News Blog

This section contains news stories, organisational announcements, case studies, reports from trade shows, and other news about our company and our work.

We also post selected articles, news updates, and share videos on our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and more.

17/05/2018

The Appointment Group and PRG deliver “wow” factor at One Big Night

When a luxury automotive brand wished to create one big event that would celebrate its achievements, and those of its retailers, it turned to PRG and The Appointment Group to deliver a memorable evening of celebration at The O2 for more than 1,200 guests.



The Appointment Group’s Nicole Unsworth, event manager, project managed One Big Night, a celebratory evening formed by merging two separate, smaller events. One Big Night was designed to celebrate a record-breaking year in the UK for the luxury car brand, in particular, new car sales across the country reaching an all-time high.

 



“The brief was to find a venue suitable for an awards dinner for 400 people on two consecutive nights,” Unsworth explained. “Unfortunately, the venue that the car manufacturer initially wanted [the InterContinental London – The O2] was not available on their preferred dates. I proposed the idea of merging the two events together and holding the event at The O2. Originally, we were looking at 800 guests, but the venue’s size and scale enabled us to invite more guests and increase capacity to 1,200.”

 

Memorable event
One Big Night provided the car giant with an opportunity to reward its guests with an event that had all the “style and glamour of The BRIT Awards”. PRG, the full-service technical specialist, and The Appointment Group, the event management specialist, worked in close collaboration to provide event management and technical production to the VIP evening.



More than 1,200 guests enjoyed the event at The O2, London, which saw a famous three-piece boy band perform and Dermot O’ Leary compere. One Big Night comprised a red carpet experience, Champagne reception, awards and dinner for guests and employees of the automotive giant. The Appointment Group took responsibility for overall event management and logistics while PRG – led by Emily Gibson, account manager, and Tom Walsh, project manager – oversaw all technical aspects of the large-scale corporate event. The Appointment Group had just three months to design, plan and execute One Big Night. PRG had one month to create technical elements that would not only “wow” guests but that could also be loaded in with a shortened timeframe. And it did.



Delivering the “wow” factor
PRG supplied lighting, rigging, video, audio, staging and signage. Furthermore, the event featured more than 500 moving lights, 988 LED tiles, four kilometres of fibre, 130 rigging points and a bespoke, interactive table plan. All of which required 283 pages of health and safety documentation. PRG used Kinesys motors to lift one of three screens, revealing the pop band, and BAT truss enabled the tech specialist to pre-rig the lights in order to achieve the “wow” factor production within a 12-hour load-in window. Gibson said: “Drawing on our experience in rock and roll, we specified kit that would deliver the ‘wow’ factor that the client desired. They wanted a BRIT Awards-style event, but we only had 12 hours to pull it together, so we used BAT truss, a proprietary product that allows us to pre-rig the lights, to help us get everything up in the air.” Unsworth continued: “PRG were incredibly professional, skilled in their areas and they had clearly allocated the best people for the job. All elements came together seamlessly – lighting, video, staging, projection, project management and creative content – which meant that One Big Night really was of the highest quality.” 



One-off experience
“This event is the most important date in the calendar for many of the guests and most of the details for the event were kept a secret from guests and we added surprising touches along the way,” Unsworth commented further. “From a shuttle service from the tube station, to a number of personalised gifts in their rooms, the opportunity to have their photo taken against the step and repeat wall, an open bar, a four-course dinner, an awards presentation – hosted by Dermot O’Leary – and world-class entertainment; it was certainly a night to remember for many.”  

She added: “The feedback has been phenomenal – people were incredibly overwhelmed by the scale of the event and it was definitely a one-off experience for them. For 1,200 people to dine in a venue as prestigious and renowned as The O2 with A-List entertainment is not something that many people experience so I think everyone felt privileged to attend. “The feedback from our client has been incredibly positive too and they were also overwhelmed and proud to be part of this event. It was definitely a team effort.”

 

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14/05/2018

PRG’s New Concert Touring Products on U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour

PRG’s New Concert Touring Products on U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour

Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers elevate the touring industry

LOS ANGELES – May 14, 2018 – Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations - Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers - which have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that respond to the needs of artists, tour designers and managers seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience.

“PRG has supported every U2 tour since 1992, and they always challenge us to be innovative with available technology or to create something new,” said Jeroen Hallaert, director of PRG Projects North America.

U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour is a follow up to the 2015 Songs for Innocence Tour for which PRG provided the video cage on the moving catwalk between the video screens. However, for the 2018 tour, U2’s creative team required high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens and an independent automated kinetic catwalk between the video screens. The purpose of the transparent LED video screens is to allow band members to perform amidst the LED walls (as during the 2015 tour) without creating a visual divide in the arena. It also provided the ability to integrate Augmented Reality into the show.

