(NEW CASTLE, DE - Nov. 6, 2013) Video equipment rental company Pete’s Big TVs again supplied the high resolution LED video panels for the BET Network’s “Black Girls Rock!” - an annual show which celebrates positive role models and trailblazing contributions to the arts for women of color.
The show moved this year from the historic Paradise Theatre location in the Bronx, NY to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Pete’s Big TVs has worked with the show for the past five years.
“The new location allowed us to have a bigger show and made the load in much easier,” said Pete’s Big TVs VP Guy Benjamin. “The New Jersey PAC is a proper theater with loading docks and wing space. The former location, the Paradise in the Bronx, was an old movie palace. It was beautiful but it had many limitations.”
For the new location, longtime set designer Anne Brahic created a new design which took full advantage of the bigger stage and the power of LED equipment.
“I liked Anne’s new design,” Benjamin said. “Everything about it required something custom about it. Nothing was your ‘take it out of the box, hang it or fly it and you’re done.’ It was different to put together and more of a challenge to put in, but in the end it looked beautiful and I appreciated that unusual visual element of it.”
Dave Lawson and his company, Acadia Scenic, created the curvy framework of the set. “He built the structure that allowed us to create the curves with the LED panels,”
Benjamin said. “Every screen except for the close down screen required a custom bracket that Acadia had to build.”
Pete’s Big TVs supplied an enormous amount of LED high resolution video panels that were attached to the set. There were 224 digiLED MC7 LED and MK7 panels (both 7mm) serving as screens behind the presenter at stage left and stage right. In addition, there was a “close down screen” that flew in and out to help make set changes. The 7mm high resolution was needed for the TV cameras. The panels also have no radio frequency interference - another popular feature for TV.
The upstage curved screen used 132 MC7s at 33 panels wide by four panels high. There were 420 digiLED MC15 LED panels serving as the vertical ribbons in the set - at 15mm, these were a little lower resolution where higher resolution was not needed. There were also 112 digiFLEX 6mm panels used to face the stage risers.
“This year’s show was probably 30 percent larger than last year,” Benjamin estimates. “It took a good three and a half days to load it all in. That’s because every screen except for the close down screens required a custom bracket that Acadia had to build. The set had to be put together, then lighting had to be attached, and then the video panels could be attached. It was a challenging set. All the vertical strips were in the shape of a J. It was a new thing but a beautiful thing.”
Benjamin supervised his crew of Matt Ellar, Brent Jones, Charles Vanwinkle and Alex Keene.
PRG supplied the lighting for LD Otis Howard and the eight MBox media servers for Patrick Dierson, who created the content.
The show was taped by the BET Network on Saturday, Oct. 26 for broadcast starting Nov. 3, with repeat airings throughout the week and online.
Recently, Pete’s Big TVs supplied LED video panels and a projector for another BET show, the Hip Hop Awards, which took place Sept. 28 in Atlanta.
Photo: Matt Ellar/Pete’s Big TVs