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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Crewing Services Director
Join our team of expert freelance technicians. Register now.
We’re known for supplying the crucial tech that makes some of the world’s biggest events stand out, but here at PRG we love smaller events too.
We’re often working on massive stages at festivals and concerts, including most recently, London Pride’s main stage in Trafalgar Square, Wireless Festival and LoveBox. We’ve even supplied the lighting for the Oscars, London Fashion week, and most of London’s theatres however, we are also well versed in creating impressive, intimate events right cross the UK.
In June, our team showed they can work under serious time pressure, providing production services for a small-scale event with a setup time of just two hours. PRG crew supplied power saving LED lighting with moving colour washes, powerpoint operation and systems, neat high end 65” screens and a cutting edge audio system which was used for speeches and playback. The event was hosted by an exciting new start-up, the live event agency, MCI Experience.
The night saw marketing and events professionals from some of the world’s top brands gather at restaurant London Grind, to hear the words of Kim Myhre, managing director of MCI UK and MCI Experience.
Attended by representatives from Amazon, HSBC, Visa, Virgin Atlantic, Facebook and Santander, the event saw industry leaders put their heads together as they listened to a thought-provoking marketing philosophy from Kim Myhre.
John Montague, Technical Sales Director of PRG said: “It was a pleasure to assist MCI Experience with their meet the team event at London Grind. An intimate system but no lesser attention to detail from our crew and production service. Not only good drinks but great people to work with and some inspirational words from Kim Myhre.”
Updated PRG SPACEFRAME™ and new Ingest product on Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “On the Run II” Tour
LONDON and LOS ANGELES – July 9, 2018 - Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations – Infinity SPACEFRAME™ and Ingest – which are supporting Beyonce and Jay-Z's "On the Run II" Tour. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME™ which serves as a kinetic backdrop on stage and Ingest, a new technology that archives camera images created on tour, are industry firsts.
PRG SPACEFRAME™ is an innovative carbon fiber touring frame created by PRG Projects, a division of PRG which specializes in developing and integrating proprietary solutions to the rigors of the production and entertainment industry. It was launched on 2017’s U2’s “Joshua Tree” Tour and “On the Run II” is the second concert tour to feature the product. For this tour, Stufish (the designers of both “Joshua” Tree and “On the Run II” tours) wanted to have a clean look, visually eliminating all support structures and rigging. To do that, PRG Projects came up with a solution called “Infinity SPACEFRAME™” where the rigging and support structure are integrated on the back of the SPACEFRAME™, invisible from audience view. Video content on the screen is now edge-to-edge without visual barriers as a classic screen would have. It gives it a monumental look and creates a new type of immersive viewing experience. The Infinity SPACEFRAME™ makes the most of the PRG SPACEFRAME™ concept by utilizing the structural capabilities of the video screen as part of the automated tracking support. It ultimately saves truckloads of additional support structure.
“Designing custom LED and video solutions for live events is a core part of what PRG Projects does. Beyond what we develop for PRG, we work directly with designers to create unique staging solutions that allow them and performers to be as creative as possible,” said Frederic Opsomer, managing director, PRG Projects. “We are constantly thinking of what is next, how do we improve on what we’ve already done. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME™ allows for moveable LED screens in an operational effective set up which aids the dynamic energy Beyonce, Jay-Z and other performers create during the show.”
The stage design for “On the Run II” Tour includes two LED screens with SPACEFRAME™. The secondary – or upstage – screen is a 16,8-meter-wide and 10,8-meter-high screen (55 feet x 35.4 feet) with ROE’s CB8 LED. The bottom section of the upstage screen is automated with three SPACEFRAME™ panels that open like garage doors, enabling the musicians’ rolling risers to enter and exit the main stage. The upstage screen stands behind a four-tiered opera box style performer platform. The main - or downstage - screen is divided into 12 automated sections. This allows for different dramatic scenes and settings and provides Beyonce and Jay-Z different entry and exit scenarios. The new Infinity SPACEFRAME™ screen, with GALAXIA’s WV9 air transparent LED, measures 52,8-meter-wide and 13,2-meter-high (173.2 feet x 43.3 feet) when closed and hangs on motorized carts that move left and right on a track. The carbon fiber fabrication and built-in wind bracing provides the stability that structural engineers demand in order to have a screen of this size move around on a track.
