Beauty and the Beast 2016
BlackTrax expertise for new musical in Flanders Expo
Painting with Light combines skills to make groundbreaking musical a success
For the recent staging of Disney’s famous ‘Beauty & the Beast’ musical by Marmalade Content in Hall 8 at Flanders Expo in Ghent, Painting with Light was commissioned to design lighting and a video system, and to produce video content.
When Luc came on board, the set designed by Stefaan Haudenhuyse - under licence to Disney with the producers having to meet certain criteria – was already initiated. Spectacular and dynamic, it was based around a 50 metre long performance area in the centre of the hall in the shape of a rose, with the audience seated 180 degrees in-the-round. Upstage of the ‘stage’ end was a large LED screen backdrop which split into four sections and tracked into different configurations.
The show, with production managed by Bart de Coensel, also featured multiple flying props and scenery pieces which came in and out throughout, from large objects like show portals to books from the library, trees from the forest scenes, church windows and a host of others.
The shape of the stage and the interplay of actors and moving scenery pieces meant that an innovative approach was needed for this production. A mother grid was installed in Hall 8 and a series of lighting trusses were flown over the stage and auditorium. This ensured optimum lighting positions were available all over the space, including down the sides of the room.
For a show and venue where multiple follow spots would have been required that would have been difficult to rig, BlackTrax proved an ideal solution … saving time and money, although time also had to be allocated in other areas.
To make it all happen, the Painting with Light crew collaborated closely with the Wigs & Costumes department. Every actor being tracked by the system needed to wear an extra beltpack and have three 5.5mm balls integrated into their clothes which were also visible to the BlackTrax cameras, a delicate and intricate task involving 24 costumes which were designed by Cocky van Huijkeelom.
The feeds of 12 BlackTrax cameras were routed to the BlackTrax server which contained a 3D model of the stage, running a custom version of WYSIWYG which talked to the selected lights through a Luminex network. Different fixture parameters can be selected for control and a number of zones can be established referring to specific lights or groups of lights.