XL Events supplies Autosports 09

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XL Events supplied 5 large LED screens, cameras, PPU, a Catalyst digital media server and crew for the Live Action Arena at the 2009 Autosports exhibition, staged at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK.

The installation of 5 LED screens along the length of the 136 metre wide arena made great impact and brought serious production values into the space, as well as enabling the 4700 audience watching each of up to 6 shows a day to have a clear view of all the speed-tastic vehicular action. The 45 minute show featured 15 different genres of turbo-charged fast cars competing in short races. This was interspersed with VT inserts, live to camera presentations in the arena and a hair-raising Terry Grant stunt performance. Show director Roger Burlinson tightly choreographed the action so it all flowed smoothly into a slick hi-energy presentation.

The centre screen was 75 square metres of Lighthouse R16 LED and this was flanked by two 30 square metre Lighthouse R7 screens.

To add depth and movement to the space, XL Events also supplied two Martin LC2140 medium resolution LED screens, one at each end of the arena. These were designed primarily to show graphics, while the 3 central screens received a mix of camera IMAG, graphics, assorted playback footage and VT.

XL Events supplied the latest spec Catalyst digital media server which was utilized to feed all screens with the various playback material, together with a camera feed from the PPU. All show content was supplied by Roger Burlinson, and programmed into the Catalyst by Ian Galloway who also ran the Catalyst for the shows.

There were 4 operated Sony D50 cameras, 2 positioned at the entrance end of the arena, one at the opposite end, and the fourth in the middle of the seating grandstand.

Three RoboCams were sited right beside the barriers around the arena, enabling fantastic full-on action shots and close ups of the cars and drivers as they sped around. This would not have been possible to achieve with operated cameras that could not be placed so close to the track. The RoboCams were operated by Tim Riley, who was also XL Events' project manager.

The IMAG director Jerry Rosenfield used one of XL's GV Kayak mixer/switchers, and Matt Doughty was the chief camera and LED tech.

Tim Riley comments, "It was a great show to work on. A major challenge was always being flexible and ready to improvise if something unexpected happened in the arena - always a possibility in such a fast moving, totally live environment like this."

Lighting and sound equipment were supplied by Network Productions.

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