“There is currently no other framing system that can do this, it’s a perfect example of designers really pushing the product to the limits and having free reign for their ideas. A symbiosis rarely seen in our industry,” said Opsomer.
“On the Run II” Tour is also implementing PRG Ingest. Ingest is a new technology that allows the capture of concert footage in real time from up to 24 isolated camera feeds. Each camera feed - or channel – will be ingested in the server, processed, and via the network pushed to an external storage drive.
Traditionally, footage from a single camera is captured on a single recorder, then after a show, each file on the drive is copied over to a separate hard drive. This is an intensive process that can take many hours as the transfer can take up to one hour per camera.
“With the Ingest system, we can create a show record on an external drive of all channels in nearly real-time and still have a back-up copy on the server should anything go wrong,” said Wolfgang Schram, director of video engineering, PRG. “The servers also get time coded, so all recordings have real time and can be used in an edit right away.”
In order to handle the 6.2 TB of data that “On the Run II” Tour generates per night, PRG uses six media servers which make copies of what is recorded, transcode it to a pro res 422 file and push it over a 10GigE network on an external NAS drive.
PRG’s investment in brand new lighting technology for Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical, has certainly paid off following the recent announcement that the new West End show has received no less than seven Olivier Awards, including Best Lighting Design and Best New Musical.
Giles Terera Aaron Burr with West End Cast of Hamilton
Jamael Westman Alexander Hamilton with West End cast of Hamilton
Cameron Mackintosh, the show’s producer, called upon PRG, the technical production specialist, to supply a whole spectrum of lighting fixtures for the West End run of the hip-hop musical smash that tells the tale of one of the Founding Fathers of the US, Alexander Hamilton.
The record-breaking theatrical spectacular, which transferred from the US to the West End in December 2017, features the lighting expertise of Howell Binkley, the Tony Award and now Olivier Award-winning lighting designer, and Ryan O’Gara, associate lighting designer.
“I met with Chris Boone, Cameron Mackintosh’s production manager, last spring,” explained Peter Marshall, sales director, theatre at PRG XL Video. “A further meeting was held in the late summer at Cameron’s offices with Ryan and a full specification of the lighting system was discussed.”
Pennycooke Thomas Jefferson with West End cast of Hamilton
Rachelle Ann Go Eliza Hamilton and Jamael Westman Alexander Hamilton
PRG’s Stephen Price project managed the show and worked closely alongside Peter Lambert, production electrician, and Marshall. Together, they discussed the implementation of the best lighting rig at the Victoria Palace Theatre, which at the time was undergoing extensive refurbishment.
PRG supplied all of the theatrical lighting to the musical – written by Lin-Manuel Miranda – including moving lights, conventional lighting fixtures, GLP Impression X4 XL wash lights, Lycian 1295 followspots and an ETC EOS control system.
Rachelle Ann Go Eliza Rachel John Angelica and Christine Allado Peggy The Schuyler Sisters
Michael Jibson as King George
Whilst not directly involved in the show’s creative, PRG worked to exacting lighting design specifications, as outlined by Binkley and O’Gara.
Marshall continued: “It was great to be involved in supplying lighting rental solutions to such a prestigious new show. Working with the Cameron Mackintosh team and both Howell and Ryan was a privilege.
“We have worked with Cameron Mackintosh on many shows over the last 25 years and Peter Lambert,” Marshall added. “His team expertly installed the lighting system whilst the theatre was undergoing a major renovation; at times, the theatre resembled more of a construction site than the brand new home of a much-anticipated theatrical production. That said, team work paid off and I am now delighted that the show has been honoured with a record-breaking 13 Olivier Award nominations and seven wins, including Best Lighting Design for Howell Binkley.”
