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Don’t Panic!

UK – The London Studios on the South Bank are well known for hosting light entertainment and comedy shows. However, LD Martin Kempton was faced with a rather different challenge in studio 1 recently, a lecture on world poverty by Swedish statistician Professor Hans Rosling.

Despite sounding very dry indeed, this was in fact surprisingly upbeat and a thoroughly entertaining presentation for BBC2 using a virtual reality graphics system called Musion. This state-of-the-art equipment enables the presenter to appear to be surrounded by objects, graphs, numbers and other images, all in a visually stunning way.

Exactly how the system works is a bit of a secret but Martin informed me that it placed extra demands on him as the LD as he had to avoid light falling on certain areas, whilst allowing the presenter the freedom to move almost anywhere. “Light levels were lower than normal but the production asked that the studio should not look dark on camera.”

Martin requested that some set elements were placed around the sides of the studio and he used these to project coloured gobos from Alpha Spot 575HPEs. He said that they gave a lot of flexibility in beam angle and choice of gobo and also they are very quiet which was important. Floor lighting, backlights and side kicks all came from Mac Auras, Martin’s first choice for this sort of work. He said that they are perfect for not only colouring floors and scenery, they can also be used as very flexible key lights.

The lighting specification also included two Sharpys but they weren’t used for producing beams, they created steerable, intense coloured spots on the studio wall enabling the presenter to adjust his eye line, making sure that the graphics looked perfectly real on camera and in the studio for the live audience.

10th September 2015

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