Continuing a long working relationship with Production Executive, Andy Derbyshire, Event Manager, Maggie Mouzakitis, Event Production Manager, Lisa Shenton, and Show Lighting Designer, Tom Kenny, PRG XL Video has supplied lighting for the 2016 MTV EMA.
This year’s event was held on November 6th, at the Rotterdam Ahoy, Netherlands, and was hosted by US artist Bebe Rexha.
The event opened with glamorous red carpet arrivals from the star presenters and performers, hosted by Laura Whitmore and Sway Calloway, and PRG XL also supplied lighting, rigging, and video technology for the red carpet event.
PRG XL’s Account Managers, Kelly Cornfield and Mat Ilott were initially contacted by Line Producer, Sophie Huda, and Red Carpet Event Manager, Sean McNally, to supply an outdoor video wall, high impact lighting, and supporting rigging for the red carpet area.
Working with Set Designer, Adam Neville, and Lighting Designer, Stuart Pring, PRG XL’s Head of Rigging Services, Q Willis specified the supporting structures for the video and lighting. Rigging crew chief, Chris ‘Karrit’ Harris delivered the show on-site.
Creating a glittering arrivals area for the stars, Adam and Stuart’s designs incorporated a video wall formed from Barco C5 outdoor LED. Content for the video wall was supplied via one of PRG XL’s own Mbox media servers, and included live feeds from the OB truck, social media feeds, and playback content.
Stuart Pring’s lighting design used a combination of fixtures, with Encapsulite LED stick lights built into the set, and PRG Icon Beams lighting the way for the VIPs as they made their way into the venue. PRG’s Sam Healey was Crew Chief for the red carpet lighting team.
Inside the iconic Rotterdam Ahoy, production designer Julio Himede created a vast set filling an entire side of the venue, curving around to create an immersive arena for the audience in the venue, and stunning visuals for the TV broadcast.
Acclaimed lighting designer Tom Kenny worked closely with Julio to create his lighting design for the show. Tom Kenny has designed the lighting for MTV VMA and EMA events for more than a decade, as part of highly creative and much-talked about show designs.
Tom explains his initial approach to his design: “Working with Julio, and with PRG’s Lighting Crew Chief, Rich Gorrod, we looked at the set design. This year, the huge wide set featured a massive wall of video, built from multiple elements. We wanted to cover the whole set and create a layered effect with plenty of back light and presence. With that in mind, and with one eye on the budget, we used a lot of strong beams, spread across the set, big wash lights at the back, lots of Icon Beams, PRG Bad Boys and Robe Robin 100s. We added Solaris Flares for extra strobe effects – they’re a real workhorse.”
Tom continues: “As part of the design, I look at the line-up of artists performing and try to tailor the fixtures to what I think they’ll need. In some cases artists will have specific requests, but often we’ll already have their needs covered in the main rig.”
Some artists do have special requests, based on their individual performance. Tom explains: “Martin Garrix wanted a particular fixture for his set, so we brought in a load of GLP X4 Bars to satisfy that need. For One Republic, who included rain in their performance, we needed to find some waterproof LED lamps for the pool, and Rich Gorrod sourced custom-built fixtures for that purpose.”
“For Green Day’s ‘Global Icon’ performance we needed to give them a really huge look, so we added a bunch of Par Cans.”
“Another fixture I was keen to use was the ACL 360 Matrix from Elation, which includes 25 4-in-1 RGBW LEDs. We arranged a demo of the unit, were suitably impressed, and that was used scenically to create colour and depth.”
With an array of star performers, followspots were also a key consideration, and Tom Kenny was keen to use PRG’s GroundControlTM Followspot System, which includes a remote followspot, flown from the lighting rig and the operator is located with control unit at ground level elsewhere within the venue. Tom has used the system on multiple shows: “I first used GroundControl on Desert Trip festival and was really impressed by it. It’s a very flexible system and allows you to place followspots in locations that wouldn’t usually work. I love it!”
Lighting console operators on the night were Alex Passmore and Jonathan Rouse, who Tom Kenny described as “two of the best programmers/operators I’ve worked with. Alex took care of the majority of the pre-programming, and on the night looked after the cueing on the main set, and Jonathan focussed on the keylighting for the bands, live elements, and audience lighting.”
PRG XL’s Lighting Crew Chief Richard Gorrod led a team of twelve lighting technicians and operators for the show. Tom Kenny comments: “The MTV EMA is a big beast of a show. There’s never enough time, but Rich and his brilliant PRG crew have high standards and work really hard to make it all happen. Rich is a total workhorse – he does the job of three people, and he has such a positive attitude. You couldn’t have a better person on an event of this type.”