PRG has been supplying lighting and video technology to theatre and the arts in the west end and across the UK for over 45 years.
It’s been a busy few weeks for us here at PRG. One of the highlights has been the annual ABTT Theatre Show. On our stand this year we were showcasing our exclusive, industry leading products the brand new Icon Stage moving light and the PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System.
Peter Marshall, Director of Theatre for PRG XL in the UK, places a very high value on the ABTT Theatre Show: “The main focus for us at the ABTT Theatre Show is to welcome clients, friends and colleagues from across the industry to our stand and enjoy a chat and catch-up. The was a steady flow of Lighting Designers, Production Managers, Theatre Technicians, Programmers and students. One of the main aims of PRG is to build and maintain excellent relationships with our industry connections, the ABTT Theatre Show is a perfect opportunity to help us achieve that.”
Marshall continued: “The show was the perfect stage to demonstrate our new Icon Stage moving light. The first delivery of Icon Stage LED Profiles are currently out on the next leg of the “Mamma Mia” International Tour, the lights were well received by Lighting Designer, Howard Harrison, and Tour Lighting Designer, Andy Voller, they were provided as standard black units plus custom painted white fixtures which especially feature at the finale ending of the production. David Holmes Lighting Designer for the Utrecht production has also specified Icon Stages as his LED Profile of choice for the forthcoming production in the Netherlands. To date the units which are very compact and almost silent have proved extremely reliable”.
PRG XL Video has been a supplier of lighting and video technology to theatre and the arts for more than 45 years. Current shows we are working on include some of the biggest new shows in the West End as well as theatre tours in the UK and around the world.
Bat Out of Hell
Book of Mormon
Everybody’s Talking About JAMIE
Red - The Play
School of Rock
UK and Worldwide Touring
Buxton Opera Festival
Cats (international tour)
Evita (international tour)
Interactive Introverts (international tour)
Iolanthe (international tour)
Jersey Boys (UK tour)
Ladyboy’s of Bangkok (UK tour)
Mamma Mia (international tour)
My Uncle Freddy (UK tour)
Summer Holiday (UK tour)
Thriller (UK and Europe)
Walking with Dinosaurs (European tour)
Wicked (international tour)
For more information please contact Peter Marshall here.
See what we can do together.
Universal Brand Development and Fast Live Productions, a joint venture between Epsilon Partners and Brand Events, have called upon the expertise of PRG and Panasonic to create ground-breaking projection mapping in order to push the boundaries of live event production.
PRG, the full-service technical production specialist, and Panasonic, the Japanese manufacturer of projection and AV systems, are currently touring the UK and Europe, delivering spectacular AV and projection on Fast and Furious Live – the action-packed live arena show celebrates the Fast and Furious film franchise and features fast cars, record-breaking LED, precision driving and 3D projection mapping.
Fast and Furious Live is the brainchild of Rowland French, creative director and executive producer of Fast and Furious Live, who drafted in the expertise of Simon Aldridge, production director, Tom Rees, project manager, Ala Lloyd, set designer and Bruno Poet, lighting designer, to produce the arena show.
Aldridge approached James Morden, project director LED at PRG XL Video, in early 2016 and began discussions on how best to deliver Fast Live Productions’ desired vision for the high octane and fast-paced touring production.
The arena show, which had its world premiere at The O2, features a 8k resolution screen that measures 26 metres wide and nine metres high and comes complete with five doors that raise to allow the stars of the show – 42 vehicles – to seamlessly enter and exit the show floor.
Morden, responsible for the tour’s video elements, worked with Aldridge to develop a spectacular production that would help place the audience in the show’s narrative. To achieve this end, it was, therefore, vital that PRG worked in close collaboration with Panasonic, BlackTrax and Brilliant Stages to create important elements for the technically advanced live event.
