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.

08/10/2018

Secret Cinema Creates Shakespearean Magic

Secret Cinema is known for taking the essence of the film and build a living, breathing world that the audience can be a part of. With meticulous attention to detail, Secret Cinema crafts extraordinary events, blurring the line between fiction and reality on an unprecedented scale.

In August, Secret Cinema did it again, creating an incredible series of events inspired by a Shakespearean blockbuster.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Luke Dyson

 

Audiences got into character in the midst of this year’s epic heatwave, at an amazing 5,000 capacity open-air festival where the film screening was the star of the show.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Luke Dyson

 

This incredible retelling of one of the world’s most famous love stories saw ticket holders taken right into the world of Baz Luhrmann’s 90’s classic, with 90’s dance moves, Shakespearean witticisms, and event design inspired by California’s Verona Beach.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Luke Dyson


There were fierce feuds, high octane cars, immersive theatrical performances and glorious music galore. Delicious food, bespoke cocktails and craft beer were served by carefully curated street food vendors.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Luke Dyson


Behind the scenes, the PRG team helped to create this magical event, working with Production Manager Andy Barnes, alongside Justin Litten and Matt Dee. Their Lighting Crew was headed up by Chief Adam Povey, working for Secret Cinema directly to which we worked closely alongside to enable Simon Spencer’s design rigging wise. We also worked closely with Star Events’ Gavin Scott, who led the way in building the event’s structures.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Luke Dyson


PRG supplied all rigging across the site, as well as the video systems and projection. Rigging wise, our brief was to bring the event designers’ ideas to life, facilitating anything which they wanted to happen across the site. So, that included multiple self-climbing cable bridges, self-climbing lighting towers and 54 concrete bases for all the festoon lighting across the site.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Luke Dyson


We managed the rigging in all of the event’s venues, including on the main stage for lighting, video and scenery. We also provided our smart mast systems, huge amounts of truss and lots of motors to bring it all together.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Camilla Greenwell


In terms of the video, we were briefed to work alongside Video Designer Salvador Bettencourt Avila, to ensure his designed system worked to spec. This included supplying five Panasonic Laser Projectors plus all the required infrastructure.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Camilla Greenwell


Sound is key at Secret Cinema, and to ensure it all ran seamlessly we worked in conjunction with Luke Swaffield and Ben Lloyd of Autograph, ensuing all speakers were hung around the site where needed.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Camilla Greenwell


Lighting Design was by Simon Spencer and Scenic Design by Tim Blazdell. PRG’s Project Managers were Robert Watson, Ade Stead and Paul McCauley who was supported by in-house Project Manager Dan Rowe and Video Project Manager Nilkanth Patel. Onsite rigging was led by Jay Call, and assisted by Luke Jackson. Onsite video was led by Ben Hornshaw and Richie Jewell.

Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Camilla Greenwell


Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. © 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photography by: Camilla Greenwell


To learn more about what PRG could do for your next event contact us.

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04/10/2018

PURE10 makes its debut during U2’s ‘eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour’

10 times lighter than a regular screen and with an unprecedented 70% transparency, the PURE10 is the eye catcher on U2’s stage.

Other tech innovations are the PRG SPACEFRAME™ and Domino for the round video floor.

PRG Projects was visiting some highly innovative companies in China only 1.5 years ago, when they met NEXNOVO – specializing in ultra-thin advertising solutions. Frederic Opsomer stipulated to have been especially impressed by the high level of focus of NEXNOVO”. Barton Lin, COO of NEXNOVO was immediately intrigued by the challenges: “Our product was initially designed for fixed installations, PRG Projects brought the professionalism and knowhow to use the advantages of the technology and adapt it for a concert-touring reality”.

From there, it all went very fast: the design phase started in November and was ready in January. The production started immediately in China, where the electronic components were built. Everything was shipped to Belgium mid March for the assembly and the mechanical part: a full carbon fibre structure.



Jake Berry, Production Director U2, states that without the PURE10, this setting for U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour would not have been possible: “After the Joshua Tree Tour, we wanted to raise the bar even higher. We wanted a wider screen, in combination with a flying catwalk. At that moment, it simply seemed impossible. The weight limits of the tour’s stadiums would have been exceeded”.
The P10 was constructed especially to minimize weight, at an uttermost high resolution and transparency. Weighing only 10 kg/m2, the design dream became reality.

Carbon fiber 

Frederic Opsomer adds “We think in solutions, for the PURE10, we pushed the technology to the limits of its abilities, doubled the regular width to limit the amount of pieces, and at the same time guaranteeing the highest possible transparency.”

It is fair to say that the PURE10, with its carbon fiber structure, reduced the suspension load of the screen by half in comparison to the technology that had been provided on the previous tour. This change of screen allowed to introduce more features on the catwalk, whilst even reducing the overall weight of the rigg. 

Carbon Fiber had proven to be an excellent choice for the PRG SPACEFRAME™, and its strong, reliable and very light characteristics made it perfect for PURE10 as well. In the future, the structural advantages of carbon fibre compared to aluminum or steel will further be explored. By investing and following up the continuous development, PRG will be able to create custom solutions in a much faster way.

Green

The revolutionary low weight of PURE10, combined with the smart stacking in custom designed dollies, saves space. That leads to an optimization in transport and reduction of the green imprint.

“In every development we do, we try to solve a green issue. It is actually one of our top 3 questions, together with: ‘are we making a creative solution? ‘and ‘are we allowing designers to propose an innovation to their customers?” explains Opsomer.

