BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Irish lighting rental company Production Services Ireland (PSI) became fully embroiled in the weekend commemorating the centenary of the sinking of the world’s most famous cruise ship: Titanic. They supplied lighting, rigging and crew to three major events to mark this moment in maritime history. On the same weekend, PSI also supplied lighting to three major boxing and wrestling events, so it proved a real brain-teaser for logistics and pre-planning and left PSI’s Belfast warehouse bare.
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BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Irish lighting rental company Production Services Ireland (PSI) became fully embroiled in the weekend commemorating the centenary of the sinking of the world’s most famous cruise ship – Titanic.
The ship, at the Harland & Wolf shipyard in Belfast, sank four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland with the loss of 1, 514 lives.
PSI’s Belfast and Dublin operations supplied lighting, rigging and crew to three major events to mark this seminal moment in maritime history.
The first was a series of gala concerts for the Titanic 100 civic commemoration and tribute program presented by The Port of Cork at Cobh, County Cork – the last port of call for the ill-fated ship. The second was “Titanic Sounds” for MTV, staged on the slipway at Harland & Wolf where the vessel was launched, and the third was for a live broadcast by BBC2 from Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.
PSI also supplied lighting to three major boxing and wrestling fixtures traversing the same weekend, including WWE in Belfast and Dublin – so it proved a real brain-teaser for logistics and pre-planning.
This all instigated some cross-water co-operation with UK rental company HSL, who collaborated with PSI to supply the gear for Titanic Sounds.
Says PSI Director Sean Pagel, “When all six events were confirmed to overlap that weekend, it made real sense to join forces and work with another like-minded company. It’s further cemented our already excellent working relationship with HSL, and once again Mike Oates and the team were brilliant in every way.”
Titanic 100, Cobh
PSI supplied lighting, trussing and rigging to this outdoor stage, a 16 meter dome roof structure located in the middle of the harbour front, into which they installed four upstage / downstage ‘finger’ trusses, chosen to maximize the headroom.
PSI worked directly for Cobh 100 and production manager Mark Anderson of Creating Shows.
PSI’s Sean pagel designed the lighting. The event was primarily orchestra based, so the need was for good even, non-intrusive illumination. The fixtures included 40 GLP Impression 120 Zoom LED wash lights, two Space Flowers to add a bit of upstage sparkly looks from the back, and one follow spot to pick out the conductor and soloists.
Joe Byrne and Darragh McAuliffe co-ordinated everyone’s lighting requirements for the four show days running the lights on a Jands Vista T2 console.
With the hugely atmospheric backdrop of Harland and Wolf and its iconic Samson & Goliath cranes juxtaposed against the new modern Titanic Signature Building (known as Titanic Belfast) designed by architects Eric Kuhne & Associates, this event was staged by MTV as part of their ‘World Stage’ music series in association with Belfast City Council.
The line up included Pixie Lott, Sean Paul, Olly Murs, Katy B and Rizzle Kicks, and attracted around 16, 000 enthusiastic music fans.
Eugene O’Connor designed the lighting for MTV. An 18 meter wide stage was installed by the Star Events Group, under which PSI sub-hung a substantial trussing system, comprising five V-shaped trusses at different levels with their apexes downstage centre; three side trusses left and right, a back truss split into three sections and a front truss also split into three elements.
The 100 moving lights included Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300s and 700s, Martin Professional MAC 2K XBs, Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs and ROBIN LEDWash 600s, Vari*Lite VL3000 Spots and Novalight Nova Flowers. A wide assortment of generics included Sky Pans, 4 and 2-lite Moles, PAR 64s, ACLs plus Atomic strobes.
Johnny Mac controlled the moving lights using a Road Hog Full Boar console and expansion wing, while O’Connor ran the conventionals on an Avolites Diamond 4. Nick Malbon controlled the LED screens’ playback material using a Catalyst media server.
HSL supplied four crew to work alongside two from PSI on site. In the run up, HSL’s Mike Oates visited and worked out of PSI’s new warehouse facility for a couple of days to ensure that it ran like clockwork.
Titanic Concert, Belfast Waterfront Hall
Bryan Ferry and Joss Stone were among the line up for this live telecast from Belfast’s Waterfront Hall venue. A capacity audience of 1,000 caught the excitement and energy in the Waterfront Hall, while another 4000 saw the action relayed on a big screen in the grounds of the City Hall.
Oli Richards designed the lighting.
PSI’s client was Whizkid Productions, and on site, their four crew worked with Richards’ lighting crew chief Stuart Pring plus four locals.
The stage and overall auditorium was lit with 100 moving lights including Clay Paky Sharpys, Martin MAC 250+s and 250 Kryptons, Robe ColorSpot 1200s, ROBIN 300 Beams and ColorSpot and ColorWash 700s and Vari*Lite 1000TS. There were also 80 Chroma-Q ColorBlock DB4 LED fixtures dotted around, plus 10 Howie MR16 battens, 30 ETC Source Four Profiles and more than 30 floor PARs.
All fixtures were rigged over the stage on drop arms – a protracted task which took up time and precision, but produced fabulous overall aesthetics - with no lighting bars being visible anywhere.
The moving lights were controlled via a Compulite console and the generics were run from the house ETC Expression board operated by PSI’s Mark Galione.
Rigging this event was demanding because of the sheer amount of lighting and video kit – supplied by XL Video – put in the roof for the concert. There were a lot of flown projection surfaces - voiles, cloths and screen surfaces – all vying for positions in the roof and sometimes with just centimeters of clearance.
Due to the amount of flown kit, all PSI’s distribution and cable management also had to be located in the roof catwalks, another task which took time to achieve neatly and efficiently.
These three events and the three sporting ones – WWE in Belfast and Dublin, Clan Wars at the Ulster Hall and the Tyson Fury v Martin Rogan Irish Heavyweight Boxing title fight at the Odyssey Arena on the Saturday night - left PSI’s new Belfast warehouse completely bare for the weekend.
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