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XL Video on Tour with Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode.LONDON - XL Video renews its long standing working relationship with Depeche Mode supplying cameras, control, LED screens and crew to the band who have just kicked off the first UK and European leg of their ‘Delta Machine’ world tour. Video has played a defining role in their stage shows over the years through the influence of their inspirational artistic director, Anton Corbijn.

More details from XL Video (www.xlvideo.com):

The look of the Delta Machine show - incorporating the video elements - was designed by Corbijn in close collaboration with LD Paul Normandale, a cerebral creative fusion that has brought another thought-provoking space for the band’s edgy, raw and emotionally charged performance to be enjoyed by a wide audience. 

It’s the second tour on which Video Director Jon Shrimpton has worked with the band in this role, and his third tour for them overall. He describes Delta Machine as “witty, dark, bluesy and with a nice vibe” and he aims to bring all these parameters into an interesting camera mix.

In addition to the IMAG, Corbijn has produced eight mini-movies which are interspersed throughout the show.

XL’s Project Manager Phil Mercer comments, “We are delighted to be working with Depeche Mode again. Their shows always push the technical and creative boundaries, and they have unquestionably set standards for several decades in terms of live music video production.”

The LED screen surfaces are all XL’s Pixled F-12 product. This is a particular favorite of Normandale, who was also the first visuals designer to use the product when it was launched last year, having specified it on many projects since. He likes its high resolution, light weight and versatility.

The upstage F-12 screen is 17.4 meters wide by 8 meters high and is mapped as five interlocking triangles in the Catalyst media server that’s used to play back Corbijn’s movies. When this happens, it has a massive impact on the stage and the mood of the whole room.

The fronts of the two most prominent onstage risers are also clad with custom-sized Pixled F-12 panels, and there is a V-shaped truss border of F-12 above the center stage area. The two IMAG side screens each comprise 18 x 8 tiles of the same surface.

The cameras are all HD, with four operated Sony HXC-100s, two at FOH and two in the pit on track-and-dolly. This standard set up was chosen because it is straightforward and easy to transpose for the plethora of festivals they will be playing both this summer and beyond.

Shrimpton is using five Bradley Cam-Ball 2s on the band, which he originally used on Sigur Ros last year. They offer effects including night vision, and Shrimpton operates them himself while directing the four Sony cameras.

The cameras are fed into the Grass Valley Kayak mixer, one of his “favorite pieces of kit in the whole world.” He uses it to apply multiple coloring and grading effects, and from there, six feeds are sent to Catalyst Operator Ben Miles who outputs them to the rear screen, the truss borders and the riser fronts.

The IMAG is sent to the side screens direct from the Kayak.

The nine-way camera cut keeps Shrimpton busy and energized during the show and his biggest aesthetic challenge is trying to balance all the different shots.

He uses a Harris Predator multiviewing screen and two 47 inch Barco flat screens for some serious monitoring.

XL’s crew includes John Steel as the systems engineer, Al Bolland as crew chief, Jim Bolland and Joe Makein are the LED screen technicians with Darren Montague as head of cameras.

The onstage LED, Camera / PPU package is being provided worldwide by XL Video and dates are currently booked until February 2014.


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