TEDWomen2017|Bridges, a three-day conference about the power of women and girls to be creators and change makers, brought its ideas and innovations to New Orleans recently. Lighting Designer Tony Fransen selected Robert Juliat Dalis 862 150W LED footlights for sessions featuring more than 30 speakers at the landmark Orpheum Theater. ACT Lighting Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Robert Juliat fixtures in North America.
Branding and marketing agency DMI asked Fransen, who heads Tony Fransen Productions, to light the conference, which showcased TED’s famous 18-minute talks by a wide array of speakers. Fransen’s brief was to make the show “TV friendly since it was live streamed to 20 million people,” he says. “I also wanted to light the beautiful old restored theater space.”
Speakers stood in TED’s signature red carpet circle on a 12×16-foot thrust built onto the stage. Fransen outlined the downstage edge of the thrust with seven Dalis 862s where they served the dual purpose of footlights and main fill lights. The fixtures, supplied by VER Nashville, were in custom-built enclosures and extended only about two inches above the stage lip.
Initially, there was some reluctance by the DP and producers to use LED footlights due to poor experiences they have had in the past with LEDs on camera. “But once we got on the set they loved the amber white Dalis,” Fransen reports. “The talent looked fantastic on camera.”
Fransen was also required to chose low-profile fixtures that would not stick up in the talent’s foot area in wide shots. “I had seen Dalis 862s at an ACT showcase in Nashville earlier this year. They were low profile, high output and beautiful. I knew they would work for TEDWomen.”
Fransen was able to “mix to the exact color temperature they were using – 4000 Kelvin – and the Dalis looked great.” He ran the fixtures “at very low levels – at just five percent at certain times. And we saw fantastic clear output with no break up. The lights stayed extremely even at low levels.”
He points out that when talent walks toward most footlights the fixtures hit them in the knees and fail to light the rest of their bodies. “But the asymmetrical lens of the Dalis gives you a vertical light output,” Fransen explains. “Talent can walk within inches of the Dalis and still be consistently covered. I’ve never seen a more even footlight that beautifully lights talent: Dalis is unlike anything else on the market.”
Another bonus of Dalis is “the ability to hide cables underneath the light so they are not visible on the audience side,” he says. “We didn’t need this for TEDWomen since the Dalis were in custom enclosures, but it’s a great feature. I always try to make the front edge of the stage look clean, and with Dalis you never seen any wiring at all.”
Fransen reports that the Dalis footlights “proved to be excellent on camera and exceeded everyone’s expectations. I’d love to use them for any TV events I do in the future.”
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