PRG at LDI 2010

I had a chance to get up-close and personal with the Bad Boy CMY at LDI 2010 this year, having the demo from Chris Conti with PRG.  I’m a big fan of the Bad Boy fixture, and I have been for quite some time – I posted about it from the last LDI, in Orlando in 2009.  They’ve added the element of CMY mixing to the Bad Boy – I’m a fan of the quantum color mixing, but CMY is also very important to have available for a moving head for the obvious reasons.

Check out some images, I’ve got video coming soon!

The actual PRG booth – a replica of the 438 grid panels they installed into the National Convention Center in Qatar.

Big beautiful beams from the Bad Boy luminaire.

One of my favorite gobos, InLight Gobos‘ “Rubber Band Ball,” that comes standard with the Bad Boy!

Check out a gallery of PRG/Bad Boy images – click on one image and a viewer will open up for your convenience!

Super Bowl Halftime Show – Starring The Who, and THE LIGHTING!

I just heard on NPR last night that 106.5 million plus people watched the Super Bowl on Sunday – more people than any other event on TV in the history of the world.  The last thing that had that kind of viewers was the final episode of M*A*S*H*, back in 1983 – 105.97 million.

(for those of you kids who have no idea what M*A*S*H* is, it was a show about surgeons in a war zone)

One of the things that is still getting some major press is the big spectacle half time show, starring The Who:

For those of you who are like me, I paid more attention to the lighting design for the Super Bowl half time show than I did The Who – I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think they rock.  They did at least when they were younger.  Who did rock this time was the lighting design team and suppliers for one of the biggest shows of the year – and the rumor is that the entire rig had a total of six minutes to get on the field and working.

Oh – and pre-viz/lighting design for the Super Bowl Half Time Show?  It was done in Cast Software’s wysiwyg Suite!  OH YEAH!  (That’s right, I love it, you love it, and it is the epic awesome.)

The Super Bowl XLIV Lighting Team – definitely not an exhaustive list, and my apologies for the hundreds of people who got left off the list:

Lighting Designers:  Al Gurdon
Designer:  Bruce Rodgers of Tribe
Lighting Directors:  Bob Barnhart and David Grill of Full Flood
Programmers:  Mike “Oz” Owen, rocking the Vari*Lite Virtuoso, and Pete Radice
Rental Company:  PRG USA and PRG Europe
Lighting Crew Chief/Gaffer:  Richie Gorrod
Media Programmer:  Jason Rudolph

An update from Jason Rudolph himself – thanks a lot, Jason!

Lee Lodge was the creative producer handling content, which was made by Loyal Kaspar out of NYC.
XL video was the video vendor. The stage was made of 3000+ MiStrips, driven by 2 HD hippos provided by VER, Matt Waters was the server tech.

From XL Video, Ken Gay and Bob McGee were the project managers. Mike Spencer was the system engineer. Luke Pilato was the head system tech. Led techs were Rodrigo Azuriz, Trace Deroy, Douglas Eldredge, David Imlau, Fernando Gutierrez Llama, Curtis Luxton, Stephen Otten, Eric Petty, Rod Silhanek and Don Stevens.

An update from Margaret, who sends the URL of Loyal Kaspar, the company who did the video content – http://www.loyalkaspar.com

Update - Jason Rudolph writes back (Feb 11, 2010) [Thanks, Jason!]

I can tell you this, the LED fixtures in the rig were Color Blocks, most of the fixtures were VL3500 wash units with the clear lens installed, on the stage were Color Blasts, and Iwhite color blasts.  Atomic strobes all over, and a few lightning strikes for good measure.  There were also a few Alpha Beam 1500s in the rig, but I’m not sure where they were.

Oz programmed on a Virtuoso VX, I was on a DX2.

We had 2 HD hippos, and one HippoCritter for pixelmapping the Color blocks, which we only used for one song, its output was merged with the console output so that we had both as an option.

