Televisora de Costa Rica operates Teletica Canal 7, a private Costa Rican television channel that was the first television station in Costa Rica back in 1958. Although the station produces a variety of popular programming for the Costa Rican market, they have been operating for years using a subpar mix of budget lighting fixtures and rented gear. Seeking to upgrade, Elation Professional automated luminaires were chosen as part of an ongoing lighting refurb.
With four or five different productions a year to tend to, most of which last for a period of three months, Canal 7 lighting manager Alejandro Alvarez has many roles to play. During the recent lighting install, Alvarez and his team handled rigging of the stage, including design and rigging of the TV lighting and intelligent moving heads, as well as configuring and mapping video, LED screens, and projectors. He is also behind the lighting console when many of the station’s most popular shows air.
With budgets to contend with, the lighting makeover is occurring in stages. “The idea is to change all the equipment little by little,” Alvarez says of the lighting system update. “First, we were looking for a company that could support us during this upgrade, a company that could stand by us to help with technical information and support like spare parts for example. I'm an electronic technician so for me support is the most important. Second, I needed a light with great color mixing and a big aperture that could be used at a short distance because the sets are 6.3 meters high. I found this in the Platinum SEVEN™ and Platinum FLX™.”
New additions to the rig include 10 Platinum SEVEN LED-based moving heads used for backlight wash with its 19x 25W LED face also making for an excellent upstage effect light. According to Alvarez, the powerful wash lights with their 7-color multi-chip LED engine have eliminated the need for Fresnel backlighting.
Six multi-functional Platinum FLX moving heads provide upstage looks and on-floor graphics effects. Its wide aperture is especially useful because of the set’s low trim height, says Alvarez, who uses the hybrid lights in both spot and beam mode. Elation Flex Pixel Tape is incorporated into the set for scenographic effect and is even used to simulate an LED screen at times. For an easier way to create visuals, Alvarez uses Elation EZ Kling interfaces for pixel mapping control.
“I chose Elation because they have all the features that I was looking for and the price is very good for such a quality brand. Some features were especially important for a television broadcast environment,” Alvarez says, “like color mixing, the 5 to 50-degree zoom in the Platinum SEVEN, and the high intensity.”
Currently in their third production of the year, the new Elation lighting equipment was installed over a two-week period this past spring and is used on popular programs like “Tu Cara Me Suena” and “Dancing with the Stars Costa Rica.”
Alvarez thanks Carlos Vargas Segura from Grupo Iliaco, Elation’s partner in Costa Rica, who he says has given the station all the support they need, as well as John Lopez at Elation. He also acknowledges his team made up of John Gutierrez (first lighting tech), Hugo Calderon (second lighting tech), Benito Mendez (third lighting tech), Rafael Guzman (video tech) and Julio Cerdas (lighting assistant).
Julio Cerdas, Alejandro Alvarez and John Gutierrez