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PSI Takes out The Family Fortunes

PSI Takes out The Family Fortunes


Production Services Ireland (PSI)'s Dublin branch kicked off 2012 with the supply of full lighting production, trussing and associated rigging for two high profile TV series - Take Me Out (Ireland) and Family Fortunes - both recorded at the Helix Theatre, Dublin City University.

Andrew Leonard, lighting designer for both shows worked closely with console programmer and live visuals operator Peter Canning from High Resolution Lighting. PSI's project manager was Ciaran Tallon, and it was the first time that Dublin and Belfast based PSI has been involved with either show.

The series producer was Billy McGrath, and the production company in both cases was Sideline Productions for TV3. Twenty episodes of both shows were shot in two two-week slots, with a two-day changeover in-between, and the sets for each production were designed by Anita Barrett.

Take Me Out

The crew installed a centre box truss just in front of the stage onto which was rigged 30 VARI*LITE V*L1000 Tungsten moving lights for front keys to highlight each of the 30 girls standing in their pods. There were also 30 PixelPARs in the actual pod set pieces.

Upstage of this was a back truss measuring 21 metres wide. Running along each side of the auditorium was a 10 metre side truss, and above the FOH position were two 9 metre wide trusses giving additional audience lighting positions and for drapes.

Back lighting each contestant from the back truss was an ETC Source Four 15-30 zoom in white, and another Source Four 25-50 zoom in red. When anyone pressed their buzzer to indicate disinterest in the prospective date on offer, the appropriate Source Four would light up, plus the PixelPAR in the requisite colour.

These cues programmed by Canning were triggered via MIDI from the Virtuoso console which was integrated with the contestant's buzzer system.

In addition to these fixtures, PSI supplied Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs & ColorWash 700E ATs, V*L3500 Spots, more PixelPARs & Source Four zooms, 1.2K fresnels, ARRI 2k & 1k fresnels, floor PARs, 800W Red-heads along with 30 x Chroma-Q Color Block DB4 LED battens.

Family Fortunes

In the changeover days, all the V*L 1000 Tungstens were removed and a VL 2500 spot package and extra Robe ColorWash 700E ATs were added. The trussing was reconfigured, with the back truss remaining, but the box being converted into straight lengths.

The set was also completely different.

For Andrew Leonard and the whole creative team, the challenges included delivering the best possible shows that were also comparable in terms of production values to the UK versions – but on a far more expedient budget!

For Take Me Out, this informed elements like his choice the V*L1000s for front key lights and Source Fours at the back, a look and effect that worked really nicely.

For Family fortunes, he explains that his aim was to deliver “Punchy pictures” which were well keyed, simultaneously dressing Anita Barrett's Spandex set elements as softly as possible. Lots of LED and VL 2500s provided classic beam shots through the slightly hazed wide shots.

He says, “PSI were a real pleasure to deal with – no issue is too big or small for them to deal with quickly and efficiently. The equipment is in superb condition, and I've actually known Ciaran for some 20 years now …. He is a true professional who knows exactly what's required on the gig.”

He adds that Peter Canning's role in designing and specifying the WinVision (LED screen) packages for both shows and his “Customary wizardry” in programming the full lighting and media systems on the Virtuoso was absolutely crucial to ensuring they were such a visual success.

Canning adds, “It was the first time I have worked with PSI on these shows, although I have known Ciaran for many years and have always enjoyed working with him. Everything was spot-on”.

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

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