If you know any people who worked the crew, give them a shout out in the comments – what a terrific job they did!

I am expecting an equipment list soon – I will update this post as soon as I get it from my source.  But for those of you who didn’t get to see this amazing lighting feat, below are two videos, part one and part two, of the half time show.  Enjoy!

(Thanks, Times Online, for the image of The Who!)

PRG’s Having A Sale on High End Systems Gear!

Hey kids – Production Resource Group is having a sale on some used High End Systems Studio Color 575’s, CMY Studio Spot 575s, and my favorite, the Studio Beam!  The Beams are going for $1,100, the CMY Spots are going for $2,000, and the Studio Color 575’s are going for $1,300.  It’s like a lighting garage sale!  Except I’ve never seen moving lighting at a garage sale, usually things like Narraganset Beer light-up signs and lava lamps.

They’re also selling some truss – varieties of box truss, various lengths and sizes.

Here’s some video of the fixtures:

For information on this lighting garage sale, get a hold of Gabriel Rodrigues – [email protected] or 702-942-4803.

PRG’s Bad Boy Is Hitting the Road with U2

u2 bad boy prg

Willie Williams is going to be rocking a hundred and ninety six of PRG’s Bad Boy fixture!  I just got a press release from Anne over at PRG – check it out!

Media Contact:
Anne Johnston
845-567-5871
[email protected]
PRG’s Bad Boy surrounds U2

New Windsor, NY—July 10, 2009—Immediately upon entering the venue, audiences attending U2’s 360° Tour will realize that they are about to experience a truly unique event. “The goal always for me is when the fans come into the stadium they see something the like of which they have never seen before,” explained Willie Williams, Show Designer & Director. Working closely with Architect Mark Fisher and Production Director Jake Berry, Williams has realized that goal and created a structure that is the largest ever designed for a concert tour. The sheer size of the set created a challenge, in that the fixture positions were a significant distance from the stage. So, Williams turned to the PRG Bad Boy™.

“The throw distances that we are dealing with are much longer then you would normally ever deal with for all the lighting positions, never mind the lights around the stadium,” said Williams. “Even the closest lights to the stage are an 80-foot throw and the ones on the legs are nearer a 100-foot throw. There is no way you could use old school moving lights, plus I needed a light that would not just reach and wash but would be able to have texture.”

In December, PRG arranged a fixture demonstration at Wembley Stadium so that Williams could evaluate the Bad Boy and other lights in a real world environment. “What I found interesting about the light is that PRG started with the application in their fixture design, which was to create a light for large scale shows, arenas, stadiums,” said Williams. “That has been their master stroke, to start with what the light is intended to do and really work towards that particular goal. When you are at the back of Wembley Stadium, you need a light with the gas to get to the stage.”

Williams decided to use the Bad Boy as his only automated light for illumination, with his final design calling for 196 fixtures. The Bad Boy easily handles distances from 80-feet to 400-feet. It was a bold choice to base an entire design around only the Bad Boy and Williams had to wait until the lighting system was powered up for the first time at the Barcelona rehearsal venue to know for certain that his idea would work. “Even when I got here, we still had a few days before the system was turned on where I was biding my time. I was a little antsy waiting to see what these things would do under show conditions. I think it is fair to say they are absolutely remarkable.”

Lighting Director Ethan Weber understood Williams’ initial concern. “There is nothing else—spot, wash lights—everything you do is with the Bad Boy and coming into rehearsals it was a light none of us had ever used before,” said Weber. “When we turned them on it was pretty obvious it was the right way to go. We have all been very impressed. Many of the fixtures are a few hundred feet from the stage and not only are they very bright but their zoom allow us to go from pinspotting the band to lighting a stadium audience with relatively few fixtures. I don’t know of any other light that can do this. So far they’ve been very reliable—impressive, considering we’ve had them on for long hours in the Barcelona sun.”