Fast and Furious Live’s end screen plays a pivotal role in the show, as do 48 Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors, which provide incredible detail, clarity and colour perception.
The show’s content – developed by Kate Dawkins Studio and Dandelion and Burdock – was custom-made to fit Morden’s original pixel map that was created in March 2016: Almost two years before the show debuted to a packed audience of Fast and Furious fans.
To develop a spec, Morden, alongside PRG’s Stefaan Michels (director of music), Leroy Murray (projects director) and Chris Holz (project manager), assessed the show’s other elements – venue constraints, scenery, effects, lighting, audio and rigging – before deciding upon a basic projector arrangement.
Morden explained: “Once we had confirmed final technical delivery requirements, we increased our ownership of Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors and fibre distribution equipment in order to deliver 48 blended projectors across the show floor and huge end wall.
“On the server side, we also increased ownership of Disguise 4x4pro servers [formerly d3), with SDI VFC cards and acquired further Notch licenses for real-time visual effect generation.”
He continued: “The big technological aspect of the job for PRG was BlackTrax technology – this is a real-time 3D environment object tracking system, which was pushed further than it has ever been before.
“BlackTrax allowed us to place markers onto objects such as cars, actors and scenic pieces and through an array of infrared cameras, we are able to locate them in real-time. This enabled the team to cut projected images. We knew that by using this tech we could safely project a floor image onto the floor and not on the roof of a moving vehicle,” Morden continued.
“Furthermore, myself and the team were able to take a live position feed from Brilliant Stages’ automation system in to our media servers so that we did not project content when the doors in the end wall were raised.”
Four projectionists, one media server programmer/operator and a BlackTrax engineer are currently touring the UK with Fast Live Productions, ensuring all video and projection elements on Fast and Furious Live run smoothly. Now that the show is touring, the crew begin loading in at 4am and within 36 hours (multiple shifts), the entire show is built and flown: Projectors are lined up, trimmed for colour and intensity and BlackTrax is calibrated.
Morden praised the incredible “team effort” that it has taken to deliver a show that will visit 24 cities in 15 countries, including Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
Morden said: “This project has required the amazing hard work and effort of an experienced team. From the very beginning, we have ensured that even small challenges have not impacted on what is a huge production.
“For example, we had some custom metalwork fabricated to better rig the projectors. This simplified the rigging process and speeded up load in and load out.
“While the sheer scale of this endeavour is daunting, and expectations on this project are extremely high, one of the biggest challenges on this project has been the packaging: In other words, how we present the equipment to go out on tour, to make the rig as simple to build as possible and as easy to manage and de-rig.
“Thankfully, we have an incredibly bright and efficient team that decided upon ‘projector doughnuts’; a relatively simple solution to keep projectors in pairs for travel, as well as rigging. This has reduced the number of projector boxes from 50 to 26. This means less trucking and packing and has made load in and load out easier and faster,” Morden concluded. “Or should that be more fast and furious!”
Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), invests 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 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 and amongst which the development of the AOTO Mini LED screen, on which AOTO has been working for the past 5 years. Now the product is finally ready and has convinced PRG by its’ unique LED packaging technique to be ready for the rental market.
The patented Mini LED technology with 2nd generation of CLD P1.5mm product characterizes itself by an extremely high contrast ratio, super robust and its 180-degree viewing angle, which will impress and seduce the automotive sector and the high-end corporate market.
With the AOTO COB Mini LED 1.5 screen, customers can take advantage of these following benefits:
- Pixel pitch of 1.5mm
- 20 Bit processing depth
- 3840Hz refresh rate
- HDR Support
- Rental cabinet
- 4K Processors
- 3G & 8G support
- Support 3D
This product will be available for rental in our PRG equipment pool as from August 2018 with its’ full processing system and the stacking/suspension.
Steven Shen, General Manager AOTO states: ‘We are very excited about this product and having PRG first to market We are convinced that this will be the highest resolution rental LED screen in the world and that it will attract great attention to itself!"