Further, the design team wanted the catwalk to be accessible by a moving staircase, and therefore the catwalk should move independently from the video screens. This added automated catwalk required more motors and equipment, thus adding weight. This meant PRG Projects had to find a solution to make not only high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens but also make it super light-weight.

PURE10

In response to U2’s challenge to create a transparent LED wall, PRG Projects revolutionized the way LED screens are built and created the patent-pending Pure10. Rather than mounting the printed circuit boards (PCB) holding the LED in standard clunky frames, PRG Projects sliced the PCB in strips and turned them 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side. This resulted in 75 percent transparency.

The added specially curated Augmented Reality scene-setter - triggered by the LED screen – required a transparent, high-resolution screen. The way PRG Projects chose to build the screen allowed for a 10mm pixel pitch. A pitch far superior than what PRG Projects initially imagined.

“The creative team and the band were looking for a LED screen that allowed them to use AR in the way they envisioned. Pure10 works so well thanks to the magic combination of the pixel pitch, the high transparency and the brightness,” said Hallaert. “The band now calls the screens and catwalk the barricage.”

Additionally, rather than metal fabrication to house or frame the Pure10, PRG Projects used knowledge gained from developing the SPACEFRAME® and engineered a fast-building system in carbon fiber. This resulted in the weight savings that the tour’s production team was looking for. It also gave free reign to the designers and the band to further use the automated catwalk creatively.

As with the innovative transport design for the SPACEFRAME, PRG Projects has advanced the way concert touring is taken on the road with Pure10 by maximizing space and volume in trucks, airplanes and sea containers. The number of trucks needed is cut in half compared to the 2015 tour. Further, when the equipment is used during the show, empty transport dollies fold, stack and roll away in the tiniest spaces. This allows for other departments to move around the venue more freely and makes for ergonomic and superior logistics for load-ins and load-outs.

Rolling Video Floor Riser

The Rolling Video Floor Riser is a revolutionary system in how it’s built and disassembled. Initially revealed last year, PRG Projects updated and upgraded it for U2 to be used as the round stage. Each riser is fitted with 2 LED modules offering a high resolution 4mm pixel pitch during performances. Each riser has integrated magnets to enable a speedy assembly - an LED Floor of up to 1,076 square feet can be set up in less than 20 minutes.

“The Rolling Video Floor Risers were developed to meet the short set-up and change-over times of LED flooring which is perfect for the concert touring and festival segment,” said Mark O’Herlihy, vice president of PRG Global Entertainment.

Not only do the Rolling Video Floor Risers dramatically reduce the set-up time for an LED floor on stage, they also are transported in especially fitted dollies, which contain six risers each. The dollies are 1.6 m in height, allowing shipment via airfreight on the lower deck, which drastically reduces the shipping costs.

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03/05/2018

#SaveStageLighting

Proposed Eco-Design Working Plan - EU Lighting Regulations

PRG Calls For Stage & Studio Exemption!


The EU’s Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019 would come in to force in September 2020. Put simply, only compliant control gear, fixtures and lamps could be sold going forward.

The proposed legislation has sent shockwaves across our industry and has triggered the creation of a #SaveStageLighting campaign, since every lighting manufacturer, supplier or individual working within the entertainment/lighting industry would be directly impacted.

Implementing this new legislation, which puts our industry on the same level as domestic lighting and appliances would result in tremendous financial stress.

Events like concerts, musicals, theatre, exhibitions, corporate events, TV productions, fashion shows, film shoots, and sporting events could go dark, as it would be illegal to supply new lighting fixtures and lamps that do not meet the new EU energy standards beyond September 2020 (including a minimum 85lm/W efficiency and a maximum 0.5W standby power consumption). That means that nearly every single lighting fixture on the market would be affected, be it discharge, tungsten or LED!
We understand from the proposal that our kit in use prior to Sept 2020 can still be used without being effected.

PRG aims to drive constant improvement and calls for a specific Stage and Studio Exemption!

As a forward-thinking business, PRG strives to improve the energy efficiencies of its own equipment by developing material in-house, e.g the PRG SPACEFRAME™ and the PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System, reducing the global footprint in terms of weight, space and handling. These factors reduce the number of trucks for transport, the airfreight load, the manpower needed, transport of manpower and the energy consumption. PRG also aims to push the envelope of efficiency working with lamp manufacturers and our optics used in PRG products.

