XL Video UK supplied specialist LED and IMAG projection screens plus control to the 2011 MTV European Music Awards, staged at Belfast Odyssey Arena, Northern Ireland, and broadcast live to 45 countries worldwide.
The UK’s leading live music video production specialist has been involved with the glamour and buzz of this high profile event for several years, and XL’s Chris Saunders was project managing for the third year running.
The show included a dynamic, star studded line up of artists performing live, including Lady GaGa, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Jesse J, Justin Bieber, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Selina Gomez, who was also hosting.
Technical challenges included fitting an ambitious and visually spectacular stage set designed by Es Devlin – complete with integrated screens – into the venue. Also the XL team had to be flexible enough to accommodate specific requests from some artists late on as their individual performances evolved during the rehearsal period in the preceding week.
Saunders worked closely with Devlin, production manager Margaret Mouzakitis, TV director Russell Thomas and media creators Hello Charlie, who produced all the show’s bespoke video content and graphics.
The large (16 tiles wide, 15 high) LED screen at the back of the main stage was made up from XL’s Pixled F15 modules. Flanking the stage left and right were two IMAG screens of Pixled F11, both 26 tiles wide and 14 high, configured in slightly different shapes to add quirkiness.
In the ‘Glamour Pit’ presentation area at the opposite end of the arena to the stage, there were a further 14 x 8 modules of F15 mounted behind the presenters. These were used for providing generic block colours and funky ambient footage as well as for winner looks, logo sequences, etc.
All the screens were managed on site by Klass Eecloo from XL Ghent, Belgium.
Flown from the roof at the back of the arena were two delay projection screens, each fed by a single Barco FLM machine with another running as hot backup. These were fed with the same IMAG images as the two screens either side of stage.
XL supplied a Barco Encore screen management system, which was run by Jonathon Bond with a separate output to each screen. The XL crew received a sub-cut of the broadcast TX, and Chris Saunders co-ordinated outputting this onto the four IMAG screens and sending the assorted playback media to all six screens at the relevant times.
XL also supplied Lady GaGa with a Barco FLM 22K for projecting content onto her moon set piece, which had to be arranged at the last minute, together with a Catalyst media server on which to store her moon surface content, which looked highly effective.
The XL team was on site for a week during the build. Chris Saunders comments, “It was great to be involved with another MTV EMAs. Each year the show evolves and grows and the technical production standards are consistently high. Es’s set was inventive and interesting as always, and our long term experience of how the event develops as a live show concept and what’s required helps all things flow in a tight timescale”.
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