Not only it has a positive impact on transport, but we’re also facing limited storage space in most venues.

Stuart Heaney, PRG Crew Chief, is particularly happy about the set-up of PURE10: “The time to set-up the screen, including the interdependencies with other teams involved is 8-9 hours. If we would be solely constructing the screen, everything would be built up even faster, in under 3 hours. Tearing down takes 2.5 hours, and that again is with all integrations being removed.”

Ric Lipson – partner at Stufish – has been in charge of design and architecture for multiple U2 shows. He reflects on the collaboration with PRG: “in this long-standing relationship with PRG, we love how they are always innovative. They come with weird and wonderful ideas and make them happen”.

The PRG SPACEFRAME™ allowed the enormous screens of last year’s tour Joshua Tree Tour to resist wind loads. For Beyoncé’s and Jay Z’s tour there was even a moving element added, allowing the screens to open and close, despite weather conditions. PRG SPACEFRAME™ is also used in this year’s design and PRG Projects is already looking at the future: With PRG SPACEFRAME™ we incorporated structural elements into the video screens. We are now experimenting to do the same with lighting, automation and other combinations. The PRG SPACEFRAME™ technology definitely has a lot of yet unveiled opportunities.

Live Design Magazine has named PRG Projects’ PURE10 as the best LED Screen for this year's 2018 Video and Projection Product awards!

It was chosen by a panel of prestigious video/projection designers and programmers, from amongst a field of our esteemed peers. PRG is so proud of the talented team that made this innovative technology a reality.

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Photo Credit Patrick Murphy
02/10/2018

Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular

Dinosaurs are once again roaming international soil, as the globally-acclaimed production, Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, returned this year.

Watched by over 9 million people in more than 250 cities around the world, Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, opened its World Tour in the UK in July before embarking on an international tour, taking over arenas across Europe, including Hungary.

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Murphy

The $20 million production features updated, state of the art technology, underlining its position as the biggest and best dinosaur show in the world.

The one-hour, 40 minute show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic realism. Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular has scenes of the interactions between dinosaurs, how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators.

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Murphy

Nine species are represented from the entire 200 million year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the Cretaceous period.

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Murphy

The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus, is 11 meters tall and 17 meters from nose to tail. It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists, painters, and animatronic experts - a year to build the production.

The final tour differs from its predecessors in that the upstage is now comprised of LED lights, rather than the projection which had been used previously. That means the audience enjoys a far brighter, more vivid set of images. Not only that, the setup time for each show is much shorter.

The Walking with Dinosaurs Live screen is driven from a main/redundant pair of Catalyst media servers. There are also side projection I-Mag screens (Barco), fed from a small PPU (with Sony system and Panasonic PTZs).

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Murphy

A team of two PRG crew members, Noel Wyatt (Cameras and Projection) and Cedric Vandepitte (LED and Servers) are working on the production, together with Robin Haddow, who programmed the Catalyst media servers.

The biggest challenge on this project has been fitting everything into the arena spaces. So, in order to facilitate the tour, we’ve had to remain incredibly flexible, assessing each show on a venue by venue basis.

James Morden, PRG Video Systems Designer said: “To facilitate this tour, we have to be very flexible… Other challenges are getting the camera shots we need, without the technology being too visible in front of the audience, so as not to remind them of the technology delivering their experience.”

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Murphy

So, our team has ensured that all tech used remains hidden to the audience, to create the most realistic special effects possible. Our camera equipment has been in hiding; we wouldn’t want to steal any attention away from those incredible dinosaurs on the stage!

The all-important dinosaurs are operated by three people, with each one weighing in at 1.6 tons! These impressive creatures are supported by the forces of the sound, lighting, audio and production teams, which all combine to make this a show that audiences will never forget.

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Murphy

The Walking with Dinosaurs Live tour has proved a phenomenal success. Its popularity stems largely from the 1999 BBC series which inspired it. And now, thanks to the brilliant event tech available, the brilliant TV show has been brought to life before audiences’ very eyes. The show appeals to children and big kids of all ages, from three to 103.

James Morden explained: “The technical success is very much on the creatures themselves, with the other departments adding to the setting to make the dinosaurs ‘more real’. Ultimately, this show is about suspending your disbelief, so that you do believe that the dinosaurs are real and stood in front of you.”

We’re looking forward to continuing the magic into 2019, working with WWD and Nick Grace Management. Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular takes over Budapest Arena, from April 19-21, 2019.

To learn more about what PRG could do for your next event contact us

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28/09/2018

GQ Men of The Year Awards 2018

Now in its 21st year, the GQ Men of the Year Awards pays homage to distinguished men and women who have been responsible for shaping the culture of the world, either through style, politics, entertainment or sport.

This year the awards ceremony was supported by PRG, and produced by Timebased Events. The event took place in the heart of central London, within the incredible Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern. Worthy winners included Prince Charles, Rose McGowan and plenty more.

Timebased worked in partnership with the event’s creators, Conde Nast. This partnership dates back to 1996, when Timebased was chosen to produce the very first GQ Men of the Year Awards ceremony. Over the years the annual event has evolved, gradually becoming one of the world’s most anticipated, star-studded events.

The GQ Men of the Year Awards had been held at the Royal Opera House for over a decade. Ceremonies historically took place within the stunning glass-vaulted Paul Hamlyn Hall. But when the space became unavailable due to redevelopment works, Timebased knew it had to locate a venue that would likewise champion the cultural prominence and prestige of the awards.

