Sep. 20, 2019

ARRI SkyPanel S360-C at 2019 Grammy Awards

2019 Grammy Awards are nominated for four Emmy Awards, including Lighting Design. Go behind the scenes with lighting designers Bob Dickinson and Noah Mitz to discover how they used the ARRI SkyPanel S360-C during the show.

Sep. 20, 2019

This year, the 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on February 10, 2019, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and was produced by Ken Ehrlich of AEG Ehrlich Ventures. For the seventh year in a row, Raj Kapoor, of Raj Kapoor Productions, the creative mind behind the Grammy’s live production, partnered with lighting designers Bob Dickson and Noah Mitz from Full Flood, Inc. to use light to enhance the live musical performances.

The approach by the production team was to create a unique visual experience of artistic design and spectacle that best represents the emotion and individuality of each artist. That approach was a success and led to the Grammy Awards being nominated for four Emmy Awards this year, including one for lighting design. Mitz and Dickinson’s innovative approach to lighting design was best exemplified during the 2019 Grammy Award-winning country artists Dan + Shay in their live acoustic performance of the power ballad “Tequila.” For this performance, Mitz and Dickinson worked with Kapoor on a creative brief which included a unique use of the ARRI SkyPanel.

Kapoor explained this vision in his creative brief which read, “behind the artists is a flown modern architectural lighting structure outputting a soft and extremely uniform beam field that gets brighter and brighter as the performance grows in intensity.”

He continued, “the lighting structure starts low, half of it is below the stage, and as the performance continues, the automated SkyPanels slowly float upwards.  The emphasis is on letting the Grammy audience discover this great country duo for the first time leading up to Shay’s powerhouse vocal highlight.”

Mitz and Dickinson used ARRI’s SkyPanel S360-C to bring Kapoor’s vision to life.

“We received a brief from Raj Kapoor, the creative producer, to build a custom flown unit that outputted a large soft field of white light.  Naturally, we turned to the ARRI SkyPanel with its incredible intensity and homogenous field of light and were excited to use the enormous 360 version of the SkyPanel for the first time,” said Mitz.

At over 120,000 lumens, the SkyPanel S360-C is one of the brightest LED soft lights on the market. Consuming only 1,500 watts, the S360-C is one of the most eco-friendly LED soft lights available without compromising brightness. In fact, the S360-C is twice as bright as a 4,000-watt tungsten soft light and over three times as bright as a 12,000-watt tungsten space light. It emits soft, beautiful light in a 105-degree angle which wraps around large objects and has a farther throw than similar SkyPanels in a smaller size.

Dickinson, the senior lighting designer added, “We coordinated with the Grammy Art Department to build a custom enclosure for the nine SkyPanel S360-C units that were flown via automated winch system allowing for a smooth and slow raise of the unit through the duration of the performance.”

Unlike other panels, the SkyPanel S360-C also features Stage Mode making it a great choice for live entertainment. Live entertainment and theatrical performances require completely smooth dimming to zero, which creates natural lighting transitions for their live audiences. The new Stage Mode in SkyPanel Firmware 4 is designed specifically to meet these demands and opens up new doors for the use of SkyPanel in live entertainment. Activating Stage Mode allows SkyPanel to smoothly and seamlessly dim down to zero percent intensity without color jumps or noticeable intensity drop off. The result was a captivating production that enhanced the live performance by the band Dan + Shay.

“The performance was simple and classy and the SkyPanels performed flawlessly every time we rehearsed and for the live broadcast of course,” said Mitz.

The 2019 Grammy Awards are nominated for four Emmy Awards, including: Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special, Outstanding Lighting Design for a Variety Special, Outstanding Variety Special and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety Special.

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards air on September 21, 2019 at 8pm ET on Fox Live. For more information please visit https://www.emmys.com/awards/emmys/creative-arts-emmys.