Follow the stars with Robert Juliat14 December 2011
Batman Live, Take That’s Progress Live tour and George Michael’s Symphonica show are just three recent productions making good use of Robert Juliat followspots.
No matter how enormous the venue or the production, Robert Juliat followspots, large and small, hit the spot. The latest positive feedback comes from London-based hire company, Neg Earth, which included Robert Juliat spots in its inventory of lighting equipment on a number of large-scale musical events across Europe this year.
Take That’s Progress Live Tour, designed by Es Devlin and Kim Gavin, spent two months on the road with no less than 10 Robert Juliat Lancelot followspots. Specified by lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe, the 4kW HTI Lancelots were chosen for their ability to handle the size of the stadiums and the long throw distances involved. The Lancelots were out-rigged, five per side, from the sides of the stadiums to avoid any reduction in seating capacity or loss of revenue caused by obscured sightlines. The Lancelots coped easily with the enormous throw distances this engendered and the production team reports that they were very happy with the results with no complaints from either technicians or operators.
Two more Lancelots from the Neg Earth stock accompanied George Michael’s Symphonica: The Orchestral Tour on 45 shows across 35 European cities before Michael’s severe illness forced the cancellation of this year’s remaining dates. Designed by Bas Halpin and Ken Watt, the tour included songs from George Michael’s 30-year career, re-worked and re-arranged for the orchestra. It is hoped the missing dates will be rescheduled next year for some spectacular venues, including London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall.
“The Lancelots have worked hard all year with no issues reported,” says Neg Earth. “The feedback from the crews is that they prefer Lancelots to other followspots as their design makes them both easier to set up and to operate. This is very important at large venues and stadiums where manpower is concentrated in the main arena, leaving fewer technicians to transport followspots over considerable distances and set them up at the far reaches of the arenas. Lancelots can be transported and rigged by fewer technicians, saving both time and money. The crews are definitely encouraging us to stick with the Robert Juliats.”
Ironically, Neg Earth also supplied some of the most compact Robert Juliat followspots, namely RJ 1800W MSR Flo, to one of the largest European tours. Four of these 13° – 24° short-throw followspots are being used as truss and gantry spots on George Reeves Productions’, Batman Live, a stadium tour of unprecedented scale (pictured, top).
Designed by Es Devlin, with lighting once more by Patrick Woodroffe, Batman Live is billed as a unique, action-packed live show incorporating impressive stunts, pyrotechnics, illusions and video screen sequences. The show, which has been on tour since the summer, will continue across Europe for a further year before opening in America in Summer 2012.