The iconic Tate Modern is an inimitable place to host prestigious events such as this. Timebased’s founder, Richard Dodgson said, “it is an honour to produce an event in such a world-famous setting. The grand and industrial aesthetic of the Turbine Hall perfectly aligns with the GQ brand and the heart of the event.”

Hosting an event at the Tate Modern presents its own challenges, however. In this case, one of the biggest obstacles was the speed required for the setup. All production teams only had half an hour from when the doors closed to the public to lay down the red carpet, finish production and open doors again for the guests.

After the event, staff worked through the night to de-rig the set and ensure that the galleries could open for the public the next day. In addition to the dining hall space and the entrance with the suspended red carpet, the event required numerous backstage rooms and even different dressing rooms for Donatella Versace, Chris Hemsworth and the models. Katrina Hinrichsen added “It’s exciting to dress the spaces in the Tate and have it completely transformed once the sun sets.”

The end result was a standout event which made full use of an impressive central London event space, creating a worthy backdrop for this epic annual celebration.

Richard Dodgson said, “The GQ Men of the Year Awards is always a spectacular event and somehow each ceremony seems even more phenomenal than the last. The GQ team, supported by Timebased, continually push to make it bigger and better than before, to remain at the forefront of discussions and to inspire global audiences. From the numerous cultural icons who attend the Awards to the creative sets and all the innovative digital aspects – holograms, video booths and more – the highlights are infinite!”

If you want to find out more about what PRG could do for your next event, whatever its size, we’re the people to talk to. Contact John Montague or Andy Johnston.

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25/09/2018

Four Event Tech Predictions for 2020

The past few years have seen an explosion of new event technology, with the arrival of innovative event tech from LED drones to reactive experiential installations making full use of the impressive capabilities of VR technology. And new arrivals to the world of event tech will only increase creatives’ capacities, enabling those who are ahead of the curve to design mind-boggling events, the like of which have never been seen before.

We caught up with our Technical Sales Director, John Montague, to find out more about the developing tech that we can expect to see hit the events industry in 2020. Here are four exciting innovations to look out for.

 

Interactive AR/VR Jumps to The Head of The Queue

Using visual recognition technology, augmented reality enables users to see interactive animations, holograms and 3D models when they point a smartphone or tablet at a tracker. The technology works brilliantly at events - for example, the latest product launches use augmented reality to reveal information about products when guests hold up a device in front of them. They might see visualisations of a car driving off, or a pair of shoes being worn by a moving catwalk model.

Similarly, virtual reality can be used to transport guests into another world, adding a mesmerising immersive element to all manner of events. All guests need to do is put on a VR headset and away they go. Want to up the ante when it comes to your theme? Why not offer guests the chance to experience a beach party in Ibiza, or a tropical trek through the mountains of Puerto Rico? With VR - you can.

In 2020, the tech behind augmented reality and virtual reality is set to become even more impressive, with more realistic and exciting visualisations being used at events throughout the world. Look out for AR and VR as they jump to the head of the queue. Soon you won’t see an event without them!

 

Hololens Conquers the Exhibition Marketplace

The Hololens by Microsoft is the first self-contained, holographic computer. The piece of kit comes with see-through holographic lenses, that use an advanced optical projection system to generate multidimensional, full-colour holograms with very low latency, so guests can see holographic objects in the world around them.

HoloLens enables the user to create and shape holograms with gestures, communicate with apps and navigate with a glance. It understands a user’s gestures, gaze, and voice, enabling a very natural interaction with its holographic content. It even comes with spatial sound, meaning it synthesizes sound so the user can hear holograms from anywhere in the room.

This technology is relatively new, but by 2020 you can expect to see it taking over the exhibition marketplace, with holograms bringing the stands of all kinds of brand to life as visitors get a real-life experience of the products being sold.

 

A New Form of Communication

By 2020, speakers will be communicating with their audience through technology, far more than they do in real life. This is largely down to the advancements in smartphone and tablet apps, which are set to offer new opportunities for speakers to connect with audiences on a personal level.

New apps, specifically designed for the latest smartphone and tablets, will allow speakers to reach a much wider audience, and deliver their message in an individual way, with talks, workshops and presentations available for users to access whenever they wish.

Whilst the flexibility and accessibility of this development shows great benefits, we do not expect that it would put a stop to presentations being delivered to live audiences, as brands and consumers alike will still relish the opportunity to learn about new products and ask questions at live events.

 

Immersive Presentations

Using live video mapping and drone and camera technology which feeds directly into media servers, immersive presentations are set to become the next big thing in event tech. These presentations can completely surround audiences, or 270 degree presentations can also be used, to achieve an impressive immersive effect.

This tech turns passive spectators into participants in a speaker’s presentation. No longer are they simply watching the presentation, instead they become part of it. So, it’s easy to see how the message being delivered becomes so much more powerful when immersive technology is in use.

 

If you want to find out more about what PRG could do for your next event, whatever its size, we’re the people to talk to. Contact John Montague or Andy Johnston.

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25/09/2018

Event Tech You Probably Don’t Know
 About Yet But You Really, Really Should

The world of event tech is constantly changing, with new and exciting developments emerging all the time. The latest advancements include transparent LED screens, live interactive skeletal mapping, real-time VR installations and LED drones painting pictures in the sky. Include even some of that tech in your next event and you’ve got a recipe for one unforgettable experience!

