A Radical Lighting RADlite NG1 digital media server is in action on the current Australian Pink Floyd UK arena tour which has just kicked off with a completely new design for 2007.
RADlite is the latest development in the all-important video and visuals element of the band’s show. It’s being used for soft-edging and masking images, movies, and effects being projected onto a 60-ft wide upstage arched surface with a 5 metre diameter circular truss hung in front of it.
Lighting director Phil White and show projectionist Chris Gadd were instrumental in getting RADlite specified for the tour, having used the system before and knowing that lighting and video supplier Enttec has also invested in RADlite systems. They knew that it would make life infinitely easier on a number of levels for the video department, including with resizing the projections and masking as they swapped between different venues.
Visuals are looked after during the show by Gadd, along with White and video aficionado Richard Hutton. These three are joined by super-tech Simon “Boff” Howarth, another Enttec regular, and the 2007 Total Production Awards “Rigger of the Year,” Danny Spratt.
Lighting has again been designed by Dave Hill, who stepped the production values up yet another level this time around with the addition of the upstage arch, echoing one of the classic structural fundamentals from Pink Floyd’s seminal Pulse tour (1994-95).
All video content for the Australian Pink Floyd’s three-hour show is produced by Damian Darlington and Bryan Kolupski. This is streamed into the RADlite via a capture card, and then edge-blended in the system to create the 60-ft wide image needed to fill the arch shaped screen with projections from two Christie LX100 projectors. “There’s no other cost-effective product on the market that can touch RADlite on this function,” says Hutton.
The longer term plan is also to move storage of all the video content and sources over to the RADlite, to allow control from the lighting console, as the time allows in their hectic touring schedule.
Video is also projected onto the middle of the trussing circle. When circle-only images are required, Gadd manually drops in the RADlite mask that blacks out anything running across the arch.
The arched projection surface is made up of three sections, the center strip of which can be removed, shrinking the whole thing by 8ft for smaller stages, and there’s other situations where they might use only one projector. When this happens, all they have to do is change the screen resolution size in RADlite, and the images will automatically fit the different size and throw distances, “One click and it’s done” enthuses Gadd.
The masks were created using a simple picture editor. There are six different arch configurations in total, all reflecting slightly different variations of the show and stage layout.
White, Hutton, and Gadd are all impressed with the support they have received from Radical Lighting’s technical director Simon Carter, who was actively involved during their short rehearsal period in ensuring the system delivered everything they specifically needed.
This marks the third Pink Floyd association for Radical Lighting. They have also supplied a PixelDrive system for another highly credible tribute band, Off The Wall, and their PixelDrive product again featured heavily during the real Pink Floyd’s Live8 performance in London.