Our global presence through our 41 affiliates and their teamwork reduces transport and manpower related costs, while ensuring the best support globally - decreasing our carbon footprint.
Furthermore, the PRG Alliance and its’ members, improve our energy efficiencies even more by supporting our productions within their regions.

Lighting designers, lighting manufacturers, programmers, technicians, venues, rental companies and service companies, as well as the artists and performers, are in need of a Stage and Studio Exemption.

Gary Boyd, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, EMEA for PRG said: ”I strongly encourage everyone in the live entertainment industry be it TV, Film, Theatre, Music, Corporate to sign the Change.org petition and most important to voice your concern through the EU online consultation by May 7. This is YOUR voice to the EU to make changes and petition for a Stage & Studio Exemption. Working with LightingEurope we will continue to make our combined voices heard. We need you to do your part!”

 

For further information or to sign the petition, follow the links below:

http://www.plasa.org/technical/lighting-regs.asp

https://www.ald.org.uk/resources/savestagelighting

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25/04/2018

PRG Boosts Corporate and Events Team with New Hires

PRG, the technical production specialist, has bolstered its corporate and events team with the appointments of John Montague and David Lawrence.

David Lawrence

Lawrence, a former project manager at XL Video and Creative Technology, joins PRG as Account Director where he will use his extensive AV experience to deliver high-end live events projects for a number of corporate clients. 


Most recently employed as solutions director at SMART AV, Lawrence will work alongside Montague, former production director at FIX8Group.

John Montague


Montague, who has considerable experience of live events, production and operations, joins PRG as Technical Sales Director, Corporate. Montague will draw on his vast visual and technical production expertise, ensuring PRG clients have access to experienced technical support to help guide on direct AV solutions.

Teresa-Anne Dunleavy, Chief Executive of PRG, commented, I am pleased to welcome John and Dave to the PRG family. Their appointments boost PRG’s corporate and events team and reflect our current growth in this area.

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 or all shapes and sizes. We employ more than 3,000 professionals worldwide, and have locations in the UK in London and Birmingham, and more than 40 international branches.

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25/04/2018

Event Production and Groundbreaking Tech Solutions for the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is as competitive as it is lucrative. It is estimated that an incredible 81.6 million cars will be manufactured globally in 2018. Automotive is a core part of our global business. PRG supply lighting and video technology as well as the rigging infrastructure to all the key automotive events around the world, including: trade shows, sales meetings, public exhibitions, brand activations and product launches.



“The knowledge and experience of our team, married with the extensive local and global inventories of the latest products enable us to work with event agencies, designers and manufacturers to deliver pioneering technology solutions for cutting edge show delivery.” Andy Johnston – PRG Business Development Director



Our technical experts, product specialists and event professionals are on hand to guide you through how to make best use of our lighting and video technology, and ensure that during production and pre-production, your event receives around the clock support.

Automotive brands we are proud to partner with repeatedly include: Audi, Aston Martin, Skoda, Bentley, Nissan, Lexus, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz. Applications for our video technology are endless. Enhance your event using one of our customisable LED video screens? Or really wow by projection mapping onto a car! We look forward to talking to you.



For information click here. 

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 or all shapes and sizes. We employ more than 3,000 professionals worldwide, and have locations in the UK in London and Birmingham, and more than 40 international branches.

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25/04/2018

PRG Puts The Wow Factor Into West End Eurovision

PRG helped bring the legendary battle of Eurovision to the West End last month. The exclusive night combined the excitement of eight West End shows and eight classic Eurovision songs, to the delight of a live audience and panel of celebrity judges.

West End Eurovision last dazzled the audiences of London’s Theatreland back in April 2014, so those lucky enough to get tickets had been anticipating the night for some time! Held at the West End’s legendary Shaftesbury Theatre, the unmissable show was part of a fundraising campaign led by TheatreMAD.



The show saw a variety of top West End casts challenge each other to perform legendary Eurovision hits. And not only did the night showcase the very best of Eurovision, there was even a special guest appearance by a past Eurovision Song Contest performer. As the show closed, audience members were invited to vote for their favourites via text, with Israel soon emerging as the clear victor! Trophies were then awarded to the Champions, the Best Ident Movie and the Best Creative.



PRG assisted the show’s lighting designer Tim Deiling, who has previously led the lighting design for highly acclaimed shows such as Guys and Dolls, American Idiot, Jack and the Beanstalk, Macbeth, Boiling Frogs and many more. Previously the Associate Lighting Director at the National Theatre, Tim has worked on live shows and films, and in 2008 was awarded the title “Young Lighting Designer of the Year” from the Association of Lighting Designers.



