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Archive for January, 2014

International Lighting Designer Hartley T A Kemp Specifies Philips Selecon for London and Sydney Productions

22nd January, 2014

UK & Australia – International lighting designer Hartley T A Kemp traversed the globe at the end of 2013 armed with Philips Selecon’s PL range of LED fixtures to light two very different shows – Land of Our Fathers at

Theatre503, London; and Sweet Nothings, at Australian Theatre for Young People’s independent works season Under the Wharf, Sydney.

Hartley – who in addition to his lighting designs for some of the world’s most prestigious companies and productions is Artistic Director of C venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – utilised Selecon’s PLprofile1s, PLfresnel1s, and PLcyc1s on both shows.

Set in a Welsh coal mine and focusing on miners trapped underground as Margaret Thatcher is elected, Land of Our Fathers is nominated for five Off West End Awards – Best Director, Best Production, Best Set, Best New Play – and Best Lighting.

“We wanted to create a gritty, dark world, based in naturalism, which becomes more heightened as the piece develops,” explains Hartley. “The PL LED units were used to provide a colour underlay to the lighting states, to suggest light glistening off wet rocks, to help convey emotion especially during some of the more hyper-real sequences, and at the end of the piece to suggest the rising waters trapping the miners. The PL LED units were very useful for their quiet running in a small space and their colour-changing abilities, and for the lack of variation in colour temperature at low levels.”

Hartley specified two PLprofile1 and two PLfresnel1 fixtures for the show, performed at London’s Theatre503 – dubbed ‘arguably the most important theatre in Britain today’ by the Guardian.

Heading Down Under, Sweet Nothings is playwright David Harrower’s re-interpretation of Arthur Schnitzler’s play Liebelei, about growing up, love and death in 1890s Vienna. Hartley specified a PLprofile1, a PLfresnel1, two PL1s and four PLcyc1s for the production.

“We used the PL LED units to create the impression of natural light entering the room, as afternoon turned to sunset, twilight and moonlight,” explains Hartley. “Two PL1s were used as head-height front crosslight, the PLprofile1 was used as a low angle front fill, the PLfresnel1 was used as a side front low angle window special, one PLcyc1 was used as toplight, two PLcyc1s were used in the lightbox behind an upstage window and one PLcyc1 was used to wash an upstage doorway and its backing flat.”

The look and feel of each production was very different due to the differences in location between each production, which much lower light levels and greater contrast being used in Land of Our Fathers’ chiaroscuro lighting states, and more of an ethereal feel to the states for Sweet Nothings.

“In terms of brightness, the PL LED units in Land of Our Fathers were used at much lower levels, and balanced with a rig consisting mainly of 50W birdies, while the units in Sweet Nothings were used at a higher level, really proving their worth being used against 650W and 1.2kW units in much brighter states,” says Hartley.

The PLcyc1 LED Luminaire delivers a smooth, even beam and seamless blending of intense washes of colour. It is ideal for cyc lighting, even in tight spaces. Equally effective in the spectrum of the subtle pastel colours as it is in the saturated hues, the PLcyc1 uses LED source technology combined with a properly shaped asymmetrical reflector to deliver consistent light distribution without the need for performance compromising vertical or horizontal spreader lenses.

Similarly the PLfresnel1 LED Luminaire is already renowned for its colour rendering, not only across the colour spectrum but also for its warm and cool whites. The PLfresnel1 delivers an adjustable beam with a soft edge that is easily blended with adjacent beams to provide an even wash across a stage. There are no irritating colour shadows, ensuring these fixtures are ideal for theatre, small studio, and display lighting applications.

And the PLprofile1 LED luminaire is a variable beam profile with precise beam control and pattern projection. An innovative combination of LED source technology and precision optical design means that the PLprofile1 can deliver Philips Selecon’s industry benchmark projection quality in a compact, robust LED luminaire.

“The PLfresnel1, PLprofile1 and PLcyc1 are all LED lighting tools which operate in a familiar way to our industry respected traditional tungsten fixtures, yet benefit from the advantages LED offers including: low power consumption, no lamp replacements, greater creative flexibility through the RGBW light engine and less heat and wasted energy,” explains Philips’ senior sales manager Grant Bales-Smith. “Congratulations to Hartley for using the PL range to such success – and for his Off West End Awards nomination for Land of Our Fathers.”

Avolites Media is at the heart of Jessie J’s Alive tour

22nd January, 2014

UK – Avolites Media Ai Media Servers have been used to power the stunning visuals that punctuated British born superstar Jessie J’s latest heart pumping European tour ‘Alive’.