Richard Gorrod summed up: “We’re happy to continue our long relationship with Maggie, Andy, Lisa, Tom, Julio and the whole MTV EMA team. The show always looks amazing and really pushes the boundaries for a live event show. It’s a huge production, and there are lots of suppliers all working side by side, harmoniously to make it happen. We’re proud to be a part of bringing it all together!”
Photos: William Gallegos
It’s fascinating to discover how the rental and used equipment channels of our business overlap and work together to benefit our customers. Steff Jones is a UK based Lighting Designer, who works predominantly in television, but does regular spin-off work which includes, one-off concerts, touring productions and theatre shows.
Over the past two years, Steff has not only worked with us on a lot of rental projects, but also become a very valued customer of PRG Proshop, our used equipment sales channel. Steff continued: “An expanding area of my business is permanent installations for TV studios, luxury nightclubs, theatres and music venues. Some of my clients only have a limited budget—so used equipment is always the best option. The used lighting equipment I’ve bought from PRG XL Video has been of the highest quality and worked perfectly. The nature of PRG XL’s rental work puts a very high demand on the kit, which means all their fixtures are fully serviced on a regular basis and able to perform in the harshest and most demanding environments. With other used equipment vendors, I’ve had to factor in budget to service the lights and bring them up to the required standard, as well as buying spares to leave with my client. With PRG Proshop, this is no longer necessary due to the exceptionally high quality of the kit.”
PRG Proshop Product Sales Manager, Rodney George supplies Steff’s used equipment needs in the UK, and said: “I first met Steff on one of our lighting and video jobs, he was very interested to learn about our used equipment sales. Soon after that I supplied him with a list of kit for one of his installation projects, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. Steff signed up to our monthly UES newsletter and we’ve developed a really close client-supplier relationship. We visited Steff at the London Palladium whilst lighting his recent job ‘Broadway in Concert’ to discuss upcoming opportunities and new products we’ll be bringing to the used equipment sales channel.”
Established in 1992 by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the British Association of Record Dealers, the Mercury Music Prize was created as an alternative to the BRIT Awards.
The 2016 event, now known as the Hyundai Mercury Prize, took place at London’s iconic Eventim Apollo Hammersmith and was won by Skepta, who beat new albums by a variety of artists including Radiohead, David Bowie, Anohni, and The 1975.
The awards event was produced by Lipfriend Rodd International. Producer, David Davies, and Technical Director, Robert Lipfriend contracted PRG XL Video to supply rigging, and lighting for the show which was filmed and broadcast by BBC Music. The lighting design for the show was created by award-winning designer, Nigel Catmur.
PRG XL Video’s Account Director, Chris Walker worked with a rigging brief which needed to accommodate both lighting and video elements, all of which moved during the show. Chris explains: “We worked with the design from Nigel Catmur, which included lighting, LED screens, and masking trusses.
“Our rigging team, led by Head Rigger, Chris ‘Karrit’ Harris, constructed four lighting trusses and one LED screen truss, and these were suspended on Kinesys Elevation 1+ enabled hoists, which enabled these elements to move multiple times throughout the show. The Kinesys Vector control system was operated by Bruce MacLeod and Toby Rouse.”
As the Eventim Apollo used a decked floor to create a flat surface for the tables at the awards, the stage height was raised. The increased stage height of 600mm incorporated a 10m diameter revolve, built by Stage One, and part of the challenge for Chris and the rigging team was to work around the build of the stage in a relatively short time frame.
PRG XL Account Manager, Mat Ilott explains: “For the lighting elements, we needed, and were given, an extra build day at the Apollo which ensured that we were able to get all the required cabling installed around the build of the extra height stage and flat floor surface. Once that was completed, our Crew Chief Marcus Robinson worked with the team to install an array of lighting fixures, as detailed in Nigel Catmur’s design.”
Nigel Catmur has worked with the Mercury Prize team for more than a decade, and in a variety of different venues. This year, Nigel’s design was shaped by both the venue and the number of performers.
He explains: “I worked within the constraints of the venue and stage size to produce a creative look for the lighting design. With up to 12 numbers to be performed in the same space, it was essential to be able to change the shape of the space to give it a different feel for each artist’s performance, whilst using the same rig.
“It isn’t possible to bring in different floor items for each act, because the Mercury Prize is all about the music, and the backline rules the floor, so in order to get the lighting in low and move it around, the only option was to use motors.”
To realise Nigel’s design for the show PRG XL Video supplied GLP Impression X4 and X4S LED moving heads, PRG’s own Icon Beam and Best Boy HP spots, as well as a bank of Solaris Flare Junior fixtures which were flown upstage, intermingled with the moving heads. With the fixtures mounted on to the moving truss system, this enabled Nigel to create different looks for each performance.
