WGN Studios

Project name: WGN Studios


Jeffrey Wilson, Director of Creative, WGN-TV, Antenna TV, and THIS-TV

Beth Fowler, Lighting Designer of Studio 2

Jim Sippel, Lighting Designer of Studio 1

Location: WGN-TV, Tribune Media, Chicago, IL, USA

Project scope: Two WGN studios needed an update two studios with versatile LEDs with enough flexibility to be operated without in-house lighting staff.

Solutions Group services: Sale only

Project Details:

  • One of the challenges was to create lighting and a lighting interface that could work for all WGN news shows, with all the different announcers and camera angles, without dedicated lighting staff.
  • Lighting fixtures need to stay pretty high, because WGN directors like to have big jib wide shots for bumps. Beth Fowler used Fresnel key lights, along with ARRI SkyPanel S120-Cs for soft, yet directional fill lights. S120-C – a big soft source, matched to the other LED lights, which operators can instantly adjust when new announcers sit down between shows.
  • Both studios have a toolbox in which the S120-Cs provide maximum flexibility for all the programming done there.

Customers quote:

Beth Fowler: “We have 14 SkyPanels in Studio 2, and we’re getting the most soft, natural feel from fixtures that we’ve ever had. The tunability of the spectrum lets us match the SkyPanel with other fixtures we have in the studio: in daylight, in front of the windows of a broadcast booth, or to whatever the stadium color temperature happens to be behind our announcers. I love living in the future!“

Customers quote:

Jim Sippel: “The ARRI SkyPanel S120-C fixtures are also currently being used on the news set, giving a lot of coverage on a three-wall side. For news applications or any kind of base light application effect, the SkyPanel S120-C is larger but helps provide a softer light, because it’s spreading the light out over a larger service area. The S120-Cs also help supplement the S60-Cs on stands, and it’s very easy for me to dial the S120-C in to match the studio’s tungsten lighting. Because it’s a variable white, I can actually match it to the color temperature in the fixtures of the room, and not have to provide any external color correction to it. One of the things I like about the S120-Cs is that they can be utilized for everything from background elements, base light elements or color saturation elements for the band.