Manchester, UK – Since 2011, Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up has been a highly rated program in the all-important 5:30pm after-school slot on British children’s entertainment channel CBBC. Presented by the popular duo Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, the show is all about fun and games, giving children in the audience the opportunity to get back at their parents through various pranks. However, when it comes to creating clean crisp looks on the set, this nationally aired program is strictly serious, as evidenced by the sleek looking design created by LD Lee Allen that features 48 CHAUVET Professional Nexus 4×4 LED panels supplied by Richard Martin Lighting.
For Allen, the decision to incorporate the Nexus panels into his design was beneficial for two key reasons. Firstly, the Nexus panels ensure that unique lighting looks can be created for the different parts of the show. Secondly, the panels contribute to the smooth contemporary look of the set, making them a camera-friendly backdrop in the studio.
“I picked the Nexus panels for the round shape of the LEDs,” said Allen. “The round LEDs define the look of the set. From every angle, you can see the LEDs simultaneously illuminating the set and creating the look of the backdrop to the set on TV. There aren’t many fixtures that are capable of this.”
Whether seen during close-up interview shots or in sweeping camera shots over the audience, the Nexus panels contribute hugely to the overall backdrop. There was also, according to Allen, a more practical advantage for specifying the Nexus panels. “As the panels fit together so neatly, it made a good job of hiding several large and potentially unsightly pieces of truss, which were supporting several other lighting fixtures including mini scans,” he said. “In this sense, the Nexus panels ensured that the look of the set was kept smooth and organic.
“As I had to take into consideration the fact that I was lighting for TV, we were extremely limited with regards to how bright we could run the fixtures,” continued the LD. “In the end, we ran the Nexus panels at merely a fraction of what they’re capable of, but they are perfectly suited to performing in the television environment.”
One of the key attributes of the Nexus COB LEDs is their ability to achieve vibrant colours. Allen is able to utilize this to great effect during the show, supporting different programming segments with colours that reflect their underlying tones.
“Although all the colours are extremely intense, they all translate very well to the screen,” said Allen. “During the show, we use a whole manner of different colours from saturated hues for bold eye candy to light pastels. On top of this, each LED is pixel mappable, so Nexus is really able to give the show a lot of energy when required, for example, during the music performances.”
Part of the charm of Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up is that visitors of all ages are always surprised and delighted by the program’s unexpected twists and turns. There is, however, on thing they can always rely on: whichever direction the show’s skits take, its lighting design will be there to support them.