West London based Entec Sound & Light supplied lighting, sound equipment, crew, plus their extensive knowledge and expertise of working in one of the UK’s best known venues – Wembley Arena – for a gig shot by the BBC for the third series of ‘Brian Pern : A Life In Rock’.
The successful, close-to-the bone and hilarious Brian Pern series parodies an aging rock superstar and this third edition, ‘Brian Pern : 45 Years of Prog Rock and Roll,’ will be broadcast in January 2016 on BBC Four.
It’s the second time that Entec has supplied kit to the venue for a Brian Pern gig shoot. Lighting designer Simon Tutchener was asked back to create the lighting scheme, bringing his own fund of experience to the party. Audio comprised primarily of a playback system for director Rhys Thomas – as it was recorded in an empty room – which was co-ordinated by Entec’s James ‘Kedge’ Kerridge.
The series is written by Rhys Thomas and Simon Day, with the latter playing the lead character, and in addition to being directed, is also produced by Thomas.
Pern’s own claims to fame include having “invented world music” and being the first musician to use Plasticine in videos!
In keeping with the Brian Pern character’s slightly fading career, Simon Tutchener – who also lit last year’s ‘live’ Wembley show recording, took the request of a slightly budget looking and not-quite-the-latest technology lighting rig as his starting point.
So, for ‘financial reasons’ the rig was ground supported on the standard Wembley stage, and comprised a 40 x 30 ft ground support, on four legs with a 32 ft cyc upstage.
This was loaded with 20 x Martin MAC 700 moving spot and wash lights and a bunch of 2K fresnels used for front and rear key lighting, which were also extremely helpful for fill light, with a few floor PARs for additional effects lighting.
All of this was programmed and controlled from a grandMA1 console.
Simon T worked closely with the production’s DOP John Record on crafting the exact look and feel of the lighting that the production wanted to replicate, together with the moving light cues required for the one day shoot. The band played two different musical numbers that will feature as a gig scene within an episode of the new series.
Participating band members included Paul Whitehouse on guitar and Dennis Lawson (from New Tricks) on bass.
Whilst the Entec crew were busy setting up for the gig onstage, the film crew were recording other scenes backstage and in the dressing rooms, and everything was completed in a day.
For sound, a standard playback rig comprised d&b J8 speakers and J-SUBs for the director and camera crew, together with a fold-back system for the actors comprising 7 x d&b M4 wedges.
A Midas Verona sound console was installed and operated by Kedge, running left and right playback channels and one live vocal mic. The instruments were also all mic’d up just as they would be at an authentic gig.