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17/07/2006

Chroma-Q Color Web supplied to PokerFace

Lighting Designer Mark Kenyon has used 207 square metres of Chroma-Q Color Web for the set of new Ant & Dec TV gameshow PokerFace – the largest single application of the LED webbing system to date.
PokerFace is the brand new ITV1 quiz show where one person is guaranteed to win £1 million pounds. It’s a game of wit, nerve and cunning where the best bluffer can scoop the top prize if they can convince the other players they are the cleverest, and force them out of the game.
A series of quickfire general knowledge rounds whittle six players down one by one until just two remain to play head to head for up to £50,000. The winner of each show gains a place in the grand final to win £1m.
The show is produced by TalkbackTHAMES in association with Gallowgate Productions for ITV. Set design is by Dominic Tolfts. Lighting and video design is by Mark Kenyon, assisted by console programmer and operator Roger Williams.
The big-budget production features the very latest LED lighting and video effects technology to bring a dramatic, visually exciting look and feel to the gameshow format. Central to this look is a series of slow moving video clips running on highly visible LED display surfaces throughout the show.
In addition to outputting these clips in standard video resolution to a large centre-stage LED screen behind presenters Ant and Dec, Mark Kenyon wanted to dress a 63m wide by 3m high void above the arena style audience seating with complementary low resolution visual effects.
Having used Chroma-Q Color Web before to great effect as an LED backdrop on other TV shows, Mark knew it would be perfect for his technical requirements and a good opportunity to test out the webbing in a much larger configuration.
Richard Martin Lighting supplied the webbing as part of an extensive list of equipment from their rental stock, pre-configuring the panels as 23 separate 9m square pieces for ease of hanging across the 63m wide wraparound above the audience seating.
The pieces were hung in front of black drapes on scaffold panels 6m off the ground and clipped together side by side in stages. Two additional pieces were connected below the middle section to cover a 6m drop where contestants entered the set.
The webbing’s modular, pliable design also proved ideal for configuring it around a plasma screen and TV camera above the contestant walkway, as panels could be easily unclipped and folded round equipment.
The Color Web was driven by PixelMAD software connected to a lighting console. The system consisted of an ethernet line connected to six Artnet hubs mounted on the gantry, linked to PSUs fitted on the scaffold poles below for each 9m square piece.
Clips include a big swirl opening sequence based on gold graphics to tie in with the title credits, followed by a kaleidoscope effect, DNA and other bold patterns chosen to represent different rounds of the gameshow. The clips get darker in tone as the rounds progress to emphasise the increasing tension and scariness for contestants as they risk losing everything to scoop the top prize.
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