Today was the big day, broadcast day! My day started off on a slightly unusual note, going out with Dan (Director) and Jordan (Sound Mixer) to record VT footage. Last night Dan and Jordan reworked the script as the previous version really didn’t work, the dialogue was clunky, the presenter found it unnatural, and honestly I didn’t really like it myself. When I got back from work I read aloud with them and corrected the last few errors so that they could run it past the presenter today (who liked it a lot more).
During the read through we came up with the idea of doing ‘as live’ footage of the Bower Ashton Campus to dub over the introduction, heavily inspired by Saturday Night Live. Hiring a Jib and Panasonic 101 (similar to studio cameras) we opted for the stereotypical shot of the front of campus commonly associated with the campus. After filming several movements I suggested going over to the SU bar for another version. Jordan and I decided to point towards the students seated outside, first doing a take sitting then I got them all to wave down the lens for a second version.
I transcoded the footage through Final Cut Pro 7, using a 3 wheel colour correction for quick turnover. I pulled down the levels and pushed towards purple for an early summer evening feel replicating the time of broadcast. Joe (Vision Mixer) requested a 2 second ramp either side then export in ProRes HQ ready to be loaded onto the broadcast system.
When I got into the studio I took the opportunity to check the entire rig was in working order. I went around and adjusted the tension on all the pantographs so they would be easier to changeover during broadcast, having George double check he was happy with the pull on each fixture. One pantograph was upside down so I had to get the steps out to change the tension, I have noted which light so we can take extra care during changeover.
Our first rehearsal started later than anticipated due to acts arriving late. This meant we were only able to do one full run through of the show before going live. Like yesterday George and I managed to follow all of the lighting cues I constructed for Imprints and Alex McKay. For Saona we listened through and went along to the music, I then requested a second rehearsal of their first track as it required more dynamism in the lighting. The changeovers in the rig were on time and the best they have been to date, we ended up changing the overhanging fixtures on the main stage in the first interval, then focusing on the remaining ones outside of the stage facing inwards on the second VT.
During the final rehearsal we noticed how darker the lighting for Saona was compared to Imprints. The light levels were always a concern, speaking to Dan we opted to swap over the gel colours. Due to a different number of gels I dropped the fixture on the far left of the stage for Saona, still leaving enough coverage for all members. As a result I programmed three additional memories into the desk, a repeat of the practical blue lamp, a repeat of the front lamps, and a new version of the back lamps that did not include this fixture. I figured it would be easier to flash between three separate channels on the desk during their performance rather than worry about knocking the wrong channel. I also faced a minor scare when the lights were no longer solo flashing, this was just the case of a slider being knocked off.
The final lighting cues were the following:
Imprints – Box Wine Part 2
– Start orange
– Opening pulse green over orange than finish on both colour washes
– Green & blue for bridges
– Chorus flash between orange and green
– Assorted flashes for ending
Imprints – Raven
– Slow pulses between all colours
– Green & blue for spoken words
Alex McKay – Next To Me
– Start blue practical
– Add back fresnels
– Add CTO (strong left) for split facial contrast
Saona (First Track)
– Start blue, snap to pink on the drop
– Dramatic fading between colours
– Bridge & chorus flash between magenta and blue (hold one colour and flash second for 2 beats)
– Dramatic fading between colours
Saona (Second Track)
– Slow fading throughout
Alex McKay – Run
– Start blue practical and backlighting
– Introduce orange fresnel
Imprints – Pirates & Thieves
– Intro green & blue
– Snap to orange
– Flash between two colours on bridge
– Flash individual channels on chorus
– Slow fade verses
– Chorus & ending dramatic flashes
– Cut to black on end beat
The final broadcast was a huge success for lighting with absolutely no errors. I am extremely pleased with the end result and proud of how it translated in the broadcast considering the huge amount of work that has gone into it in the lead up to the live show. Considering the equipment I was working with I feel like I pushed it to its limits and produced a quality mixture of live television for audiences at home and a live experience for everyone inside of the studio. George was a fantastic assistant, he had a great eye for timing and was really eager to get stuck in, without him the lighting wouldn’t have run as smoothly. With a second hand in the department it gave me more creative freedom and I feel like I utilised that ability well.
On the whole the broadcast went flawless, I only noticed one error when a VT was faded at the wrong time. Everyone really pulled together and everyone should be proud of the final program output. The lead up has been stressful, personally I would have liked a few more full programme run throughs, but despite every obstacle encountered everyone pulled through in the end. This is definitely something I would like to continue in the future, there is room in the market for a show like this so I am more than happy to take it on the road and start doing shows across Bristol and the surrounding areas.