Gary Boyd, Executive Vice President & COO EMEA of PRG adds: ‘AOTO has developed technology and products at highest level for the past 25 years. With the new Mini LED we are convinced that this is the right product for the rental market. It will perfectly serve our customers needs and wishes in terms of high resolution indoor LED screens.’
When a luxury automotive brand wished to create one big event that would celebrate its achievements, and those of its retailers, it turned to PRG and The Appointment Group to deliver a memorable evening of celebration at The O2 for more than 1,200 guests.
The Appointment Group’s Nicole Unsworth, event manager, project managed One Big Night, a celebratory evening formed by merging two separate, smaller events. One Big Night was designed to celebrate a record-breaking year in the UK for the luxury car brand, in particular, new car sales across the country reaching an all-time high.
“The brief was to find a venue suitable for an awards dinner for 400 people on two consecutive nights,” Unsworth explained. “Unfortunately, the venue that the car manufacturer initially wanted [the InterContinental London – The O2] was not available on their preferred dates. I proposed the idea of merging the two events together and holding the event at The O2. Originally, we were looking at 800 guests, but the venue’s size and scale enabled us to invite more guests and increase capacity to 1,200.”
One Big Night provided the car giant with an opportunity to reward its guests with an event that had all the “style and glamour of The BRIT Awards”. PRG, the full-service technical specialist, and The Appointment Group, the event management specialist, worked in close collaboration to provide event management and technical production to the VIP evening.
More than 1,200 guests enjoyed the event at The O2, London, which saw a famous three-piece boy band perform and Dermot O’ Leary compere. One Big Night comprised a red carpet experience, Champagne reception, awards and dinner for guests and employees of the automotive giant. The Appointment Group took responsibility for overall event management and logistics while PRG – led by Emily Gibson, account manager, and Tom Walsh, project manager – oversaw all technical aspects of the large-scale corporate event. The Appointment Group had just three months to design, plan and execute One Big Night. PRG had one month to create technical elements that would not only “wow” guests but that could also be loaded in with a shortened timeframe. And it did.
Delivering the “wow” factor
PRG supplied lighting, rigging, video, audio, staging and signage. Furthermore, the event featured more than 500 moving lights, 988 LED tiles, four kilometres of fibre, 130 rigging points and a bespoke, interactive table plan. All of which required 283 pages of health and safety documentation. PRG used Kinesys motors to lift one of three screens, revealing the pop band, and BAT truss enabled the tech specialist to pre-rig the lights in order to achieve the “wow” factor production within a 12-hour load-in window. Gibson said: “Drawing on our experience in rock and roll, we specified kit that would deliver the ‘wow’ factor that the client desired. They wanted a BRIT Awards-style event, but we only had 12 hours to pull it together, so we used BAT truss, a proprietary product that allows us to pre-rig the lights, to help us get everything up in the air.” Unsworth continued: “PRG were incredibly professional, skilled in their areas and they had clearly allocated the best people for the job. All elements came together seamlessly – lighting, video, staging, projection, project management and creative content – which meant that One Big Night really was of the highest quality.”
“This event is the most important date in the calendar for many of the guests and most of the details for the event were kept a secret from guests and we added surprising touches along the way,” Unsworth commented further. “From a shuttle service from the tube station, to a number of personalised gifts in their rooms, the opportunity to have their photo taken against the step and repeat wall, an open bar, a four-course dinner, an awards presentation – hosted by Dermot O’Leary – and world-class entertainment; it was certainly a night to remember for many.”
She added: “The feedback has been phenomenal – people were incredibly overwhelmed by the scale of the event and it was definitely a one-off experience for them. For 1,200 people to dine in a venue as prestigious and renowned as The O2 with A-List entertainment is not something that many people experience so I think everyone felt privileged to attend. “The feedback from our client has been incredibly positive too and they were also overwhelmed and proud to be part of this event. It was definitely a team effort.”
