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Doughty works with Photon Beard to kit out YouTube's new London studios

Doughty works with Photon Beard to kit out YouTube\'s new London studios
Doughty works with Photon Beard to kit out YouTube\'s new London studios

UK – When Peter Daffarn was first offered the opportunity to work as a lighting consultant for some new London studios, little did he know at the time that he'd be specifying kit for one of the biggest names in the industry: YouTube. "I was approached by a broadcast consultant who was unable to name names, but it sounded like an exciting project so I got on board and, based on the project brief, I immediately knew that I'd be getting Doughty Engineering involved too," explained Peter.

The brief was to kit out three studios, two of which were double height. It is in these studios that YouTubers with more than 10,000 subscribers can book free studio time in order to create the content required for their channel. Peter drew up all the designs and prepared all the documents, sending them through to the client, ready to go out to tender. In a twist of fate, the job never went out to tender, with the client instead offering Photon Beard the opportunity to run the project instead.

From this point on, Photon Beard worked closely with the main contractor, who was responsible for fitting out the studios and for putting in all the infrastructure, but the project was in full swing before it became apparent that the client was YouTube.

"We installed Doughty motor gear boxes to raise and lower the trusses in the double height studios, while the single height studio has a Doughty barrel grid and Doughty internally wired bars," said Peter. "All three studios have Studio Rail curtain track installed. Meanwhile in the community area, where YouTube employees congregate and mingle, in the training room and down a long corridor called 'The Street', we have fitted a simple Doughty barrel grid so that if anyone is doing any recording in public areas, they have somewhere to hang the lights and the monitors."

Dan Phillips, project sales co-ordinator at Doughty, added: "Doughty has a great working relationship with Photon Beard, so we were delighted to get on board with such a high profile project which, as most projects do, set us some interesting challenges. The grids in the studios, for example, are a slightly unusual design in that they are all on one level; normally barrel grids see the bars running at 90 degrees with each other. However, we did something similar, again with Peter Daffarn, some years back at the Tate Modern and it was aesthetically very pleasing so we decided that with so much on public view, we'd use the same concept. Also, in the studios, you won't find the standard self climbing hoists. Instead we've installed lighting trusses – the sort of thing you may see on the main stage in Glastonbury, for example – suspended using a Doughty motor gear box system so that they can be raised and lowered electrically. This is a completely bespoke system that has been built specifically for YouTube."

Peter concluded: "We knew that working on a prestigious job such as this, we needed to partner with companies who provide the very best in products and customer service. Doughty ticks both these boxes. We have a happy client with some excellent, high quality, 4K studios, kitted out with everything a professional YouTuber could ever need."

11th November 2016

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