PRG supplied a range of top end kit for West End Eurovision, including an EOS 8000 console, Clay Paky Sharpy Beam 189W Blk, SGM Q-7 Rgbw Led Wash/Strobe Blk, Truss Tri Ltbeam 2.00m Mf, Truss Tri Ltbeam 2.00m Mf Blk, Truss Base Ltbeam Male Hd and Truss Base Ltbeam Sq Stb/M 12.5lbs.

The show proved hugely successful, raising over £50,000 and counting for The Make A Difference Trust, which raises funds for HIV and AIDS projects that build awareness and provide care, support and education in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa. Our team was delighted to support such a worthy cause, and assist in bringing the magic of Eurovision to life for one night only!

PRG has been supplying lighting and video technology to theatre and the arts in the west end and across the UK for over 45 years.

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19/02/2018

Innovision at the NEC: Case Study

Innovision contracted PRG to support them with the delivery of the technical requirements for the Innovate UK event at the NEC Birmingham in November 2017. Across two days, Innovate 2017 brought 2,750 of the UK’s most innovative thinkers, creators and inventors to the NEC in Birmingham.



The Brief:
Innovision required the supply of full 360 degree audio, lighting, rigging, power and video services for the theatre spaces and exhibition environment for the two day event at the NEC. In addition, the client required a partner which could be relied upon to manage last minute growth in the event’s requirements.

What We Did:
Working alongside Innovision, a 30-strong PRG team was led by Account Manager Cameron Bannister, Project Manager Ian Jones, Video HOD Russell Harris, Lighting Power and Rigging HOD Dana Read and Audio HOD Mark Bonner were tasked with the delivery of the lighting, the rigging, the audio and the video packages for Innovate UK.

This two-day conference and exhibition explored the major themes brought about by the pace and complexity of our world and what these themes mean for individuals, businesses and governments.

In the exhibition area, PRG supplied the power distribution and the screens for exhibitors for a large number of the stands, enabling them to present groundbreaking ideas, from robotics to urban planning.


Most spaces employed a generic key lighting rig, with the main plenary adding in GLP X4 moving heads to add colour and enhance the energy in walk up stings. From a video point of view, PRG used the Bright Sign digital display system to allow quick and efficient updating of session scheduling across the site from a single, central location.

Video switching was kept simple and consistent in all areas with the use of Barco PDS 902 switchers to enable more efficient organisation of multi-discipline staff across the event’s multiple zones.

A key highlight of the event was the successful delivery of the Bright Sign digital signage system, which transformed the experience of the customer. The use of this technology meant that Innovate UK was able to track exactly what was going on and when, throughout the event. Previously, this element had proved a burden for the customer, due to the inadequacy of technology employed.

A focus on flexibility was key to the success of this job. Lucy Gibson, Innovision Technical Production Manager said: “We wanted a delivery partner that could scale, and particularly that could manage the last minute growth that often happens with this event. I think in this job PRG went from one truck to three. We added three more breakout rooms and a huge number of screens in the last few weeks and it was great to have someone who could keep up with that.”

Indeed, this project saw significant growth in the penultimate weeks before the event itself, and the PRG team were able to easily scale up equipment and staffing to seamlessly accommodate the changing requirements of our client, in the run up to the two-day build.

A multi-discipline approach meant that all interdepartmental considerations, for example rigging and power, were managed without needing the involvement of production. This proved invaluable in enabling the PRG team to seamlessly upscale the requirements of this project. PRG’s ownership of the whole project, meant the customer had the time to focus on their clients needs more actively.



The event’s location, close to PRG’s Headquarters in Longbridge, meant that PRG was easily able to fulfil last minute requirements and provide additional kit as and when needed.

Innovate 2017 delivered fresh perspectives on innovations such as artificial intelligence, smart cities, alternative food sources and space exploration. Keynote speeches, practical workshops and seminars were all on the bill, as well as opportunities for attendees to have one-to-one meetings with potential investors.

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 or all shapes and sizes. We employ more than 3,000 professionals worldwide, and have locations in the UK in London and Birmingham, and more than 40 international branches.

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15/02/2018

Sky High Expectations See a New Focus on Creating the Spectacular

Jaw-dropping visuals, huge high definition video screens and spectacular lighting, mesmerising surprise special effects and remarkable shows are now part and parcel of running a successful event, as brands and events organisers look to surpass the competition.


