ChamSys Helps Martin Dudley Stay Cool Lighting Mola TV’s Chill Fridays

At the end of a long work week everyone is ready to unwind and chill, especially during stressful times like those the world has been going through for over a year. Tapping into this universal desire, Jakarta-based Mola TV introduced “Chill Fridays,” an interactive weekly livestream that features stars playing mellow music in an intimate setting and, every once in a while, taking questions from fans.

Many of the episodes are filmed at Mola’s London TV studio, where artists like Jacob Collier, Tom Misch and Bruno Major have performed in a cozy set that evokes images of the kind of quintessential hotel bars where friends gathered for a pre-weekend happy hours back in the day.

Key to creating this ambience is a warm, inviting lighting design that works hand-in-hand with scenic elements like potted plants and table lamps to engender a homey feeling. Fold Sound owner Tristan Finn, who supplies lights, sound gear, recording equipment and cameras for the show called on Martin Dudley of Martin’s Lights Ltd. to handle lighting duties, something he’s done skillfully with his ChamSys PC Wing and MagicQ software on a touch screen laptop.

I have worked with Tristan for years, and was very glad to hook up with him on this project,” said Dudley. “We have been supplying power distribution, cabling, DMX control, and technician services, to the shoots. Our goal is to make sure that the show has lighting for the shoot up and running as quickly as possible.”

Although the program helps viewers chill at the start of their weekend, setting up the show is a somewhat pressured experience. Schedules are extremely tight, with set up starting at 9 am, and shooting at noon, whilst the show is expected to wrap up by 4pm.

Keeping his controls simple with the ChamSys PC Wing helps Dudley manage his time crunched schedule. “ChamSys always makes my life easier on the job,” he said. “The PC Wing is famously easy to set up. It takes me only seconds in the morning, which is good, because there are so many things for me to do.”

Working in a relatively small studio with social distancing guidelines in place, Dudley has also developed a new appreciation for the compact size of his control wing. “The size of the PC Wing is always convenient, but in this instance it’s been especially important,” he said. “Thanks to the small footprint of my unit, I can tuck lighting control into a corner away from camera operators and recording people without worrying about social distancing.”

During the show, the responsiveness of his ChamSys PC Wing, with its live editing and timing functions makes it easy for Dudley to make changes called for by the director.

“Lighting plays a subtle, but important role in this program,” he said. “We have to contribute to the ambience and be mindful of maintaining camera-friendly key lighting. The DOP has created the design, but invariably there are some adjustments that have to be made during the show. The Output Window of my ChamSys has been indispensable, allowing me to adjust lighting level by percentages during the show.

“Then, there is also the ability to patch in film lighting fixtures, which are unfamiliar to me as a rock and roll LD,” continued Dudley. “I know exactly where to find each parameter on my PC Wing, which makes my job a lot stressful.”

So, whilst viewers of “Chill Fridays” relax to the mellow music, Martin Dudley has found his own chill formula in this responsive and versatile control wing.