The final of Germany’s 2014 Next Top Model talent show provided a great opportunity for Lighting Designer Manuel Da Costa to put Robe’s ROBIN CycFX 8 fixtures through their paces. Staged in the Lanxess Arena, Cologne and attended by 15,000 people, it was also broadcast live on German TV Pro7.
Manuel was lighting the series for the fourth time and was also the Director of Photography, so getting the right mix of lighting for both TV and live elements was crucial. While it’s a ‘given’ for these type of shows that the runway has to be optimised for naturalistic flesh tones and shadow-less illumination of faces, it was also an interesting mix of aesthetics – fashion meets live arena show!
He used 44 x CycFX 8s in total, mostly rigged to the side stage wings and used to wash parts of the catwalk as general illumination and also to create some bold and distinctive effects.
“I was very interested to test them in an arena environment,” explains Manuel, who is the LD for a host of leading TV shows including German Idol and The Voice. “I wanted to assess their brightness, functionality and performance over long distances and at height”.
It was also the first time he’d used CycFX on his show and he says quickly … “And it won’t be the last!” having been suitably impressed!
He loves the fast 270 degree tilt movement which can produce rapid sweep effects across a broad area and also the individually controllable RGBW LED modules as well as the zoom, which is adjustable between 8 and 67 degrees.
Also vital for television is the tungsten lamp emulation with the fade effects at 2700K and 3500K. This is a feature on several of Robe’s ROBIN series fixtures.
This year for Next Top Model final they were working with a new stage design which presented challenges simply because no-one was familiar with it and, due to the venue’s booking schedule, they had no pre-rig or rehearsal time – it was get in, set up, rehearsals and straight into the show – which added extra pressure.
The CycFX 8s were supplied by rental company Cape Cross, also based in Cologne.
Joining Manuel on the lighting team were Moving Light Operator Jonas König and TV Lighting Operator Adam Balke. Video was operated by Björge Block, content created by Falk Rosental and both video and lighting was run from grandMA2 consoles.
The eye-catching set was designed by Florian Wieder.