Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG) was pleased to play a supporting role in this year’s 80th Annual Academy Awards®. Over the last several years, PRG has had the honor of supplying both production support and equipment for the live telecast. PRG worked closely with Bob Dickinson and Full Flood, Inc. on the event, held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
Dickinson’s choice of lighting equipment was influenced by the unusual scenic elements of the production design by Roy Christopher. “We had a very challenging scenic environment this year,” points out Dickinson. “The scale of the scenery, over 40-feet tall, and the large ceiling rings drove our rig to a trim of some 50 feet. Because of the distances and the need to be very precise with the destination of every lumen, I chose Vari-Lite VL3500™ Wash, VL3500™ Spot, and Martin MAC 2000 Wash™ fixtures as the main type of lights for the scenery. We also used an ample amount of VL5™ units.” The automated lighting was provided by PRG as part of the overall lighting package.
The rehearsals and the show itself require control that is dependable, fast, and flexible, so Dickinson chose the PRG Virtuoso® console. “Virtuoso is the fastest and most intuitive console on the market. And it is incredibly stable. I would not consider doing a production of this weight, size, and exposure without it. It is an ideal console for television work, because a single operator on a single console can control up to a thousand instruments,” states Dickinson.
Lighting director and programmer Andy O’Reilly agrees that the Virtuoso was the right choice. “Its speed is unbelievable,” says O’Reilly. “I don’t mean processing speed, I mean user speed, how fast you can edit your cues once they’re built. If I want to access a particular channel and adjust it, it’s one button press. Part of the speed comes from the Channel Select panel. This is one of the things that sets Virtuoso apart from other consoles—the ability to grab stuff really quickly. No toggling through pages of different screens to access a particular luminaire.”
The new v6.0 software upgrade for the Virtuoso offered enhancements for O’Reilly as well. “The new features definitely save time. I particularly like the new effects section, which allows you to create effects very quickly on the fly,” O’Reilly explains. The feature referred to is the new wave-based effects engine, which provides a powerful and quick method for creating custom dynamic effects across groups with configurable parameters.
PRG also supplied its Series 400™ Power and Data Distribution System for the production. “The Series 400 network is absolutely rock solid. With things constantly changing, we needed a system that could accommodate that without much trouble. Series 400 saved us a lot of time by providing flexibility up in the rig when we needed to make adjustments. It also cut down on our cable runs so the installation was completed more quickly,” O’Reilly explains.
At the end of the night, Dickinson could be very proud of his elegant design and the work of his entire Full Flood team including: lighting directors Bob Barnhart and Jon Kusner; Pre-Show lighting director Ted Wells; lighting director/programmer Andy O’Reilly; associate lighting directors Noah Mitz and Travis Hugenbach, as well as associate lighting designer/draftsperson Dan Reed.
PRG was happy to have the opportunity to play a part in their success and Dickinson was pleased with the company’s ability to react quickly. Says Dickinson, “Tony Ward, crew chief Steve Olinsky, and everyone at PRG were prepared and very responsive to our many and unending demands.”