The case of “I will Follow You will you…Follow-Me” with Woodroffe Bassett Design and Genesis
May 9, 2022 08:00
From NYC through North America and Europe to London: Follow-Me 3D systems recently toured internationally with Woodroffe Bassett Design and Roland Greil for The Last Domino Genesis tour. An inspirational, emotional journey with 47 shows around the world, an opportunity for fans to enjoy and celebrate Genesis, one of the worlds best-selling music artists, live for the ﬁrst time in 13 years.
Roland Greil is a Lighting Designer with Woodroﬀe Bassett Design. Roland co designed the lighting together with Patrick Woodroﬀe (Show Director The Last Domino tour) who has also been the LD for Genesis and Phil Collins’ solo tours in the past. For Roland this was an important and challenging honour, describing himself as “the new kid on the block” with his ﬁrst collaboration as Co-LD for Genesis with their Last Domino tour. A “new kid” that has a wealth of experience from TV Productions, Awards Shows to lighting bands such as Rammstein.
Reﬂecting on Patricks’ experience with Genesis, the WBD team felt it important to use a remote follow-spot system as this would be far more versatile than classic follow-spots. Due to WBD’s previous positive experience with Follow-Me 3D Systems on tours such as Rammstein, it was an easy choice to make: “The system gives the possibility to integrate an unlimited number of manufacturer independent light ﬁxtures and has been proven to be very reliable”.
Conﬁrming the choice to use the latest innovation in remote follow-spot and performer tracking control with the Follow-Me 3D SIX System, Roland states “A Genesis show is challenging by its own in a very positive way. This speciﬁc band has pushed the boundaries within our industry since the 70’s and therefore you have to keep up with this momentum and create a show which is up to those expectations and standards. Just think about their involvement in Vari*lite for example. Even though challenging for Patrick and myself it has been very rewarding to collaborate on this show and create something, that the whole team is proud of”.
The tours Follow-Me Tech, Bianca Mastroianni concurs that “A Follow-Me system is a very powerful addition to a lighting rig”. The show was quite complex with over 160 lighting ﬁxtures patched in the Follow-Me 3D SIX system. Some of these ﬁxtures were on moving trusses with PSN integration, perfectly suited for control with Follow-Me 3D SIX system which enables PSN in and out.
Bianca’s experience touring with Follow-Me conﬁrms that Follow-Me has achieved and stands up to and beyond the requirements and expectations of a remote follow-spot system for touring: “From a setup point of view, the amount of labour, time and equipment that is saved by not touring conventional follow-spots is enormous. The Follow-Me Rack Servers are built into Neg Earth’s custom touring Follow-Me rack which rolls into place in the venue and results in the operator position setup taking only 15 minutes. Neg Earth’s rack and system was designed and built by Joao Magalhaes and Ciarán Markey. We usually set up the operator position in either a backstage dressing room or venue wing. This ﬂexibility is essential for an arena touring scenario when the size and backstage layout of the venues can vary dramatically”.
For this tour the cameras (1 x live & 1 x redundancy) hang on an easily accessible truss just oﬀ the front of the stage. The low-proﬁle of the cameras mean that they are unobtrusive and don’t interfere with any of the other ﬂown elements of the show. The camera calibration is a fast process, for this design, using 5 calibration points on the stage. On arriving at a venue Bianca would check the camera calibration and continue with the ﬁxture reﬁnement feature taking about 90 minutes to have 160 ﬁxtures perfectly calibrated and ready to go. Bianca notes that in preproduction the learning curve of Follow-Me was big however the training and support “oﬀered by the team at Follow-Me BV was fantastic”, enabling her to conﬁdently and eﬃciently use Follow-Me on tour with a changing team of 4 operators: “the operators love operating Follow-Me. It’s been compared to a video game on numerous occasions. It is very easy to instruct operators who have not used a similar follow-spot system previously or who have very little technical knowledge. The brieﬁng process usually takes less than 15 minutes”!
Enthusing about her role at the Follow-Me Tour Tech Bianca conﬁrmed that “ the ability to convert any ﬁxture in a lighting rig into a follow-spot (…allows Roland to) create some truly impressive visuals. From a setup point of view, the amount of labour, time and equipment that is saved by not touring conventional follow-spots is enormous”.
When asked if his expectations of using Follow-Me on The Last Domino tour were met, Roland simply stated “Absolutely.”
Follow-Me Tour equipment:
1 x Follow-Me 3D SIX System 1 x Follow-Me Camera and FM Rack Server redundancy set 4 x Follow-Me Console sets
Photo credit © Manfred H. Vogel : For more images Followed Acts