LILLE, FRANCE – The Séries Mania Festival created a global buzz a few years ago when it hosted the world premiere of the long-awaited Netflix series “The Rain.” None of the 32 premieres showcased at the four-day festival this year had rain in their titles, but there was plenty of precipitation outside!
The inclement weather did nothing, however, to dampen the excitement at an event that Variety magazine has hailed as “Europe’s Premier TV Festival.” Nor did it interfere with the bright and colorful lighting that enhanced the upbeat mood at the world renowned gala and conference, which drew TV executives from 64 different countries.
Valentin Lemarquier and Freddy Ledieu who lit the famous Tapis Mauve (“mauve carpet”) area in front of the Nouveau Siècle auditorium, where the official ceremonies and screenings took place, credits an all-weather lighting kit supplied by Public Address/Stagers with helping him maintain the event’s smooth, elegant looks even when Mother Nature didn’t cooperate.
“Our lighting kit was made up of almost entirely of IP65 rated projectors,” said Lemarquier, the “Tapis Mauve” festival’s lighting operator. “Thanks to this level of protection, we had no major problems during the week of operation, despite the rather unfavorable weather conditions, which included a lot of heavy rain.”
Anchoring this kit was a collection of over 100 CHAUVET Professional fixtures, including 30 onAir IP Panel 1 and eight onAir IP Panel 2 soft white lights, as well as 36 WELL Fit uplighters, eight WELL Panels, eight Ovation Rêve E-3 IP ellipsoidals, eight Ovation E-260WW IP projectors and 12 Color STRIKE M motorized strobes.
Working closely with Director of Photography Freddy Ledieu, Lemarquier, relied on his onAir IP Panel projectors to create a beautiful, even field of light at the auditorium entrance so the arriving TV stars could shine brightly (rain or not!) against a supportive background. Thanks to the quality of this light, photographers were able to work without flashes, resulting in more natural looking pictures.
“For the overall lighting of the “mauve carpet,” we wanted an IP 65 product that was not too heavy, and that also offered a good light level as well as adjustable color temperatures,” said Lemarquier. “We selected the onAir products because we felt they met this criteria. They had a chance to prove themselves in the rain and they did!”
Lemarquier and his team relied on the Ovation Rêve E3-IP and Ovation E-260 WW IP units to mark and accentuate the light on the important areas, during the festival. “We went with the Ovations because we needed the ellipsoidal that was very precise,” he explained.
For the lighting of the buildings and areas with the public, the production team, which included Robin Welti, Ophélie Cauwel and Frédéric Delbar, relied on the Color STRIKE M. “I had already used this projector several times and was therefore convinced of its capabilities,” said Lemarquier. “I did not use it as a strobe, but as a washer. The IP 65 rating and the tilt was a big plus to simplify my work. I was thus able, during the encoding, to adapt the lighting of the carpet area and the buildings.”
Although everyone involved in the Séries Mania Festival was delighted with the event’s lighting design, there was one point when part of the kit was delayed in powering up. “After searching a bit, I found the cause of the issue,” said Lemarquier. “A crew member connecting a vacuum hastily added a power strip on the ground, facing upwards, which was the wrong direction. That issue was easily addressed. As for the projectors themselves they were completely dry and functional even though it had rained heavily the night before. That was the level of reliability we expected – and we were not disappointed.”