As one of the world’s leading entertainment and events technology provider, PRG, is at the forefront of this ever changing entertainment landscape. Just last week, the company help deliver spectacular lighting at the National Television Awards. Now, the team is hard at work on the Fast and Furious Live global arena tour, helping to create awe-inspiring lighting and video effects to match the adrenaline-fuelled thrills of a franchise built on speed.

Tonight at the NTAs #Repost @samjpatton

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In December, Clash Royale took over London’s famous Copper Box Arena, with 16 participants competing for a $150,000 prize in a multiplayer mobile-based game. The show’s lighting, brought the magic of this hugely popular game to life in front of a live audience.

#Repost @clashroyale ・・・ #clashroyaleworldfinals

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The trend towards more innovative sound and lighting effects has been notable in London’s Theatreland over the past decade from wizarding magic to the West Ends latest smash hit Hamilton for which PRG provides the lighting equipment for a lighting design by Lighting Designer, Howell Binkley and Associate Lighting Designer, Ryan O’Gara. With the audience’s sky high expectations to consider these new productions just get better and better all the time.

#Repost @fastandfuriouslive. . . . #fastfamily #fastandfurious #fastandfuriouslive

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Brands too are always on the lookout for ways to impress their guests, whether they’re hosting a luxury product launch or entertaining key stakeholders with a prestigious party. The PRG team has seen a huge upsurge in the number of brands looking to create something completely different, and they’re having to work increasingly hard to do so. Big names are often on the bill at corporate events, whether that be a rockstar comedian hosting an awards ceremony or a chart-topping band entertaining guests as the party gets started.

Global leaders such as PRG are at the forefront of the most exciting developments in entertainment, and are always on the lookout for new ways to inspire and astound.

For U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 PRG announced a new product innovation along with the application of an industry-first technology solution: SPACEFRAMETM and a 4K Broadcast Camera System. These were integrated into the design, production and operations for the tour, demonstrating PRG’s dedication to innovating products that anticipate the needs of tour managers, designers and artists seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience onsite or virtually.





As events entertainment gets more and more impressive, it becomes increasingly difficult to wow guests, leading us to an exciting period of innovation as events entertainment providers compete to deliver the most innovative sets and shows. With a strong focus on innovation, PRG leads the industry in advancing this technology through its applications. The company has over 100 issued patents and a similar number of pending applications, and excels at combining market expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and in-house engineering and manufacturing to provide creative solutions for its clients; allowing them to work smarter.

The focus now is on designing and delivering the most exciting events entertainment, through the use of hard-hitting brand new technology, amazing special effects, the biggest and best sound systems and a few famous faces thrown into the mix. Keep an eye on upcoming shows like Fast and Furious Live to see what the future of entertainment may bring. It’s going to be incredible!

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. They employ more than 3,000 professionals worldwide, and have locations in the UK in London and Birmingham, and more than 40 international branches. 



www.prg.com

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live streaming events
09/02/2018

Live Stream Your Next Event With PRG

PRG is the go to company for live streaming services from theatre, product launches and gigs of all shapes and sizes.


Providing live streaming for a rich and varied selection of different events, the PRG team can often be found working on events ranging from the English National Ballet performances at the Royal Opera House to gigs from grime and hip hop artists like Stormzy.



Product launches too are popular choices for event live streaming; in the past the PRG team headed to Berlin to produce a live stream of the launch of the latest Mercedes model.

The specific requirements of different clients dictate the live streaming services on offer here at PRG. So, our team can assist with anything from live feeds streaming from a single camera, up to huge-scale productions with a camera crew and 25 cameras broadcasting footage across the globe.

Our technology offers the flexibility to live stream events to any platform clients choose. We’ve been tasked with live streaming to YouTube video players which can be embedded in a clients website. If you’d like to hear more about all the different streaming options on offer from PRG just drop us a line, we’d love to chat about it in more detail. 


Our live streaming services are a great value way to spread the word about your event. With live streaming, the opportunities to create a buzz really are limitless.

Whether you’re looking to capture every moment of your event and broadcast it to your audience, or you’d prefer just to share snippets of the day via your media channels, we can do it. In fact, many of our clients prefer us to simply share the highlights of their event. Footage like this is great for social media channels and always creates a buzz on our clients’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Find out more about live streaming with PRG here, or contact Michael George: mgeorge@prg.com for more information.

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20/11/2017

PRG at the MTV EMAs

The 24th annual MTV EMA took over London’s epic SSE Arena, Wembley, on 12th November. 

The evening’s celebrations included awards presentations and world class performances from some of the industry’s biggest music acts. 

PRG provided all lighting for the prestigious event but the real workhorse of the night was PRG’s own Icon Edge; 132 fixtures in all. Lighting Designer was Al Gurdon with operators Alex Passmore and Jonathan Rouse and crew chiefed by PRG’s Rich Gorrod.

