Bavaria Sounds 2022 Follow-Me proves size doesn’t matter
October 7, 2022 07:00
Photograph ©MH Vogel : For more images visit the gallery
This summer saw a mammoth achievement for all those involved in Bavaria Sound 2022 in Munich. Across the month of August parts of the fairgrounds in Munich were transformed into the site for 3 large outdoor concerts. Lighting designer Roland Greil, after finishing the first show for Andreas Gabalier, wrote: “What an emotional night having just done one of, if not the biggest rock show in Munich ever, which will be topped by the following shows (staring Helene Fisher and Robbie Williams)”.
Follow-Me systems were chosen by Roland as he needed a follow-spot solution that was scalable and could easily encompass the 120 meter wide stage.
Back in April Roland approached Follow-Me for support in finding the right solution for remote follow-spots for these concerts. Considering the size of the stage area that needed to be fully viewed by follow-spot operators and performers easily spotted across the entire area this was not a small task. Due to the large size of the performance area, (120m wide x approx. 50m deep) there were some questions about whether the standard Follow-Me cameras would be sufficient for the task. The support team at Follow-Me provided expert advice about camera placement and lens selection. It was concluded that Follow-Me 3D remote manual tracking would be ideal. With the suggested 3.6mm and 8mm lenses FM Tech Bianca Mastroianni, was able to insure full coverage of the stage. The scalability of the systems meant 2 x Follow-Me 3D SIX systems were utilised to enable the full camera coverage of the stage width. The two live camera feeds enabled the operators to see the performers perfectly on stage despite the operating table being 20 meters from stage right and 60 meters from downstage centre.
Bianca’s preproduction preparation, along with preparing the show file, was imperative to the smooth running of this install. Reliant on low ambient light levels in the middle of summer in an outdoor venue, was a challenge when running fixture refinement onsite. Another challenge she was able to overcome with Follow-Me, was getting good accuracy with the Follow-Me calibration over such large distances and a large number of fixtures in the given timeframe. 204 fixtures were included in the Follow-Me show file. 24 Martin Mac Ultra Performance and 32 Robe BMFLTs were used for the heavy follow-spot operation with a number of the BMFL LTs situated 80m away from the stage. Despite the distance they were able to be calibrated precisely in the Follow-Me system. The other fixtures in the show file were used as effects spots.
Working closely with Follow-Me, the team enabled Bianca to use a Beta version with a new feature that will be introduced later this year: Snaplines. Snaplines are an aid for the operators when following performers over large distances, whereby the Follow-Me target locks to a predetermined axis for “predictive / snap-to” tracking and movement of the performers.
With 4 days onsite in-between shows, Bianca noted that “Considering the sheer size and complexity of the shows, it was ambitious but thanks to a great team, we overcame all those challenges with ease. Follow-Me is a very technically innovative system both to build and integrate into a production. Once our team or other LD’s and their FM Techs are familiar with Follow-Me they can develop their own programming workflows which integrate Follow-Me seamlessly into the pre-production process”.
Each show had a different configuration of the stage thrust. This obviously needed some work on Bianca’s side with the calibration of the Follow-Me system. Bianca explains this process: “I had already pre-built (the Follow-Me 3D) mesh for the three thrust configurations in the base show file using calibration point groups. Upon construction of the new set, measurements were taken to align the new set with the mesh. Cameras remained in the same positions”. Running fixture refinement was a smooth and timely process due to the preparation in the show file.
Roland and Bianca have worked together as LD and FM Tech on a few productions, Roland explains why he enjoys working with Follow-Me as his follow-spot system:
“I really became a fan of the system because of its flexibility, reliability and the great support from my friends at Follow-Me. Furthermore the system works with any fixture and is easy to operate, while it also opens up multiple creative uses besides that of only using it as a follow spot substitution”. He continues as to why, as lead designer on this mammoth production, Follow-Me was his choice for the follow-spot system for all 3 shows: “it was important, that we had a system, that allowed us to follow people anywhere on the big stage and allowed me to use all any fixtures in the over all rig. It was a great asset to have to overcome all the time restraints, furthermore it was a great help when looking at key lighting for each show, especially considering the very limited on stage rehearsal times”.
At the end of the Bavaria Sounds 2022 Roland was asked “Are you still a happy Follow-Me LD?" The answer was simply “100% yes…"
Lighting Design: Roland Greil
Associate Lighting Design: Troy Eckerman
Production design: Florian Wieder
LX Programmer: Klaus Kubesch & Michael Kuehbandner
Follow-Me Tech: Bianca Mastroianni
Rental House: Audiorent Clair (In Collaboration with Christie Lites)
Fixtures used by Follow-Me
Martin Mac Quantum Profile – 18
Martin Mac Axiom Hybrid - 40
Martin Mac Ultra Performance – 24
Robe BMFL Followspot LT – 32
Elation Proteus Maximus – 67
Elation Proteus Excalibur - 23
Photograph ©MH Vogel : For more images visit the gallery