XL Video supplied video production and crew for the just completed UK arena leg of The Script's "Science & Faith" world tour, which was the biggest production to date for the popular chart-topping Irish rockers whose very distinctive sound and superlative live performances have built up a massive following.
Paul "Eggy" Eggerton is the band's video director, working closely with engineer Wolfgang "Wolfie" Schramm. They came onboard and helped the creative team after being recommended by co-lighting designer Jamie Thompson with whom they had worked on the Biffy Clyro tour. Their brief from the off on the camera mix was to be experimental and give it an edge, a vibe and make it something different from a standard IMAG show.
XL Video's Director Des Fallon comments, "The Script are one of the most exciting young bands of the moment, their music is inventive and refreshing, and we're pleased to be working with them, their production team and with Eggy and Wolfie who did a fantastic job in bringing real character and style to the visuals. It's also been a joy to work with production manager Bob O'Brien and tour manager Quinner.”
Jamie Thompson and Bryan Leitch initiated the overall visual look and feel for the stage, which included the centre stage Pixled F11 screen, measuring 13.5 metres wide by 5 metres deep. This created an impressive and integrated backdrop for both playback and IMAG visuals. Considerable attention went into ensuring that the lighting and video had great synergy and balance.
Pixled F11 was specified by Thompson & Leitch for many reasons. Firstly, the look and quality of the visuals appearing on it and also because they wanted a transparent lightweight surface. The F11 is also extremely easy to rig.
XL also supplied 2 x 20 x 11 ft side stage IMAG screens and 2 Barco FLM HD20 machines, one per side, to feed them.
There were 7 cameras in total, 4 Sony DXCD 50s operated - one at FOH, two in the pit and one hand-held onstage - and 3 Sony Robo-cams which were positioned remotely by Eggy. Two of the remotes were clamped in place by the drum kit, one focussed on the drums and another on the forestage keyboard position for when lead vocalist Danny O'Donoghue was there. The third was just by guitarist Mark Sheehan.
For the O2 Arena show in London, XL swapped out the Sony DXCD 50s for the hi def version Sony HXC100s for an HD ISO record that will be cut at a later date.
Eggerton's vision mixer of choice was a GV Kayak SD system, fully optimised to aid the 'live' flow of the mix. He also used a Magic DVE for specific effects, including adding a classic 'filmic' quality to the footage at certain points, with subliminal strobing effects and some beautifully rich saturated colouration.
The maximisation of the Kayak involved Schramm setting up a large amount of pre-programmed effects using the EMEMs, DPMs and Macros - over 100 in total - all of which enabled Eggerton to direct access to all of them at any time. Although there were certain standard cues in some songs every night, during other parts of the set he mixed freestyle, experiencing the buzz and adrenaline rush of all those hair-raising moments when feeding off the sheer emotions of the crowd. "It's an amazingly satisfying way of working," he comments.
The show also featured a stunning selection of playback visuals for the side screens created by video artist Paul "Pablo" Beckett, which were stored on 2 Grass Valley Turbo hard drives and triggered via the Kayak.
In addition to these, XL supplied two Green Hippo Hippotizer HD media servers which were run from Jamie Thompson's Avolites' lighting console, loaded with content and graphics for the F11 screen also made by Pablo. Eggerton had an output from the Hippos feeding into his Kayak, and Thompson had a TX feed from the Kayak into the Hippos.
Video World included an extensive monitoring system with 18 screens previewing the various outputs - for full flexibility - plus a large POV (point of view) screen with a feed from a mini cam at FOH, giving an overall view of the entire stage.
Eggerton and Schramm worked with a crew of 4 technicians from XL, and comment, "As always, the service the kit and the crew from XL are fantastic. Everything ran very smoothly, it was an efficient, happy team and a great tour".
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