|Brown's in Action|
Deal or No Deal's New Deal
One week's notice to replicate one of the biggest television lighting rigs in Australia in a completely bare studio? No problem.
That was Resolution X's Managing Director, Tim Hall's reaction when Channel 7 threw him the challenge of getting the massive Deal or No Deal rig installed at Dockland's Central City Studios in Melbourne for a week of special shoots. "Actually, we only got 6 day's notice," points out Tim, "and it wasn't until we realised we would be replicating Channel 7's batten pipe grid on a bare RSJ grid that we realized exactly how big this job really was".
Big is an understatement. Deal or No Deal utilises more than 145 intelligent lights, on top of just over 100 conventional fixtures, run from two Grand MA consoles, making it probably the largest lighting rig in use on a daily television show in the country. The decision to shoot in Central City's Studio 5 meant creating a detailed truss grid to cover the 8000-foot space. The Studios have only recently opened, and Studio 5 is intended to be a dedicated television studio space with a motorised, programmable batten grid, but unfortunately for Tim, this is yet to be installed.
The 6 days notice Tim received had to include site surveys, adapting the existing design to suit the space, sourcing the extra equipment and staff required, installation, focus and programming. Channel Seven's own crew operate the show for the shoots.
Due to the scale of the installation, Showtech Rigging were called in to rig the grid and supply motors and extra truss. Showtech and Resolution X both have large stocks of Brown's Precision Welding's trusses, and they combined to supply the close to 500 metres of truss required.
Brown's new 500mm Alloy Stacking Truss was used to provide a 'mothergrid' of sorts, supporting the long spans of 300mm Tri Truss that made up the bulk of the grid. Over the main set, the high concentration of moving lights called for a heavier-duty truss. The high-grade aluminium couplers that Brown's use for their 400mm Box give it a great strength advantage over standard box trusses, making it ideal for this area.
In all, 320 metres of 300mm Tri Truss, 112 metres of 400mm Box Truss, and 66 metres of 500mm Alloy Stacking Truss was installed, hung from 50 Chain motors and blocks. Almost 3 Kilometres of power and data cables were used, along with 18 power distribution boards, 84 channels of dimmers, 10 data splitters (8 x 8-way, 2 x Matrix splitters), 67m of white cycs, and 2 MSR 1200 followspots.
Resolution X had 12 staff on site for two full days to assist Showtech's riggers with getting the truss in the air, and to rig and focus the lights. "It was a lot of work, but everyone pulled together really well," says Tim "and it actually ended up going a lot smoother than we had expected, especially given the timeframe".
Channel 7 were thrilled with the results, and will be airing the episodes shot at Central City later this year.