When it comes to making your event stand out, the addition of brand new event tech is one way to guarantee success. The latest technology can be used in a whole host of exciting ways, to maximise the impact of your event and leave your guests inspired and amazed. This is the event tech you need to know about right now.

We are so inspired by the Borderless exhibition at the MORI Building Digital Art Museum, Odaiba, Tokyo (photo teamLab)

 

Transparent LED Screens

Transparent screens open up a new world of possibilities in terms of event design. These screens are available in different scales of transparency, with options for indoor and outdoor use. The screens are fantastic if you want to create a visually stunning display without compromising on natural light.

The Pure10 is a revolutionary and unique lightweight and highly transparent LED touring screen, which was developed by PRG. Its transparency creates numerous creative solutions for the concert-touring segment, which will seduce the most extravagant and ambitious projects. Due to its feather light carbon structure and its customized dollies for transport, PRG Projects once again reduces the green footprint drastically in terms of transport volume and weight.

We were honoured to have our collaboration with U2 spotlighted in Variety magazine earlier this year. "After 40-plus years on the road, U2 remains one of the biggest live acts in the world, and not just because of the music. The band has always embraced the latest stage technology, often to spectacular effect, and its current Experience + Innocence global tour — the European leg debuts Aug. 31 in Berlin — is more impressive than ever, boosted by U2’s ongoing collaboration with Production Resource Group."

 

Live Interactive Skeletal Mapping

If you really want to push the boundaries of event tech, live interactive skeletal mapping is a must. This fusion of man and machine sees 3D cameras used to track a person’s body. Data is evaluated by the machine and simple movements such as the person raising an arm, or moving from one way to another will then change the visual display and audio. This tech works brilliantly for art installations, live events, performances and festivals. It’s a show-stopper.

Real Time VR Reactive Experiential Installations

Virtual reality is big news in the world of event tech, and its popularity shows no sign of waning. The latest virtual reality installations are fantastic for experiential events, and enable guests to experience a meeting of the real world and a virtual one, all in real time. Virtual reality can be used in this way to add computerised additions to the real world guests see around them, making for an awe-inspiring journey into the world of VR.

Gareth Pugh's Monolith. Virtual Reality Installation at Selfridges London from INITION on Vimeo.

 

LED Drones

LED lights take on a complelty new twist. LED screens are mounted on drones, which can then be flown over audiences or parties of guests, creating an extraordinary visual effect as seen at last yeas Super Bowl and at the Winter Olympcis. Check out more creative LED screen options from PRG here.

If you want to find out more about what PRG could do for your next event, whatever its size, we’re the people to talk to. Contact John Montague or Andy Johnston.

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21/09/2018

Frankie Boyle from Febo Designs Speaks at the First PRG Ideas Exchange

PRG hosted its first ever Ideas Exchange briefing earlier this month. The breakfast meeting was the first in a series of events set to bring the best creative minds together for an exchange of innovative and inspiring ideas.

Creative director Frankie Boyle was invited to speak. Frankie specialises in the medium of light. Her company, Febo Designs, art-directs unforgettable, multi-sensory experiences. Febo Designs uses light, texture, form and colour to craft unique and unforgettable multi-sensory experiences.

At the breakfast meeting, Frankie talked passionately about how light has a bigger part to play in the immersive and entertainment sector, not just as an accompaniment to the storytelling.

“We love experiences where we are transported out of our daily life, and Febo enables us to do just that. Febo is a company which specialises in high-end technology, merging it with material research to gain a greater understanding of emotion and human connection” she said.

 

Frankie’s lighting inspiration

Frankie believes that her lifelong love of colour and light can be traced back to early childhood where at Guy’s Hospital she had developmental testing for a receptive language disorder. She believes the light and colour, experienced in these tests heighten her senses to using light as a second language.

As an adult, she gets her inspiration from places that use colour as there main language, for example places like Chroma Yoga in Shoreditch who use light and colour therapy techniques, brain stimulating soundscapes and bespoke natural scents to creative an immersive, multi-sensory yoga experience. She also likes exploring street art, which she feels makes colour more accessible, she loves the work of Bombas and Parr and the Lord of Lightning who regularly appear at Glastonbury’s Arcadia spectacular, along with Acradia themselves!

 

One of Frankie’s biggest achievements was being brought onto the project, Arcadia Spectacular’s Metamorphosis show. It was groundbreaking work, combining the best of costume design by Jo Peacock with advanced LED wireless systems by Light Initiative, this show was a sight to behold.

Image Credit: Giles Mayall

Image Credit: Giles Mayall

They developed three two-piece wireless video LED neon costumes, that worked for high performance aerial choreography, designed with a synchronised inner and removable outer layer. With up to three metre lengths of LED, the costumes dramatically displayed mapped video content throughout the show, enabled by Light Initiative’s innovative design to generate a unique and unforgettable performance.

 

Frankie on how light can affect emotion at events

Frankie explained how the use of black light or black content relates to the impact on human response to the content itself. She said “It’s a bit like teasing someone with light. If you have minimal going on when the light comes to life, you are more responsive. Rather than saturating you in all the lights so your brain activity is overwhelmed.” She went on to add “if you are going at 100mph 110mph doesn’t feel much different!” 

Frankie divulged a key tip which she uses in her lighting installations. “When using light at an event don’t give too much away too quickly - in eight minutes people become normalized to surroundings. Build it up slowly.” 

