is very professional and help us deliver the event year on year to the high standards expected by our customer. The Live Action Arena is a true immersive experience with a variety of motorsport categories on display, from grassroots to the latest racing machines.  This year we celebrated the Evolution of Racing demonstrating the progressive nature of motorsport, through both the cars and people." 

The 2019 FIA World Rally Championship was also launched as part of the epic event, in partnership with representatives from some of the biggest teams in rally driving.

Ford M-Sport World Rally Team, Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team, Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team and Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team all revealed their new cars, and spoke to visitors about the 2018 championship, and their predictions ahead of the hotly anticipated season-opener in Monte Carlo.

Autosport International 2019 was attended by some of motorsport’s most famous faces, who took part in on stage interviews, meet and greets and autograph sessions with visitors.

Lando Norris, the youngest winner of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr, former F1 driver David Coulthard, Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle and BRDC British Rising Star Billy Monger were just some of the stars taking part.

As well as providing unforgettable entertainment for motorsport enthusiasts, Autosport International incorporated trade-only days, supplying motorsport industry professionals with unmissable networking opportunities.

Autosport International has been held at the NEC since 1991. Next year, the event celebrates its 30th anniversary between the 9th and 12th January 2020. Watch this space for another incredible celebration of motorsport, with cars and exhibitors from every level of motor racing.

PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions. To find out more about what we could do for your next event, get in touch.

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24/01/2019

PRG Ideas Exchange January 2019: Theo Gentilli and Robin Shaw, Warm Street

The PRG Ideas Exchange is a series of monthly invite only events, which has been designed to delve deeper into the minds of some of the most creative people in the events industry, for an exchange of inspiring ideas.

In January our guest speakers were Theo Gentilli and Robin Shaw, the founders of Warm Street, a highly specialised culture marketing agency that connects brands with the youth and music market.

Warm Street’s ethos is simple: They believe a generous and sustainable value exchange between brands and music culture is key to cultural relevance. They advocate using culture in a long term way to enrich and enhance consumer's lives, this can drive real, tangible results that are 300% more likely to drive market share improvement and 60% more likely to drive profit improvement. (IPA 20 year study 2018)

 

The Story of Warm Street:

The story of Warm Street can be condensed into three key, rather wonderful moments:

Just Jack was all about building an institution for the love. It wasn’t about money, but somehow did well, and did make money. It became massive. So much so, that it was able to sell tickets all its 10th birthday with no talent announced. A great example of how we build cultural capital over the long term and the party is still going today (14 years strong) as a key part of the UK’s cultural landscape.

In the early days, Red Bull headhunted Warm Street to help concept and curate some events. They were invited back to support Red Bull nationally the following year this was the beginning of a four-year ongoing relationship with the brand, and the beginning of the agency as we know it.

 

 

Hubrick is a tech app that launched in the UK last year. Warm Street was challenged with producing its UK strategy, and as part of this, created some interesting examples of cultural IP. Warm Street listened carefully to the environment and the need states of talent and consumers, and created a bespoke football tournament that played to young people’s desire to play with artists and artists’ desire to engage with their fans.

 

SO WHY IS CULTURAL CAPITAL IMPORTANT TO BRANDS?

Young people are losing faith in social media

We’re seeing the implosion of social media right now in a big way. Users feel over-targeted by ads, tricked by marketing ploys and anxious about their presence there. They feel like they’re feeding a social media beast and have no choice but to comply.

Today’s youth are going through a period of self-realisation that the world they live in was not created by them, nor for them (Protein Youth Report 2017).

 

  

So, how can brands fit into this picture?

Against this context, we’ve seen many brands step in to position themselves as a positive force for good for young people. Whilst this can be applauded in principle, many don’t fulfil their bold claims and little is done in practice. What occurs, then, is a feedback loop of distrust. Young people don’t believe brands and think brands are appropriating their causes to sell them more product. It’s an ever increasing feedback loop where distrust breeds purpose which breeds more distrust. Against this backdrop, cultural capital is a way for brands to actually play a positive role and cut through.

