XL Video Helps Make The World Beautiful

XL Video is supplying over 200 square meters of Stealth screen, 6 cameras, 70x lens, a Kayak HD PPU, 8 new Barco FLM18 HD projectors, 3 Hippotizer digital media servers, a 3-meter diameter MiPix globe, plus crew for Take That’s Beautiful World tour.

Video is a core aesthetic element of the show, which is production designed by Ray Winkler of Stufish, who worked closely with the show’s artistic director Kim Gavin. The tour is being project managed for XL Video by Des Fallon who comments, “It’s great to be involved in one of the most ambitious tours on the road right now, and with Chris Vaughan and his team once again on my seventh Take That tour. The multi-layered video looks stunning and results from an innovative fusion of creative and technical ideas”

The 1237 tiles of Stealth are hung in 7 columns and primarily receive time-coded playback footage output from video content director Richard Shipman’s Hippotizers, plus some IMAG feeds from the 6-camera mix directed by Matt Askem. It’s the first time Shipman has used Hippotizers, newly purchased by XL and specifically chosen in this case for their HD capabilities. He’s very impressed, particularly with the timeline functionality of the system.

There are two streams of live camera going into the Hippos on SDI cards, allowing Shipman to use two Magic DVEs to size camera images for the Stealth.

Shipman also worked closely with XL Video Belgium to design custom dollies for transporting the 7 drops of Stealth to optimize the load ins and outs. This was essential for the back-to-back section of the tour in Europe, when time was sometimes exceptionally tight and load ins could be as late as 1pm for a show that same evening. The screens are flown on motors, and concertina neatly into and out of the dollies which sit below them at the sides of the stage, complete with all the processing in the base. The Stealth is tech’d by Andy Tonks, Steve Clariss, and Bill Dixon.

The Hippotizers are controlled by Green Hippo’s latest “Zoo Keeper” software. The show playback content stored on them—a mixture of vivid and subtle graphics and animations—was specially produced by Sam Pattinson at Onedotzero. All this footage was fitted exactly to the size and shape of the screens. One Hippo is running PixelMAD software for pixel mapping additional video content to the Stealth.

Two channels of HD (1290 x 1080 pixels) IMAG is being run to the two Barco FLM18s which are feeding two projection screens on outer perimeters of stage left and right. (There is a pair of additional LED screens sandwiched between these and the Stealth onstage). The projection element of the show is looked after for XL by Clarke Anderson

Five additional Barco projectors—two one side of the catwalk and three the other—are flown on their own truss mid-way down the arena. The three are used to project onto a mid stage drape for the show opening sequence, while the two project onto a “video fan” drape that comes up from the floor for “Never Forget,” the second to last number of the set.

Above the B-stage at FOH is the MiTrix globe. This flies in and out inside of two concentric trussing circles that also fly up and down and tilt within each other, buzzing with Hippotizer content.

Engineering the system is XL Video’s Wolfgang Schram, who designed the Kayak PPU run by Matt Askem for the show. They are using a 32 x 32 matrix for outputting to screen, two Magic DVEs, and have the 6 Sony DXCD 50 camera sources. Via the Kayak’s E-Mem, four different feeds go out to the 4 IMAG screens (2 projection, 2 LED), and the desk is programmed to allow the routing of 4 different pictures to all four IMAG surfaces as required.

Working for Take That’s production as video crew chief and logistics coordinator is Kes Thornley.

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