Image Credit: Alitor Throup Studio

Image Credit: Alitor Throup Studio

Frankie recommended Eric Prydz’s recent Creamfields show for ‘another level’ inspiration. The Swedish DJ latest HALLO show at Creamfields’ Steel Yard designed by Mark Calvert and Ross Chapple. Prydz’s lighting designer included astronauts, lasers and holographic heads.

 

Light festivals to explore

The dream is to go to Day for Night festival in Texas! Frankie’s favourite English light festivals include Lumiere and the winter lights festival in Canary Wharf. She also loves light pop-ups like the spectacular pop-up by Marcus Lyall - On Your Wavelength (Canary Wharf 2017 & 2018). But Frankie would love to see more permanent places people could go to enjoy creative lighting.

  

Frankie’s biggest challenge

Every year Claridge’s Hotel turns its Christmas tree into an iconic art piece, a Mayfair landmark drawing visitors from across the world. In 2015 it was Burberry’s turn, and in collaboration with technology by Renagade, working with Light Initiative, and the craftsmanship of Mike Smith Studios Febo was able to bring Burberry’s dream to life. The tree was a six-metre tower of undulating umbrellas of different sizes, finished in gold and silver chrome. Each umbrella held over 1,200 motion reactive LED’s which followed guests as they descended the staircase brushing past the tree, creating the illusion of sparkling raindrops.  

Image Credit: Dezeen

 

What’s next for Febo?

Closing the breakfast meeting, Frankie gave a sneak peek of what we can look out for from Febo over the coming months and years. She explained that she is looking to create an experience that involves food and light. She added, “Light, colour and food all nourish you. It is the perfect combination.”

Photo Credit: Jolly Schwarz

Photo Credit: Jolly Schwarz

Febo Designs has joined forces with the amazing Paranormal Unicorn to produce a lighting product which allows lighting designers to have full range of the creative spectrum. This product is now at the patenting stages and soon to be released on to the market. With the amazing skills of Jolly Schwarz, Febo used the perfect canvas of an abandoned building in Vienna to test drive the product by light painting the space. It sounds amazing and we can’t wait to see it!

 

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

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19/09/2018

Eric Prydz record breaking HOLO show at Creamfields

In August, 20,000 dance music fans packed themselves in to Creamfields’ Steel Yard, an impressive super structure, to watch Eric Prydz, the Swedish DJ, perform a headlining set complete with “astronauts”, lasers and holographic heads.

Prydz debuted his mind-blowing “HOLO” live show at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena in June before heading to Creamfields for a UK festival exclusive, promising fans mesmerising production and impressive visuals.

Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Anthony Mooney

 

PRG, the technical production specialist, played a vital role in Prydz’s extensive set that delivered larger than life event production, state-of-the-art technology and a record number of Kinesys points.

Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Anthony Mooney

 

Record breakers

Creamfields is widely known for pushing the boundaries in terms of technical production but this year’s edition of the dance music festival went one step further and deployed a record-breaking number of hoists for Prydz; the DJ closed the festival on Sunday night (August 26) and headlined Creamfields’ renowned Steel Yard structure with a show that featured 144 variable speed chain hoists, a world record according to Dave Weatherhead, director and co-founder of Kinesys.

 

PRG provided lighting, rigging and video services to the 21st edition of Creamfields, delivering 30 trucks worth of lighting, rigging and screens. The company worked extensively with Ian Greenway, director of LarMac Live, who managed the festival’s production – Steel Yard was one of nine arenas that PRG provided a staggering amount of kit to.

Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Anthony Mooney


Pushing the boundaries

Richard Gorrod, head of event services at PRG project managed the lighting, rigging, automation and video elements within Steel Yard, and worked with LarMac Live for six months to ensure that Prydz boundary-pushing set assaulted the crowd’s senses.

Q Willis, head of rigging services at PRG, oversaw all rigging elements and Nathan Avery, PRG crew chief, headed up video. The pair were joined on site by PRG’s Luke Jackson, who was site manager, and Pete MacDonald, Dave Evans, Mark England and Jarag Zajag, all experts in Kinesys.

Steel Yard’s rig – designed by Mark Calvert and Ross Chapple, Prydz’s lighting designer – was installed by head rigger, Nick Brown, who was assisted by Willis.

Gorrod explained: “When myself and Q received the lighting plot, we knew that Kinesys was the best motion control system for the job and would fulfil all of our requirements.”

Gorrod headed up an elite crew of 16, which ensured everything ran smoothly. The team had just three days to load in.

“Steel Yard also had the added challenge of being located on a hill with front of house six metres higher than the stage,” Gorrod continued. “Although this made the site the perfect natural stage, it was a considerable challenge for the team loading in nine trucks of equipment.

 

Unforgettable show

In all, PRG supplied 30 trucks of kit to Creamfields 2018, which was the festival’s 21st edition. Within Steel Yard alone, there were 300 rigging points and 1,000 lighting fixtures cross the arena’s vast rig; a mixture of Robe, GLP, Martin and Chauvet products.

The rig’s design – which comprised more than 1.5 kilometres of truss – featured 36 trussing pods. Twelve were placed above the stage and 24 above the audience. Each pod, which measured two square metres, was flown on four half-tonne Kinesys motors running with Elevation 1+ drives. The pods were required to tilt and pitch in all directions – the flexibility offered by the Elevation 1+ drives met Chapple’s desire to create an unforgettable show; one that the festival audience would not forget in a hurry.