 

 

Patagonia recently, and quite quietly, donated its $10M tax subsidy from Donald Trump’s reform to climate change initiatives.

 

Stormzy has always articulated having a purpose but this year used his platform to create a Cambridge scholarship and an imprint with penguin books, to provide a platform for a new generation of underrepresented authors to publish their work.

  

Consider culture and capital together

The key idea is to consider culture and capital together. The two are not traditionally united, but the metaphor works well as a template for how brands can and should engage with culture. It takes a long time to build this up. That doesn’t mean the brand doesn’t benefit from short term benefits in the lead up, but it won't get the benefit of a longer term commitment to culture immediately. Once you have cultural capital it doesn’t disappear immediately. Longer term strategies engender longer term results and ROI. Red Bull have been building their cultural capital for years. Red Bull book an artist and that artist will play for cheaper, they are excited to tell their fans they are playing for Red Bull, their fans are excited to attend and share it to their friends. The entire brand ROI is heightened. Alongside this, hidden influencers, who don't have thousands of followers on instagram but have massive influence, like club owners want to stock Red Bull so this closes the feedback loop where the product is seen & trialled online, at a heightened brand experience and then in real life at a cultural event (for example its the only brand present at Fabric which welcomes half a million cultural consumers through their doors a year).

 

Theo and Robin presented a toolkit to help really understand a project's cultural and capital fit. For a copy of this toolkit please email allison@warmstreet.com

 

The PRG Ideas Exchange is a monthly, invite only event. If you want to find out more about this and what PRG could do for your next event, whatever its size, talk to John Montague or Andy Johnston.

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18/01/2019

PRG Shifts Motion To The Highest Gear On Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds


When the 40th anniversary arena tour of Jeff Wayne’s musical version War of the Worlds was announced, the shows production manager, Steve Nolan, called on PRG once again to provide automation. This proved the perfect opportunity to showcase the state of the art Movecat automation system which PRG has recently invested in.

 

The show elements operated by the VMK S 500 and VMK S 1250 motion hoists consisted of the iconic 3-tonne, 35-foot tall Martian Fighting Machine which was manoeuvred on the stage and a huge arched bridge running through the centre of the arena which was lowered over the audience during the show. This is where the hoists SIL3 safety factor, currently the highest on the market, really came into its own.

The Movecat control desk is optimised visually, which makes programming easier and the touchscreen allows to easily select individual motors, for ease of programming and running. Its 3D graphics enable our team to easily generate and program complicated shapes, such as raking multiple motor trusses, and it can even trigger cues from DMX and time coding.   

A much smoother set of cues can be programmed and run, thanks to Movecat’s motor zero speed capability. Not only can the Movecat V-Motions be placed on the truss, they can also be suspended from a head cable length of 70 meters in a rack backstage. Both vertical and horizontal motion are possible with Movecat. Built-in load cells in the hoists also enable the team to safely move large items over the audience's heads which is where the SIL3 automation system really comes into its own.  

All Movecat components have been optimised for particularly quiet operation, which is essential when being used in shows such as War of the Worlds.

Movecat connects all operators, enabling our teams to easily integrate motion signals and synchronise them with video and lighting cues. Cooperation between the motion operator, the light operator and the video operator has never been better. 

PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions. To find out more about what we could do for your next event, get in touch.


Photo Credit: Roy Smiljanic

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Simon Harrop, Founding Director of The Aroma Company
05/01/2019

PRG Ideas Exchange December 2018: 
Simon Harrop, The Aroma Company

The PRG Ideas Exchange is a series of monthly invite only events, which has been designed to delve deeper into the minds of some of the most creative people in the events industry, for an exchange of inspiring ideas.

In December, our guest speaker was Simon Harrop, Founding Director of The Aroma Company. Simon is an expert in multi-sensory brand marketing. His business provides strategic brand development and promotion through the sense of smell to brands.

 

 

 

Simon spoke about the ways in which multiple senses combine to make even more compelling branded experiences. The Aroma Company is a leading innovator of scent marketing technology, and Simon and his team have been globally recognised as industry experts.

