Genk, Belgium, 2nd August 2019 – Painting with Light, the Belgian-based light technology specialist, is pleased that Studio 100 decided to prolong the 40-45 Musical Spectacular till at least May 2020. The light specialist crafted all show lighting, video design & control, applying their expertise and latest technologies. With the vast floor space and dynamic movement of set and scenery, Painting with Light was challenged to work creatively with the negative spaces, obtaining a dark and intense ambience across the show.
Belgian-based entertainment company Studio 100 is best known for productions of successful children’s television shows and musicals, along with the popular Plopsa amusement parks across Europe. By bringing together some of the premiere creatives in Belgium, Creative Inspirer Gert Verhulst created a ground-breaking show with the human spirit at its heart: “After more than three years of intense preparation, the premiere of 40-45 exceeded all our expectations! I am particularly proud of the creative and technical teams who flawlessly converted our ideas into a unique spectacle. We truly take musical experiences to a next level, completely drawing the audience into the story. The technical concept of 40- 45, including moving stands and headphones, is undoubtfully a world’s first.”
40-45 is a chronological sequel to the successful Flemish 14-18 Musical. 40-45 follows a family during the second world war and the German invasion of Antwerp. Guests are literally moving along the spectacle scenes and get completely immersed, involving innovative sound and light technologies.
Highly advanced lighting approach
To accommodate this 2-hour show, Studio 100 built a dedicated construction in Puurs, between Antwerp and Brussels in the Flemish region of Belgium. The nearby Fort Breendonk was used by the German army as a political prison camp and is still a visitor attraction.
The technology applied is merely impressive: the audience is moved on eight self-driving tribunes with 209 persons a piece around the performance with eight large wireless moving LED towers to form a digital backdrop and two self-driving stages. The audio experience is empowered by individual Sennheiser headphones, and ranges from the intimate to the dramatic on a vocal and musical level.
Luc Peumans, CEO of Painting with Light, explains:” With eight seating tribunes all moving around the space; the audience watch the show from every angle, which needed a 360-degree lighting approach.”360-degree lighting approach with 3D simulation
Show lighting can serve several important functions in spectaculars, such as the ability to draw the guest’s attention to certain areas, hide areas from view by un-lighting them, add a theatrical and dramatical impact but also contribute to the story by emphasizing certain elements or details. Altogether it adds to the overall show dynamics and audience experience, making it more immersive and emotional.
Design and props include a 1:1 scale World War II Stuka bomber with propellers that ‘flies’ above the audience, and a crashedfull-size Spitfire aircraft that burns realistically on the stage. The moving video screens and automated prop wagons with inner circle of 30 square metres required sophisticated lighting, sound and projection technology.The entire show was simulated in 3D beforehand, outlining everymovement, scene and lighting angle. This was then transplantedto the lighting desk so the lighting in real-time synchronizes with video screens. Every time the light changes, the virtual light on 3D models and screens automatically change in real-time. The virtual lights of the digital scenery are connected to the lighting desk like the other lights in the venue.
Luc Peumans concludes: “It has been a real pleasure to be part of this production and again be working alongside the highly talented and passionate team that also crafted 14-18. There have been many challenges for all technical departments involved, which have all been successfully met with an excellent synergy and a true spirit of collaboration. Everyone can be proud of the final result, an innovative theatre experience.”
Following the success of 40-45, Studio 100 announces a new production of the Priest Daens in the same pop-up theatre.
**Images courtesy Studio 100 and Frank Lambrechts / Picturesk**