For Top Of The Pops Germany, over 100 Robe Show Lighting moving lights have been specified by lighting designer/DOP Patrick Nicolas, who has been lighting the show for the past seven years for Germany’s largest privately owned channel, RTL.
The move to Robe follows the latest redesign and launch of the famous music series. Nicolas also designed the new set, which features two stages, with the central floor area utilized as an impromptu stage area, so the lighting installation was designed to ensure that all areas of the space can receive plenty of lighting coverage.
Nicolas is using 35 Robe ColorSpot 1200 ATs, 20 ColorSpot 575 ATs, 31 ColorWash 1200 ATs and 10 ColorWash 575 ATs, plus a large generic rig and many LED lit scenic pieces. The Robe fixtures are all being supplied by Magic Light + Sound GmbH from Köln, one Germany’s largest TV lighting rental houses.
Nicolas has to light between eight and 16 bands and performers each week for TOTP. Apart from all the domestic stars, there’s also a regular pool of international artists, which have included Robbie Williams, Britney Spears, and Madonna.
With only a day turnaround for each show, Nicolas has to work very fast and collaborates with his moving light programmer Bjorn Hermann to create a different dynamic and look for each band. A Wholehog 3 is used for control, run with two wings, one operated by Nicolas and the other by Hermann.
Nicolas believes that working with Robe luminaires gives his work an enormous imaginative scope. Nicolas likes many elements of the Robes, including the overall quality of the light output. "The 1200ATs are incredible," he says. "They are so bright, both the Spot and the Wash versions. And the CMY color mixing is really excellent."
He thinks the ColorWash 1200AT’s zoom facility (between 10º and 87º) is a real asset as is the variable CTO, available on both Spot and Wash 1200ATs. This is "essential for TV lighting," he adds.
From the purely technical angle, the crew is impressed with Robe products, as they have been 100 per cent reliable. Top of the Pops is recorded in front of a live audience at Studio 50 of the Magic Media Company in Coloneum, Köln.