A.C. Entertainment Technologies’ (AC-ET) Video division has supplied two Green Hippo HippoCritter media servers to Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in Sidcup, Kent, England.
The educational establishment is one of the UK’s best known and acclaimed drama and technical theatre colleges, offering university level professional vocational training for theatre, performance and related arts.
AC-ET was approached by Rose Bruford’s co-ordinator for lighting, Rachel Nicholson about the purchase. Nicholson is a senior lecturer who leads the BA (Hons) Creative Lighting Control course, which treats the use of different and mixed media as part of a show’s complete ‘visual design’ – including video, lighting, digital scenery and automation.
The module was re-structured last year to reflect the growing and constantly changing nature of Creative Lighting Control – now including a wider variety of visual media such as LED surfaces and multi-cell fixtures, all types of video elements and projection. The changes are designed to teach ‘control’ as a broader subject base than just that relating to lighting instruments, and the HippoCritters are an integral part of this learning process.
A.C. Video is the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for the Green Hippo product range, which is currently one of the industry’s most widely used media server technologies for shows, events and other entertainment applications. Green Hippo has also supported Rose Burford with training in recent years, so for Rachel it was a logical step to provide their hardware and software platform for students on a permanent basis.
“We create an environment where people can experiment and try out ideas, so it’s important to build up stock of the latest technologies and offer students the chance of working with industry standard equipment,” she said.
The compact 1U rack-mounting HippoCritter offers four layers of standard definition media, a comprehensive text engine, inbuilt media encoding, full timeline capabilities and effects banks, ScreenWarp and PixelMapper. Running on HippoNet, it can be fully integrated into any project, whatever the size and requirements.
Having two HippoCritters to hand at Rose Bruford provides the flexibility for several students to work on the media servers simultaneously.
A previous supplier of lighting equipment to the College, the sale was co-ordinated for A.C Video by Lee House. “It’s important to us to support and encourage the educational market. Rose Bruford is renowned for its standards of excellence and high quality technical production teaching,” said House. “Many imaginative and talented emerging industry professionals started their careers as students there.”
As well as being utilised by students taking the Creative Lighting Control course, the HippoCritters will be of benefit to other production courses, where their user-friendliness and flexibility will enable video to be used on shows in increasingly inventive ways. The College stages several public shows throughout the year (the acting courses have nine major productions per year and the European and American Theatre Arts courses are both increasingly using projection in their live performances), so having the HippoCritters will bring many new dimensions to all production work.
It’s also not just about ‘theatre’ at Rose Bruford. Students are encouraged to be multi-disciplinary and engage with many different genres of lighting – rock ‘n’ roll, television, fashion, events and clubs – to help build a good knowledge base and gain experience of different visual demands, styles and practicalities. They also benefit from Master Classes presented by many leading industry professionals.