XL Video UK is supplying FOH scenic video projection and a three-camera PPU via Blink TV for the Scissor Sisters UK arena tour—the first time the band have featured video at their live show.
The energetic pop show is packed with campy flamboyance. Into this colorful and eclectic mix video director Phil Woodhead is bringing his own unique touch of videosyncrasity.
The pressure was on for Woodhead to come up with something, new, original and non-conventional in terms of IMAG aesthetics, which is beamed onto two 16 x 12 ft side screens via Barco SLM R12+ projectors. The band was very specific that they didn’t want to see themselves onscreen during the show, and neither did they want the audience looking at a TV.
The Sony D50 cameras are stationed at FOH and two in the pit on tripods. There are two mini-cams onstage clamped into a variety of different positions daily, so no two nights are the same.
Backstage Woodhead has another mini-cam that is shooting the ISO monitor output for each camera, so he’s effectively using the monitors for mix effects rather than the switcher. The mini-cam output is mixed via a Sony DFS 700, a basic piece of kit ideally suited to the creative task in hand.
“I’d experimented with this technique a couple of times leading up to this tour,” explains Woodhead, “This was to be confident it would work in creative terms, and also to discover the different effects and texturing that can be achieved.”
The fact that the show is also beautifully lit (show designer Roy Bennett, lighting director Dave Ross) means that dodging between mini-cam shots gives him lots of raw rock ‘n’ roll style camera shots, complete with flare and natural grain. “It’s a stage show rather than a ‘band on stage’ scenario,” he notes, saying that integrating the stage lighting into the video shots in this way has enabled him to produce the fast-cut mix he had in mind as the show’s video look. The IMAG does not actually kick in until halfway through the show, and is a nice element of the general show build, which culminates in a crescendo of color and chaos.
Joining Woodhead on the XL crew are engineer Anthony Cairns, head cameraman Hugo Levien, and projectionist Nick Paine.
The tour is being project managed for XL Video UK by Phil Mercer and Jo Beirne, who both agree it’s great being involved with John Gray and his team on the Scissor Sister’s first arena tour.XL is also supplying two of their new Christie S20 Roadster projectors for the scenic projection. These are stationed FOH, projecting onto the set. They are fed by content created with and stored on an M-Box Xtreme digital media server, triggered from the Hog iPC lighting desk run by Dave Ross.