Engineering specialist WIcreations provided a complete automation solution for the 2015 live special broadcast of popular Belgian TV show ‘Tegen de Sterren Op’ (Against The Stars) which parodies celebrities, other TV stars and public figures.
This included the supply of two customised WI laser controlled wagons – now available from rental stock - which proved an ingenious method to ensure the lightening quick scenery changes needed for the fast paced show were realised.
Three live shows were produced at Antwerp’s Lotto Arena over one action-packed weekend by producers Studio 100 and Dedsit for the VTM channel. Wi’s project Manager was Geert Stockmans.
WI also provided one of their suspended WItrack systems to move a large two-part video screen at the back of the stage, together with a flown tracking system with a moving winch to aid two aerial performers.
The show’s set and lighting was designed by Luc Peumans of Painting With Light, and featured a large 4mm HD LED screen upstage which needed to open for artist entrances and exits. This functionality was provided with the help of 21 metres of WItrack and control, which enabled the 8 metre wide screens to either be closed and in one large block or tracked open to provide a 4 metre gap in the middle.
The 24 metres of WItrack for the two aerial performers was installed in the roof above the stage in a horizontal orientation. This enabled the two performers to be picked up, lifted into the roof for their performance, and then landed in the middle of the stage.
The two laser wagons – a concept originally custom designed by the WI team for the epic 14-18 Spektakle show last year in Mechelen to commemorate the centenary of World War I and now available as a hire item – worked really hard throughout all the recording sessions.
Loaded and unloaded with scenery for each different sketch by a dedicated backstage scenic crew, they were tracked back and forth through the screens, and facilitated the super-quick seamless changeovers needed to enable the production team to keep to their tight recoding schedule.
It was a really innovative approach to both live and recorded television, taking the idea of quick turnarounds and movable scenery for OB shows in different locations to new heights of flexibility.
For Geert and the team, which included Kinesys operator Cedric Berckmans (for the tracking) and Visual Act operator Sam Melotte (for the wagons) the primary challenge was the short get-in and set-up window available to install all the technology involved.
They had one full day to rig the roof elements, but – due to the venue being pre-booked for a basketball game in the middle of the get-in – only six hours for all the floor work to be completed, including setting up the laser guidance system and reflectors for the wagons.
However, this all went really smoothly, proving that the WIwagons are a truly plug-and-play solution that can be deployed in any environment or scenario.
The wagons were also recently used to provide moving set columns in the Paris Event Centre for the Kenzo presentation at Paris Fashion Week AW15.
Geert Stockmans comments, “We are confident that we have a truly unique product in the wagons and control, which is now available for rental and all types of temporary and mobile installations”.
Photos: Dries de Roey