Williams’ lighting design is fairly straightforward, considering the complexity of the overall production design. While Weber handles all the automated fixtures, lighting associate Alex Murphy calls all the followspot cues for the 25 spots, and controls the LEDs in the set with the PRG Mbox™ Extreme Media Server. PRG’s Concert Touring group supplied the entire lighting package for the tour, which also included the PRG Series 400™ Power and Data Distribution System. The S400 combines power, DMX and Ethernet data through a single custom-designed trunk cable. The data system includes Ethernet switches with the ability to route any DMX universe to any DMX output connector in the system, along with complete electrical isolation. As a result, lighting systems can better accommodate the growing need for data and use less cable and technicians can re-route signals from the user menus without making physical changes to the system.

The power and data system for the U2 Tour was designed by System Crew Chief Craig Hancock, who worked closely with Jeremy Lloyd and Nick Evans of Fisher’s Stufish studio integrating the lighting system into the actual structural system. Chris Conti, PRG product manager, also worked closely with Hancock on the layout. Conti explained, “All together we have a total of 24 universes of DMX. We have S400 racks at the bottom of each leg of the structure, which are in custom dimmer carts that Craig designed. They also contain S400 main breaker racks, dimmer and relay racks, strobe distribution racks, communications, etc. There are two carts of S400 and two dimmer carts up on catwalks in the roof structure that handle the power and data for the pylon.”

That balance between complexity and simplicity is the key to Williams’ sophisticated designs success. To maintain that balance, everyone needed to be on the same page, working towards the same result. Tim Murch, PRG account executive, noted, “They really have brought together wonderfully qualified people, starting with the incredible Jake Berry and of course Willie and Mark. It is incredibly well organized; thanks in large part to them. It is a very heads up situation with coordination between every single department.”

Williams is very pleased with PRGs efforts on behalf of the tour. “At the end of the day it is about people and if you don’t have the right people it is just not going to happen,” he stated. “I am absolutely delighted. They have been really good. Both Tim Murch and Robin Wain (PRG account executive) have been fantastic. You can’t do this by second guessing; I just have to have complete faith that people are doing what they are supposed to be doing. You really have to trust.”

For more information on PRG, please visit www.prg.com.

u2 bad boy prg

BAD BOY Goes Out With CMT Music Awards

I just got a press release from Anne over at PRG about the Country Music Television Music Awards show, and Allen Branton’s lighting design for the show – using my current favorite fixture, the BAD BOY from PRG.  Check out the press release:

bad boy prg

PRG’s Bad Boy goes country on the CMT Music Awards

New Windsor, NY-June 29, 2009-When viewers tuned into this year’s CMT Music Awards, televised live on June 16th from the Sommet Center in Nashville, they were treated to more than thank you speeches and some of the hottest acts in country music. Production Designer Anne Brahic and Lighting Designer Allen Branton, whose team also handled the video content, provided a video and lighting driven alternative to traditional scenery while embracing the idea of negative space. Branton turned to the PRG Bad BoyTM luminaire for strong beam effects and to delineate the performers in this unique visual environment.

Branton had previously used the Bad Boys in his design for the MTV Movie Awards. There they played the role of Hollywood searchlights on the glamorous film-inspired set. “The Bad Boys worked really nicely on the MTV awards because of their smaller size but great intensity,” said Branton. “We used five of them on the floor to emulate movie premiere searchlights. They needed to be in scale with the set and there aren’t many smaller lights that have enough intensity to do that job.”

For the CMT Music Awards, Branton worked closely with Brahic on the ‘no set’ design consisting of video tile ribbons and a visual forest of Versa® Tubes floating in dark space. “We really tried to place the lights in a very surgical, restrained manner so as not to have the lighting and the video elements in competition with each other,” noted Branton. “The Bad Boys were a great tool because they had enough brightness to compete with the video even in vivid colors. We only needed three fixtures as backlight to define the performers against the video background.”