On the red carpet PRG provided lighting, rigging and video production. The Lighting Designer was Stuart Pring, with PRG Crew Chief Sam Healey and Head Rigger Q Willis. 

PRG Head Of Event Services Rich Gorrod oversaw all event planning and delivery on the night. He said: “The extensive rig came together in just two days thanks to stringent prepping by the warehouse team in Longbridge and expert assembling by our great crew on-site. It’s a great team effort that works brilliantly”.

 

 

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Hosted by Rita Ora, the production included voiceovers from Capital FM DJ Roman Kemp. Show highlights included a Shawn Mendez performance, with a rotating pods backdrop, and VI6K’s in the floor of the arena for optimum visual impact. Having the whole rig on Kinesys provided optimum versatility to close down performances in spectacular fashion.

 

 

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PRG is a multi-award-winning supplier of lighting, video and rigging systems to the events and entertainment industry around the world. Our clients include music touring companies, event producers, theatre designers, film and television production designers, and the producers of brand activations and special events of all sizes. For more information on how PRG can help you call +44 121 477-1100 or click here

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The Ferryman play. Lighting Design by Peter Mumford. Photo credit: Johan Persson.
17/11/2017

PRG XL Video Supports Peter Mumford with Theatre Lighting Technology for The Ferryman

Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Neal Street Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions, The Ferryman not only has multiple 5-star reviews to its name, but also the accolade of being the fastest-selling play in the history of the Royal Court Theatre. Now the play, written by Jez Butterworth, and directed by Sam Mendes, has transferred to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre where it is now booking until 19th May 2018 due to overwhelming demand.

Olivier Award and Knight of Illumination Award-winner Peter Mumford has lit Rob Howell’s set for both runs of the production. The play is set in rural Derry in the early 80s, where the Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity preparing for the annual harvest. A day of hard work, will be followed by a celebration of the harvest, but this year they are interrupted by a visitor.

The entire action takes place across two days, with an introductory scene then leading to the remainder of the action unfolding in the kitchen of the Carney household. With a single set used for the majority of the play, the lighting becomes key in transporting the audience into the kitchen setting, and in transitioning through the day as the sun rises and shines through the window.

Lighting designer Peter Mumford explains his initial approach to designing for a show: “Once I have familiarised myself with the material - opera score/script/musical composition etc. - and met with the director and designer for initial concept and design meetings, I tend to concentrate on creating a ‘palette’ that will enable me to create my work alongside and in tandem with the direction of the performance and the surface design. Whilst I will almost certainly have imagery in my head, I regard my real creative process and application to happen in the theatre with all the other elements present because they are basically the canvas on to which I work.

He continues “My approach is more like a complex preparation - creating a shape for the lighting rig, choosing the right equipment, making decisions about colour, but I never commit to the number of cues or precise pre-planning of lighting states - that is something I create in situ.”

For his design for The Ferryman, Peter first read the script and met with Sam Mendes and Rob Howell, attending read-throughs and following the evolution of both the script and set design. Alongside this, Peter began to map out the lighting design: “I had to design and draw it, work out the technical specifications to fit into the theatre. In this case we knew that it had to work for both the Royal Court, and later The Gielgud, so that became an additional technical consideration as well.”


Peter did not work alone on lighting for The Ferryman, bringing with him lighting programmer, Cat Carter, and production electrician, Matt Harding. He was supported by assistant designer, Rachel Cleary, who Peter describes as “brilliant! I’m sure she’ll be seen working as a lead designer in her own right before very long.”

With the play mostly taking place in a single room, over many hours, the imitation of natural daylight, sunrise and sunset was a key feature of the lighting. Peter explains how this was achieved within the set: “Rob Howell’s design gave me a ceiling over the whole room, but he also gave me a window, thank goodness! I never mind sets with ceilings, but it does, to some extent, define how one approaches the lighting.

Peter explains how the light seemed to move within the room as the light changed ‘outside’: “I had a considerable number of units behind the window to maximise the way I could move both colour and light around the room; creating the feeling that the natural light from outside was the dominant light in the room. To that extent, the ceiling actually helped to show the feeling of a sun setting and the light moving across the space. Here the ETC Lustres were invaluable because I could create smooth colour changes over cues that were as long as 12 minutes in some places. I wanted to create seamless changes where, in fact, the light goes on a considerable visual journey, without being too apparent.”


