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Verlinde fits out the world's first underwater cinema set at the Lites cinema studios in Belgium
Belgium – Lites cinema studios in Belgium offer five rooms from 250m2 to 1700m2, one of which is underwater (the water stage), it is unique of its type for high quality underwater and surface camera shots. For the lifting equipment it called upon Belgium's leader in this entertainment field, Verlinde and its Stagemaker range.
The Lites studios required lifting equipment for its five cinema sets including the water stage set, the only one in the world. The 24m x 21m set with a 9m deep tank, can be entirely submerged to simulate underwater environments. It contains a maximum quantity of five million litres in the tank and an additional one million litres when the floor is flooded. Indeed, the floor of the set is mobile, bears loads of up to 20 tonnes and can be submerged to different depths. The maximum water surface when the set is flooded is 1250m². A unique and outsized water filtering and treatment system provides different aspects and effects (crystal-clear, sea, mists, rain, etc.). Waves of up to 1m high in the tank or on the flooded floor can be generated.
This facility required special equipment for lifting decor items, e.g. boats and for the lighting, sound system, cameras and screens (blue depths and black backdrop).
Verlinde first of all achieved a technical study for the underwater set. Equipment had to be reliable and practical for users, able to resist high temperatures (the water is heated to 30°C) and humidity. Joris Van de Wiele, Verlinde's project manager in Belgium, with the close support of a manufacturer member of the Europont network proposed two overhead cranes, each weighing three tonnes with a special black coating enabling integration in the decor, four ceiling suspension points for the mobile floor, four EUROBLOC VT3 wire rope hoists with a total lifting capacity of 25T and a bearing surface of 25m2 complete the system. They are fitted with VVF drive for travel and cross-travel lifting. Speed is variable, from slow to very fast, in order to be in phase with the camera. These items have been conceived for their integration in dynamic decors.
Eighty Stagemaker SR5 and S R10 hoists have been put in place in the whole studio set complex. These industrial electric winches are especially suitable for their application in the show. They bear loads of from 250kg to 1,000kg. Boasting an entirely ergonomic design, Stagemaker SR is the only model available on the market fitted as standard with double brakes, retractable handgrips and protective rubber pads. These hoists blend harmoniously with all technical installations and offer the highest levels of safety and productivity.
Verlinde supplied all the lifting equipment. The supervision, routine maintenance and fault clearance is assured by the Europont network manufacturer. The order was placed in 2018, delivery achieved in the same year and the studio was operational early in 2019.
Since its installation there have been no operational hitches and Verlinde is again working on submersible floor lifting times.
9th January 2020
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