Established in 1993, this small, unique and close knit team has built close relationships with agencies, retailers and the world’s global consumer goods companies. Anyone looking to improve their brand identity and presence in marketing campaigns using the sense of smell are their kind of customer!

 

 

Research has shown that of the five senses smell is the sense most linked to our emotional recollection. So, when linked to a product, it can reap dividends. Studies have shown that 75% of emotions are triggered by smell which is linked to pleasure, well-being and memory.

The Aroma Company enables brands to put this information to great use in terms of their own promotion and marketing campaigns. Incorporating scent into communications can enhance the connection with the brand, influence the buying process
 and get consumers talking about and interacting with the brand and campaign.

 

 

Five Fascinating Facts About Our Sense of Smell:

At the breakfast meeting, Simon Harrop shared some intriguing facts about our sense of smell.

1. Powerful emotions and memories are triggered by smell which is handy when you want people to buy your products. One of the most evocative smells from childhood is the smell of wax crayons. A survey found that 85% of all people remember their childhood when they smell Crayola crayons. When Crayola recently tried producing these products without their distinctive scent there was uproar!

2. The sense of smell is the first of all our senses to develop. Even before we are born, our sense of smell is fully formed and functioning.

3. The human brain can process roughly 10,000 smells in an area the size of a postage stamp, each triggering a neural response.

4. The smell of a new leather jacket or pair of shoes makes most people happy. But to some people a new car smells best of all. An artificial “new car smell” is sprayed inside new cars that lasts for six weeks. And while not everyone can own a Rolls-Royce, at least you could get the smell. The car manufacturer has reproduced the scent of the 1965 Silver Cloud and sprays it under the seats to recreate the smell of a classic Roller.

 

 

5. All over the world, top hotel chains have devised their own signature aromas. ‘Sheratons’ smell like fig, clove and jasmine; Westin lobbies go for white tea while the Four Points venues smell of cinnamon. Montcalm in the UK have used Simon’s expertise to create their own ‘scent butler’ where guests can choose what smell they want their room to smell of!

 

And Did You Know...

Our mood will increase by up to 46% if exposed to a positive picture
Our mood will increase by up to 23% if exposed to a positive taste
Our mood will increase by up to 29% if exposed to a positive touch
Our mood will increase by up to 65% if exposed to a positive sound
Our mood will increase by up to 75% if exposed to a positive smell

 

 

Harrop gave guests a sneak peek behind the scenes at the Aroma Company, with examples of recent projects the team have worked on:

 

Tiffany & Co’s Immersive Christmas Installation

A Christmas campaign for Tiffany last year saw the Aroma Company work on an immersive Christmas installation to go into St Pancras station in London. Tiffany needed the Aroma Company’s expertise in diffusing the fragrance, making sure it was safe and ticked all the boxes and paperwork to make it satisfactory for TFL.

Simon’s team worked with Tiffany’s fragrance oil and created cartridges to put into scent diffusers, programmed to release fragrance at a beautiful ambient level at specific intervals for commuters and shoppers to enjoy. The diffusion kit was built into the ‘presents’ and base of the tree, so the tree not only smelt beautiful, but looked incredible. A multi-sensory, immersive Christmas extravaganza!

 

 

Visit York’s Scented Guidebook

Under the guidance of the Aroma Company’s sensory experts, Cow PR and their client Visit York were able to create the UK’s first scented travel guidebook to replicate the aromatic experience of twelve popular York destinations and events.

The events and destinations were matched to smells ranging from lavender fields, manure, Wensleydale cheese, to the peculiar smell of ghost (which was surprisingly realistic!) As well as the scents, the Aroma Company also produced the final guidebook, which utilised Touch to Smell technology. Gently rubbing or touching the scented pages released a generous amount of fragrance to sample.

 

 

Coca Cola’s Out-of-Home (OOH) Campaign

The Aroma Company worked with Exterion and VGL on London's Underground, this time, with Coca Cola and their limited edition Cinnamon Coke. The campaign took place over Christmas 2018, and was designed to take customers on a sensory brand experience as they left the station.