Internal room fixtures were essentially cosmetic, but were part of the story. Peter explains: “To some extent they give me a reason to create a pool or glow of light in different areas of the room, for example, there is a moment when Caitlin enters after the sun has gone down and the room has become quite dark. She switches on the centre pendant light, and that gives me license to completely change and transform the room lighting with the snap of the switch, while still being within a completely naturalistic narrative.”

Some scenes in the play include candlelight, creating an eerie mood and calling for a very different lighting effect. Peter used Par 16 Birdie lights to achieve this. He explains, “I hid little ‘Birdies’ in corners and crevices of the room – influenced by the idea that the candles used in Act 3 would be distributed around the room, and would naturally send a variety of random shadows up on to the walls and ceiling. Of course, the candles by themselves would not be bright enough to illuminate a long scene in a big theatre, so I amplified this quality in a controlled way.”

For night-time scenes the room has a hearth-like warmth, Peter explains how he created the effect using both colour and the lighting angle, “Whilst the Birdies relating to candlelight were set mostly on the floor, I used another layer of units low slung from the front of house, in particular a couple of (quiet!) moving lights that could imperceptibly track action and maintain intimacy.”


“I had to use good old VL1100s because of the noise factor. They are still the only usable moving light in drama situations like this, and I still haven’t found another moving light which will allow the absolutely smooth introduction of diffusion to the beam – one of the main factors that allows me to move light around the set imperceptibly.”

Lighting the performers, capturing their movements and facial expressions, has its own specific requirements. Peter explains, “The key light for me was the light coming through the window, and wherever I could, I used that light to edge and shape. Similarly, another source was that which I got into the space through the stair well, along with runs of GLP X Bar 20 strip lights that I had hidden behind the ceiling beams. Much of the front of house lighting was rigged as far left and right as possible, to maintain ‘shaping’ and not give too much flat light.

“There were, of course, units coming straight in to give facial clarity, but hopefully working more as ‘fill light’ on an actor who was already benefitting from the more three dimensional quality from the side light”.

With Rob Howell’s set design presenting some interesting challenges for the lighting, Peter sums up how his work on The Ferryman differs from many other productions, “It’s not a huge rig, by any means, and it’s what I would call an unusual focus. Each light has pretty much its own job, and there are not really any basic washes as one might normally have.”

PRG XL Video Account Director, Jon Cadbury, worked with Peter to supply the fixtures required for his design.

The Ferryman is at the Gielgud Theatre until 6 January 2018. For tickets visit www.theferrymanplay.com.

£12 Day seats are available for each performance at 10.30 am in person at the Gielgud Theatre Box Office.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

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gary-numann-lighting 4
10/11/2017

PRG UK Supports Cue Design Ltd with Lighting for Gary Numan Tour

With a triumphant return to the UK chart with his latest album, Savage, Gary Numan has recently embarked on a tour of the UK featuring a lighting and production design by Luke Edwards of Cue Design.

The album’s theme of a post-apocalyptic world carries through into the design for the show, with Gary working with Luke Edwards to translate his vision into a touring production. To achieve this, Luke contacted PRG Account Manager, Rob Watson to provide rigging and lighting support for the design.

Luke already had a design concept which utilised panels of 6mm LED arranged in columns, with a row of Robe spiders between each column, but turned to PRG to supply a moving dolly system to which the panels and lights were affixed. This enabled the dollies to simply be rolled into place and powered up. For the larger shows on the tour – Bristol, Brighton, London, and Southend – an additional flown rig was required in place of venue lighting, and PRG worked with Luke’s design to complement the floor units.



Three trusses graduated downwards to upstage were used, holding six fixtures each of Clay Paky Mythos, and B-Eye K10 moving lights; six Chauvet Strike 4 blinders per truss, and six Martin Atomic strobes. The highly effective arrangement enables Luke Edwards to create a variety of stark and atmospheric looks. Much of the key lighting is done with fixtures at the side of the stage, rather than front on, and this adds to the overall look of the lighting design.

The lighting is backed with PRG’s proprietary networking technology which includes Series 400 Ethernet Switches, and a Supernode interface with Luke’s Avolites Quartz desk.



Luke’s key lighting crew for the tour are Karl Lawton and Bradley Stokes who work together to get the whole rig up in relatively short time-frames – necessary as the UK tour included several back-to-back shows in a row.



Luke commented: “Working with PRG again has been great and they really seem to want to support younger designers. Everything from prep to crew to handling my account has been flawless and the support received was incredible to help make this show a success.” Rob Watson added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Luke to provide support for his creative design. We have supported him on two or three tours recently, and each one has a unique, creative look. We’re keen to work with up-and-coming creatives like Luke, who bring fresh new design ideas to our industry, and to build relationships with them as they grow their careers.

