Noot vir Noot for Robe

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Noot vir Noot (Note for Note), a long-running popular and successful Afrikaans language TV music-based games show produced by Stemmburg TV and broadcast on SABC 2 has returned to screens after a two-year break due to Covid, with edition 40 featuring a slightly reimagined version of the slick brand-new set designed by Michael Gill and built by SDS for the fully visually revamped 2019 season.

Lighting is again designed by Ryan Lombard from Blond Productions – the company also supplying the lighting kit – and he specified Robe ESPRITES for the first time on this show, together with two of his trusty favourite moving lights, the Robe LEDWash 300 and the miniPointe.

The series was filmed at Urban Brew Studios in Johannesburg, and while some features remained constant from the last edition, the set lighting and video are now fully integrated, and Ryan found there was some additional scope for him to be more creative and colourful rather than just supplying a series of ‘flat’ studio looks.

All 18 episodes were shot in a 6-day period divided into two parts, first the contestant and eliminations rounds followed by a very tight changeover, then all the live band performance segments were recorded in the same space over 2 hectic paced days. Skilfully interspliced in the edit, it is impossible to tell from the broadcast everything is not happening contemporaneously.

Lighting therefore had to be dynamic and flexible to accommodate these two different required styles for the separate parts of the programme, for which the studio floor was marked up in advance so the band sets could be installed seamlessly and quickly.

Six ESPRITES were spec’d, and because these lights are so adaptable, Ryan found that was a perfect number of units. These joined 12 x Robe LEDWash 300s used mainly for back light and 12 x miniPointes – 6 on the floor and 6 in the ceiling – used for effects and excitement when bumping in and out of different show segments and commercial breaks.

“My starting point with lighting was always how to complement the set and help pull all the visual pieces together,” he explained.

The ESPRITES provided key lighting of the four contestants and two presenters – Emo Adams and resident DJ Shelly who provides all the musical cues and the fixtures also proved ideal for dealing with some of the more idiosyncratic angles needed to get light onto faces.

The LEDWash 300s are a favourite go-to of his for back lighting, and the miniPointes are also another regular fixture for eye and camera candy, flare, and to generally jazz things up a bit in a medium-sized space.

“With these three fixture types I really have everything covered,” Ryan commented with a big smile.

The slightly – deliberately – off-white set colouration was lit beautifully with wash looks that really made it pop, and Ryan related how much he enjoys working with Michael’s set designs, both for his innovative and expedient approach and that he considers lighting at the outset.

The ESPRITES worked brilliantly for the band performances as Ryan was not aware in advance of all their setups and configurations, so again he was well covered. “They are an amazing fixture with phenomenal output, great whites, colour temperatures and flesh tones plus lots of effects, excellent colour … absolutely perfect for this application.”

He particularly liked having shutters and diffusion filters to soften the light and reported that he rarely had to run them above 40% intensity in that studio.

“I would definitely not do a show without these three fixtures!” he concluded.

The series was directed by Johan Stemmet, who presented the show until the 2019 re-boot when he ‘retired’ from being in front of the camera to get behind it and ensure the production stays modern and artistically and aesthetically relevant.

Ryan programmed and ran his grandMA 2 console and worked alongside Alasdair Richards who co-ordinated all the generic lighting and ensured that contestants and presenters had the correct keys and colour temperatures etc., leaving Ryan to focus on the effects and the more cosmetic set and environment dressing.

“It’s a great way to work,” notes Ryan, “I enjoy the collaboration, and it was fantastic to see another great-looking series of Noot vir Noot hit the airwaves after Covid.”

Photo Credit: Louise Stickland

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