Nigel commented: “I needed as many lamps as I could, but with limited programming time, having lots of only a few types of lamp aids the programming process significantly. At the point of design, the actual number of people on the stage at any given time is still very variable. As a result, I wanted lamps that could multi-task as both people light and effects lights out front, and then strong beam lights to define the structure of the moving trusses. The GLP Impressions, Solaris Flares, Icon Beams and Best Boys fit the bill.”
Mat Ilott summed up: “It was great to work with David and Robert’s team, who seamlessly put together this high profile show. Nigel’s lighting design looked great both in the room and broadcast on TV, and it’s always a pleasure to work with him. Finally I’d like to thank Marcus Robinson for his work on the show – he guides the crew brilliantly and with a great sense of calm!”
Photos by William Gallegos
The 2016 European event, entitled Europe On Stage, took place at BOZAR - centre for fine arts in Brussels, Belgium. Performers for this show included Yanis Marshall; vlogger, Louise Pentland; and Rockin’ 1000.
Creative agency Set Live was engaged to produce the event. Set Live’s team of Guy Tremlett, Creative Director and Harry Osborne, Creative, contacted PRG XL Video’s Guy Vellacott to supply video and lighting technology for the one-off show.
Guy Tremlett explains the thinking behind the design: “We wanted to recreate a traditional theatre in a contemporary way, so our idea was to replace the flats, proscenium and rear drape with LED. This allowed us to present a wide range of performers and presenters in a very modern, yet still theatrical style.”
To realise Set Live’s design for the video-focussed show a proscenium arch formed from high resolution 3.9mm LED was created. With the show being filmed for future YouTube viewing, it was key that the LED was bright, with rich colours, and high enough resolution to make the content easy to read, both on screen and in the auditorium.
Upstage of the proscenium, two LED side screens, and an LED backscreen, all formed from 6mm LED were used to display a combination of playback content, and live IMAG footage.
Guy Tremlett continues: “We tested the LED arch and screens in PRG XL’s warehouse, to check the distances, depths, sight lines, and, of course, the content, and PRG XL’s team, including Project Manager, Nathan Avery, attended site visits to advise on the rigging set-up required for the lighting and video elements.”
Mapping of all the video surfaces was handled using Pandora’s Box media servers. PRG XL’s Director Media/Creative, Patrick Verhey worked with Guy and the Set Live team to program the servers with the content, with the final preparation taking place in the edit suite at PRG XL’s Hemel location.
To complement the existing lighting at BOZAR, PRG’s team in Brussels, led by Account & Production Manager, Ahmed Al Manatawy, worked with lighting designer Paul Cook to supply additional fixtures in the main auditorium, VIP lounges, and post-show party event.
Paul Cook explains, “We needed additional lighting across various areas of the venue, integrating with their existing lighting system, and providing key lights for the main presentation.
“With a full LED proscenium arch, the key light needed to be controllable in terms of both brightness and colour temperature. For this we chose GLP X4 fixtures, which offer the flexibility we needed. I’d also included light beam effects into my design, and for this we used six high brightness Icon Beams from PRG.”
For the party areas PRG supplied a variety of fixtures including uplighters, which created the perfect subtle party mood.
Cook continues: “It was great to work with Didier Streel and Ahmed from PRG in Belgium. Their local knowledge and crew smoothed the processes, and worked well with the venue and in-house crew.”
PRG XL Video’s Guy Vellacott sums up: “We’re very happy to continue our relationship with the team from Set Live. Their creative designs for Google and YouTube events are always innovative, and we enjoy working with the team to bring them to life.”
On Sunday night, the Charing Cross Theatre hosted two performances of Seth Rudetsky’s musical ‘Disaster’. PRG XL Video supported producer Darren Murphy with video projection for the shows which were staged to raised money for the Make a Difference (MAD) Trust, a HIV/AIDS support charity who work on projects in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Darren explained: “Disaster is set on a cruise ship in the seventies, being a fan of disco music, I jumped at the opportunity to bring this wonderful musical over from Broadway to London. The original idea was to produce a semi-staged version, with actors reading from scripts, but I felt the audience deserved more. We assembled a great team to work on props, costumes, make-up, lighting and projection to help tell the story. We cast the show with some of the most amazing performers from the West End, and two of the original Broadway leads who flew over to reprise their roles. This was the first time a full-scale production has been staged on behalf of the trust, and riding on its success both critically and commercially, raising almost £19,000 for the charity, this will be the first of many such gala events.”
Account Director Peter Marshall, head of the theatre market in the UK for PRG XL Video attended the show and said: “It’s always a privilege to support such a great cause. The show was brilliant, very funny with the perfect Sunday evening feel-good factor. Congratulations to all those involved in bringing this highly professional performance to the stage.”
