Jan. 31, 2018

SkyPanels light up Dodger Stadium press box

The Dodger Stadium press box received a lighting upgrade with ARRI SkyPanels to achieve optimum color rendering to easily match the ambient light anytime of the day.

Jan. 31, 2018

When Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, the press box was designed with a two-tiered desk and upper platform riser. The announcer(s) would broadcast from the lower level desk, with the second-tier riser for guests. In the beginning, the set up was not a problem since Hall of Fame Dodgers' announcer Vin Scully primarily broadcast via radio in the early years. By the 1970's, cameras made their way into the broadcast booth for live game coverage or interviews. The lighting was a constant challenge with the ever-changing ambient light that spilled into the open-air booth during day games, into twilight and night games with stadium lights.

Upon Vin Scully's retirement in 2016, the Dodgers, keeping in theme with renovations to the park starting in 2012, decided to renovate the "Vin Scully Broadcast Booth" to create a new look for incoming announcers Joe Davis and former Dodger pitcher, Cy Young Award and Gold Glove recipient, Orel Hershiser.

With the addition of the ARRI SkyPanels, it now allows for pre-game broadcasts as well as cut-ins to the booth during games or after game recap segments, with a very natural and quality image that sets the bar.

Typically, lighting designers prefer to hang the lights in a position to maximize depth of field, but this location was a challenge, due to the size of the booth and its low ceiling.

Sportsnet LA's Sr. Manager of Studio and Technical Operations, Anthony Violanto, set out discussing the desires of the Dodgers' organization and arranged several fixture tests. The goal, to create both a refreshed and refined look in an historic broadcast booth. He, along with Barbizon Lighting Company's Rick Loudenburg, settled on what they felt to be the best lighting design for this one of a kind booth design. All the while considering the many possible directions for camera to capture the talent looking their finest. Using ARRI SkyPanels for both key and fill lighting, provides the ability to create the optimum color rendering anytime, day or night when transitioning into the stadium lighting.

A mix of ARRI's SkyPanel S-60C's and S-30C's, with their narrow profile, variable color temperature and finite controls, incorporates the flexibility to shoot the talent from most any angle that may be requested by the director. Whether the camera is shooting toward the announcers, from the stadium's POV or into the booth or when the announcers turn their backs to the stadium, the SkyPanels easily transition to the correct color balance by programming from one look to another. The SkyPanels are tuned to match the desired ambient light in the booth with the push of a button.

Controlling the press box lighting is an ETC Nomad 512, PC-based system giving the control room the flexibility to remotely maintain creative color control and white balance and to adjust on the fly.

Additionally, ETC Desire D22's and Colorsource, are being used as color wash and background around the press box.

Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

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