 

Gorrod commented: “PRG worked on nine stages at Creamfields, supplying rigging, lighting and video equipment and services. The show’s just keep getting bigger and better each year and the festival’s 21st outing certainly pushed the envelope. The sheer quantity of everything, from the amount of automation and the number of lighting fixtures, demonstrates Cream’s commitment to creating the best electronic dance music event for fans and naturally, PRG is hugely proud to be a part of that story. We are looking forward to pushing the boundaries even further next year.”

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18/09/2018

Cream celebrates with PRG

Almost 3,000 square metres of LED screen, 624 rigging points, more than two kilometres of fibre, 1,800 lighting fixtures, six Barco E2 Screen Controllers, 18 Resolume Media Servers, four 30k laser projectors, two D3 Media Servers, 1,493 metres of truss and 144 Kinesys points (a world record). These are just some of the staggering statistics cited this month by PRG, the technical production specialist, as it supplied lighting, rigging and video services to the 21st edition of Creamfields, the electronic dance music festival.

A team of 120 – comprised of PRG event crew, freelance lighting and freelance video staff – worked round the clock to install a huge range of kit and event equipment that travelled to the Cheshire-based festival in 45 arctic trucks. 

The four-day event, which saw more than 70,000 fans descend on the Daresbury site each day, celebrated its 21st anniversary by introducing a number of new arenas – Silo, Generator and Warehouse. Each raised the bar in festival production and were designed to envelop the audience with an all out assault on the senses.

 

Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Lorenzo Tnc

 

Ian Greenway, director of LarMac Live, who managed the festival’s production, engaged PRG to provide an incredible amount of technical infrastructure to the festival, including a range of ROE products – ROE CB5, ROE MC7 and ROE Vanish – that would enable large LED structures to be created and high resolution content to be displayed.

 

Attention to detail

PRG provided full lighting and video pre-vis suites, which allowed VJs and artist’s technical teams to check any lighting and visual mapping, and if necessary make tweaks, before getting to the stage.

Attention to detail was everything for all involved. For example, Silo, a new circular structure with a mezzanine, featured 150 German Light Product’s JDC1 strobes and Panasonic 3k laser projection, used in conjunction with Disguise Media Servers.

 

Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Anthony Mooney

 

PRG’s Adam Power looked after the Silo stage, operating both the lights and Disguise servers, whilst Paul McCauley, senior account manager at PRG XL Video, worked alongside Ian Jones, Erica Frost, Ben Mason, Rupert Barnes, Ben Gilbert and Sam Jeffs – each ensured that LarMac Live’s exact specifications were met.

“We have been working with Cream and LarMac Live for years and we continually help Creamfields to push the limits in terms of production values,” McCauley explained. “More LED and screens than ever before, higher resolution, better control equipment, two pre-vis studios and content management all played their part in making this year’s festival one to remember – festivalgoers will be talking about an epic experience for years to come.”

 

Generator. Photo Credit: Geoffrey Hubbel

 

Pushing boundaries

Creamfields is widely known for pushing the boundaries in terms of technical production but this year’s edition of the dance music festival went one step further and deployed a record-breaking number of hoists for Eric Prydz; the Swedish DJ closed the festival on Sunday night (August 26) and headlined Creamfields’ renowned Steel Yard structure with a show that featured 144 Kinesys points, a world record according to Dave Weatherhead, director and co-founder of Kinesys.

Steel Yard, a 20-metre high super structure with capacity for 20,000, was one of nine arenas that PRG provided services to.

Richard Gorrod, head of event services at PRG project managed the lighting, rigging, automation and video elements within Steel Yard, and worked with LarMac Live for six months to ensure that Prydz boundary-pushing set made waves.

Q Willis, head of rigging services at PRG, oversaw all rigging elements and Nathan Avery, PRG crew chief, headed up video. The pair were joined on site by PRG’s Luke Jackson, who was site manager, and Pete MacDonald and Dave Evans, both Kinesys operators.

 

Steel Yard. Photo Credit: Geoffrey Hubbel

 

Steel Yard’s rig – designed by Ross Chapple, Prydz’s lighting designer – was installed by Nick Brown, who was assisted by Willis.

Gorrod commented: “PRG worked on nine stages at Creamfields, supplying rigging, lighting and video equipment and services. The show’s just keep getting bigger and better each year and the festival’s 21st outing certainly pushed the envelope. The sheer quantity of everything, from the amount of automation and the number of lighting fixtures, demonstrates Cream’s commitment to creating the best electronic dance music event for fans and naturally, PRG is hugely proud to be a part of that story. We are looking forward to pushing the boundaries even further next year.”

Yvonne Donnelly Smith, director of music (lighting) at PRG, added: “It’s all about the people – the fans that descend on the festival to have a good time and the people that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that 70,000 people have an amazing experience. “PRG has been involved with Creamfields for a number of years and we never cease to be amazed at how Scott Barton [Creamfields’ promoter] continues to come up with such creative ideas that push the festival forward. “We love working with Creamfields and Ian Greenway and his team at LarMac Live to deliver a festival that is technically challenging but hugely rewarding and like Richard said, we can’t wait to see what Creamfields has in store for 2019.”

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22/08/2018

PRG and VER emerge as one integrated company in Europe & The Middle East

PRG announced today that VER has merged into Production Resource Group in Europe and the Middle East.