The activation included cinnamon-scented exit corridors and a vinyl wrapped escalator with LEPs (escalator panels) with the cinnamon scent having been designed and supplied by the Aroma Company.

 

 

The PRG Ideas Exchange is a monthly, invite only event. If you want to find out more about this and what PRG could do for your next event, whatever its size, talk to John Montague or Andy Johnston.

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18/12/2018

The London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

PRG worked in partnership with Shorty Productions on the 64th annual London Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November.

The project began back in the summer, when our team first started talking to Tom Shaw of Shorty Productions. Tom chose us for the project as we already had a strong working relationship with the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which would be hosting the event. We’ve also been involved in some of the production for this event in the past.

The brief was to work with Tom and Owen Pritchard-Smith of Spirit Design, to elevate the production of the event and provide options which would enhance the look and feel of the lighting, video and scenic layout at the theatre.

 

 

This presented two main challenges. Firstly, we needed to raise and refine the presence of the red carpet and building frontage for event attendees. We also required upgrades to the internal staging with scenic LED and lighting, to allow for more flexibility and greater potential to transform the space during the event.

PRG’s video and lighting services provided the solution. For the gala dinner, the entire stalls area and first half of the stage had been transformed into table seating, with the performance area for the event moved far upstage. We provided a Martin Viper Performance rig to replicate the over stage theatre house rig out into the auditorium, and create a consistent lighting cover for the dining area.

 

 

For the new stage position, a combination of PRG Icon beams together with GLP X4 Bars worked to provide both a soft theatrical wash to the stage drapery for the awards and dinner, whilst allowing a transformation of the stage with sharp dynamic lighting beams for the awards stings, performances and party.

 

 

Our video offering was designed to fulfil two main roles. It served as a communication tool for playing back event stings, and videos on the central Lighthouse X3 3.9mm LED screen, and with the ROE MC18mm Hybrid to create video banners to brand and transform the scenic layout of the stage.

Playback was provided by both a Catalyst Media server for the structured awards ceremony and an MBox Media server linked to the lighting console for the performances and party, to ensure the video content linked seamlessly with the lighting. Using the ROE MC18mm Hybrid also gave us an opportunity to transform the stage area into a dance floor, using the blinder pixels to change the banners into a unique glimmer effect for the after party.

For the red carpet, P5's were used to lift the building frontage with a generic 2K Fresnel lighting rig within the red carpet structure, providing both heat and lighting for the attendees. PRG Icon beams were then used to help lift the front of the red carpet and create a sense of event in the outdoor space.

 

 

Cameron Bannister was the Account Manager on this project, whilst Dana Read and Ben Hornshaw provided on-site project consistency over the 36 hour install, show and de-rig in their roles as the onsite managers. Sam Healey headed up the lighting team and Nathan Avery took charge of the video team.

Leon Dickens worked as the Catalyst programmer, liaising with the end client and content maker during pre-production, and on-site for the rehearsal and show. Stephen Price and Dhyaan Parikh provided fantastic asset and logistical support throughout the project, from pre-production and demo builds right up to the final event install and reconciliation.

Bannister told us that this project stood out for its collaborative approach to pre production and prep, which was key to making the awards ceremony a success. He said, “it was imperative that a clear, open communication chain was created with the theatre and the client from the outset. A thorough approach to pre-production and scheduling meant that the whole team were pulling in the same direction, in a controlled and properly resourced environment. This positive culture cascaded throughout the team, making the event a pleasure to work on.”



Bannister added, “working with Tom and his team at Shorty productions has been an absolute pleasure. His energy and passion to push design and creativity and raise the event in a collaborative and well communicated environment with his suppliers filtered throughout the team. It’s been a pleasure to play a part in the events success. I look forward to working with Tom and his team again soon in the near future.”

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Gary Numan’s Savage Tour
16/12/2018

Gary Numan’s Savage Tour

Since last October, PRG has been working with Gary Numan, in partnership with Production Designer and Production Manager, Luke Edwards of Cue Design. PRG supplied lighting, video and rigging for the Savage Tour, which takes audiences on a journey through a post-apocalyptic world.

