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Robe illuminates Eesti Laul 2021
Robe moving lights and two RoboSpot systems provided the lighting solution for the 2021 Eesti Laul competition to select Estonia’s entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Lighting and set designer for the finale show and the two semi-finals that preceded it in Tallinn’s Saku Suurhall arena was Rene Jõhve, who was approached to work on the project by Estonian national broadcaster ERR. This was his tenth year of lighting the finale and semi-final events which were aired live and, due to the pandemic, this year were staged without an audience.
The lighting rig included a selection of Robe fixtures including two BMFL WashBeams, 13 x DL7 Profiles, 12 x 300E Spot, 42 x Pointes, 25 x Spiider LED wash beams, 18 x LEDBeam150s and eight MMX WashBeams, plus other lights, all of which were supplied to the production by rental company Cuuclub Ltd.
The slick and streamlined main stage design was triangular, with angled side struts meeting above the centre to create a triangular arched ceiling over the upstage section which were clad in LED panels, leaving the forestage open. The transparent stage floor also contained tilted LED screens, and another main triangular LED screen upstage had lights rigged on both edges to accentuate its shape. A long runway at the front of the stage connected it to a smaller B stage out in the centre of the arena. Had there been an audience, this would have been right in the middle.
The geometry of the stage lent itself to a lot of dynamic beam lighting effects, however with the LED clad arches in place, there was less space for more conventional lighting positions. There was also a quantity of custom LED pixel fixtures rigged in squares above the stage and along the structural metalwork supporting the arch to the sides.
Two of the BMFL WashBeams were positioned on the front truss and connected to the RoboSpot systems together with three of the upstage DL7S Profiles which were also hooked into the system. The two RoboSpot base stations were located at FOH behind the lighting console, with all parameters controlled from the console apart from the pan and tilt movement and the iris. The systems were run in multi-device mode, allowing key light and back lighting to be calibrated together.
Having the additional three DL7S Profiles on the system allowed different rear spotlights to be selected and used if needed depending on the camera shot. At the two semi-finals, 24 contestants were whittled down to 12 for the finale. In addition to all the competing song action onstage, interval acts for each broadcast had to be lit.
Three ChamSys MQ500 desks were used for lighting control. Rene Jõhve programmed and ran the moving lights from one, Erki Kukk looked after all the key lights on another, and Crt Birsa - one of Slovenia’s leading LDs who was working in Estonia for a month - operated the bespoke digital pixel LED fixtures on the third. The two RoboSpot operators were Mihkel Viinalass and Marit Kutser. The finale broadcast was directed by Sebastian Koljak working closely with two camera directors for the individual song entries - Marke Miil and Tarmo Krimm.
(Photos: Rene Jõhve)
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