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Stunning projection as VER-Live supplies ITV’s Royal Variety Performance
UK – ITV’s Royal Variety Performance is an ever popular television staple bringing the latest cultural endeavours to the attention of millions. Staged at the London Palladium theatre, production designer, Peter Bingemann, created this year’s coherent visual styling, as he has in seven previous years, and expertly managed the requirements of the multifarious acts – from pop bands and singers through West End shows and musicals to stand-up comedians and other acts – into one strongly branded theatre show.
Bingemann is very clear in his intentions for the design: “I feel the design for The Royal Variety Performance should have a ‘theatricality’ where the AV complements rather than leads.”
For this year’s performance Bingemann opted for VER-Live to supply LED screens and projection for the show, attended also for the first time by the younger generation of Royals, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The core set, comprised the branded front drop curtain, as well as wings and headers and a single Barco NX4 LED Screen measuring 10.7 metres wide x 6.5 metres high as the central backdrop screen. This provided the Royal Variety framework that unified the separate performances.
Bingemann explains the choice: “We were looking for a high quality screen at, of course, a good price. VER offered a very competitive package. I had never worked with them before but had known Adrian (VER’s Adrian Offord) for many years. I knew and trusted that he would understand the importance of this high profile, live event.”
Bingemann continues: “I’ve always liked the idea of using projection on Royal Variety. It was something the producer and I spoke about at a very early stage and grew organically with the acts that came in.” Bingemann acted creatively for a number of the acts and again VER-Live supplied. Three Panasonic DZ21K Projectors added colour and movement to the sets of Simply Red and Ed Sheeran.
Miss Saigon also used the three Panasonic units to project on to the Royal Variety core set. The musical utilises large scale projection in London’s West End and the set expressed a simplified version of that. As well as the set itself, the front drop curtain was also used as a projection surface.
Arguably, the projection highlight of the Royal Variety Performance 2014 was Ellie Goulding’s two-song set which marked the culmination of her two year album campaign and created such a breath taking and iconic moment as to later appear on ITV’s comment on current media, GoggleBox.
The crescendo event was realised by creative director, Dan Shipton. He worked with Berlin-based projection artist, Frieder Weiss and designer, Carl Robert Shaw who put the movement into the vast dress using, initially, electric fans and then four puppeteers. Technology developed by Weiss deployed infa-red cameras to detect and assign live projected patterns from Weiss’s lighting palette, via a further two Panasonic DZ21K Projectors.
The transition between the two songs was a defining moment. Shipton explains: “I wanted that moment between the tracks to be quite a wow reveal so the whole energy went up a massive notch and you can then see the difference in the projected content for the second song.”
Bingemann maintains that: “When a live audience really enjoy the show – it translates to the screen for the audience at home.”
He adds: “Everything VER supplied worked extremely well and the crew were great. We look forward to working with them again in the future.”
3rd February 2015
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