Numan’s shows are known for spectacular visual displays and impressive creativity, with most of the elements of the production being based on lighting or video technology. Cue Design has been working alongside Gary for the past four years, designing collaborative lighting, video and laser packages for the iconic shows.

The Savage tour itself combined Numan’s renowned industrial synth sound with powerful, emotional performances from The Skaparis Orchestra and the huge talents of the Kantos Chamber Choir, creating a high impact, spectacular rock show.

Creative Director Luke Edwards began the design process by conversing with Numan on what the look and feel of the show would be. He then developed renders based on these conversations. Numan went on to tweak the renders and add his own personal touches, ready for the designs to be brought to life at venues across the UK.

The end result was something Edwards was incredibly proud of. He said, “we were the world premiere of Avolites Synergy which in itself was great. I also took a risk by putting no spots or washes in the overhead rig but just using X4 bar 20's which worked out incredibly well!”

Edwards told us he gets his inspiration everywhere, from nature and art galleries to the sights and sounds you experience just walking around in cities. This year, he’s been most impressed by the lighting creative for Bruno Mars, telling us it’s the “best show [he has] ever seen.”

For the Savage tour, PRG supplied GLP products which helped to make Edwards’ vision a reality, such as the Xbar 20, X4, JDC Strobes, PRG Icon Edge & PRG BAT pre rig truss. Our Lighting Project Manager was Leigh Yeomans, with Daniel Briggs working on lasers, and video was managed by Nilkanth Patel. Bradley Stokes was Crew Chief, supported by crew members Dan Everitt and Tom Prew. The Tour itself was managed by Dave Dupuis.

Luke Edwards of Cue Design said, “Our Account Handler, Rob Watson, really looks after me and understands the importance with building relationships with people. PRG is wholly people-based and it’s lovely. They have supported us endlessly to make this production happen. For me, that relationship and level of trust is invaluable.”

“I see Rob as part of my crew as I do my crew chief or any other member of crew. He is instrumental in getting these shows to work.”

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prg invests in movecat motion hoists
05/12/2018

PRG invests in Movecat Motion Hoists

PRG invests in Movecat motion hoists — VMK S 500 and VMK S 1250 — innovative and notable for their unusual flexible handling, whilst satisfying the highest safety level on the market.

MOVECAT

With their remarkable features, VMK-S hoists represent the elite class on the world market and are recommended for all state-of-the-art applications in locations such as in TV studios, theatres and event venues demanding maximum performance and safety combined with the widest possible bandwidth of uses.

VMK-S hoists have the possibility to move both horizontally and vertically and can move live artists; they can be controlled at variable speeds for way- and time-synchronous runs. These high-speed hoists (from 10 m/min) in combination with a V-Motion Powerpack are capable of speeds ranging from 0 to 40 m / min. In addition, its control desks are optimized visually, which significantly facilitates programming.

Gary Boyd, Executive Vice President & COO PRG EMEA comments: “Working with Movecat over the last six months we have established a great partnership in variable speed and safety technology. We have been able to create new products at a PRG specific working with Movecat here in Stuttgart and these new products and developments will lead to a great partnership across both companies!”

Movecat fulfilled PRG’s needs going forward and proved that it was a future proof product and the safest most compliant product in all markets at this time.
They are currently the only kinetic solutions on the market to have received the Safety Integration Level (SIL3), meeting the highest safety standards.
Oliver Nachbauer, CFO Movecat stipulates “Both PRG and Movecat are looking for solutions for their clients and their requirements, working together on our products and their specifications to service these unique requirements clients have. I am very much looking forward to the partnership with PRG and the challenges we might get.”

By adding these products to the portfolio, PRG can offer an even wider range of fully integrated solutions, serving clients more creatively given the wide range of possibilities as well as the most recent and safest solutions on the market!
Motion signals can now be synchronized with video and lighting cues, which will positively reflect on the cooperation between the motion operator, the lighting operator and the video operator.

A first batch is available as from November 2018 and will further be supplemented during the month of March and June 2019. The Movecats will be featured for the first time during Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of ‘The War of the Worlds’ in the UK, operated by our trained PRG crew.

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