Designed by show designer Vince Foster, with visual content created by Paul Caslin, the widescreen style set comprised three portrait-hung LED Screens upstage, while the curvaceous set was visually sculpted using 600 horizontally positioned BARCO MiStrips.

The content featured a mix of pre-recorded content and live camera feeds mixed by vision director Steven Price,  all powered by Avolites Media’s industry-leading Ai infinity 8 Server with 8 Full HD outputs.

Video specialists Creative Technology supplied the Avolites Media intelligent video mapping technology along with the LED screens, MiStrips and the technical team to run it.

“What made the Ai Media server particularly helpful for this project was the 3D visualizer,” says Creative Technology’s director of business development, Adrian Offord. “This allowed our programmers to show Jessie J’s creative team exactly how their content would work in the real world. For two weeks prior to rehearsals Creative Technology’s Will Harkin and Rob Currie, in association with consultant video programmer Nick Clark-Lowe, created innumerable, multi-dimensional video and lighting looks across the set from a single image layer. The content was then timecoded and the Ai Server proved the ideal platform for this.”

Jamie Thompson, on tour technician for Creative Technology, adds. “Once we got out on tour we needed a robust system that didn’t necessarily need a dedicated technician to run it. What’s great about the Ai Media Server is that you can easily link the servers to the video desk, lighting desk and midi controllers and leave it to run.”

During the show, each piece of pre-recorded content was triggered in Ai by time-code. In addition Foster could take control the output level of the video and he could also bring up a second layer of content, such as block colour, for the transitions between songs.

As well as the pre-recorded media content, four cameras provided ‘live’ camera feeds to two I-Mags either side of the stage.The system has been configured to take advantage of the Ai Server’s extremely low latency which was of the upmost importance to director Steve Price.

The Ai server is designed to offer both pre sequenced and live control, which enables the operator to seamlessly mix between a timecoded show and live performance, which was a fundamental part of this show.

Jessie J will be touring the UK again from June 2014.


20th January, 2014

Friday has arrived again after another great week interning at The Fifth Estate. Monday morning kicked off with a staff meeting, which I was invited to sit in on. Sarah and the content producers took it in turns to update the rest of the team on the progress of their current projects and an action plan for the week was decided on. As I’m getting far more familiar with the 5E clients and their recent news I found it relatively easy to keep up, and it was really interesting hearing in-depth what each 5E team member was working on. A few other in-house PR campaign ideas were also thrown around a bit so I was able to absorb some possible strategies.

Meeting done, it was time to be briefed on writing my first press release. I then started off by researching the client, fixture, lighting designer and event I was going to be writing about, before planning the structure of the piece.

After lunch, it was back to writing my press release, keeping in mind the extra info and quotes I would need to get from the technicians and designers who had used the fixtures for their project.

I sent it off to senior content producer Torsten later that afternoon and by mid-morning Tuesday (despite the millions of other things he had to do) I had received some really useful feedback and tips on what to change. And apparently it wasn’t a bad first go!

The rest of the week has consisted of taking the comments on board, building a second draft of the press story and having a go at producing some digital content for a client’s website. Lots of writing and I’ve been loving it. Oh, and plugging in my earphones to watch some more Hootsuite University lecture videos. I’m hoping by the end of next week I’ll be ready to take my exams…

Check back next week to find out if I passed and how my press release second draft went down.

Philips Vari-Lite VL3500s Dance on Jamiroquai’s World Tour

15th January, 2014

Three years after it first took to the road, Jamiroquai’s epic world tour is drawing to an end. The tour, which culminated at the Sundance Festival in Dubai, is a sharply entertaining show lit by LD Mark Wynn-Edwards, whose creative tools of choice are Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Spots and Washes.

UK-based Wynn-Edwards – who has worked with artists such as Grace Jones, Rod Stewart, and Paloma Faith – created a dynamic design that complements and contrasts with the full stage width video backdrop. He uses the VL3500 Washes not only to fill the stage with colour and bring a dynamic perspective to the stage but also as backline lighting, firing intense beams across the stage.

“The VL3500 Spots are on key light duty, rigged on the front truss, but also double stacked on the rear truss to provide the workhorse fixtures of the design,” explains Wynn-Edwards.”I decided to use VL3500s as I knew they had excellent, super-sharp optics and I wanted to create a lot of looks using gobos. I also know that the VL3500 range offer great reliability – a feature I was in serious need of as the lights are worked really hard on each show.”

The VL3500 Wash features internal zoomable beam optics with either Fresnel or Buxom options, an interchangeable front lens system, and an aperture wheel. The VL3500 Spot features industry-leading standards for imagery, beam control, colour and brightness.

