Belgium-based international show, visual and production design studio Painting with Light has enjoyed a busy summer and autumn back to full speed working on a wide range of cool and interesting projects and events embracing theatre, television, and live broadcast.
The company is headed by Luc Peumans, who commented, “It was fantastic for our team and all our clients to be back doing live shows with real audiences after two years of pandemic restrictions. While this ‘dark’ period forced us to be imaginative and inventive in creating entertainment and engagement, there is nothing like feeling the buzz and excitement of shows packed with crowds, anticipation, and real human experience!”
Here is a small snapshot of some of Painting with Light’s recent 2022 projects.
“Tien Om Te Zien” TV Special
This hugely popular Sunday night VTM music show ran from 1989 – 2008 and was then rebooted in 2014 and 2021. The 2021 was such a success that the broadcaster revived the concept once again to run in summer 2022, on the beach at Westende in Flanders, this time with a live audience again.
Luc designed lighting taking the original 1989 tensile stage structure – revamped for 2022 by PWL’s creative partner and set specialist, Deusjevoo – as a starting point, choosing lighting fixtures that would fit around this and work well in the context.
He collaborated closely with PWL’s programmer Werner Dries and lighting operators Sieben Vanuffelen and Jeroen Opsteyn, dealing with challenges that included lighting the whole site and audience for camera as well as ensuring all the artists looked awesome for all the music fans watching live.
The artist line-up was very diverse and the schedule of who was playing only became available on the morning of the show each week, so flexibility and high impact were two aesthetic key words!
Ten songs per week were recorded, with lighting WYG’d and programmed during daylight, which was the only solution for ensuring that everyone’s show looked slick and smooth. The record started in daylight, went into dusk then darkness, so stage illumination had to be adjusted to merge in with and work with natural light.
Luc utilised a quantity of Luxibel B Blast Pro LED battens as interesting eye-and-camera-candy fixtures with the power to look great in both daylight and darkness. It was also PWL’s first show using one of their new grandMA3 consoles.
James The Musical Season 2
This live broadcast concept was originated by UK-based worldwide independent television, film, and digital production specialist All3Media, and involved PWL in designing lighting and video for eight different episodes and stage performances at the amazing NT Gent theatre, filmed for the Play4 TV channel.
Each episode paid tribute to a Flemish celebrity who is loved by the nation and comprised five specially devised ‘musical scenes’ per broadcast.
Local production company Dedsit chose five landmark events from each featured celebrity’s life and together with TV director Kevin Houben and host James Cooke devised a story around these which were presented as the special musical scenes.
All this planning was kept secret from the celebrity who was invited to the show … to be confronted by a series of total surprises, resulting in some emotional moments and great TV!
Luc was the LD, PWL’s Katleen Selleslagh co-ordinated all the video programming and Tibo Spiessens was the lighting operator.
The requirement was for a very adaptable lighting and visuals design to ensure that each of the 40 scenes in total looked completely different. Creating all of these was an intense process needing superlative teamwork by the FOH crew, with much attention to detail and some long days over the month for which the project ran.
PWL’s brief included creating custom lighting and programming for each scene and they had some Astera wireless LED fixtures to hand as a specials package, which could be deployed last minute or assist in crafting complete scenes or bespoke looks.
This format has also gone international as ‘The Musical of Your Life’.
King Saud University Stadium
One of Painting with Light’s recent international projects was this collaboration with Rayon Progressive Lighting, part of the Al-Babtain Power and Telecom Company.
PWL was approached for its extensive knowledge and expertise in DMX and networked show control and asked to create lighting designs and visuals utilizing Rayon’s product range which were then pre-programmed in a series of timecoded lighting sequences set to music.
256 x cool white LED fixtures and 52 x RGBW LED fixtures were supplied and installed by Rayon while PWL specified, supplied, installed, and commissioned the control system using a combination of Depence2 for visualization and grandMA3 for lighting programming.
The control system comprised a rack-mounted grandMA3 on PC unit (including command wing) for music synchronized playback during events and sporting fixtures; a Mac Mini with QLAB for audio playback and two Pharos TPCs as the main lighting control and for manual switching of lights. Audio, lighting, and video cues triggered via a master Daktronics media server system.
Luc and PWL delivered a stunning lighting design for the invigorating new version of the popular Belgian show “Daens the Musical” which was launched in 2020 by Studio 100, based on the 1992 movie.
It took a 17 month break during the pandemic, before returning this year with a bang at the Pop-Up Theatre in Puurs, complete with cutting edge technology including moving LED screens and automated seating tribunes.
Despite the Covid interruptions, “Daens the Musical” has played 100 shows over the last 2 years, attracting an impressive 225,000 visitors.
Looking ahead, one of many projects in the PWL pipe for 2023 includes a brand-new Studio 100 interactive musical production, “Red Star Line”, which will be staged in the Pop-Up Theatre and is based on the lives of real Red Star Line shipping company passengers who left Belgium seeking a new life in America and Canada in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
De Tafel van Vier
The PWL Projects division led by Celine Cuypers was asked by production company Dedsit to design and specify LED screens and lighting with a complete AV integration package as part of the set for De Tafel van Vier, a daily talk show hosted by Gert Verhulst.
It is broadcast by Play4 from Play Zuid, a cool new event location in central Antwerp and managed by SBS Belgium.
This was another collaboration with Deusjevoo. The whole ground floor of the venue became a dynamic designed environment to facilitate the talk show including a low-ceilinged studio area.
The 2 metre deep by x 10 wide LED screen is flown against the back wall of the studio area, constructed from 2.5mm Absen LED product controlled via a d3 media server.
Special content is produced daily to dovetail with the topics being discussed and every day a PWL technician is on hand to ensure that the footage, images, and graphic content is formatted perfectly for the screen. This fast-paced and up-to-the-minute project is managed by a team of four PWL video and lighting experts.
Challenges included designing the LED surface to both fit the compact space and function as a practical surface for displaying infographics, VT play ins, etc.
For lighting, it was a mission to find small efficient low-noise luminaires, especially as everything had to be built and up-and-running in 2 weeks! grandMA3 was specified for lighting control.
Summing up, Luc Peumans underlines the fact that 2022 has been an “incredible” year that has offered some great opportunities for renewing existing connections and making new ones.
“We are all delighted that the public appetite for live performance, the arts and entertainment is as enthusiastic as ever, and look forward to 2023 with great zeal, having grown as a company and a team through some very tough times, we now look forward to another crazy busy year with lots of potential to be creative!” he concluded.
Date of issue: 15th November 2022.
For more press info on Painting with Light, please contact Louise Stickland at email@example.com / +44 7831 329888 / twitter @loosplat / IG: loosplat or contact Dorien Ots at PWL direct on +32 89 690790 / firstname.lastname@example.org or check www.pwl.be
Tafel Van Vier – courtesy SBS Belgium
James The Musical – courtesy Dedsit
Tien om te zien – courtesy VTM
Daens – photo by Luk Monsaert