The 2006 Brit Awards, staged at Earls Court on February, 15, featured the first use of HD on the annual event. The need for high-definition was prompted by the Gorillaz performance, which specified a high-resolution screen of 2048 x 1024 pixels. For the fourth consecutive year, XL Video provided video screens to The Brit Awards. XL supplied a high-resolution Barco iLite 6 XP LED screen measuring 15m x 7m for the 2006 event. XL also provided two 16:9 aspect ration Sony 15mm pitch IMAG side screens, each measuring 7m x 4m.
The 15x7 screen split into three sections (5m x 7m each) that tracked across stage (via a Kinesys Vector automation system) and into different positions and configurations to provide a variety of different looks for the 10 live artists performing, including Coldplay, Kanye West, and Prince. The screens also separated the stage area from backstage and were used as stage entry and exit points for artists.
Tracking High-Definition Screens
Outback Rigging were the main rigging contractors for the event, while Automation specialists Kinesys handled all the automation and movement systems for the upstage video screens. The three sections weighed 2.5 tons and tracked horizontally along a 55m-wide StageCo goalpost construction. This had an I-Beam fitted on the underside, onto which tracking beam trolleys were attached to hang the video walls. Kinesys rigged three winches on the floor that were diverted into the main structure, and moved the screens into different configurations.
The winches were driven with Kinesys’ Velocity drives and controlled by their Vector motion control software, operated by Erlend Webb. The use of winches for the screen tracking allows very smooth movement to be achieved while at the same time permitting millimetre accuracy which ensures that the screen line up is spot on, which was crucial with the high-resolution video panels being used for this show.
XL Video’s High-Def Visuals
Paul Wood, of MJK Productions, project managed the screen element of the Brits for XL. XL’s Chris Saunders, a video veteran of 11 Brit Awards, coordinated the playback material, software, and control system feeding the onstage screens, working directly for broadcasters, Brits TV. This featured one of XL’s Barco Folsom Encore systems, operated by Richard Turner.
Turner controlled sources stored on two Doremi high-definition hard drives and four standard-definition Doremis, all run via Dataton, and sized to fit the hi-def screen with the Encore.
Lee Lodge from Hello Charlie produced specially commissioned screen material, including graphics and awards nominations visuals; some artists submitted their own footage.
XL also supplied its OB truck and two additional cameras–positioned in the pit– for the side screen IMAG mix, which was cut by Chris Hilson. Hilson also had access to six of the event’s broadcast camera feeds from CTV.
Additionally, XL Video’s Des Fallon, the account manager for Gorillaz, was on hand to look after all the bands additional video needs for the show.