PRG’s New Concert Touring Products on U2’s eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour
Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers elevate the touring industry
LOS ANGELES – May 14, 2018 – Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announces two product innovations - Pure10 and Rolling Video Floor Risers - which have been integrated into the design, production and operations for the U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. Both solutions demonstrate PRG’s dedication to innovating products that respond to the needs of artists, tour designers and managers seeking to push boundaries and deliver a more immersive concert experience.
“PRG has supported every U2 tour since 1992, and they always challenge us to be innovative with available technology or to create something new,” said Jeroen Hallaert, director of PRG Projects North America.
U2 eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour is a follow up to the 2015 Songs for Innocence Tour for which PRG provided the video cage on the moving catwalk between the video screens. However, for the 2018 tour, U2’s creative team required high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens and an independent automated kinetic catwalk between the video screens. The purpose of the transparent LED video screens is to allow band members to perform amidst the LED walls (as during the 2015 tour) without creating a visual divide in the arena. It also provided the ability to integrate Augmented Reality into the show.
Further, the design team wanted the catwalk to be accessible by a moving staircase, and therefore the catwalk should move independently from the video screens. This added automated catwalk required more motors and equipment, thus adding weight. This meant PRG Projects had to find a solution to make not only high-resolution, super transparent LED video screens but also make it super light-weight.
In response to U2’s challenge to create a transparent LED wall, PRG Projects revolutionized the way LED screens are built and created the patent-pending Pure10. Rather than mounting the printed circuit boards (PCB) holding the LED in standard clunky frames, PRG Projects sliced the PCB in strips and turned them 90 degrees with the LED mounted on the side. This resulted in 75 percent transparency.
The added specially curated Augmented Reality scene-setter - triggered by the LED screen – required a transparent, high-resolution screen. The way PRG Projects chose to build the screen allowed for a 10mm pixel pitch. A pitch far superior than what PRG Projects initially imagined.
“The creative team and the band were looking for a LED screen that allowed them to use AR in the way they envisioned. Pure10 works so well thanks to the magic combination of the pixel pitch, the high transparency and the brightness,” said Hallaert. “The band now calls the screens and catwalk the barricage.”
Additionally, rather than metal fabrication to house or frame the Pure10, PRG Projects used knowledge gained from developing the SPACEFRAME® and engineered a fast-building system in carbon fiber. This resulted in the weight savings that the tour’s production team was looking for. It also gave free reign to the designers and the band to further use the automated catwalk creatively.
As with the innovative transport design for the SPACEFRAME, PRG Projects has advanced the way concert touring is taken on the road with Pure10 by maximizing space and volume in trucks, airplanes and sea containers. The number of trucks needed is cut in half compared to the 2015 tour. Further, when the equipment is used during the show, empty transport dollies fold, stack and roll away in the tiniest spaces. This allows for other departments to move around the venue more freely and makes for ergonomic and superior logistics for load-ins and load-outs.
Rolling Video Floor Riser
The Rolling Video Floor Riser is a revolutionary system in how it’s built and disassembled. Initially revealed last year, PRG Projects updated and upgraded it for U2 to be used as the round stage. Each riser is fitted with 2 LED modules offering a high resolution 4mm pixel pitch during performances. Each riser has integrated magnets to enable a speedy assembly - an LED Floor of up to 1,076 square feet can be set up in less than 20 minutes.
“The Rolling Video Floor Risers were developed to meet the short set-up and change-over times of LED flooring which is perfect for the concert touring and festival segment,” said Mark O’Herlihy, vice president of PRG Global Entertainment.
Not only do the Rolling Video Floor Risers dramatically reduce the set-up time for an LED floor on stage, they also are transported in especially fitted dollies, which contain six risers each. The dollies are 1.6 m in height, allowing shipment via airfreight on the lower deck, which drastically reduces the shipping costs.
Credits Pictures © Steve Jennings