Four of the technical
partners - Fisheye, Painting with Light, PRG Belgium and WIcreations
- involved in the ground breaking
40-45 Spektakel Musical
production being staged at the Pop-Up Theatre in Puurs, Belgium, by
Studio 100 are featured in a compelling and candid Behind the Scenes
(BTS) movie which has just been released on YouTube.
Shot in 4K during the set
up and first weeks of the production, the BTS movie features clips
from the show itself plus extensive and exclusive interviews with
director Frank Van Laecke, technical director Bart Caels
from B-Art Production Design, creative lighting expert and video
designer Luc Peumans, innovative entertainment engineering specialist
Hans Willems, Fisheye director Stijn Slabbinck - in charge of several
scenic masterpieces - and Tom Van Hemelryck
from PRG who provided lighting and rigging equipment.
It gives viewers a unique
technical and creative insight into the meticulous planning and huge
challenges of producing this ambitious show set during World War II…
the vision and foresight of Studio 100 and the strong teamwork,
standards of excellence and innovative solutions that are making it
It is a ‘must-see’
for anyone interested in the art of creative technical production.
A team from Painting with Light led by Luc Peumans crafted the
lighting design and undertook the programming and operating. They
also produced the bespoke video content and designed the video
control system complete with its programming and operating.
Painting with Light also
supplied 10 new disguise gx media servers for the playback video
content which is appearing on eight moving LED video walls. Their
segment of the movie looks closely at how video and lighting cues
have been integrated via the grandMA2 control platform.
It examines the lighting
process from conception to completion, explains the advantages of
vital tools like visualisation and how it was used, plus special
custom elements like the control of the video content’s virtual
lighting which is appearing on the screens and has been compiled to
match to the ‘actual’ lighting cues happening simultaneously on
WIcreations designed, developed and installed a
bespoke wireless laser-guided system to move eight enormous seating
tribunes each holding over 200 audience members who are watching the
show each day.
The tribunes themselves
were also constructed by WIcreations in the theatre and each one
contains around 14,000 parts, the majority of which have been custom
machined. The tribunes move together or individually throughout the
venue for the full two-hour show - in every direction and on every
axis - sometimes with as little as 20 cm between them.
The same WI proprietary
wireless laser guided control technology is being applied to move the
eight moving LED screen trucks around the performance space plus two
WIcreations also provided
the battery-power systems for the LED walls and the tribune onboard
audio and LED lighting.
Set design and build
Fisheye worked closely with set designer Stefaan
Haudenhuyse and created some key props and scenic elements which are
prominent in the show. The movie delves into the complex construction
techniques – from design to CNC machining, the diligent research
and the fine-tuned skills involved, all completed in-house at
They include a 1:1 scale
World War 2 Stuka bomber with turning propellers that ‘flies’
above through the performance space above the audience, and several
automobiles including an Opel Blitz truck – with the petrol engine
removed and replaced by an electric motor so it drives through the
theatre. There is also a 30-metre-long train and a crashed Spitfire
aircraft which burns realistically on the stage!
The train was built from
scratch and the tricky part was to find a
solution with a short turning distance so it could make a loop around
and in and out the building.
All these items required
painstaking and careful construction to bring them to life on the
PRG has supplied
and installed the lighting to Luc’s spec
plus rigging and the 8 x 32 square metre LED screens which are
secured on the moving wagons.
They were involved in
some major special effects including flying the Stuka bomber and
crashing the Spitfire onto the stage for which a custom 90 metre
track is integrated into the venue’s roof structure. Attached to
this is a specially developed power system which ensures the plane
maintains the exact correct speed and altitude in every show.
The movie shows the
rigorous lighting and rigging prep for this very special event and
highlights the detail of the installation itself. It also features a
brand-new LED moving light – the Icon Stage – manufactured by PRG
which made its live performance debut on 40-45.
PRG is utilizing its
award-winning Ground Control remote follow spotting system, which is
working in 360 degrees to keep pace with the changing shape and form
of the environment as the stands and wagons shift around the space,
in conjunction with 4K and IR cameras to follow the principals at all
times – even in near darkness.
The movie action starts
right at the beginning of the production for 40-45 with the design
and build of the pop-up venue and the different departments moving in
for the show build.
Snapshots of the vast
backstage operation that is energised daily to put on the show is
related in interviews where the challenges are explored via
creatives, technicians and engineering specialists.
An in-depth analysis of
the work illustrates how these departments met the brief and
aspirations of the producers and director Frank Van Laecke, and how
they all collaborated to deliver a memorable and superlative
experience for all guests.
One full length BTS video
features the work of each of the four contributing companies in
detail, and there are four shorter ones each dedicated specifically
to each of the four partner companies.
The idea of investing in
a movie to document ‘the making of’ this seminal piece of work
partly came from its predecessor production,
, staged at the Nekkerhal in Mechelen in 2014-15, which
was also a huge success.
Luc from Painting with
Light felt that all the energy, thoughts, discussions and inventive
solutions that were involved in this… should have been recorded. He
ran this past the Studio 100 team who agreed… and so the seeds of
this movie were germinated at the same time they were all being
inspired to develop the sequel to 14-18.
Once the production
process was underway, Filip and his video crew kept up a constant but
stealthy presence to capture all the drama, perspective and
excitement of the show building process.
Instrumental in both the
show and the BTS movie happening was Bart Caels from the 40-45
production team – who also appears on camera – and the overall
BTS project was approved by Jan Bernolet, producer at Studio100.
The BTS movie has been
produced by Image4You, creatively directed by Filip Vanhullebusch
with Chris De Paepe as director of
photography. They have carefully recreated the noir ambience and
atmospheric lighting of the show in this movie, so it compliments in
every aspect the work it is documenting.
Filip comments that it
was an incredible experience to be able to document everyone’s work
and produce a movie relevant to an international industry-wide
audience that will stand the test to time as an authoritative piece
of entertainment technology documentary filming.
capturing the authenticity of the show’s real lighting, visuals and
scenic design which were created for theatre rather than film, and
also dealing with the intricacies and contrasts of the vast
performance space and the incredibly intimate and personal narrative.
“We were able to lift
every lid of every cooking pot from these master chefs! Hats off for
so much talent and the access which allows us to share such a unique
point of view with viewers”.
He also adds that – as
respective perfectionists and over-achievers in their fields “we
all know that details matter”.