Felix Peralta, Lighting Director/Programmer for the CMT awards, agreed, saying, “They provided a big, hard-edge light that could cut through the video. Allen and I really like the 8″ aperture of the Bad Boy, it is a nice fat beam that comes out of the light; the output is tremendous. It really provides what Allen likes to call the ‘shock and awe’.”

PRG also provided the large quantity of VersaTubes, a primary feature of the design, along with five Mbox ExtremeTM media servers, which were programmed by Jason Rudolph. Rudolph used two servers for the Versa Tubes and three for the XL Video F-LED video tiles. “I have used the Mbox many times in the past and there are a lot of things I like about it,” said Rudolph. “The new version 3 hardware is a vast improvement. It is a good server with a lot of nice functions and it is pretty damn reliable.”

Branton, who worked closely with PRG well in advance of the event commented, “Everything came in and was ready to go, which was great because our time was limited. Everything was handled beautifully. It is really one of the most important things to me, getting people in the boat with you that you can trust and I trust PRG.”

Bad Boy Debuts with Oasis

YEAH!  I wrote about PRG’s Bad Boy a few weeks before I saw it at LDI, but when I laid hands on it, I was hooked.  Bad Boy is bad ass.  I normally keep lowball swearing out of my blog, but I thought that was appropriate.

badboy1

Oasis Debuts Bad Boy to the World

New Windsor, New York-April 23, 2009- Production Resource Group, LLC, (PRG) celebrated the debut of its Bad BoyTM luminaire on the recently completed first leg of the Oasis Dig Out Your Soul tour. Of his fixture choice, lighting designer Rob Gawler said, “The Bad Boy was just what I had been looking for-a big bright large-format luminaire, that could be used as a narrow washlight with a couple of gobos as a bonus.”

From a Roman amphitheatre in Vienne near Lyon, France to stadiums in South America, with sold-out dates throughout Asia, Mexico, Western Europe, the US and the UK, Oasis has been literally touring the world with production support from PRG’s Concert Touring group. Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul tour marks the largest tour the band has ever embarked on with stops in several countries for the first time, including dates in Lima, Peru and Taipei City, Taiwan. Gawler turned to PRG’s Concert Touring group knowing it could effectively handle the global aspect of the support as well as the wide range of venue types.

Providing 48,000 lumens with precision speed and control over color and gobo changing as well as spot to flood zoom and full-field dimming, the PRG Bad Boy was exactly the unit Gawler wanted. “The units worked great ‘out of the case’ and I was pleasantly surprised at how many different beam looks I could really get out of the unit. I was initially a bit unsure about the fixed color mixing but it is working out fine, in fact it is nice to see all eight lamps the same color rather than the three or four hues that you get with some of the ‘true’ color mixers.”

In addition to the accurately matched colors, several of the Bad Boy’s other features, including optical clarity and smooth fluid control of focus, zoom, dimming and imaging-thanks to high quality lenses and high-speed servo motors-have been ideal for Gawler’s Oasis design. “I wanted a design that would fit into a number of different venue formats and scale between them well, without compromising the overall look. I knew I wanted to use a selection of contemporary fixtures but to create a look that is reminiscent of a more progressive, psychedelic period.”

Gawler also points out, “I like that it’s relatively simple to hang and once it’s up there it is going to work. I especially like being able to zoom it down to an almost parallel intense spot beam, or when I drop a gobo in and zoom it out, it just keeps going, until you have a sharp image covering a surprisingly large area of stage, cyc, or even the back of the house. It may seem a bit big in the road case but the power consumption is reasonable.  And the status display on the fixture is intuitive to use, as well as informative. While the units we have out on Oasis have proven very reliable, it is clear that maintenance has been carefully considered.”

Gawler is enjoying the tour and working on the next leg. “The challenge is to put on a consistently good show, without being dependent on rigging capacity, load-in time and specific production elements. It has been an exciting design challenge and PRG’s Concert Touring group has been fantastic to work with-they have provided good kit, fantastic crew and great support.”