Photography by: Jamie Scott Smith
The award-winning company DynaMix Media is one of the leading audiovisual technical production agencies in India.
With ever increasing demands for events in India, the PRG Alliance is pleased to announce a new partner in the region.
The new addition to the membership of the PRG Alliance is passionate about great results and meticulous in execution. DynaMix Media is a company recognized in India for their remarkable contribution to events and entertainment, having introduced the 270 degrees projection format to corporate presentations, and the first 300’ wide projection to the local market. The company has a growing number of immersive projection and projection mapping jobs under their belt.
DynaMix Media was founded in 2005 and is led by Mr. Suresh Madan. The company brings to PRG Alliance its vast understanding of video playback and networking systems, and its one-stop rental shop and services across India – offering complete services in video, audio, lighting, trussing, project management and content design.
“Our position in the Indian market is not only that of a company capable of delivering complex audiovisual projects, but also one which is attentive to international standards in processes and safety. It is a constant effort for us to implement these aspects in projects in India, but slowly the clients are accepting this is the right path. We know that PRG Alliance has the same principles and tapping into this great resource and knowledge pool will be very beneficial for our company”, declares Suresh Madan, Founder & CTO of DynaMix Media.
This attitude has been recognized by the industry and DynaMix Media was awarded as the “Best Video Rental Company” by Palm Sound & Light Awards 2014.
“We believe DynaMix Media is the best partner for PRG Alliance,” said Tom van Hemelryck, PRG Alliance Director. “When our clients go to India they need a reliable supplier, and DynaMix Media’s credentials and reputation is impeccable.”
For more information about DynaMix Media and PRG Alliance visit the website www.prgalliance.com.
Projection Mapping Case: Fortis Memorial Research Institute Launch, New Delhi
Amid the saturation of UK festivals, it’s often difficult to identify what makes each one unique. With Rewind, whether it’s the three different versions of the event around the UK, short—hit driven setlists or the light-hearted, carefree atmosphere; there’s no shortage of individual characteristics that make their weekend festivals stand out from others you may be considering. Held between July and August in the picturesque locations of Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire, Scone Palace in Perthshire and Temple Island Meadows near Henley-on-Thames; Rewind does an excellent job of capturing the hearts and minds of an audience slightly more mature than you would find at other, more mainstream festivals. Song lyric tee shirts, silly hats and neon accessories are obligatory clothing requirements for the happy-go-lucky crowd—reaching back to their teenage years and revelling in every moment.
Production Manager Keith Morris explained how the current version of Rewind came into being: “We started off putting on one-night shows at various stately homes with a line-up of about ten eighties acts playing their hit songs, and it proved to be really popular. So from there we decided to make it into a weekend festival with camping. The first proper Rewind festival was held in 2009 on Temple Island Meadows, just down the road from our office in Henley. Following the success of the event, we added another festival at Scone Palace in Scotland, which also sold very well; so we organised a third, halfway between the other two, in Cheshire; which followed the trend of the others and is another incredibly popular weekend festival.”
Keith explained how a lot of the audience is made up from large groups of people. “Although our crowd are typically older people, they’re all very well connected on social media. People tend to use our festivals as either an annual get-together for old friends, hen-dos, birthday parties or other celebrations. There’s a community feel and diehard Rewinders may come to two or all three versions of the festival each year—the main acts for the three weekends are largely the same, but there can be a lot of variation in the bands performing during the daytime.”
Lighting Designer Martin Nicholas has designed all inceptions of the Rewind festivals, and worked regularly with Keith since the 1980s: “Rewind’s a festival for grown-up punters, who come back year after year. I keep the stage design the same for all three locations, but refresh the design every year, keeping a balance between the use of modern technology and vintage lighting fixtures. This year I used the SGM G Spot, a powerful and versatile light, as well as the Icon Beam, which is my beam light of choice—bright and punchy, with strong colours and a great selection of gobos which are all very usable. I make use of the 10kW Skypans most years because they look phenomenal and very retro next to the shiny new fixtures supplied by PRG XL Video. This year I had a row of ten on the floor at the back of the stage, but in previous years the Skypans have been hung in various different configurations. Down either side of the stage were an arrangement of 2kW and 5kW 1950s GEC fresnels and 1934 10Kw Arri fresnels, they look brilliant and fill in what would usually be a dark spot down the side of the stage.”