The entities will be commonly controlled by The Jordan Company, GSO Capital Partners and PRG Management. Jere Harris will serve as Chairman and CEO of PRG and VER, and Stephan Paridaen will be President and COO. Both companies will offer the ability to share equipment, knowledge and personnel wherever doing so will benefit its customers and meet evolving client needs, offer solutions, resources and expertise in ways neither company could achieve independently.

“For more than 20 years PRG has been diligent in offering its clients the best production service and equipment in the entertainment industry. Growth across disciplines, markets and geographies has always been a key part of our strategy,” said Jere Harris, PRG’s chairman and CEO. “Now, our ability to support all types of entertainment productions globally will take on new meaning, raising an already high bar to an unprecedented level.”

PRG and VER are both well established in concert touring in lighting, video, media servers, and staging innovations. Combining PRG and VER’s strength will now offer a complete suite of services for tours, festivals, and events. Further, PRG can enhance its long history in television production and expand its work in the film industry as VER brings world-class expertise in the video camera market, lighting, display and a robust suite of cameras. VER customers will benefit from PRG’s staging and automation expertise, vast lighting inventory and its position as the exclusive rental house for PRG’s patented proprietary lighting and video products.

“We believe that this approach will bring about innovation, an exciting level of service, and even more transformative collaboration with our partners. It feels historic, not only for PRG and VER, but for entertainment industry,” said Harris.

Globally, VER and PRG will have approximately 70 locations across six continents. Clients will have improved access to an extraordinary array of equipment from all major manufacturers as well as specialized and proprietary equipment.
 


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15/08/2018

Five Tech Secrets to Make Your Next Conference the Best Ever

Technology is getting more advanced and exciting by the day. So, if you’re planning a conference and want to make sure your guests get the most out of it, there are plenty of exciting developments in the world of event tech that you’re going to want to know about.

Whether you want to light up the stage, but still stick within your strict budget, or you want to go all out creating a full sensory immersive experience, we’ve got the tech for you. These are five top secret tricks that’ll make your next conference the best ever.

 

 

LED Screens

New developments in LED technology mean that the latest screens are more cost-effective than ever. So, if you’ve always wanted to up the ante by adding some of the industry leading LED screens PRG has available to your conference tech, there’s never been a better time to do it. PRG has a variety of LED products to bring your production to life from large LED screens to creative LED solutions such as scenic LED design, custom, interactive LED which can be formed into a variety of shapes, or LED globes and spheres. You can see our full selection of LED screens here

Recently, PRG invested in a new, ultra high resolution rental LED screen. The first 1.5mm COB Mini LED on the rental market! As the technology pioneer of the LED industry AOTO Electronics has always has been a high quality manufacturer with extremely good processing features and very much focused on image quality. PRG has followed their product developments closely. Now, the product is finally ready - and our team has been convinced by this unique LED packaging technique, which is now ready for the rental market. Read all about it here.

 

Multiple Output Powerpoint

The latest presentation software transforms both the way audiences experience traditional Powerpoint presentations and how we create them.

New, large scale widescreen powerpoint presentations make use of 8,000+ pixel wide content, now in Powerpoint timescales, rather than studio timescales. Inside Powerpoint, you can create a ‘video map’ of the outputs. These outputs then work on multiple surfaces simultaneously, for a dramatic and impressive effect.

This recently developed technology is ideal for conferences, with the speed and ease of the new graphics enabling simple, fast and cost effective widescreen presentation management, that will never lessen creativity.

 

Big Lights, Small Power Requirements

Gone are the days when exciting event lighting meant no budget left for anything else. Now, event lighting can make your stage glow, without leaving you with an eye-watering electricity bill. The latest event lighting tech has been designed with power in mind, meaning you can design the event lighting you want, and still stick within your budget.

We stock more than 10,000 different products for all types of events. Whether you’re organising a music tour, a theatre production or a corporate event, need three W LEDs or a 100,000 W discharge lamp, we can help.

 

Immersive Presentations

With events growing increasingly more high tech, and more innovative, it takes a lot to leave guests lost for words. However, if there’s one thing that's sure to do it, it’s an immersive, 360 degree presentation. Transport your guests into another world or maximise your message impact through the use of the most advanced event tech, and really bring your conference to life. 360 and 270 degree presentations. See these examples below of some of the most engaging examples of clever event tech being used today.

 

Content Workflow Management

If you’re planning an event that’s going to blow your guests out of the water, you’re going to need to think about content workflow management. But don’t panic; it’s easier than you think. There are plenty of new software options designed to help you manage content workflow seamlessly, avoiding any last minute calamities in the run up to your event. Alternatively, you can leave it all to us, and we’ll pull everything together for you.

 

If you want to find out more about what PRG could do for your next event, whatever its size, we’re the people to talk to. Contact John Montague or Andy Johnston

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15/08/2018

PRG Delivers Stage Lighting to The Henley Festival for the Third Year Running

Celebrating the best of UK and international music and arts, Henley Festival is a five-day event held in a beautiful, quintessentially British location. Since 2016, PRG has been invited to provide the stage lighting for this show stopping festival, and this year was no exception.

At Henley Festival, guests experienced a whole range of musical performances from pop to world music, classical to jazz and blues to street musicians. It wasn’t just about the music, either. Art, comedy and gastronomy shared equal billing with musicians, creating a veritable feast of incredible entertainment.

