When it comes to vans, Belgians are riding in the fast lane. The number of the trusty vehicles registered in the country increased by 58-percent over the past decade, according to its big insurer, AG Insurance. Even the lockdown couldn’t dampen this enthusiasm.
After COVID-19 forced the cancelation of the Brussels Motor Show at Brussels Expo, which was scheduled for January, plans were announced to air Passion4Vans, a virtual presentation, on the Kanaal Z cable network.
Produced by TRANSPORTMEDIA, the program, which ran over the last two weekends in January, achieved stellar ratings, thanks to its informative interviews, lively entertainment segments, and a star-studded cast of vans of every size and shape from Abeco, Fiat, Ford, Maxus, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Volkswagen and other manufacturers.
Supporting the different elements of this multi-faceted program was a colorful and impeccably balanced lighting and video design by SSLRent that featured a collection of CHAUVET Professional Maverick and Rogue fixtures.
“We were contacted by Yannick Haesevoets and Frédéric Willems from TRANSPORTMEDIA for this project,” said Frank Appeltans CEO of SSLRent. “After touring the production site with them, we all agreed that it would be best to divide the area into three sections: an interview studio, an entertainment studio and a van showroom.”
Each section was well-served by an engaging, camera-friendly genuine brick background, as the production was filmed in Den Oven, a historic industrial site that once was a giant brick oven, but now serves as an event center. Accented by colorful lighting, the brick walls underscored the solid dependable image of vans.
The stylishly arranged interview studio section of the venue had an additional element in its background: a pair of impressive vans. Positioned on an elevated platform behind the presenters, who were seated in plush oversized chairs angled toward one another, the gleaming new vans lent as sense of realism and intensity to the conversations.
Highlighting the vehicles was vivid red and blue light (the client’s colors) from four Rogue R2 Wash fixtures. “Everyone really liked the result of the images created in the interview studio,” said Lorenz Stas of SSLRent, who served as lighting designer and technician on the project. “In the foreground we see two people sitting and having a talk. Somehow, we had to involve two big vans in the back of the image — not too flashy, but not too flimsy either. We think the depth of the colors created with the Rogues was really effective. We got this done in a relatively simple way. Less is more!”
The SSLRent team followed the same elegantly simple strategy at the entertainment studio, which was located in the center of the building and was used for playing challenge games. Energy and drama were added to this section by four Maverick MK2 Profile fixtures. Flown overhead, the 440-watt profile units were used to deliver a range of different looks with help from their 3-facet prism and wide zoom range.
“We had the MK2 Profile do double duty,” said Stas. “It is so versatile, it was able slide from performing one role in the entertainment studio, to fulfilling another one next door at the van showroom studio itself. So, we got double use out of it.”
Located at the far end of the venue, the showroom studio was used to highlight the wide array of vans that was shown on television. In addition to the four Maverick MK2 Profiles, the showroom was illuminated by six Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures and 14 Rogue R2 Wash units. These, and all fixtures throughout the building were controlled by two ChamSys MagicQ MQ 80 consoles.
The Maverick MK2 Profiles were critical to accenting even the smallest details of the vans on display, according to Stas, whilst the spot fixtures were relied upon to fill out the general area to present a more compelling image. The wash fixtures highlighted the vans themselves, their zoom range resulting in precise coverage of each vehicle.
Discussing the subtle balance of color and brightness inside the showroom studio, Stas noted: “It is important to think about the right setting in advance. By working with different light and color intensities you can give the right feeling to the image. The vehicles were highlighted and positioned in the center. We tried to create a feel-good scene with everything around it.”
A constant challenge during the broadcast was to ensure the smooth flow of multiple vans into and out of the showroom studio. “We had to make the room as flexible as possible, without of course, making any structural changes,” said Stas. “For example, we had to be certain there were no cables on the floor, because vans were driving all over the place.”
Of course, all of the vans easily made their way through the showroom studio. That isn’t surprising. Navigating through traffic is nothing new for vans, especially when they’re handled by good drivers, or a talented design and production team!