In addition to the 38 SGM G Spots, 32 Icon Beams and 20 Vari*Lite VL3500 wash lights, there were 40 2-light molfay blinders surrounding the edge of the stage—powered by Avolites Art2000 dimmers. Miguel Riberio created the video content for Rewind and went into detail about how he brought the 14x5 metre ROE Visual MC-18H screen to life: “What looks at first sight like a very simple LED video wall, is actually a very sophisticated video setup. The preparations start over a month before the first festival goes live, I gather video content from previous shows and often revamp some very old recordings so we have a big collection of video clips which can be replayed at the press of a button. The video for the acts performing early in the day is very simple and all busked from the PRG V476 console which I use to run the two d3 media servers, configured as a master and slave. As the day goes on and the bands playing are more well known, the scale and complexity of the video content is scaled up to the point where we have fully customised content running on timecode sync.”
Regarding the environment of Rewind, Miguel could hardly be more complimentary: “Although there is a lot of work involved, the atmosphere is so festive and relaxed, it melts away any stress. It’s great fun to do the Rewind festivals every year. I can’t think of any other event which has so many number one songs and popular tunes to which everybody knows the words.”
Martin works very closely with Miguel to decide the overall look of the stage and how the lighting and video technology will interact with each other: “The screen is the major element of the show and by far the most noticeable bit of kit we have on stage. I design the format and layout of the screen—but the rest of it is down to Miguel, who always does a wonderful job of creating video content for the festival. When running the show, we stand next to each other and work as a team, the lighting colour palette will follow the look of the video content so they compliment one another.” Martin explained how he uses an Avolites Pearl Expert Touch console to run the lights at Rewind: “The Pearl’s an excellent busking console, when the line-up consists of ten minute sets and two minute changeovers, there’s no point in programming any of the show, so busking’s the way to go.”
Keith Morris paid tribute to the creative input from Martin and Miguel, commenting that both have thoroughly bought into the ethos of the show and are a pleasure to work with. Keith has decades of experience working within the music festival and concert touring market, he commented about how the technology has changed over recent years: “The most impressive change has to be the rise and rise of LED technology. I also run a power company and several years ago we would have been using so much more power than we are today. What’s really impressive about LED lighting is even though the power consumption has gone down, they’re even brighter. The other side of LED is for video, an LED video screen is pretty much essential for every stage now.”
Martin paid tribute to his team: Crew Chief Paul Makin, front end tech Simon Swift and ‘super-techs’ Richard Griffin, Mark Scrimshaw, Dave Lights and Mark Clough. “One of the reasons Rewind works so well from a crew perspective is that everybody knows exactly what they’re doing, as a result, we have very few problems and it’s a wonderful environment to work in.”
Account Director Andrew Strachan coordinated the supply from PRG XL Video and looks forward to the festivals every year: “It’s a pleasure to work with everybody involved. Keith has a great vision of how to grow and develop Rewind each year. The creativity of Martin and Miguel is second to none, even though a lot of the acts return year after year, they always come from a fresh perspective and bring a new look to the stage. Martin has an exceptional attention to details and always knows exactly what he wants to achieve and we all work together to make it happen. For those people who’ve never experienced the Rewind Festivals, I cannot recommend them highly enough.”
Photography by PRG XL Video/Matt Rakowski
Illuminating York, supported by Arts Council England, is an annual event which sees a variety of designers create light installations across the historic city.
Across four evenings in late October, indoor and outdoor venues around York were transformed with light installations created by artists and designers including David Ogle, Helen Maurer, Studio PSK; and for the centrepiece at York Minster, Jason Bruges Studio.
For this year’s Illuminating York, London-based Jason Bruges Studio created ‘Light Masonry’, a choreographed light work for York Minster. To provide the necessary lighting and rigging technology, Jason Bruges contacted PRG XL Video Account Director, Andrew Strachan.
With the brief that the lights needed to supply high brightness white beams and have moving heads, Andrew Strachan suggested PRG’s own Icon Beam fixtures, fifty of which were used for the event.
Strachan explains: “The fixtures were utilised in an unfamiliar and unorthodox manner that worked perfectly inside the Minster. Adam Heslop was the designer/programmer for Jason Bruges Studio, supported by the lighting designer, Carlos Valente. Their design really showed that art can also be visualised in light form as well as physical form to an outstanding level.”
The Icon Beams were mounted on to large truss structures masterminded by PRG XL’s Q Willis, and the structures lined the nave of York Minster. Q Willis was the rigging chief for the event, with Tim Spilman, as Crew Chief for the lighting team.
Carlos Valente explains how the studio approached the design: “The whole installation stood on a purpose-built design and playback solution created in the studio. This meant that the workflow had no precedent and we were constantly implementing new functions to allow us new design directions, or to tackle technical problems. The PRG team was of fantastic help, and a perfect partnership for this project. They understood what we were trying to do, and were able to provide clever technical solutions, with the precision needed, along the way.”