“I also specified them as I had to have a fixture that can be found pretty much everywhere in the world, and knew if they were in my rider as preference it would keep the standard of lighting company high when we had to use local production.”

Due to their global availability via a far-reaching network of rental houses that stock the kit, supported by a global network of tech savvy dealers, Wynn-Edwards has been able to use his first choice VL3500s on 90% of shows where local production was required. In fact on the three-year tour, they have been used on shows including the Sydney New Year’s Celebrations, and shows in Korea, South America, Japan, South Africa and Europe.

A total of 37 VL3500 Spots and 24 VL3500 Washes were used on each gig and equipment was supplied by a number of rental houses in each region including: Europe – Production Resource Group (PRG), Berar and Arpege and in South America – Illum, VLPS-D&B and Buenos Aires Live Show (BALS).

Although the huge Jamiroquai tour culminated in mid-November festival date in Dubai, Wynn-Edwards says he will be taking the VL3500s Spots and Washes back out on future tours very soon.

Immersive Signs to International Production Company Partizan

15th January, 2014

London-based design company Immersive has signed to ‘creative excellence’ production company Partizan – twice listed over the past decade as the Gunn Report’s ‘Best production Company in the World’.

Immersive has become part of Partizan’s ‘Darkroom’ stable, an imprint of the company which offers creative, integrated and digital production through a variety of bespoke platforms including: immersive and experiential events, app design and activation alongside brand partnered short films and online content. Collaborating with clients to develop both their consumer interaction and engagement Partizan works seamlessly across fashion, film, events, and digital content.

Immersive will initially be bringing its expertise in ‘experiential marketing’ to the company’s repertoire.

“A mutual friend introduced us, and the rest fell seamlessly into place,” explains Immersive’s Managing Director, Mark Calvert. “John Munro, Immersive Creative Director, and I met with Madeleine Sanderson, Partizan’s Managing Director, and we quickly realised we had a real synergy. However, we have not signed an exclusive deal, as we all respect each other’s freedom and existing client base and relations.”

Needless to say the future is already looking to be extremely exciting. “We’re over the moon with the partnership, we seem to get on with the Partizan team effortlessly, and the profile of each others roster can only bring amazing campaigns to each firms portfolio,” continues Calvert.

Madeleine Sanderson, MD, Partizan UK, comments: “Partizan is extremely excited about future collaborations with Immersive. They are fantastically creative designers and technical specialists whose work always has such a brilliantly unique outcome. They are also a complete delight to deal with.”

Established 1991, Partizan remains one of the world’s principal content creators working within the arena of music videos, commercials, documentaries, feature films, animation, digital and branded content online as well as interactive events and installations.

Partizan has previously worked on campaigns for global brands including Ray Ban, Alexander McQueen, Mini, Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Nokia, Xbox, MTV, and Hermes. It has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York, and Paris

THE INTERN POST: First Week @ 5E!

13th January, 2014

The Fifth Estate has launched its own fabulous internship program! We are inviting keen, creative individuals to come and spend a month in The Fifth Estate’s Brighton office to learn the ropes of Entertainment Technology PR. Our internship program is fully paid and is a great introduction to PR, and specifically the Entertainment Technology sector.

So let us please introduce the marvellous Anna-Louise in her first ever in-office blog;

Week 1

By Anna Louise

It is Friday morning and  my first week interning at The Fifth Estate is coming to an end.

It all began on Tuesday morning after a smooth commute from South London to Brighton. When I got to The Fifth Estate’s beach-side office there was a desk fully set-up for me with a beautiful big iMac, pens, a clear and full brief of my week’s tasks and a hot cup of coffee! I felt instantly welcome and excited to get started.

After a chat with the team about the week’s brief  I got stuck into my first task – researching a potential client in order to form the basis of my own PR campaign.  A start on my notes made, I moved on to compiling a spreadsheet of December press cuttings from industry magazines such as Lighting & Sound and Mondo dr.

Going through these publications I got a better idea of entertainment technology sector and a clearer picture of the 5E’s clients and what they do. This understanding grew over the week as I added more to the spreadsheet,  planned my PR campaign, and got to grips with technical info!

In between campaign planning and creative brain-storming I went back-to-school with Hootsuite UniversityHootsuite University is an on-going training course in the social media distribution platform ‘Hootsuite’ – by the end of the month I will take my exams and become officially certified in the program – a great addition to my CV!

I can tell already this internship is going to be an invaluable experience giving me the kick-start I need for my career…

Next week I begin work on learning the basics of writing and distributing a press release – check out forthcoming blogs to see how it all goes!


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