High Res News & Updates

High Resolution goes 'stealth' with "You're A Star" 2008.

Dublin based High Resolution Lighting co-ordinated supply of all video, digital and conventional lighting and visual control elements for the 2008 final of "You're A Star", Ireland's hugely popular quest to find new singing talent.

The final was staged in the Helix Theatre at the City of Dublin University and the contemporary video-based visual design combined ideas from the creative team of lighting designer Andrew Leonard, set designer Molly Malloy and moving light and Catalyst programmer/operator Peter Canning.

The show was produced by Screentime ShinAwiL, directed by Pat Cowap and broadcast live on RTE 1 where it consistently topped the Saturday night ratings. The 2008 final was won by Limerick singer Leanne Moore, who beat Wicklow singer Robyn Kavanagh on the results show, with the other finalist, Deidre Archbold from Cork voted off earlier in the evening.

High Resolution Lighting supplied 400 panels of Stealth screen, which were arranged as 8 scenic panels around the stage, with 5 strips in the audience at the sides below the balconies and along the back of the stalls. The audience strips were used for branding and text and added colour and movement for wide camera sweeps and reverse shots into the audience. There was also a larger section of Stealth ensconced below the specially constructed star-shaped Perspex stage floor.

Hi Res supplied 60 high definition Element Labs VersaTUBES and 100 standard VersaTUBES that were integrated as set and sub-floor (HD) pieces. VersaTUBES were also used to make illuminated architectural strips linking from the sides of the stage to the show's flown star logo.

A plasma wall upstage centre was also a vital element of the video design, giving higher definition versions of the graphics and also used for inserts.

All the video and digital lighting was mounted onto panels and frames of some sort for easy rigging and de-rigging from the theatre, which was staging other events in the weeks whilst the series was running.

One of the basic visual goals this year was to develop the video theme, "opening out the stage and maximising its depth" explains Andrew Leonard. To help achieve this, they pushed the Stealth right out to the side walls around the stage - to great effect.

Additionally they had to give each artist and each song its own unique look, so needed plenty of flexibility, and had to combine the demands of producing a show that looked fabulous on camera and also exciting for the live audience.

The team first used Stealth on last year's show, since which they have become a lot more familiar with its creative possibilities. Molly Malloy says, "There are certain things that work particularly well with it - like geometric patterns that can be changed and manipulated 0 and because so much can be done in effects, there's almost an infinite variety to the looks and ambience that can be produced for each act".

Content for the Stealth was generated by Canning using his Catalyst digital media server, which was triggered from the Avolites Diamond 4 console that he used to control the moving lights. He has just invested in the latest digital content software from Projected Image Digital. One Catalyst output fed the plasma wall, while the other dealt with the Stealth and VersaTUBES. A PixelMAD module mapped 8 PixelLines mounted on the deck, highlighting the line of the stage floor.

The OB truck supplied by Observe was also sending a feed to the video input card of the Catalyst allowing the vision mixer to select cameras to screen or to send Canning graphics which he could then output and move around and build into chases on the Stealth and VersaTUBE mixes via the Catalyst.

Thirty JTE PixelPARs were used to up-light the set and for backlighting, with some perched on the lip of the choir stalls running around the back of the stage., used for forwards pointing effects.

Flying points are extremely limited in the Helix, so positioning of anything has to be carefully considered beforehand. The production used the generic lanterns from the house rig and follow-spots, adding moving lights in the form of 12 Vari*Lite 2500s, 6 V*L3500s and 4 V*L 3000s, plus Martin Professional MAC 250s for filling in some of the spaces around the stage on the floor and MAC 500s and 600s for audience lighting.

All additional lighting fixtures were supplied by Cine Electric co-ordnated by Hi Res. The house rig ran off Avolites dimmers and was programmed and operated by Terry Mulachy using an Avolites Sapphire from Hi Res.

The final was a day of extreme pressure and fast programming. They received the costume and track information only on the morning of a show that went live at 6.30 p.m., and in that time had to prepare 9 songs (3 per finalist).

Canning comments, "It was great to be back at the Helix for the third year running. Each year we have raised the barrier in terms of the technology and will continue to do so. It's always a great experience collaborating with Andrew and Molly as a team, and I think we have produced some excellent WOW factors and a few surprises with the look of the 2008 show".

Sound was engineered by Paul Ashe-Brown using the house rig.

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