“We were very pleased to be asked to supply the lighting and rigging for this special event,” said Andrew Strachan. “Jason Bruges Studio’s design for York Minster used the Icon Beams in a very clever and artistic way, and the resulting light installation really blew me away.”
Photos by James Medcraft
PRG XL Video continued its support for Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity, providing event technology for the Nordoff Robbins Boxing Dinner at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
The evening was hosted by Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke; and Boxing Champion David Haye was honoured with the Nordoff Robbins Boxing Icon award. Musical entertainment came from singer and West End star, Beverley Knight.
The annual event, which raises funds for the music therapy charity, was supported by an array of stars, and included dinner, a live auction and a program of boxing featuring a Title Fight between Alan Higgins and Eric McKonzo.
Working alongside industry colleagues, John Henry’s Ltd, who provided the Production, Audio and Staging; and Zig Zag Lighting; PRG XL supplied video equipment for the event including plasma screens, camera system and projection. These were used for sponsor logos, details of the boxing bouts, IMAG from the camera feeds; and information about the live charity auction which was hosted by British former-World Light-Heavyweight Boxing Champion, John Conteh.
Annually the Nordoff Robbins Boxing Dinner raises valuable funds for the life changing music therapy the charity provides to thousands of vulnerable and isolated people each year. In the hands of a trained practitioner, music therapy can be used to support people living with a wide range of needs.
PRG XL Sales Director Rich Rowley comments: “We’re delighted to be able to support the Nordoff Robbins Boxing Dinner. The charity provides such important support via their music therapy, and we’re happy to be able to help stage another great evening of sporting entertainment.”
For more information on Nordoff Robbins music therapy and upcoming fundraising events, visit their website.
Jim Steinman's Bat Out of Hell–The Musical Takes over London's West End, With Support from PRG XL Video
Thursday night saw the London press launch for the high-octane new rock musical Jim-Steinman’s BAT OUT OF HELL–The Musical. PRG XL Video were delighted to support producers Michael Cohl, Tony Smith and General Manager Julian Stoneman with their lighting needs for the high impact performance outside the Coliseum, where BAT OUT OF HELL–The Musical opens in June 2017, after a run in the Manchester Opera House.
The twenty-minute outdoor show was introduced by producer Michael Cohl and the legendary Meat Loaf, whose music from his 1977 album with Jim Steinman the show is based on. Passers-by were blown away by the pop-up rock show and scores of Harley Davidson bikers brought in to enhance the Bat Out of Hell Atmosphere. Account Director Peter Marshall and Account Manager John Pauls handled the project for PRG XL Video. Peter said: “It was a very exciting project to be part of, and something I’ve not done before: fitting out the inside of a forty-five-foot trailer and putting on an outdoor show in the middle of a road! The planning and preparation in our Longbridge facility and the West London Film Studios made it possible to work within a very short timeframe.”
Lighting designer for the event Gerry Mott used GLP’s Impression Wash One and Volkslicht 60 LED moving lights, and Clay Paky Sharpy Washes, housed in a ground support structure built into a Paul Mathew Transport curtain sided truck.
Gerry discussed how he designed the lighting for the show: “The brief was to create a bright and punchy rock n roll looking lighting rig inside a trailer. I worked with Pete and his team to select the look I wanted. One of the biggest challenges was space, on the back of the forty-five-foot trailer were two generators, a full sound system, a six-piece band and the cast. We had less than 2.5 metres from the truss to the floor, so all the fixture positions needed to be carefully considered. We created a plug and play solution that worked brilliantly. The driver brought the truck down outside the Coliseum an hour before show time, we plugged in the console, struck the generators and were ready to go.”
A smaller performance is taking place in Manchester on Monday as interest and social media chatter increases around what is sure to be the next smash hit London based musical.
Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) – the world’s largest supplier of technology and services for events and entertainment has announced the appointment of Simon Kayser as General Manager for its Sourcing & Projects Centre based in Shenzhen, China. Simon will report to Gary Boyd, Executive Vice President and COO, EMEA.
A Chinese-speaker, Simon already has extensive knowledge of the Chinese market from his role as Technical Director at PRG in China, where he has been the project manager for key inbound corporate and large automotive sector projects. His first PRG project in China was the Beijing New Year Lighting Show in 2000/1. In 2007 he returned to Shanghai for the World Summer Games, and in 2008 for the Beijing Games. In 2009 Simon moved to Shanghai for the World EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, and he has been based there since.
Putting his technical knowledge to use, Simon will now take charge of the Shenzhen operation, which is instrumental in sourcing video and lighting technology in China. Simon will work closely with Frederic Opsomer and the team at PRG Projects, who specialise in the development of custom LED for special events, touring projects and installations.
