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Showtec’s Sunstrip Active MKII at International Film Festival Rotterdam

Showtec’s Sunstrip Active MKII at International Film Festival Rotterdam
Showtec’s Sunstrip Active MKII at International Film Festival Rotterdam

The Netherlands – The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) featured the Showtec Sunstrip Active MKII. The carefully designed studio set-up has been the stage of the online show for almost two weeks. Regular provider Peitsman Licht en Geluid B.V. had assisted with technical knowledge and three technical crew members to collaborate with the director to build a professional stage with contrast between a sleek and a creative design.

The International Film Festival Rotterdam is held each year at the end of January, normally in various locations in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Founded in 1972, it is focussed on independent and experimental film-making by showcasing emerging talents as well as established authors. The festival also places a focus on presenting innovative media art and art house films, with most of the participants in the short film program identified as artists or experimental film-makers. The non-competitive character of the festival changed in 1995, when the VPRO Tiger Awards were introduced, and three yearly prizes are awarded to young film-makers who produced their first or second film.

Following measures in force at the time, the IFFR had decided, for the second time, to turn the event into an online show, so a fitting studio was needed. The director cooperated with regular provider Peitsman Licht en Geluid B.V. to create a stage with a look and feel that would connect to the festival’s focus point. To be able to run the show, Peitsman provided trussing, lights, audio, and TVs, as well as a light operator, a sound operator, and a content operator.

With the clever use of a white backdrop and a black mesh fabric with lights between them, the team was able to create two seemingly different backgrounds at the flick of a [light] switch. With the lights off, the mesh created a black background. By using lights with a small beam angle and pointing them onto the white backdrop so that the black mesh fabric wasn’t lit, any colour could be created. Additional lighting provided the necessary colour in the black studio setting. In between the two cloths, the characteristic tiger heads, the logo of the festival, where decoratively placed.

The shows used four stage positions for the presenters and guests. Because they were filmed from three positions, the team had to create a wide lighting angle to keep unwanted shadows out of the picture. Therefore, they opted for a five-point lighting setup for every position.

Fitting the scenario, they had designed a creative setup with seven TVs of varied sizes on the right side of the studio, with the largest 80” screen showing the main content. By placing and orienting the rest of the screens in an irregular way behind the main screen, the “TV bouquet” turned into an unconventional and artistic stage prop. To contrast this, the team had set up a clean and straight 'object' in the left back of the studio, using four 32” screens. This is where they used six straight-lined Showtec Sunstrip Active MKII light bars, to accentuate the contrast between the clean and sleek stage design on the left and the creative design on the right of the studio. The Sunstrip Active MKII has individually controllable lights, so the light operator had excellent control over each fixture, and he can be creative and flexible. The pictures show the commendable results of the team’s efforts.

Showtec’s Sunstrip Active MKII at International Film Festival RotterdamShowtec’s Sunstrip Active MKII at International Film Festival Rotterdam

1st March 2022

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