For more information on PRG, please visit www.prg.com.

badboy2

Nick Jackson is Leaving PRG’s Concert Touring Group

I just got an article from Kristin Wilson over at PRG; Nick Jackson is leaving PRG’s concert touring division.  From the press release:

PRG announces staff change in global Concert Touring group

New Windsor, New York-January 19, 2009-Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of Production Resource Group, LLC (PRG) today announced that Nick Jackson, Senior Vice President of PRG’s Concert Touring group would be stepping down from his position at PRG. “We are all saddened by Nick’s departure, but we wish him the very best as he moves on to new opportunities,” said Harris. “Since joining PRG in 1998, Nick has worked tirelessly to establish our Concert Touring division as the leading provider of entertainment technology solutions for some of the biggest acts in the business.  It has been an honor to work with this industry pioneer.”

Mickey Curbishley, PRG’s President of Concert Touring, has known Jackson for over 25 years.  Jackson first hired Curbishley as a freelance lighting technician for Elton John, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins among others. In 1994, Curbishley joined Light & Sound Design (LSD), eventually becoming a co-owner. Following PRG’s acquisition of LSD in 1998, Jackson and Curbishley both joined PRG.  “Nick and I have worked together for many years. I wish him only the very, very best and I look forward to working with him in the future,” said Curbishley.

“It is with mixed emotions that I leave the PRG family,” explained Jackson. “But I feel that it is time for me to pursue a new chapter in my professional life.  I have been extremely proud of the Concert Touring division’s achievements in recent years and I am confident that they will carry on in providing the highest level of support and pushing the envelope with new technology.”

Curbishley stated, “It might sound like a cliché but the single most important asset that PRG brings to clients and which can’t be duplicated by any other company in the industry, is our people.  The core team – Curry Grant, Tim Murch, John Lee, Julian Edwards, Gary Farrell, Paul Newman, and Bill Campbell in the USA, and Robin Wain, Jon Cadbury, Yvonne Donnelly Smith, Scottie Sanderson, Mick Healy, Kal Butt and Jon Bray in Europe – plus our vast support staff and production crews, enables us to offer something genuinely unique, a combination of countless years of professional experience and the modern creative thinking from the next generation of experts.  We have an incredible depth of personnel and expertise.”

In 2009 Curbishley plans to build on PRG’s successes of 2008.  PRG’s work with Madonna, Tina Turner, and Billy Joel continues as those artists’ tours work their way around the world, while new tours with production support from PRG include Fleetwood Mac, Pink, Oasis, Britney Spears and Il Divo.

PRG opened its vast facility in Longbridge on the outskirts of Birmingham, UK in 2008, and in February their Las Vegas Concert Touring facility will come on line, a building in which clients can hang a complete concert lighting rig. “When we say we have an office in New York, what we actually mean is we 185,000 square feet in New Windsor, 135,000 square feet in New Jersey and 60,000 square feet in Mt. Vernon.  We also have large facilities in Las Vegas, in Orlando, in Birmingham, in Tokyo and so on.  These are not satellite setups or affiliates; each is a second-to-none, fully functioning, stand-alone, production facility,” he said.

Technical innovations and product advancements from Rusty Brutsché, Jim Bornhorst and PRG’s R&D teams in Dallas and in the UK are another important part of PRG’s Concert Touring division.  The recently released Bad Boyä luminaire was developed particularly for that market and has been extremely well received.  The fixtures are currently on Oasis and Britney, and will be seen on several more large shows in the spring. Curbishley noted, “Demand for our Bad Boy luminaire is huge; tour after tour are requesting them.  Bad Boy, Series 400äPower and Data Distribution System, and our other proprietary products set us apart from our competitors. “

“It’s our clients and their creativity that has always pushed PRG to achieve the highest level in all our endeavors; be it the expertise of our people, the quality of our facilities or the development of our proprietary products,” Curbishley explained.  “I can see that we will be asked to continue to push the envelope in 2009 and we are all looking forward to meeting the challenge.”