New Windsor, New York—May 21, 2010—During principal photography, Director of Photography Matthew Libatique, ASC and Gaffer Mike Bauman turned to PRG for help with two of Iron Man 2's largest setups. Making their feature film debut, twenty PRG Bad Boy® luminaires were a key part of the massive setup at Sepulveda Dam, the location used for the exterior of the Stark Expo. For the impressive interior sequences of the Stark Expo and the Hammer Expo, PRG provided a large LED video wall with content controlled by the PRG Mbox Extreme® v3 media server.
Bauman worked closely with PRG, testing gear for the complex setups. “We brought the Bad Boy in really, really early in the process to test it,” he said. “PRG really addressed our needs with this light and they made some custom glass for us. That was a huge benefit to us, because I don't think that we would have gotten that kind of attention from a lot of other vendors.”
Intensity at long distances was critical for the Sepulveda Dam setup. “There was just a massive amount of area that had to be dealt with and we only had a few days for shooting there, so we had to really move very fluidly,” Bauman explained. “The Bad Boy certainly is the brightest light that you can get with the biggest amount of throw. They became an incredibly helpful element and were an incredible time saver.”
John Crimins, Additional Lighting Programmer, handled the lighting at the dam and agreed with Bauman about the Bad Boy fixtures. “The main challenge was getting backlight to throw 300ft across the set,” commented Crimins. “The Bad Boy was the superstar unit of that set. Any other unit we could put up on those walls for backlight wouldn't work, even the 20kW's up there fell off a lot at that distance. The punch of the Bad Boy worked out really well.” Crimins added, “I think that the Bad Boys are a great choice for film work.”
For the interior expo sequences, the film used an LED video wall instead of a green screen for the background content. The enormous curved Pixled F-11 screen was provided by PRG. Used in two separate configurations, the screens measured 70ft x30ft and 80ft x20ft. Bauman asked Lighting & Media Programmer Joshua Thatcher to choose the media server for the setup. Bauman explained, “The Mbox ended up becoming a critical player because of its use of layers, which really saved us. There was a lot of visual artwork that was getting delivered at the last minute; literally the last minute, 20 minutes before we were going to roll for that sequence. In the Mbox, Josh separated the art into layers and was able to quickly manipulate it and make it work for the screen. For the Hammer sequence, almost all of the content was created in the Mbox. The Mbox performed flawlessly. I went into this not wanting to like the Mbox; but it really blew me away.”
Thatcher agreed, “One of my concerns was that I needed the layer capabilities because on films you don't have a lot of programming time, it has to get put together and go. With PRG's Mbox, I got twelve layers and I could crossfade on the same layer. The layers were significant in the Hammer portion where I had to separate compiled composite content into individual pieces so I could move lettering around on the fly. It is really about finding the right tool for the job. The Mbox performed well; it definitely has a place in film work.” As far as the overall support he received from PRG, Thatcher added, “PRG is a big company but when I was dealing with the Mbox, I got one on one treatment. They got me the gear as early as I needed it and I had the personal support I needed. They took care of me very well.”
Lighting Programmer Scott Barnes, who was tasked by Bauman to layout the massive moving light rigs of the Stark/Hammer expos, worked closely with Thatcher and agreed with his assessment of PRG. “PRG is great,” he said. “The cool thing about PRG is the army of guys that are just there to help you, either at the shop or coming to the set or location. There was just a lot of support. There is never a â€˜no we can't do that', it is always â€˜yeah, we can do that; we can make that happen'. It is easy working with those guys.”
Bauman agreed, “It was the first time that I had really worked with PRG in depth, beyond renting some moving lights. They were always very accommodating. Their support was very good and it really worked out great.”
For more information on PRG, please visit www.prg.com.
About Production Resource Group - Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG) is the world's leading supplier of entertainment and event technology to a wide range of markets, including corporate and automotive events, concerts, special events, theatre, television and film, trade shows, and installations, such as theme parks, museums, retail stores and performing arts centers. PRG provides integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging, and scenery and automation systems for these markets from more than 31 offices in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.