Working closely alongside the Henley Festival production department and the in-house lighting team, PRG’s Peter Marshall coordinates the stage lighting supply for the main “Floating” stage as well as the Salon comedy stage, Riverside Restaurant and Art galleries.

Festival Lighting Designer Gerry Mott created a spectacle of lighting for the main stage, also known as the Floating Stage, as well as coordinating the requirements of Rita Ora and Grace Jones. Lighting for the whole festival was taken care of by the festival’s Head of Lighting Mark Steeds.

Set up timings are tight on this annual project, with the team having to transform the site from that of the Henley Royal Regatta to the Henley Festival in just 72 hours - including building a stage on the river! The gear from PRG not only does but has to work first time out of the truck.

Not only are the team working against the clock, they also have to be particularly careful not to damage any of the site’s beautifully maintained lawns. If the weather’s bad there’s not a single vehicle we are permitted to take on site during setup... it’s like trying to build a festival on Wimbledon’s Centre Court!

However, this year the weather was definitely on our side, and 30,000 guests enjoyed an incredible Great British festival on the riverbanks.

Henley Festival is the most magical festival setting many of our guests will ever experience. With a Black Tie dress code and selection of fabulous restaurants which guests can book, it’s a festival like no other. This year, setup included six restaurants for guests to choose from, as well as pop-ups offering gourmet food on the go.

Henley Festival works to support the local community, pumping 20% of its revenue straight back into the local economy through its grant initiative. This year, the festival’s revenue also supported the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and the Teenage Wilderness Trust.

PRG has delivered hundreds of festival stages over the years. Whether you require lighting, video or rigging technology for a whole festival, we have the technology, resources and expertise to help. Find out more here.

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24/07/2018

PRG Supplies Lighting, Rigging, and Video Technology for the Third Year Running at Make the Future Live London 2018

For the third year running, PRG has worked with Imagination to supply lighting, rigging and video technology at Make the Future Live London 2018 for Shell.

The festival of ideas and innovation took place over four days in July at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - and was completely free for over 15,000 visitors. At the event, visitors enjoyed live music from Lemar, as well as family-friendly activities including science shows, street food and hands-on interactive gaming.

 

A post shared by Royal Dutch Shell (@shell) on

An Intelligence Squared Podcast was chaired by Alexander Armstrong, and visitors could immerse themselves in the latest immersive experiences using cutting edge technology. The event also hosted the Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge and Drivers World Championships, where student teams and vehicles competed in one of the world’s greatest ultra-energy-efficient challenges.

 

A post shared by Royal Dutch Shell (@shell) on

PRG were contracted to provide rigging and lighting services for the event. Tasked with managing this year’s camera and control from video, we provided cameras, wireless cameras and control. From our team Dana Read took the lead on lighting and video was managed by Anthony Lear. Rich Pow worked on video and Cameron Bannister looked after lighting and rigging.

Lighting included the supply of daylight pars to the two exhibition areas based on the designers specification, and appropriate rigging to support. Additionally, PRG provided a lighting package for the main stage. Based on Sunstrips and GLP moving heads, the lighting created a cost effective solution to make the stage pop in a primarily daylight environment.

 

A post shared by Royal Dutch Shell (@shell) on

We were also tasked with providing a cost effective solution for creating an immersive entrance tunnel experience for the exhibition space. Our solution was to use the Barco MiStrip scenic LED product, to build a dynamic video surface that we were able to extend through the 24 metre tunnel to provide a custom build feel using the cost efficiencies of a rental product. We were also then able to extend the products used to create animated directional signage that reflected the feel of the tunnel environment.

The setup began two weeks prior to the event, with the installation of lighting, closely followed by our video install cables one week later. Then, two days prior to the event, the build of video control and the LED tunnel were completed.

 

A post shared by Royal Dutch Shell (@shell) on

We overcame a fair few challenges in the setup. Our rigging team were tasked with dead hanging all of the trusses to reduce our impact on roof beams and maximising the rigging systems capacity to accommodate the designers lighting rig.

It was great to be a part of the evolution of this fantastic event for the third year running. Working alongside Imagination, we helped to create an engaging and supported environment, ensuring all energy invested in the message resonated throughout the team involved. We’re looking forward to working with the Imagination team again soon.

If you want to find out more about what PRG could do for your next event, whatever its size, we’re the people to talk to. Contact John Montague or Andy Johnston.

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anja
15/07/2018

Sign up to the PRG Crew Portal

PRG has launched an innovative new portal for event specialists!

The PRG Crew Portal enables all interested event professionals to register and apply for jobs with PRG.

Intended for skilled technical specialists, the portal gives industry professionals the chance to work with our talented team on some of the world’s most exciting events.

Using the Crew Portal gives event specialists the chance to work all over the world. We’re planning on expanding the use of the portal to many companies within the PRG Group, so by adding your details you’ll make your profile internationally accessible.

The more versatile your qualifications are and the better your references are, the higher the chance is of us requesting you for a project. If you’re hired, you’ll likely start out as a skilled worker without responsibility on a few projects. This will help us verify your skills and gives us an idea if you fit into the team. If we are satisfied with your work, we will hope to work with you on a more frequent basis.

"I am always looking for the most talented individuals from all segments of the events industry to help PRG deliver an astonishing number of diverse events, from theatre and festivals to music tours, TV, film productions, corporate events and brand activations. I look forward to receiving your application.”
Anja Sanderson
Crewing Services Director

Join our team of expert freelance technicians. Register now.

#SeeWhatWeCanDoTogether

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