ROBE AT THE METEOR IRISH MUSIC AWARDS
14 February 2008
(Ireland) - Over 80 Robe moving lights made up an eye-catching design by LD Tom Kenny for the 2008 Meteor Irish Music Awards, staged at the RDS in Dublin last weekend, produced by Caroline Downey and Louis Harte for MCD.
The show was broadcast on national TV channel RTE in a special programme directed by Niamh White. All lighting for the celebrity clad event honouring the very best in contemporary Irish music, was supplied by Dublin rental company Just Lite.
The show was presented by comedian Dara O’ Briain, and featured performances by 11 leading artists including Westlife, Shane Ward, the newly reformed Boyzone, Sinead O’Connor, Scouting For Girls, Tom Baxter, Cathy Davey and others.
Robe fixtures very much took centre stage for the Awards, a mix of ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200E ATs and 700E ATs which were arranged across four trusses and operated by Darragh McAuliffe using a WholeHog Full Boar console. Another Full Boar, run by Nick Maldon, drove a Catalyst media server and all the projection screen content. Kenny, McAuliffe and Maldon all worked closely with set designer Alan Farquharson to develop a modern visual look for the show based on clean lines and a clear space with a few twists of glamour.
The trussing on which the Robes were hung consisted of an oval shaped piece and a large V shaped truss with 40 ft forks, which were both central and in front of the stage area, plus a 60 ft, 45 degree angled back truss hung over the stage. For side stage lighting, an additional 16 ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200E ATs on drop bars were added to the most onstage ends of two 140 metre trusses running the length of the auditorium and also used to rig audience lights.
Upstage on the stage floor were more Robes - 20 ColorSpot 700E ATs and 8 ColorWash 1200E ATs - used for fanning effects and intense low-level back light looks which looked particularly effective on camera.
Kenny – one of the industry’s top international LDs whose regular clients include David Bowie and The Who - needed the rig to be as dynamic as possible. It had to look great on TV as well as for the live audience and each of the 11 performing artists and bands had to have their own distinctive and unique look – so the lighting had to be worked hard to make it happen.
Just Lite’s crew of 10 for the in and out and 7 to run the show were co-ordinated by crew chief Liam McCarthy. Tom Kenny comments, “The event was a huge success due to Liam and The Boys from Just Lite being their usual brilliant selves, and the extreme customer service from owners The Smith Brothers”. The rest of the crew were Brendan Swanton, Douglas McConnon, Nigel “Skippy” Monk, Nick Malbin, Ray Whelan, Larry Glynn, John Ryan, Mark Hanna and Nicole Lattimore.
Just Lite has the largest Robe stock of any rental company in Ireland and has lit the Awards for the last 7 years, however this was the first time they had used their new Robe 700 Series fixtures that were purchased towards the end of 2007. Previous to this show, Liam McCarthy had used the 700s on the TV music show “Other Voices” and has found them “Excellent, very reliable and very bright”. On the Meteor Awards, all the fixtures were run full tilt for 14 – 16 hours during the two rehearsal days without a hitch, so the 700s were certainly put through their paces.
In addition to the Robes, Just Lite provided a large generic rig, supplementary moving lights to illuminate the audience and architectural lighting for the exterior of the venue. The new Full Boar consoles were 2 of the first 10 off the production line.
The 2008 Meteor Irish Music Awards saw the omnipresent Westlife winning the Best Pop Band category for the 8th year running. They collected the trophy and later in the show performed a special song, “Us Against The World” to the delight of the crowd. Other winners included Cathy Davey for the Best Irish Female and the Saw Doctors, who received a Lifetime Achievement award.
Dublin-based CAVS (Corporate Audio Visual Services) were awarded the contract to provide Music Awards' visual support.
CAVS have many years experience handling similar large-scale events for the Awards’ production company, Diffusion Events, and have rigged many shows at the venue. For this event their crew included Brian Moran (head technician) and Malcolm MacDonald, on main stage, while in the media centres and VIP rooms were Neil Whelan, Austin Agnew, Jeff Doolin and Eoin Devitt.
“From a production point of view the venue provides ease of access, with a good network of fly points spanning the entire ceiling and good loading facilities,” says CAVS project manager, Rowan McDonagh. “Its large event handling experience lends itself to shows of this nature.”
This year they specified Christie Roadster S 16K 16,000 ANSI lumen 3-chip DLP devices to rear project onto a 60ft x 21.5ft curve screen conceived by eminent set designer Alan Farquharson.
Explained McDonagh, “We had previously done a gig in Ardmore Studios in Dublin using the same curved screen over 60ft x 30ft. Again we used the Roadster S 16K projectors — with great success; hence we decided to do the same with the Meteors set.
“In both instances the curved performance space was the central aspect of the show, so a rear projection rig, using edge blend, was the only way to achieve maximum aesthetic effect.”
Three Roadster S 16K’s were mounted on trussing sections using Christie fly frames, with further Christie DS 8K’s mounted underneath using Christie stacking modules as back-ups.
The CAVS man explained, “We used 0.73:1 fixed lens for the S 16K stacked array. Separate DS 8K’s were fitted with 1.2:1 lens, and were firing onto two 12 x 9 side screens, taking a separate SDI feed from the Observe OB truck.”
The projectors took live camera feeds, capturing some electrifying performances, including an amazing duet by Sinéad O’Connor and Mick Pyro.
All feeds were supplied from a Catalyst media server provided by Just Lite in Dublin, while secondary sources were introduced on SDI from the OB truck, which recorded the show for transmission by RTÉ the following night.
Summing up, Rowan McDonagh, said: “As with all large scale projections, you need to know that your product is going to live up to both the technical requirements of the show and also provide the punch and impact your client wants. The Roadster S 16K’s suited the requirements of this production perfectly and the colour saturation and versatility of the functions meet the specific needs of TV broadcast also. Christie products are always reliable — and obviously with television this is vital.”
In conclusion he said that everyone had been impressed by the achievement. “The Meteors was an important show for CAVS and Christie ticked all the boxes for us. A lot of work went into the event by all production crew; because of the nature of the event there was a lot of co-operation between lighting, video and OB — and this becomes increasingly the case in this industry as both disciplines start to feed into one another.”
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