Set designer Dominic Tolfts and lighting designer Dave Davey used 384sq-m of Chroma-Q™ Color Web 250 on the set of last week’s UK prime time ITV1 entertainment show Britain’s Got Talent.
The show aired for nine consecutive nights up to the final on June17, was created by X Factor mogul Simon Cowell, and presented by Ant & Dec. Cowell was joined on the judging panel by Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden in a quest to find the UK’s most remarkable performers from dance troupes to singers, to piano playing pigs, and dancing horses.
Following five nights of highlights from nationwide auditions, contestants were whittled down over four 90-minute live finals to the ultimate winner, who received £100,000 and a starring slot at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance.
The show was produced by talkbackTHAMES, FreemantleMedia group, and SyCo TV for ITV. Set design was by Dominic Tolfts. Lighting and video design was by Dave Davey, assisted by programmers Russell Grubiak and Bill Peachment.
When it came to finding a stage backdrop for the live finals filmed in front of a live studio audience, the production team was looking for something to appear in the back of shots to provide an effective way of changing the whole look of the show. They also wanted something that would tie together the separate lighting and video elements of the set design.
Dominic used the Chroma-Q Color Web before to great effect on ITV1’s Pokerface, and the producers saw it on other shows and liked what they saw, so he and Davey decided to specify it for the backdrop.
Tolfts notes, “We didn’t want to use an effects backdrop, which was just another square box. In addition, because the main stage area and two smaller outer stages were a curved shape, we wanted something we could mould around them—something you couldn’t do with most other LED products. The Color Web’s flexible design was perfect for this.”
LED lighting and video consultant Simon Deary was approached to source the Color Web and chose rental company Richard Martin Lighting (RML) due to the tight 48-hour production turnaround and the support that came with RML under such circumstances.
Deary was also keen for the production team to use the Color Web, saying, “The Color Web is very easy to work with because it’s based around a lighting product, so crews don’t need to be video experts to prep it. It’s very flexible—removing a panel only takes two minutes so it’s not a problem if, as often happens, things change around on set. And whereas a lot of fixtures’ color temperatures can cause problems during setup, the Color Web has a great relationship with the TV camera.”
Deary asked RML to supply the Color Web, which comes in modular 1m square pieces in
prefabricated sections for the three separate stages. This meant that the web was all ready to hang straight out of the box, giving the crew extra prepping time for other jobs on set.
The three Color Web sections together provided a 384sq-m backdrop, which spanned the entire 24m width of the stage areas.
The set also featured a large high resolution video screen at the center of the main stage, 14 curved Chrome panels containing horizontal LED strip lighting equally spaced across the stages, 360˚ semi-transparent LED screens on the smaller stages, and various other LED fixtures.
The Color Web was controlled using a Hippotizer media server running from a lighting console, and was programmed by Russell Grubiak, using the Hippotizer’s built-in pixel mapper.
Media was a mixture of original Hippotizer content and visuals specially created by graphic content designer Graham Clarkin. Media was approved by the production crew to fit in with the overall content of the show and set lighting, and included kaleidoscopic, ethereal, and organic images such as raindrops, DNA strands, and overlaying bricks.
Summarizing the use of Color Web, Deary says, “The Color Web is an effective, dynamic lighting product that uses video but can be adaptable through DMX to be controlled through a lighting desk. We needed something that was a lighting product as well as a video product to be able to change things effectively.”
The Chroma-Q Color Web is designed and manufactured by Artistic Licence and distributed worldwide by A.C. Lighting. Chroma-Q Color Web is licensed by Artistic Licence, Color Kinetics, and Super Vision.ate the benefits of music making activity on a grand scale.