Simon’s appointment will enable PRG to expand its offshore sourcing projects, reinforcing its commitment to innovation and new technology.
“After spending the past eight years in Shanghai, I am looking forward to the new role and challenges. I leave behind a excellent team in Shanghai and look forward to the new team in Shenzhen. Developing, sourcing and especially customizing lighting and video gear for our customers and projects, is where I see great potential for PRG and our team in Shenzhen to deliver enhanced services to our customers”
“We are very pleased Simon has agreed to take on this new role in Shenzhen,” said Gary Boyd. “His technical expertise, coupled with his hands-on commercial experience of delivering projects in China, make him ideally placed to take on this new role, and further expand our ability to source and develop new products directly at the heart of China’s technology capital.”
Simon holds a Master of Engineering degree from University of Applied Science Hamburg (Dipl. Ing. (fh)), and he will relocate from his current role in Shanghai, settling in Shenzhen with his family.
At PRG XL Video, we’re well seasoned at supplying lighting, video and rigging services to festivals. We’ve worked on outdoor cultural gatherings of all sizes and styles for years— yet few as boutique and enchanting as Henley Festival; a five-day cultural experience celebrating the best of international and UK music, art, comedy and food in a quintessentially British location.
Production Manager John Harris described the unique cultural environment of Henley Festival: “To say that it’s one of a kind sounds like a bit of a cliché; but I really can’t think of another festival comparable to Henley. Holding a summer festival in such a beautiful environment and to attract artists of the highest calibre is nothing short of a privilege. Although the black tie dress code and chic venues create an aura of sophistication; we keep the ticket prices down to ensure Henley Festival is accessible to all.” Having previously worked as lighting crew on the festival back in the nineties, John returned to Henley in his current role in 2011, when he took over from the highly regarded Bob Caple, who production managed the festival since its inception in 1983.
This year’s event took place over five days and featured esteemed acts such as: Elton John, Bryn Terfel, Will Young, Shirley Bassey, The Welsh National Orchestra and Elvis Costello; as well as an impressive roster of cabaret and comedy acts, featuring the likes of: The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars Jazz Band, Reginald D Hunter, Al Murray and The Boy with Tape on His Face.
PRG XL Video Account Director Peter Marshall works closely with John on a number of projects and was excited to be a part of the Henley Festival 2016: “It was really nice to be back after a ten-year absence, prior to which we worked very closely with lighting designers Michael Odam and Theo Cox to develop the Henley Festival to the size and stature it is today.”
John explained his vision: “From the outset we had a very definite idea of what we wanted to achieve with the festival lighting. Gerry Mott took on the role of Lighting Designer for the main stage, whilst I created very basic looks for all the other performance spaces: the comedy stage, The Top/Pizza Express Live and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Tent. Mark Steeds performed the role of Crew Chief and coordinated the team of technicians who installed and operated the lighting across the venues. In order to keep the focus on entertainment rather than the technology, I used a simple look with an emphasis on not over-complicating the set-up for all venues except the main stage. The comedy stage was lit with just six Fresnel lights which were either on or off; there was a similarly simple lighting rig in the Ronnie Scott’s tent, which had either house light or show light states.”
The main stage floats on the water just off the bank of the Thames and is visible from the seated area directly in front of the stage and the grandstand restaurant. John detailed how he and Gerry designed the space: “When it came to deciding which kit we used, we took a slightly unorthodox yet very sensible approach of sitting down with Pete—explaining what we wanted to achieve with the budget available and heeding his suggestions. Pete came up trumps and we had a very glamorous looking main stage which featured 26 Mac Viper AIR FXs, 12 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s, 35 GLP Volkslicht, 10 Vari*lite VL1000 T/S and 10 SGM P5 LED wash lights.” In addition to the comprehensive lighting package supplied by PRG XL Video, we also provided a small camera system and several screens around the festival site, relaying live footage from the main stage. “This year was the first time we’d used any video technology at Henley, and it proved to be a very positive experience The area around the floating stage has a capacity of 4400, so to be able to show the main act to all 7200 nightly ticket holders was wonderful.” John explained.
There are many factors which make Henley such an individual festival, John discussed some of the challenges faced by the team: “We only have three days to transform the site to the layout and specification of Henley Festival. We gain access to the site at around eight-thirty on Sunday evening as the previous event loads out. They complete handover at midnight on Monday night and we open to the public at six o’clock on Wednesday. I can’t overstate how much work has to be done and how hard everybody works. The Floating Stage and The Top are built from scratch, for which we bring in several trucks and cranes, we rearrange all the venues, bring in generators and reconfigure all the mains distribution.”
