Slovakia's top lighting designer Martin Kubanka has once again chosen Robe moving lights as the main workhorses of his design for Hviezdy na Ľade (Stars on Ice), Slovakia's version of top live TV production "Dancing On Ice".
All lighting equipment is being supplied by leading rental house Q-99, who are also supplying a Bose sound system for the series. The show is a roll out of the "Dancing On Ice" series that took the UK's ITV by storm. A celebrity and a professional skater pair up and hone their dancing skills on the ice, with 14 hopeful couples starting the series. There's a studio-based judging panel to offer their professional opinion, but the winners are actually voted for by the public via SMS. Mirroring the runaway success of its UK counterpart, the Slovakian show is staged at the Koliba Studios in Bratislava, directed by Tomáš Eibner.
Kubanka, a designer of many high profile Slovak TV shows including Vyvoleni (a Big Brother style reality show) for the same producers, was asked to create a lighting design that would look dynamic on camera, on the ice and also for the live audience. For this he worked closely with DOP Vladimír Ďurčanský.
Robe is currently his moving light of choice, and he is using 10 of the workhorse Robe ColorSpot 1200 ATs and 10 ColorWash 1200s to light, colour and throw gobo images and patterns onto the ice rink.
Another 20 ColorSpot 575 ATs are rigged onto an 8 metre diameter flown circular truss, and these follow the skaters whizzing round the rink, acting as contra-effects light for the cameras.
There's another 16 ColorSpot 575 ATs positioned around the perimeter of the rink at Koliba’s Studio 3 – their largest space – and these are used to shoot across the ice and to produce low angled camera ‘eye-candy’.
Eighteen Robe ColorMix 575 ATs are dotted around the trussing and on house pantographs, used for colour washes and effects.
The various Robe fixtures are also used to colour and throw gobo looks onto the fascias of a series of white, wave-like set panels, rigged around three sides of the rink. This was designed by Jaroslav Holota who worked closely with Kubanka in developing the show's lively visual ambience.
<cite>“One of the many advantages of using Robe ...”</cite> states Kubanka <cite>“Is the reliability of the kit”</cite>.
Q-99 has the largest stock of Robe in Slovakia, all of which have been supplied through Robe’s Slovakian distributor, KVS. The fixtures have certainly been put to the test in this environment which features intense humidity and so much condensation in the initial stages, that Q-99 purchased 30 Weathershields to project the fixture bases from water ingress. <cite>“The lights have just continued to work through all this without flinching”</cite> says Q-99's Marek Adamik.
In Slovakia, Kubanka's lighting scheme for Hviezdy na Ľade has attained great critical acclaim. Production manager Martin Hasak says the series is based on “Generating a great atmosphere in the studio, which we couldn't do without imaginative lighting". He adds that after the success of working with Q-99 on Vyvoleni, there was no question of another lighting provider being considered for this show.
Each show sees a hectic schedule of lighting programming to prepare for the various pieces of music chosen by the skaters. There are also different weekly themes, with ‘Flying’ for the finale.
Along with the weekly theme change, each TV transmission also features different visual effects and specials, e.g. moving ACLs (six Studio Due CS-4s), floating smoke (two MDG ICEFOG-Qs), cold smoke explosions (two Universal-Effects POWER-JETs), bubbles, artificial snow, etc.
In addition to the Robes and all the specials, Kubanka is utilising a substantial generic lighting rig including ARRI Bambino and 1, 2 and 5K fresnels, Robert Juliat Corrigan follow spots, over 50 LED tubes and silk flame lights. All lighting is controlled via a GrandMA console run by Kubanka's associate, Michael Schmidt.
Lasers are supplied by Kvant and pyro by Pyra, both from Bratislava.
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