Pro-Light-News Studio & Theatre

Compulite Vector dominates Saturday night TV in the UK

The Compulite Vector lighting control system is being used on the UK's three major Saturday night TV productions: X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and the new national lottery show Millionaire Manor.
X-Factor goes out live every Saturday night from Fountain Studios in Wembley. Lighting Director Dave Davey, moving light operators Bill Peachment and Russell Grubiak chose Compulite Vector Blue and Vector Green consoles to control not only the moving lights, but also the LED fixtures and video content plus some of the house dimmers. Peachment comments: "X-Factor is a big live show with over 500 cues on my console alone. The Vector has taken everything we have thrown at it and been a joy to use throughout the show."
The X-Factor rig consists of a Vector Green with four full DMX streams controlling 28 x Vari*lite VL5 arc, 34 x Vari*lite VL6c, 25 x Vari*lite VL5, 2 x Clay Paky Golden Scan 3, 32 x Martin MAC 2000, 3 x Vari*lite VL1000TS and 50 x dimmers. The Vector Blue controls 1 x Pixelmad system for the Versatubes on the ‘X‘ over the audience, 1 x Pixelmad system for the Soft-LED curtains around the back of the stage, a Catalyst system with three outputs for the LED screens either side and at the rear of the stage and the LED floor, 120 x Pulsar Chroma strips around the stage, 30 x James Thomas Pixelines on the ‘X’ over the stage and another 100 Pixelines around the stage all run from the Vectors internal LED matrix software.
Strictly Come Dancing, presented by Bruce Forsyth, and co-hosted by Tess Daly, goes out live on BBC 1 every Saturday night from the Television Centre. Lighting Director is Mark Kenyon with moving light operator Roger Williams on a Vector Green system. Williams comments: "The Vector has performed very well, I am able do to all the things I need to easily, the touch screens are very accurate and being able to customize the displays is fantastic. The whole rig is controlled via Ethernet through two Compulite E-Mix boxes, making it easy to re-plug when we move from the studio floor for rehearsals to the Gallery for the live shows. I use six universes of DMX to run everything including a Catalyst and the dimmers for the VL 1000s."
The complete rig consists of 28 x Vari*lite VL2500, 20 x High End Studio Spot, 24 x High End Studio Color, 3 x Clay Paky Stage Zoom, 28 x Clay Paky Stage Color 300, 18 x Vari*lite VL1000, 6 layers of Catalyst, approximately 350 Pulsar Chroma strips, 12 x Pulsar Chroma cubes and one MDG Atmosphere.
Millionaire Manor is the new Saturday night entertainment show incorporating the National Lottery draws. Set in a Victorian country house, families play for the right to live the opulent millionaire lifestyle for a week. The lighting is a mix of traditional light entertainment and careful, sympathetic illumination to show the aspirational lifestyle that is on offer.
It’s not so much the scale of the lighting rig that’s impressive, but how it is shoehorned into the hall of the house without so much as a single screw-eye. A ground supported truss hosts Martin MAC250s, MAC2000s, and Vari*lite VL1000s, along with a mix of tungsten, LED, and broad source discharge lamps.
One interesting feature of note is the Barco MiPix wall, set a few feet upstage of the action. Fed by a Catalyst media server, the graphics don't overpower, as the wall is integrated into (and behind) translucent set elements. The action spills out from the main hall into the rest of the house, while the National Lottery Draw is set in the Basement, where more LED luminaires keep things at a sensible temperature, along with providing a rich colour palette.
Lighting Director is Will Charles with moving light operators Andy Dobbs on a Compulite Vector Green and Oliver Lifely on a Hog 2.
The X-Factor studio
Russel Grubiak on X-Factor
Strictly Come Dancing
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