The Brit Awards have long been noted for their spectacular productions, and the 2021 edition was no exception, as London's O2 Arena sparkled with a sleek and dynamic production design by Es Devlin and Yinka Ilori and spectacular lighting concocted. by Al Gurdon. The live broadcast ceremony honored some of the best British and international songs, becoming one of the great events of live music indoors and with the public since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
Hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall, and broadcast on ITV, a stellar group of artists performed live, entertaining music fans with some unique collaborations. The audience was able to enjoy artists such as Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Elton John, The Weeknd, Griff, Rag'n'Bone Man, Pink & The Greenwich & Lewisham NHS Choir, Headie One and many more.
Al Gurdon worked alongside a talented lighting programming team comprised of Alex Mildenhall, who handled the show's 'effect' lights using a full-size grandMA3 console, with the grandMA3 software, and Ross Williams, who did all the main lighting. The impressive lighting rig consisted of some 1.600 fixtures, with more than 105 DMX universes containing 43.000 parameters.
Alex himself used 3 grandMA3 Light consoles, one of which functioned as a reserve. He had been working with the new grandMA3 softwarePowerful and versatile, he decided it was the best for the Brits this year.
The show was moved from February to May, so Alex had already had the opportunity to use the full grandMA3 combination on previously made shows, such as "Dancing on Ice", also for ITV, at Bovingdon Airfield, and "Game of Talents', at Maidstone Studios. When he came to the Brits, he was sure it was the ideal control solution. You love the power and overall speed of the grandMA3, and the fact that the console can effortlessly handle large amounts of devices / data very quickly.
Among the new features you appreciate are Phasers (the new effects), which offer the ability to create discrete and complex multi-step effects easily and efficiently, while new selection grid makes it easy to quickly build phasersespecially when using unequal numbers of devices or devices placed non-symmetrically on the truss or on the set.
Recieps are another popular grandMA3 feature. The recieps allowed Alex to program "cue intent" without knowing at the time exactly what devices would be used. When the team determined which lights worked best for specific tasks or scenes, all the signals were quickly populated with the correct data. In addition to use time very efficientlyThis allows "great flexibility" in changing what each light is doing on the fly, Alex stresses, without the need for mass reprogramming.
The ability to import MVR files directly from CAD programs such as Vectorworks is another advantage for Alex, as it streamlines the process of creating a patched show file. Some of The Brits' show programming was previewed on Depence2 for the first two days on site, while the set was being built and before they had access to the equipment. This MVR file allowed them to create both the Depence2 model and the grandMA3 show file from the same Vectorworks data.
Also, Alex believes that grandMA3's built-in viewer is a "very useful tool" for checking and updating programming when running in Blind mode, «Without changing the output on the actual devices! “On top of all this, you like the grandMA3's new time code structure, which makes it easy to divide tracks into different groups. All these characteristics were used extensively during the programming of the Brits 2021.
The biggest challenges in working on a high-profile, high-pressure show like this one are often that FOH's creative teams - both lighting and video - will receive material and requests from the artists until the last minute, as rehearsals evolve. and get ready. Tracks and cues need to be modified and tweaked, new choreography can be included, and there are often long and detailed notes. All of this must be incorporated almost instantly to keep the various creative directors of the artists and the rehearsal schedule happy. That is why it is imperative to be able to work quickly and smoothly, and the professional lighting console grandMA3 fully allows it.
Like everyone involved in the event, Alex was "delighted" to be working on a live show with an audience again, and especially alongside such a "brilliant, imaginative and inspiring" team of technical and creative experts.
The head of the lighting team was Rich Gorrod and the follow-spot manager, Chris Henry, operated a grandMA2 Full Size system (main and reserve consoles). The camera director was Julia Knowles.
About Ma Lighting
Ma Lighting is a company dedicated to professional lighting control, recognized for its experience and technical knowledge, focused on operability and focused on the professional user, something that is transmitted in its recent family of products grandMA3, the MA Network Switch and the already known grandMA2 , GrandMA and the dot2 series.
Stonex is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in Spain and of other premium brands of lighting sector and lighting control, focused on offering the best service to professionals in the sector, with more than 41 years of experience.