Roger Waters kicked off his 2018 Us & Them Tour in Auckland, New Zealand on Jan 23 with Universal Pixels, UP, providing video hardware and crew.
24th January, 2018
The tour was a continuation from 2017, but presented significant challenges for UP to overcome as the first load in would be in New Zealand, some 11,000miles away from UP’s UK HQ. Phil Mercer worked closely with Production Manager Chris Kansy and Video Director Richard Turner, from Lucky Frog, to ensure not a single detail was missed.
Phil said “With such a large video heavy show and only the highest production values demanded, missing the smallest detail could amplify tenfold come first load in. Right from the outset we not only wanted to replicate the 2017 tour but also improve upon it.”
The backdrop to the stage area was a brand new 28.5m x 12m Infiled ER5 led screen in 23 touring frames with Brompton processing & SmartPDU power distribution. The show design incorporated a 3 sided 47m long moving projection surface running down the centre of the arena over the audience, produced by Tait Towers. This surface was covered by 16 Panasonic RZ31 units, and a further 5 Panasonic RZ21 units to provide infills on the Battersea Power Station Chimneys. A full custom fibre distribution system complemented this and robust networking provided by VYV.
Driving both the LED & Projection are 10 VYV Photon servers operated by Ellie Clement, who has her work cut-out keeping dozens of tracking cameras operational to track both performers & set elements.
Universal Pixels built a bespoke PPU & Engineering solution, around the S-A-M Kula 2M/E Switcher and Vega routing, to provide HDSDI fibre conversion for the projectors, and cut the cameras to the various screen surfaces. An FOH camera with XJ100 lens, pit camera with HJ22 and Polecam with a UP 3G Block camera on track, handheld camera with HJ14 lens and a pair of Agile ARC360 robo cams provided all the shots required, and were processed by the Photon servers to apply visual effects.
Stuart Heaney, Video Crew Chief, “This is a fantastic show to work on but of course a special thanks to the hard working video team - Peter Tiling, Gabriel Linford & Kevin Perry on Projection, Dave Rogers as Engineer, Al Wright & Gareth Manicom on LED, Mark Hughes on Polecam and a guest appearance from Mark Cruikshank as FOH Camera for New Zealand.