Lighting Designer Thomas Gerdon of GERDON design has again used an Elation Professional lighting package to light the German television program “Verstehen Sie Spass,” this time for two fall season shows. Gerdon employed Elation’s Platinum FLX™ and Platinum HFX™ hybrid moving heads to light artist performances and was also one of the first LDs anywhere to use Elation’s new Fuze Wash Z120™ LED wash light.
The FLX, HFX and Fuze lights were used on an October 26th show (recorded for a December 2nd broadcast), as well as on a live show that took place on October 29th, which had the best viewer ratings of any “Verstehen Sie Spass” show in five years. Lighting supply for both shows was by TV lighting production company Cape Cross Studio and Film Lighting of Cologne.
Fuze without equal
Broadcast from Bavaria Studios in Munich, “Verstehen Sie Spass” airs twice in the spring and twice in the fall on Germany’s ARD television network. Gerdon began designing lighting for the show in 2015. For color wash across the set, he turned to Elation’s new Fuze Wash Z120™ LED wash fixture, a single source PAR moving head luminaire with 120W RGBW COB LEDs and 7° to 55° zoom.
“I really like the idea of this fixture and it’s something I’ve wanted for years,” he stated, referring to the Fuze’s homogenized output and non-pixel look face. “There is no other LED with a single lens look where the LED appears as a wash on camera. There is nothing else on the market like it and just that makes it interesting. It’s a unique fixture. But it also has really good color and the zoom in it is really nice. The pan and tilt movement from fast to slow is also good. This fixture brings the basics and does it nicely.”
Gerdon used 20 of the Fuze Wash Z120 fixtures in the setup. On the live show he had them placed in a circle on the floor around the lead vocalist while on a pop star performance he used them as a background for the lead vocalist with some fixtures lighting up the skirting around trampolines and podiums. When greater output is required, Elation also offers a 350W version, the Fuze Wash Z350™.
Gerdon, who sees the value of multi-functional fixtures and the many options they open up, had used another of Elation’s hybrid fixtures on the 2016 spring shows, namely the Platinum SBX™, which he used for a variety of purposes from backlight to beam effects to big flower looks. “The SBX worked very well on those shows,” he said. “The quality and sharpness of the beam was excellent. I chose to use the Platinum FLX and HFX on the fall shows because they are an evolution of the Platinum SBX.”
Gerdon’s enthusiasm for multi-functional lights led him to try the FLX on the fall shows. “I had heard good things about the FLX and was wondering about things like the light quality,” he says of the spot/ beam/wash moving head with 470W Platinum 20R lamp. “The outcome was surprising and I mean that in a good way. In my point of view the FLX is on the same level as some other hybrid fixtures out there and is better than many others. In terms of brightness and color mixing, it is one step beyond.”
Gerdon used 16 Platinum FLX™ and 16 of Elation’s mid-sized Platinum HFX™ hybrid fixtures on the shows with the FLX’s placed on the floor of the set around an orchestra of 60 people and zoomed out completely for greater coverage. He had the opportunity to incorporate the fixtures’ many graphics possibilities into the design, an example being a snow flake effect around the orchestra for the December show. Then, in a display of the hybrid fixtures’ multi-functional flexibility, he changed to beam mode to create a starker industrial look during a modern ‘pop star’ performance complete with trampolines and podiums with skirting. He found other uses for them as well. Of course there could be no black holes in the set so he used the beam splitter zoomed out to effectively cover those up.
“Verstehen Sie Spass” is a variety show with hidden camera stunts and musical performances and has been an institution of German television since 1980.