The O-lite pixels are fitted into customised touring frames designed by XL Video and made by Brilliant Stages populated at different pitches to give multiple resolutions across the whole surface. The screen ends at either side of stage with the two elliptical Mitsubishis which seamlessly "flow" into the main screen.
The O-lite screen is by far the most complicated that's ever been created in terms of engineering and processing, according to Stufish's project executive designer Jeremy Lloyd. It presented a real challenge to the video boffins who took care of the processing, mapping and programming of the hard drives that feed it with provocative and engaging images.
The tour and production has received massive critical acclaim since kicking off in Helsinki.
Blink's crew chief Stuart Heaney leads a video team of 14, and the IMAG video director Ruary MacPhie is taking care of a 5 camera mix which goes primarily onto the side screens and sometimes onto the main screen as windows appear.
Custom playback material produced by Sam Pattinson from Onedotzero is stored on four GV Profile hard drives including a dynamic array of graphics and animations. This is operated live by playback director Bryan Myles using Barco's Events Manager, which drives the Barco Encore system providing the show's overall video control.
MacPhie's mix comes from 5 Sony D50 cameras, two with long lenses at FOH, one in the pit on a specially curved track and dolly with wide angle lens, one hand-held onstage and a hot-head on the "roofette" above the band performance area centre stage.
MacPhie is using one of XL's Kayak mixer/switchers. He is running it with a separate Out for the side screens coming from its Aux bus, with one sub-cut, and the side screens run individually on the Programme Bus plus ME1. This allows him to put any band member onto any screen anytime, and using the Aux Bus allows him to take any source to the main screen from the Kayak. MacPhie's mix is also fed into the Encore system, with some of the IMAG multi-screen effects pre-ordained and programmed into the Events Manager by Richard Turner.
MacPhie and Heaney have worked for Phil Collins and Genesis manager Tony Smith for the last 3 years, so they were implicitly trusted to come up with a great result.
MacPhie's starting point is to get good coverage across all screens. He added a second camera at FOH to enable him to put the other 4 cameras on the sides while leaving one up on the centre, thus giving specific and unique IMAG images for the centre.
The show also incorporates a few interesting video special effects, one of which is a head shot during the song "Mama" for which the band wanted to replicate an image from the track's original 1980s promotional material. This is done live by Collins activating, via foot pedal, a small redhead light positioned at his feet while his face is framed with a tight camera shot ' giving a ghostly shimmering halo of light around his face. The XL crew has rigged up a little camera in the pit so Collins can see the image this is producing and tweak it to his liking by moving his head in relation to the light.
Stuart Heaney has been involved in the Genesis project since January, and part of the overall video brief has involved the design of special dollies to house and transport the O-Lite sections on tour. These were built by Brilliant Stages, and are an important part of some extremely meticulous pre-planning by Heaney, the XL Video and Stufish teams and tour riggers, that is resulting in the video department being ready to roll in 3.5 hours each day and out in just 2 hours and 40 minutes!
Involving 5 steel crews and two advanced systems, 90 trucks and over 250 crew, Genesis tours Europe, arriving in the UK in July before going to the US till the end of the year.