UK lighting designer Durham Marenghi recently gave a presentation about his lighting design for the 2006 Winter Olympics at the 5th China International Entertainment Technology Forum in Beijing.
The Forum was attended by over 200 invited guests including lighting and sound designers, programmers, operators, technicians, and consultants from all sectors of the Chinese lighting industry, from television to live entertainment, and organizers and managers from large performance teams.
“Obviously it was very exciting and a great honor to be invited to China to speak about this work,” says Marenghi, adding, “There is intense interest in the skills, knowledge, and technology involved in producing monumental shows and events ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.”
Marenghi is the only UK lighting designer to design and deliver lighting for an Olympic opening/closing ceremony and he is also the first one to address the China Forum.
His lively and interactive 35-minute presentation detailed the evolution and execution of lighting design for the 2006 event in Turin, covering key aspects of what became a hugely demanding three-year project. Topics ranged from the lighting technology involved to the politics, diplomatic skills, and superlative teamwork needed to make the show happen under exceptionally challenging programming and rehearsal conditions and a harsh operating environment.
The Turin show, among the most talked about and creative for any Olympiad event, is acclaimed for its innovative use of color and multi-layered visuality—and the fact that it was one of the most successful in terms of working as both a TV spectacular and a major live event. Marenghi collaborated closely with architectural/set designer Mark Fisher and his own handpicked core team of programmers and operators.
Marenghi outlined the lighting equipment chosen for the show, totalling approximately 1,200 fixtures (excluding all the LED elements) and including moving lights from Robe, Coemar, Martin Professional, LEDs and Searchlights from Space Cannon, installation by Agora of Rome and WholeHog 3 control. He also spoke about why they were chosen and the tough climatic conditions in which they were working.