Jacek Chojczak and his team from Polish creative production design company Green Beam Design (GBD) utilised 82 x Robe MegaPointes for a high-profile outdoor installation in central Warsaw marking the 29th anniversary of WOSP (Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy) – The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity – which is the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organization in Poland raising money for paediatric and elderly care.
Each year, Jacek explains, WOSP stages a major outdoor concert in central Warsaw called “Light to Heaven”, but this year due to Covid-19 restrictions this could not happen. Instead, the organisers decided to build a large scenic pyramid which was 21 metres wide and 12 metres high, designed by set specialist Giorgos Stylianou – in the square adjacent to the iconic Palace of Culture and Science.
Jacek’s lighting scheme ensured that the luminosity from the MegaPointes on this pyramid structure illuminated the night skies like a giant beacon visible from all around the city.
The backbone of the event was a 16-hour ‘telethon’ broadcast from a pop-up tent-based TV studio in central Warsaw which aired on TVN and various online platforms with lighting also designed by Jacek.
Robe is one of Jacek’s favourite moving light brands, and in the studio he used more Robe fixtures including Spikies, LEDWash 600s and ESPRITES complete with a 4-way Robe RoboSpot remote controlled follow spot system, with lighting equipment supplied by ATM System and multimedia from VES.
GBD first became involved in lighting the event in 2020 – just before the pandemic shut down the live event industry worldwide. Part of their pitch – which stepped up the production elements – was introducing multimedia screens for live music for the first time, which proved a major success.
The original date of the 2021 event was shifted back a few weeks due to the Polish lockdown and took place at the very end of January.
MegaPointes – supplied by rental company ATM – were chosen for the pyramid because of their extreme brightness and ability to produce the intense beam effects that Jacek wanted. “It’s a hugely powerful fixture, quick and easy to programme with so many possibilities,” he confirmed.
The MegaPointes were arranged on each level of the five-tiered pyramid and powered from generators. Jacek also wanted to use them because, like all Robe products, they are robust and reliable! They were covered by ‘dome’ protectors for this event which saw heavy snowfall on the night!
The pyramid lightshow was programmed to timecode and started at 8 p.m., when the telethon had four ‘prime time’ hours to run.
A major challenge of the show was tying the two live stages in the studio with the central pyramid show plus a slew of interviews, artist performances and other guest appearances in the studio, together with assorted regional broadcast segments.
Jacek utilised four grandMA3 consoles in the studio – one for multimedia, two for lighting on the big and small stages along with a fourth key lighting console, operated by himself, and used to add white light as needed to all the studio spaces.
All the effects lighting was pre-programmed and visualised in Depence2 ahead of the telethon, and Jacek worked closely with a talented technical production team including Michal Parzych who ran the main studio stage lighting console in the studio and Tomasz Szwelicki who ran the main multimedia console.
Łukasz Meliński was the studio d3 engineer assisted by Oskar Kutryb – video content was supplied by Piotr Maruszak from Red Square – and Michal Kossakowski programmed and ran the second studio lighting console.
Jakub Kowalski was the pyramid lighting and multimedia programmer using a grandMA3 console.
A couple of months earlier, Jacek designed another lighting scheme in central Warsaw, this time at the Sony HQ which is next door to the Palace of Culture & Science. This included 48 x MegaPointes for a spectacular PS5 console launch event which was co-ordinated across multiple buildings and landmarks worldwide.
GDB was working for event producers LIVE Agency and the MegaPointes were deployed on four prominent floors of the Sony HQ, blasting blue beams out through the windows!
Photo: © Green Beam Design & Oskar Kutryb