For the season finale of “Survivor: Game Changers” earlier this past summer lighting designer Victor Fable decided the time was right to add more LED fixtures to the lighting rig of the popular competitive reality television series and turned to new generation LED fixtures from Elation Professional for the task.
“We wanted to move to more LED and try something different without taking away the success of past live shows,” said Fable, who has traditionally used a profusion of discharge lamp fixtures on “Survivor” finale shows. “We wanted to see how much could be rolled over to LED and see how much more bang we could get with the extra fixtures it allowed us to use.”
As good as ever
The rig consisted of well over 250 lighting fixtures including 80 Fuze Wash Z120™, 26 Fuze Wash Z350™, 40 Colour Chorus 12™, 10 Colour Chorus 48™ and 16 Satura Spot LED Pro™, all Elation LED fixtures, along with Elation Platinum SBX™ and FLX™ hybrid luminaires and other lights. “It’s the most LED we’ve had on a Survivor show,” says Fable, who lit his 11th live “Survivor” season finale. “The show looked as good as ever and the client was very happy.”
The season finale of “Survivor: Game Changers,” the 34th season of the Emmy award-winning show, aired live on May 24th from Stage 23 of CBS’s Radford Studios in Los Angeles. Fable, who says he has been fortunate to be part of the “Survivor” finales for many seasons, programmed some of the early finale shows before moving into the role as lighting designer.
The prominent television LD has worked with Fuze series fixtures before and says he realized the “Survivor: Game Changers” finale was a good opportunity to replace the VL5s he normally uses. His search for a new color-changing wash light with unique on-camera aesthetics yet one that was LED-based ended when he found the Fuze Wash Z120 and Fuze Wash Z350. “I had given up on finding a light that had the same characteristics as a VL5, which has been a cornerstone of countless shows,” he says. “That changed when I was introduced to the Fuze. The first thing that attracted me to it was how it softly diffuses light. It fills all the roles for me that the VL5 would play even though it’s an LED fixture whereas the VL5 is an incandescent.”
The Fuze units, which the LD says fulfilled an important role on the show, were placed at several different positions - in the rig, on the floor and even hidden behind and inside scenery elements. The LED wash lights use a single source lens system that emits an extremely even beam with a lens face that appears as one color on camera, a non-pixel look that is unique on the market. Fable says he also chose the Fuze fixtures because of the greater flexibility they provide with more helpful features like a wider zoom. “Without question, the Fuze has turned into my ‘go to’ light. From humans to scenery, the Fuze hits the mark.”
Colour Chorus and Satura Spot
The one-foot and four-foot Colour Chorus LED batten wash lights (RGBA) were used to uplight hard scenery from behind plants, were used for downstage lighting and screen surrounds, or were employed when the set needed a broad stroke of light. “These are great strip lights, very bright and with a good color range,” Fable said. “They come in different sizes, which make them quite flexible, and they gave us another opportunity to save by not running cable and dimmers.” The Satura Spot LED Pros, a color and gobo changing moving head with RGBW LED engine that can be used for several purposes, were used for audience color washes and splays of pattern, as well as for framing around the screen surrounds.
The move to more LED fixtures on “Survivor” gave other benefits besides the ability to put more lights in the rig, namely less cabling, fewer dimmers and greater reliability. “Also, once the set was in, it was hard to change anything in the rig as it was hard to get to it but using LED made it easier because there were no bulb burnouts to contend with,” Fable said, adding that even though the scenery was finished late in the process it was easy to add in extra Fuze fixtures where more light was needed.
Discharge-based fixtures still found their way into the finale show rig, some in the form of Elation Platinum SBX and Platinum FLX hybrid moving heads that Fable used to replace the VL Spot fixtures he has typically used on “Survivor” finales. Used in both spot and beam mode, the SBX and FLX fixtures were most prominent during the winning ballyhoo of audience sweeps when the last survivor and winner of the million dollar prize was announced.
The Elation lighting fixtures for the “Survivor: Game Changers” finale were supplied by Victor Fable Lighting and Kinetic Lighting. Fable worked on the show with “the best team of lighting professionals” and thanks Nick McCord (ALD), Esteban De La Torre (Programmer), Robbie Dick (gaffer), and David Rosen (Account Rep).
Victor Fable is an award-winning Lighting Designer / Director of Photography and one of the U.S.’s most sought after lighting designers for television. Among his many credits are “The Rich Eisen Show”, "Survivor", "Guitar Center Sessions", "America's Best Dance Crew" and Fox Sports LA Studio to name a few. Victor Fable Lighting has recently moved into a new 4000 square-foot facility in Burbank, California.
Victor Fable Lighting, Inc
218 West Palm Avenue
Burbank, CA 91502
80 x Fuze Wash Z120™
26 x Fuze Wash Z350™
40 x Colour Chorus 12™
10 x Colour Chorus 48™
16 x Satura Spot LED Pro™
22 x Platinum FLX™
14 x Platinum SBX™
1 x HES Road Hog 4
About Elation Professional
Elation Professional is one of the world’s leading lighting and visual solutions providers and is the global brand of Elation Lighting. Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Los Angeles, with European sales, distribution and support based in The Netherlands, Elation designs and manufactures a comprehensive range of innovative yet affordable lighting and video products that are distributed through a global network of dealers and distributors. Made up of a spirited team of dedicated personnel, Elation is setting new efficiency and performance standards in Platinum lamp and LED technology and is acknowledged for a comprehensive commitment to Total Support. As a company in expansion with a presence in a growing variety of market segments, chances are you’ve experienced Elation lighting at a concert, special event, TV, theater, late night venue, House of Worship, theme park, cruise ship, exhibition, architectural space or elsewhere. For more information, please visit www.elationlighting.com
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