Production Services Ireland (PSI) supplied moving lights, LED surfaces, rigging and crew for the BBC Northern Ireland Proms In The Park event, staged in the fabulous grounds of Hillsborough Castle, an impressive 18th century mansion and the official residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
It was the first year that PSI has supplied a full rigging and comprehensive lighting and digital lighting package to the event, which was co-ordinated with BBC Northern Ireland's own lighting department, to meet the spec of lighting designers John Gallagher and Philip Brines. The Ulster Orchestra played a special programme and guests included The Priests, flautist Brian Finnegan, violinist Alexandra Soumm and Duke Special.
The stage was supplied by Star Events. It measured 18 metres wide by 13 deep with 8.5 metres of headroom, underneath which PSI installed a 16 metre wide by 13 deep box truss. In addition to that, they rigged a 5 x 4 metre screen-material filled oval truss for the set company. This was edged with Pulsar ChromaStrips from PSI and flown upstage centre above the conductor, filling that void for the tracking camera shots.
The practical challenges included accommodating the size of the box truss in the roof, as the lighting design required its depth to be slightly greater than that of the roof, so the whole construction was cantilevered by 75 cm at the front. This involved PSI's Sean Pagel getting the OK on the trussing design from the engineers at manufacturers, Litec.
Seven 1-tonne Lodestar motors were used to suspend the main box, with 4 ProStars for the oval truss.
The moving lights provided by PSI were 12 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, which were added to the BBC's own intelligent fixtures and generics.
PSI rigged 3 x 6 metre drop arms either side of the box with 5 ChromaQ ColorBlock LED battens attached to each, trimmed at 2 metres off the ground, to fill the side stage gaps with an aesthetically pleasing lightsource. Upstage were another 3 of these, trimmed at 3 metres high.
The side walls were enhanced with 5 x 3 metre hangs of ColorWeb 250, and hung off each far side run of the box truss were 4 ColorWeb legs. The downstage three were made up with 2 metre wide by 7 metre drops of ColorWeb, with a 2 by 5 metre drop finishing upstage.
The ColorWeb 'wrap' of the stage was completed with four 2 x 5 metre columns across the back wall.
Content for the ColorWeb and ColorBlocks was stored on 2 Hippotizer media servers from PSI - a Hippo Express and a Hippo Stage. Gallagher made custom content for the event to run through these, which were triggered via his Compulite Vector Green lighting console.
PSI invested in 2 new Lycian 2.5K follow spots for this project, which are now in regular hire stock.
The PSI crew of Sean Pagel, Joe Byrne and Brian Crowe looked after all their elements of the visuals, working alongside 4 BBC crew, and 2 additionals for the in and the out.
Says Sean Pagel, "It was great to have more involvement in this show this year, and also to see the production values increased with the creative use of LED. John and Philip put a real contemporary twist on the design which looked excellent live and on camera".
The on site challenges included tight security, due to it being an official residence, and grounds that needed careful and diligent treatment during the installation, which also had to contend with the omnipresent idiosyncrasies of the Irish weather!
For more press info on Production Services Ireland, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘[email protected]'. Call PSI direct on +44 (0)2890 814858 or check www.productionireland.com