John Continued: “The land on which the festival takes place is very precious ground—before we do anything onsite I take a detailed tour around the grounds and inspect every element, noting down any damage; we do another check after the festival and any damage is charged to us. We employ a team of professional grounds men who take care of the grass for the duration of the festival, they are used to working on golf courses and cricket grounds and constantly rolling, trimming and aerating the turf. This year we had exceptional weather for the whole week, but if that hadn’t been the case, our grounds men would work overtime to ensure the site stays functional and the turf remains in an acceptable condition; returning the site looking like a freshly ploughed field is not an option. The last really wet year we had was in 2012, it was quite entertaining to see so many people navigating the site in ball gowns and tuxedoes but wearing wellies, there were plenty of Hunter boots on show!”
Peter Marshall concluded: “Around eighty percent of the work is done by John Harris and his team before arriving on site; there is an awful lot of planning and pre-production preparation that happens in advance, which enables John, Gerry, Mark, and their lighting crew to do work within the limited timescale of having just three days to transform the site and only one day to install the kit on the floating stage once it’s built. We’re delighted to be supporting John and his technical team at Henley and look forward to a continued involvement in the years to come as the festival grows in size and technical complexity.”
Pictures by Satureyes Photography
On Friday 30th September 2016, the AV Awards took place at a glamorous event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. The awards, which celebrate the best product, projects, and people in the AV industry, was attended by a team from PRG XL Video, led by Executive VP & COO, EMEA, Gary Boyd.
Following the announcement of the shortlist for Production Product of the Year, sponsored by DB Systems, PRG’s GroundControl™ Followspot System was announced as the winner in the category which included products from Barco, Elation Professional, Sennheiser, X-Rite Photo and Video, and NewTek Inc.
The revolutionary product is already making waves across the production industry, particularly in the concert touring, theatre and television markets, and the judges commended the way the product is having a huge effect on the way lighting designers and producers design their shows and events.
The GroundControl™ Followspot System consists of a specially customized PRG Bad Boy spotlight which includes an in-built camera, and can be flown from rigging or mounted in locations around a venue which would not normally accomodate a followspot; a truss box which provides the link between the fixture and the controller; and the ground-based controller unit which can be operated from up to 610 metres away from the fixture.
GroundControl™ allows designers huge flexibility in where to locate their followspots and the operators can be safely located on the ground within the venue, without the need to climb rigging. In addition to the safety benefits, the GroundControl™ Followspot System also negates the need to remove seats to create traditional followspot positions – a revenue bonus for venues.
Gary Boyd comments: “I was delighted to accept the award for Production Product of the Year for GroundControl. The product is making huge waves across our industry, and we’re very proud to have developed this in-house. Our R&D team in Dallas have done an excellent job in creating a followspot system which is rapidly growing in popularity and demand!”
For a full list of the AV Awards Winners follow this link.
September saw BPM | PRO return to Birmingham’s NEC complex for their eighth successive event at the UK’s busiest exhibition centre. As the popular trade show for sound and lighting equipment and DJ products celebrated their tenth anniversary, the show moved out of regular exhibition halls and made its home in the Genting Arena.
PRG Proshop, our outlet for used equipment sales (UES) had a presence in the sound and lighting hall, where Director of UES, Dirk Bosloirs and Product Sales Manager Rodney George met and conversed with potential clients over the three-day event. Dirk commented: “BPM | PRO is a growing show with good future business potential. Although not a specific event for UES—we made several excellent contacts at last year’s show and are confident that this year’s event will yield the same results.”
Co-founder of BPM | PRO, and director of organising company Marked Events, Mark Walsh said: "We were delighted to welcome back a market leader such as PRG XL Video to support BPM | PRO. Their presence really does contribute to the success of the event and brings another dimension with their Proshop. We look forward to building on this relationship as BPM | PRO continues to evolve."
Dirk and Rodney were supported by our business development team, who answered questions about other areas of our business as well as UES. PRG XL Video Sales Director, Rich Rowley said: “It’s important for PRG XL Video to play a part in growing shows such as BPM | PRO—the event works very well for our UES team, for whom it is one of the most important dates in their calendar. It’s also an exciting opportunity to meet students and other young people looking to get into the industry who we wouldn’t see at other events.”
Mark Walsh added: “We made a lot of changes this year, and they appear to have paid off. The new venue has been the absolute right choice for our industry, not only is the space fresh and exciting it is also surrounded by plenty of hotels, bars and restaurants which allows the show atmosphere to continue on through the evenings. I am extremely thankful to all those exhibitors who have supported the show over the past ten years and especially to those who took a chance on us again this year. Myself and my team are already excitedly working on the 2017 event, where we will build on the positives from this year and listen to feedback, from both visitors and exhibitors, to create an even bigger and better BPM | PRO for 2017!”