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Avolites Arena Excites X Factor Malta Finals
Malta – Global singing contest phenomenon The X Factor landed on Malta for its first-ever season at the end of 2018, culminating in a live final to find the country’s Eurovision 2019 entrant.
The high-production values TV series proved to be a big hit on the island, with the ultimate show broadcast live in January from the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre.
Lighting designer for the series was Ismael Portelli, with Duminku Attard and Juan Vella taking care of the programming. Anton Borg Olivier (pictured) joined the team for the finals, using an Avolites Arena as his master console to give the last rounds of the contest an ‘extra kick’.
“The Arena has a large surface, with a good number of faders and executors, making it perfect for a demanding lighting show like The X Factor,” says Olivier. “And as well as being powerful, it’s also reliable, which is required for a high profile show that’s being broadcast live.”
Programming was divided between Olivier, Attard and Vella. In addition to the Arena, the team utilised an Avolites Tiger Touch II with Wing for white light and a second Arena as backup. Another Tiger Touch II ran the pyros and other effects on a separate network.
All desks were running Titan V11.1, networked using two Avolites TitanNet Processors, one master and one backup.
“Some programming was done off site, since we had very tight schedules, and then the shows where merged together on the main desk,” Olivier continues. “All the songs cues were triggered using SMPTE timecode, which ensured that all the lighting, vision and effects were triggered correctly and on time. White light for TV was controlled on the fly, using pre-programmed cues, depending on the positions that the singers took and to the needs of the TV cameras.
“What really stood out was the ease with which we merged different show files to create one main show file. This enabled us to have multiple users programming the same rig at the same time. And having multiple handle worlds meant there was seamless operation of the two desks – sharing cues, palettes and groups across worlds – without getting in each other’s way.”
Nexos Lighting & Vision provided all desks and control equipment, including the rig, which consisted of DTS EVO, Claypaky Mythos 2, Claypaky Super Sharpy, Claypaky Aleda K20, Claypaky Sharpy, Showtech Sunstrips, Prolights Diamond 19, Prolight Luma 1500 SH and an assortment of blinders.
Maltese singer Michela Pace was crowned winner of The X Factor Malta at the end of January, securing her place as the Maltese entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 and a record contract with Sony Music Italy.
photos: Kurt Oliva
11th February 2019
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