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NL: Follow-Me used for live TV in 360 degree studio

NL: Follow-Me used for live TV in 360 degree studio
NL: Follow-Me used for live TV in 360 degree studio

The Netherlands – Jeroen van Geffen is a Dutch lighting designer with the multi-disciplinary broadcast and event specialist company Chain. With a live TV broadcasting production in a 360 degree venue, Jeroen chose to use a Follow-Me 3D SIX System. From his previous experience with the overall scaleability and flexibility of the Follow-Me systems, including fixture independence, he knew that this would be the right choice for enabling his creative and challenging lighting design.

Jeroen first used the Follow-Me 3D remote followspot and performer tracking solutions about three years ago for the ZappAwards: the Dutch kids' television series awards show broadcast from De Vorstin concert hall in Hilversum. Since then Chain have over seen the Follow-Me 3D SIX system installation into the Studio 11 event location in Almere. It is here that Jeroen has recently been working with Follow-Me again on Matthijs Gaat Door. This is a live broadcast TV chat show hosted by journalist Matthijs van Nieuwkerk with prominent public figures and live music optimally preformed in front of an audience in this 360 degree venue.

Matthijs Gaat Door first season began using traditional followspots but this limited the creative options during the season. For the second season VL2600 fixtures were used as manually operated followspots with the colour choice, gobos, etc within the followspot. This was a great improvement and when season 2 begun it was without an audience due to the pandemic restrictions. The direction of of the followspots was therefore quite static but as soon as the restrictions lifted, during Season 2 of Matthijs Gaat Door, the production noticed the need for increasing followspot coverage to the full 360 degree performance / studio space area. Thus, as Jeroen explains, Follow-Me 3D SIX system was implemented for season 3: “So for the third (and most recent) season I wanted a remote followspot solution that I could use all around the studio, without having to choose fixtures in advance as followspots. FM was the best option because we could add all 58 VL2600 Profile fixtures in our Follow-Me system without compromising any choices. That gave us unlimited flexibility and creativity in the use of followspots and/or effect spots.”

A total of 58 VariLite VL2600 Profiles are hung around the studio. Most of them are used as effect lighting around the sets. About ten of the fixtures where in actual front lighting / followspot positions. All of the 2600s where calibrated in Follow-Me, so the team could choose any fixture on any moment since the production is very varied in terms of positions of performers and camera directions. Every fixture was controlled by the Follow-Me control channels, which Jeroen merged in to the original fixture type for the grandMA3 control desk.

Jeroen explains the reason for this set-up: “In that way the FM control channels where directly accessible from the fixture itself on the desk and that made programming different followspot positions during a cue list for a performance very fast and easy!”

Jeroen continues with enthusiasm about his experience using Follow-Me in this TV studio application: “We’ve had a very good experience with Follow-Me! We’ve used the set in many ways and found new creative paths, which weren’t possible in the situation without the system. Also the freedom we had in choosing fixtures to use as followspots opened up new worlds for the entire production as well!”

Matthijs Gaat Door will continue in August this year with broadcasting season 4 and 5 and Jeroen with Follow-Me 3D SIX will be in the set-up again too.

photos: Held Photograph © Jeroen van Geffen

28th June 2022

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