Both E\T\C UK and Kinesys were in fine form for the MTV Europe Music Awards 2005 broadcast live from the Pavilho Atlantico is Lisbon, Portugal on November 3rd.
E\T\C UK supplied large format PIGI and video projection which was the first live outing for E\T\C’s new OnlyView control software used to soft-edge together 10 Barco R18 projectors to create one spectacular seamless upstage image, 32 m wide by 9 m high.
The video projection surface was made up of five motorized roller blind style screens that could be arranged in different formats. Each screen was fed by an overlaid front-projecting pair of R18s. The video projection was transmitted in high-definition with various inserts (both recorded and live) to match any required size, position or shape.
OnlyView is a multi-screen software capable of managing multi-projection using any kind of media (video, still images, text, sound, etc.) and any kind of projection system (video projectors, plasmas, daylight screens, etc.) onto any type of screen shape. It’s also the only software of its kind able to manage live video inserts without the addition of an interface.
In addition to supplying the 10 Barco R18 video projectors and the OnlyView system, E\T\C UK also supplied four PIGI 6kW large format projectors with rotating double scrollers to project onto a 52 m by 14 m scenic proscenium arch that framed the stage and the five motorized video screens. These were soft-edged together and programmed on OnlyCue, E\T\C’s highly successful large format projector control software.
A big part of the success was due to both projection systems being rigged to ensure no sightline obstructions from the TV camera crane. The projectors were rigged onto trusses 15 m high, and the Barcos were installed vertically to match the screen design.
E\T\C UK’s Ross Ashton and Patrice Bouqueniaux from E\T\C Audiovisuel in France worked closely with MTV Europe Music Awards production manager Dominic Peissel, Richard Turner, who was managing the video programming, and Lee Lodge from Hello Charlie, the graphics agency producing the content.
Hello Charlie based the still PIGI (large format) images and the Barco video images on the same graphic design concept. Both types of video elements were integrated with Al Gurdon’s lighting design, and together they created the show’s overall visuality. The PIGI OnlyCue system was programmed and operated by Karen Monid and the OnlyView system by Nicolas Manichon, Karim Belkacem and Richard Turner.
E\T\C UK’s Paul Highfield and Patrice Bouqueniaux joined forces to deal with the project management and logistics. “The biggest challenge on this project was to be able to react instantly to any requests from the graphics team or artistic director, Hamish Hamilton, as well as having to time the cues precisely with the beat of the music in a live performance situation," Bouqueniaux says. "Additionally, we needed to achieve light levels from the projectors to match rock concert lighting. The impact of the projection was a big enhancement to the live performance, like a sort of live giant music video on stage”.
Also on hand was automation specialists Kinesys, who worked for main rigging contractors Blackout, and was a part of Madonna's first live televised performance of her new song "Hung Up." She emerged from a 2 m mirror ball wearing purple leather boots and matching leotard. The mirror ball was flown out on a Liftket high-speed motor controlled by Kinesys’ Vector system, enabling it to travel the 17 m distance in seconds.
It was just one of a number of automation ‘gags’ run by operator Toby Rouse for the event. Other artists with which Kinesys equipment was involved included Gorillaz and Shakira, along and host Borat(aka Sasha Baron Cohen better known as Ali G). Kinesys also arranged the movement cues for two upstage lifting video walls that were used as stage entrances and exits.
Gorillaz, arguably the world’s most successful virtual band, incorporated two Pepper’s Ghost effects in their performance. This involved 11 Lodestar Elevation motors in total – two for the large panel (for the band), three on the drum kit panel and six for the projector truss, which was sub-hung from a large trussing grid. All motors were controlled via the Kinesys system.
At a strategically cued moment in the show, one of the stage managers clipped a line to a hidden harness in Borat's pants, resulting in the host being hoisted ungracefully 4 m in the air and flailing around – courtesy of Kinesys - to the great amusement of the crowd. This involved one Liftket motor and Rouse getting the cue spot on.
Shakira picked up the Award for Best Female Artist and for her performance cyc drapes were flown in on a truss with three vari-speed motors.
The Kinesys system and Liftket motors were used to lift the stage right and left video screens so that artists could enter and exit the stage. These were part of a video wall traversing the entire back of the stage. Two motors were used on each screen to perform this task.
Blackout’s own Kinesys conventional motor control was used for the downstage drapes truss, for a false speaker stack flown in on 2 motors and for Gorillaz’ upstage projection screen, which was on a Kabuki drop.