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Caroline Hill, Account Manager, TV & Film PRG UK
12/10/2017

PRG UK Strengthens TV and Film Team

PRG has appointed Caroline Hill and Mark Davies to its UK TV & Film account management team.

Caroline joins from Panalux Broadcast and Events where, for five years, she oversaw the delivery of a diverse range of events including fashion shows, television series, rigging for feature films, and, most recently, the lighting and rigging elements of the factual show ‘World War One Remembered: Passchendaele’ for the BBC.

Caroline studied lighting and entertainment electrics at college before going into the West End theatres as an in-house electrician, followed by a move to PRG as a moving light technician. Caroline comments: “My favourite moving light is still the VL5 because the key to the fixture is the prep and tuning of the mechanical parts. The success of the fixture is down to the attention given in the prep.”

Caroline now brings her in-depth technical knowledge, and wide experience of event, television and film lighting back to PRG. She is based in PRG’s Covent Garden, London office.

Caroline is an addition to the already bolstered TV & Film account management team that welcomed Mark Davies earlier this year. Since joining PRG as a lighting project manager over ten years ago, Mark went on to head up his department before moving into this current account management role. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of technical lighting systems.

TV & Film market leader Kelly Cornfield commented: “Caroline and Mark are great additions to the team and will support our continued growth in this sector.”

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Da-Bangg UK Tour. Photo: Scott Davies.
10/10/2017

PRG XL Video Goes Bollywood with Da-Bangg The Tour

Bringing together an array of Bollywood’s biggest stars including megastar Salman Khan, Da-Bangg The Tour visited the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham and The O2 arena, London; hosted by Lyca and brought to the UK by Farhath Hussain and Think Events.

Managed, scripted and directed by Sohail Khan Entertainment and JA Events LLP, the shows brought the music, dance and show-stopping entertainment of Bollywood movies to the live stage.

Working with lighting and video designer Elton D’Souza, PRG XL Video supplied a complex moving lighting rig and multi-section moving LED screen, creating a vibrant set for the high-energy performances.

PRG Director of Music, Video, Stefaan Michels supplied a full package of live video technology including LED screens, media servers, camera and IMAG projection system, and experienced crew.

Over 300 tiles of ROE Visual MC-7 LED was used to create 6 separate LED screens. To the sides large vertical screens had door spaces built into them, allowing the performers to access the stage. Alongside them centre stage left and right two more large LED sections were built. In the centre a horizontal flown section spanned between the vertical screens with a second section below which moved to allow group entrances to the stage.

The ‘door’ sections were created using a truss system with i-beam running through it, enabling the screen to slide open and closed manually. The LED crew chief was Stevie Marr.

Content for the screens was supplied via PRG XL’s Resolume media servers which are a popular choice with designers looking to create video content on the fly. The centre LED sections displayed either content or live IMAG footage which was seamlessly switched using Barco PDS 902 switchers.

Flown either side of the stage, two 24ft x 13ft projection screens displayed IMAG footage from Barco HDF-W30 projectors. The footage was captured using three cameras – a handheld unit in front of the stage, long lens at front of house, and a Jimmy Jib located at the side of the stage. The live camera mix was directed by Noel Wyatt using one of PRG XL’s Panasonic AV-HS450-based PPUs, which was engineered by Jeroen ‘Myway’ Marain. Robyn Tearle doubled as both projectionist, and jib cam operator for the shows.

PRG’s Account Manager Gordon Torrington took care of the lighting specification, working with Head of Event Services Richard Gorrod to supply an automated curved rig which moved down toward the stage to an almost vertical position during some performances.

The rig used a lot of PRG’s own Bat Truss, which enables a fast load-in. The silver truss, including the curved S shape, was formed from A-type. Nick Brown was the rigging Crew Chief, working with drawings done by PRG’s Head of Rigging, Q Willis. The rig used a Kinesys system which included 30 hoists for the huge rig, including a flying platform. This was managed by Simon Nott and John Heatherton.

More than 80 of PRG’s Icon Beam fixtures were used on both the lighting towers and on the moving fingers of the flown rig. These high brightness fixtures enable the lighting director to create a colourful punchy look. Alongside these on the flown rig, PRG Best Boys, and GLP X4 and X4XL LED lights were used. A six-strong lighting team was led on site by by PRG’s Luke Jackson.

Richard Gorrod commented: “This was a complex lighting and video rig with a relatively short load-in time, but the lighting, rigging, and video teams pulled together and the result looked great!”

Photos: Scott Davies

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