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ITV Sport Gets the Ball Rolling for Euro 2016 with White Light
UK – Over the past 12 months, ITV Sport has commissioned White Light to provide the technical solutions on some of its most watched sporting broadcasts. These have included the Rugby World Cup, Champions League, Europa League and Formula E. WL was recently re-commissioned by Paul McNamara, ITV’s executive producer for major events, to provide the consultation for the technical design of the studio sets used on its coverage of Euro 2016. This entailed working on site in Paris to provide the lighting, video, power distribution and crew for both the interior and exterior studio sets.
Chris Hollier and Andy Cottey were commissioned by ITV as lighting designers for the sets. Chris comments: “The location decided on by the ITV Sport team for broadcast was the Arab World Institute in Paris. Once this was chosen, myself and Andy Hook, WL’s technical solutions director, visited the site in order to conduct a more detailed appraisal of the location and determine the practicality of the studio build.
He adds: “The set was designed by Paul Sudlow and Paul McNamara, who created something which conveyed the romance of Paris and gave the studio a vintage, art deco feel; complementing the architecture of the building. This theme was also evident in the ITV Sport title sequences and we wanted to replicate it within the lighting design.”
The indoor studio used moving head lights, which were a mixture of Martin Professional MAC Auras and ROBE 800 LEDWashes. One of the key features was an 8K resolution video screen, created by mapping two Christie Boxer 30K projectors onto the curved studio set. This was all driven by a d3 4x4pro server.
Andy adds: “The screen allowed us to create a dynamic background to the studio space. During the evening, it was extremely dark outside and very little could be seen, resulting in what was essentially a black backdrop. Using our own imagery, we created a background, through projection, that was referencing the location of the matches. The screen was also used to highlight key moments in the match along with players and analysis; all the while retaining the romantic theme that we aspired towards.”
The outdoor studio space was located on the building’s terrace. To light the area, WL drew on a mixture of SGM and CORE Lighting products, along with a series of LED uplighters and tungsten squirrel cage lamps. To light the set the company used Arri 4K HMI Fresnel fixtures with dimmer shutters for the daytime look, along with a series of Dedolight D-LED fixtures for the evening look. This was the first time these had been used by WL.
Chris adds: “It was essential that both sets had a consistent theme and could be enhanced by the city lights twinkling in the background. The equipment choice was essential to deliver this look throughout the tournament, day and night, whether it was the vintage tungsten bulbs festooned around the set, the MAC Auras that enabled us to match the colour temperature and levels as the weather changed or the waterproof SGM G-Spots that could be left outside for the duration and used to illuminate the trees.”
WL also worked alongside Unusual Rigging who created all of the grid and truss which formed the set’s infrastructure and Esdales who built the set which housed over 500m of scenic LED all installed by WL. They even had to create grilling for the camera platforms to cover a nine floor drop around the perimeter of the set.
Andy adds: “When you are working on site trying to create an ambitious studio fit for broadcast, there are obviously going to be a few challenges. Thankfully, working with individuals such as Chris, Andy Cottey, Martin Strods, Gafin Riley, Lee Woodger and Alex Dinnin, alongside everyone from ITV Sport, we had a team who pulled out all the stops and managed to deliver something extremely impressive, all on schedule. 14.1 million viewers watched England V Russia on ITV, the biggest television audience for any programme this year across all channels. This is incredible for us as a company as it meant all of our and ITV Sport’s hard work was showcased in homes up and down the country.”
photos: Chris Hollier
17th August 2016
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