Set Designer Dominic Tolfts and Lighting Designer Dave Davey have used 384 square metres of Chroma-Q® Color Web 250 for the set of last week’s prime-time ITV1 entertainment show Britain’s Got Talent.
The show aired for nine consecutive nights up to the final on 17th June, was created by X Factor mogul Simon Cowell and presented by the ever-popular Ant & Dec.
Simon was joined on the judging panel by Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden in a quest to find the nation’s most remarkable performers – from dance troupes to singers, to piano playing pigs and dancing horses.
Following five nights of highlights from the nationwide auditions, contestants were whittled down over four 90 minute live finals to the ultimate winner, who received £100,000 and a starring slot at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance.
The show was produced by talkbackTHAMES, FreemantleMedia group and SyCo TV for ITV. Set design was by Dominic Tolfts. Lighting and video design was by Dave Davey, assisted by programmers Russell Grubiak and Bill Peachment.
When it came to finding a stage backdrop for the live finals filmed in front of a live studio audience, the production team was looking for something to appear in the back of shots which would provide an effective way of changing the whole look of the show. They also wanted something that would tie together the separate lighting and video elements of the set design.
Dominic had used the Chroma-Q® Color Web before to great effect on ITV1’s Pokerface, and the producers had seen it on other shows and liked what they saw, so he and Dave decided to specify it for the backdrop.
Dominic commented: “We didn’t want to use an effects backdrop which was just another square box. In addition, because the main stage area and two smaller outer stages were a curved shape, we wanted something which we could mould around them – something you couldn’t do with most other LED products. The Color Web’s flexible design was therefore perfect for this.”
LED Lighting and Video Consultant Simon Deary was approached to source the Color Web and chose rental company Richard Martin Lighting due to the tight 48 hour production turnaround and the support that came with RML under such circumstances.
Simon was also keen for the production team to use the Color Web, commenting: “The Color Web is very easy to work with because it’s based around a lighting product, so crews don’t need to be video experts to prep it. It’s very flexible – removing a panel only takes two minutes so it’s not a problem if, as often happens, things change around on set. And whereas a lot of fixtures’ colour temperatures can cause problems during setup, the Color Web has a great relationship with the TV camera.”
Simon asked RML to supply the Color Web, which comes in modular 1 metre square pieces, in pre-fabricated sections for the three separate stages. This meant that the web was all ready to hang straight out of the box, giving the crew extra prepping time for other jobs on set.
The three Color Web sections together provide a 384 square metre backdrop which spans the entire 24 metre width of the stage areas.
The set also features a large high resolution video screen at the centre of the main stage, 14 curved Chrome panels containing horizontal LED strip lighting equally spaced across the stages, 360° semi-transparent LED screens on the smaller stages and various other LED fixtures.
The Color Web is controlled using a Hippotizer media server running from a lighting console, and was programmed using the Hippotizer’s built-in pixel mapper by Russell Grubiak.
Media was a mixture of original Hippotizer content and visuals specially created by Graphic Content Designer Graham Clarkin. Media was approved by the production crew to fit in with the overall content of the show and set lighting, and included kaleidoscopic, ethereal and organic images such as raindrops, DNA strands and overlaying bricks.
Summarising the use of Color Web, LED Lighting and Video Consultant Simon Deary commented: “The Color Web is an effective, dynamic lighting product that uses video, but can be adaptable through DMX to be controlled through a lighting desk. We need something that is a lighting product as well as a video product, to be able to change things effectively.”
The Chroma-Q® Color Web is designed and manufactured by Artistic Licence and distributed worldwide by A.C. Lighting. Chroma-Q® Color Web is licensed by Artistic Licence, Color Kinetics and Super Vision.