A Pandoras Box to empower the filmmaker


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The setting was Celebro Studios London, home to their fully 4k television studios, where journalists and industry commentators gathered late last November to witness the launch of the revolutionary Rotolight Anova PRO 2. This was no ordinary unveiling though, the launch was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube and hosted by award winning news anchor man Martin Stanford with Wesley Dodd, CEO of Celebro Media Group and Rotolight MD Rod Gammons in the studio.

Kicking off the show Rod was asked what features he was most excited about in this new lighting fixture?

“This is one of the brightest, if not the brightest, light in its class whilst having industry leading battery performance consuming just 72 watts, half of that of any of its competitors in the market, meaning lower running costs and less battery consumption when on location. It has outstanding colour rendering for great skin tones but it is also packed full of features not only for live broadcast but also for filmmakers and photographers”.

LED lighting has been in place since Celebro was set up three years ago but why was the Rotolight brand used? “Currently the studios are using the little brother of this new fixture, the Anova Pro, and when we started we were building a daylight studio where we could control the daylight coming in whilst still having as live television news environment”, comments Wesley. “We understood we needed a bi-colour light and wanted LED to keep energy consumption low, at that stage Rotolight was really the only option for us and we’re glad we choose it. Three years on we have studios full of Rotolight and are proud to be upgrading to the new Anova Pro 2”.

The brightness of the latest generation LED from Rotolight is key demonstrated live with the Anova Pro and Pro 2 set up side by side. With a Sekonic light meter to hand Martin measures the ‘old Pro’ at 6,000 lux. Repeating the test with the ‘new Pro’ gives a reading of 13,000 lux, surpassing the current spec sheet!

When questioned how this has been achieved Rod explains “We are using the absolute latest in LED technology and have increased the number of LEDs from 720 to 960 which have outstanding colour and that brightness performance you’ve just seen”.

The Anova Pro has standard 5 pin DMX512 control, Wes points out “this is great, everyone uses it but the problem is you can end up with a mass of cables in the ceiling and the potential that if one light in the chain fails then others could be affected as well”. As one of the first users of this light Celebro were able to suggest a few ‘upgrades’, one of which was the control via an RJ45 Ethernet cable. The advantages of this is that every light can be connected independently to a switch via an existing Ethernet socket fitting in to an existing IP workflow perfectly.

Rotolight are justifiably proud of the colour abilities of the Anova Pro 2 with a temperature range of 3150 to 6300 Kelvin giving the most flexible of lighting solutions whether in a studio or on location. Colour accuracy is to CRI 96 and TLCI 91 (Television Lighting Consistency Index), the highest it can possibly score, which in real world terms means it requires no correction for a live broadcast environment. A big tick in the box for Celebro!

Martin explained that another arm of the Celebro Media Group is Celebro Live and at this point the show cut to Celebro’s Head of Production Andrew Lebentz on the roof top terrace (it could be anywhere on the planet of course) to demonstrate the outdoor abilities of the Anova Pro 2. Joining Andrew on the roof was Rotolight’s Zoe Gardiner who explains the advantages of going out on the road with this new light, “firstly it is the form factor weighing less than 3.5kg making it incredibly portable and you’ve also got the adjustable colour temperature with the built-in kelvin display on the rear to easily match the light to the ambient conditions you are in. As Rod mentioned earlier power consumption is only 72 watts meaning that with a V-lock battery you’ll have long run times without the need for an onsite generator”.

Celebro Live offers the ability for 2, 3 or even more cameras to be placed on location and then remotely switched and controlled (exposure etc) via IP from the studio, anywhere in the world. This solution not only massively reduces costs in staffing and gives full control to the director at base but encourages the creative use of multiple cameras, where only a single one may have been previously used, due to the ease of control and lower costs.

There is nothing better than speaking directly to a user and DoP Jonathan Jones who has many credits to his name, such as winning an Emmy and working on Planet Earth 2, joined the studio to discuss the Anova Pro 2. “As well as a fantastic LED fixture it has the built in SFX elements giving us a toolkit to unlock a Pandora’s box that empowers the filmmaker. Effects such as Fire, Lightning, TV, Gunshot, Paparazzi and many more are within the SFX menu of the Anova Pro 2 giving you complete realism, control and saving time and costs on set”.

Jonathan continues “What is important to note is that the effects are randomised so they do not repeat and feel real. Furthermore the effects can be remotely triggered with control of the whole light from up to 200 metres away giving complete freedom to react to changing situations without rerigging. Via DMX control Anova Pro 2’s can be slaved and all matched instantaneously using the remote control”.

As an international news group it is easy to see why Rotolight meets the requirements of Celebro, Wesley comments “We’ve ordered 200 Anova Pro 2’s which will be the backbone of our operations in Washington, LA, Moscow and a few other places coming soon.


Tags: iss129 | rotolight | celebro | anova pro 2 | led | lighting | wesley dodd | rod gammons | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus

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