LT-200 LED TUBES SHAPE BRIGHT BRUSSELS WINTER INSTALLATION
360 pcs. of LT-200 LED tubes were used for a big art installation at the bridge of Port the Flandre, created by Light Designer Jean-Jacques Marotte. It was one of 11 artworks that lit up Brussels during the Bright Brussels Winter project that took place from 2 December 2016 to 5 February 2017.
Marotte had creative freedom to form his contribution to the project. It was important to him to celebrate this crossroads between two populations and the Brussels canal. He ended up with a concept of an illuminated bridge that connected the two sides of the river. Four lines of LED lights span the breadth of the water, spawning waves of light 15 metres in the air. He chose to LT-200 LED tubes from SGM: “I was looking for a product that had a 360° viewing angle. It was also crucial with a solution that was IP65-rated because of the rainy and snowy weather circumstances and because of the fact that it had to stay outdoors for two months.”
Via WIFI, he was able to control the pixel mapping from a distance. Marotte has a long track record, using LT-100/LT-200 in his installations: “Indeed, I know the product very well and have already used it several times in TV, where the actual output is very important. In this case, the clear advantage for me was that the product’s IP65-rating allowed me to control it without the need of any extra rain cover.”
D6BELS ON STAGE
Belgian television show, D6BELS on stage, welcomes various artists for live performances combined with in-depth interviews hosted by the famous French DJ Quentin Mosimann. Jean-Jacques Marotte is the main lighting designer for RTBF (la Radio Télévision Belge Francophone) and for the show D6BELS on stage he is both involved in the decision-making process concerning the set and decoration design as well as being lighting designer.
Recordings for the music television program takes place at an old farm around Louvain-La-Neuve and it is Jean-Jacques’ role to transmit and underline the atmosphere – conveying the feeling to the viewers in the privacy of their own living rooms. “I want to visualise the coziness and intimacy of the old farm and yet create a special ambience for every performing artist,” Jean-Jacques informs.
The lighting designer is no novice in deploying the SGM LT-200 2-metre LED tubes, which he has previously utilised as ceiling centerpiece for another television show among other events. However, for this production he took a new approach to the 3D graphic tubes and floor mounted them. This idea came from supplier and fellow lighting designer Christian Stenuit, and immediately Jean-Jacques loved the concept.
Besides the 60 LT-200, he also uses the new and small footprinted P-2 wash lights and Q-2 flood/blinder/strobes. “I used the P-2 for the first time in October 2014 – they came straight from the SGM warehouse. For the second set of recordings, I used the Q-2 which amazed me even more. I love working with SGM products, especially the LT-200. You can do so much with them and they look really cool on a television set and through the camera lens,” he concludes.
SGM LED TUBES DOMINATES TV SHOW CAP48
The Belgian organisation CAP48 aims to change society’s view about the question of handicap (be it physical, mental or social) with enhanced integration. It strives to raise funds for the disabled in Belgium via activities such as an annual TV show, produced in cooperation with Belgian TV channel RTBF. The charity appeal - in the shape of a special show featuring top national and international artists - is broadcast live, and as such the TV set calls for an exceptional stage design.
Belgian lighting designer, Jean-Jacques Marotte, was tasked with delivering this, and his vision for achieving it hinged around the SGM LT-200 LED tubes. “We wanted the audience to be very close to the stage, with an illuminated centrepiece creating an intimate effect during the dialogue, but also create a bright set, as you would expect on prime time TV,” explains Jean-Jacques Marotte. “The idea behind using the LT-200 was to animate and colour the centre of the set. I wanted tons of animated light zipping up and down, and the LT-200 gave me an amazing choice of lighting states, combined with scenic movements.”
SGM’s French distributor, Sonoss, supplied the 480 LT-200 including TLD-612A ArtNet LED drivers, while PRG installed the entire system with account and production manager Laurent de la Haye in charge.
JJ Marotte’s inspiration came after testing the LT-200 for TV usage. Seeing the high scale 3D pixel tube installation with 3,300 pieces at this year’s Pukkelpop festival in Belgium won him over and convinced him to move forward.
Carrying out the achievement
Three independent rectangular trusses were raised - one behind the other and controlled by a Kinesys system. “This allowed me to fly the tubes both according to my wishes and those of the artistic director for the various sets, the singers and the speakers,” states JJ Marotte.
The TLD-612A touring LED driver (with ArtNet) controlled the LT-200 set, while Madrix was deployed for the video content. Jean-Jacques Marotte and his video director, Didier Coenen, decided to run the LT-200 separately, adapting their video loops to the Madrix Mbox as this provided a simple and easy solution in a situation where the TV show did not leave much time for the pre-production.
Designing for television presents certain challenges - especially regarding the viewing angle. With nearly 360° to illuminate (300° for the CAP48) everything is panoramically exposed. “You always have to keep in mind that it’s not just the front view that you need to worry about, but there is also a camera angle from behind, and from the sides of the scene. The video content we sent to the LT-200s gave the right depth to the set and simulated 360° lighting. The 3D effect we created, combining the lighting set and the LT-200 tubes, was simply amazing,” states JJ Marotte.
With high audience ratings and a record amount raised for charity, the CAP48 was nothing short of a success, ensuring funds for pedagogic, infrastructural and mobility projects for the disabled. Besides the simple satisfaction of being part such a humanitarian event, Jean-Jacques Marotte has also received much positive feedback for his lighting design.
The interest in the LT-200 and its functionality was immense and the accomplished LD understands why. “Combining the video loops and the light gives you a wide range of incredible choices,” he says, also noting the light weight of the LED tubes and ease of set up. This, combined with the discreteness of the black controller and black cabling, contributed to the memorable experience of working with these SGM fixtures.
Jean-Jacques Marotte is highly experienced as a lighting designer for both TV shows - primarily prime-time and music programmes – as well as events, and he has deployed several SGM products in his earlier designs. For the French reality show, le pensionnat a la champagne, the P-5 wash light and its bright white wash ‘sister’, the P-5 W, were used, while he applied 22 powerful X-5 LED strobes for the show called NRJ in the park, attended by 50,000 people.
And JJ Marotte has not finished exploring the SGM portfolio - or working with the LT-200 come to that, as he is already considers using it for another charity campaign finale for Make a Wish.
JJMA won the Best Lighting Award at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Blanche, the young singer from Brussels who represented Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, said she was “satisfied and proud” of her performance.
The public and jury votes meant she came fourth. “Finishing fourth is really great”, she said when RTBF asked her for her reaction. “It doesn’t hit you at the time. In a competition, you don’t really feel completely satisfied unless you win. But you have to look at the big picture: out of the 42 that started, we came fourth”, she said.
“I am very satisfied; I hope the Belgian population is too”, the 17 year old said to VTM. She said she felt relaxed during her performance. “I wanted to go home feeling proud of myself and not feeling I could have done better”.
Blanche, who will be back at school with her classmates on Monday, revealed she was sad to be going home. “It all went so quickly”, she told VTM. “I could cry now it’s all over. I loved the rehearsals, the competition and the people I met here”.
As well as Blanche finishing fourth, RTBF added that Belgium goes home with the Best Lighting award, which was created by Jean-Jacques Marotte.