Total Production


4 June 2008

XL Video is supplying equipment and crew for the hugely successful Boyzone reunion tour, which sees the Irish boyband take to the stage again for the first time in eight years.

The stage concept is that of a giant video box, with the floor, ceiling and walls all utilized to create a fast-moving, dynamic and constantly changing performance  environment.

This features over 1000 MiTrix tiles which are lining the 12-stepped stage set making up the floor of the performance area, and bordering 6 staggered overhead trusses on 3 sides, creating a mirror-image effect to the stage below. The truss mounted MiTrix was made up as custom lengths for the tour.  

Upstage centre is the back wall, comprising a 22.5 square metre Barco ILite 10 LED screen. The side walls feature a total of 128 Element Labs VersaTUBES, mounted on special frames, and arranged in horizontal lines.

All these video elements are fed by content stored on a Catalyst digital media server, also supplied by XL, and triggered by lighting director/programmer Pryderi Baskerville’s grandMA lighting console. One Catalyst output drives the MiTrix and the ILite 10 and another deals with the VersaTUBES. The three different surfaces are run together as one continuous surface at times, and also as three separate and individual areas.

The video box idea evolved from discussions between lighting designer Peter Barnes, Iain Whitehead of show producer’s Production North (who is also the tour’s production manager) and Mark Plunket from Boyzone's management. Plunket was keen to have screens in different dimensions in addition to a conventional back wall, so the steps, sides and overhead borders developed, making the whole stage area a giant video surface with different texturing provided via the varied video mediums.

The screen playback footage was made up by Helene Spencer from The Field and Peter Barnes. Barnes says, “Making 3 screens look like one big picture was quite a challenge, but great fun when you see the results”. These are certainly spectacular, and produce a fabulous initial WOW factor when all dimensions of the stage and ceiling burst into life with colour, movement and visuality at the top of the show.

Two 16 x 12 ft side stage IMAG projection screens are fed with Barco SLM R12 projectors, and XL has also supplied a 3 camera PPU for the live mix directed by Ray “Moose” Shaw.

The Sony D50 cameras are positioned at FOH with a long lens and two in the pit on track-and-dolly. Shaw mixes using a GV Kayak console – his switcher of choice because he has large fingers and finds the buttons very ergonomically suited to them! “It’s the best live mixer by far,” he comments.

In creative terms, the IMAG show is about seeing as much of the 5 Boyz as possible on the side screens. Shaw comments that they are all very camera-aware and used to working with them.

He’s joined on tour by XL’s crew of Oliver Derynck, Jeroen “Myway” Morvain, Anthony Cairns and Roger Nelson.

The tour is project managed by XL’s Phil Mercer, who comments ‘it’s a great looking show with a very inventive way of using the various LED elements’.


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