Rugby World Cup Kicks Off with White Light
Last Friday saw the start of one of the greatest sporting spectacles on earth: the Rugby World Cup 2015. Being held in Great Britain for the first time, this year’s contest promises to be one of the biggest ever. Taking place until 31st October, twenty nations will play at thirteen stadiums across the UK, with the final being held at the national rugby stadium, Twickenham. In a tournament that is being watched by millions worldwide, this year, for the first time, White Light is providing the production support on the event – which will see the complete production solution specialist draw on all of its expertise to help create a piece of sporting history.
WL’s role in the Rugby World Cup is reflective of its recent expansion in the fields of audio and visual technology. Earlier this year, the company acquired video and lighting technology firm Shock Solutions – a forerunner in the field of LED lighting and audio-visual equipment solutions with over ten years in the industry. As a result, WL is able to offer a greater range of production services than ever before – as visible at this year’s Rugby World Cup. Andy Hook, founder of Shock Solutions and now Technical Solutions Director at WL, comments: “This year, we’ve helped to build three studio and two pitch-side sets for the ITV Sports Team which will be toured to each stadium around the country. As well as providing both the lighting and technology to create each set, we are travelling across the UK to oversee the logistics of each set-up”. Whilst WL’s unparalleled range of equipment and skills has made such an ambitious project possible, the facilities it has available also played a significant role in creating the sets. Andy adds: “Prior to building the set at Twickenham in time for the first broadcast, we were able to use our state-of-the-art facility Studio15 to help construct the sets, try out various lighting set-ups and ultimately ensure that the layout was as visually impressive as it could possibly be.”
Earlier this year WL also announced the launch of its very own audio department, appointing an expert team and investing significantly in new audio equipment. As well as helping to construct the studio sets at the Rugby World Cup, the company is also providing its audio services. Lee Dennison, WL’s Head of Audio, comments: “This Rugby World Cup draws on our strengths as an audio supplier. We’re delivering to the largest on-site hospitality structure, which includes providing a bespoke soundscape for the client entrance tunnel and full audio reinforcement for the match-day hosts along with guest presenters and pundits. This will see us deploy in the region of 100 loud-speakers and 50 channels of amplification – something we are now in a position to offer”. This marks another example of how WL’s reputation of supporting corporate events has grown considerably, with the company having already worked at Westminster College Gardens, the National Gallery and the British Museum this year alone. Lee adds: “Our sole role in this particular area of the Rugby World Cup is to provide the audio, meaning that the strength and reliability of our audio services is now being recognised and we can consistently deliver to big events such as this”.
WL is also providing the production support for ‘Home from Home’, which sees the tunnel beneath Twickenham’s South Stand transform into an immersive experience for those attending a match. Drawing on all of WL’s expertise, ‘Home from Home’ features different colour schemes for each game along with a live AV feed from the stadium above. WL’s Project Manager Richard Stirzaker comments: “We were given the brief of transforming an ordinary tunnel into something which would become a unique part of the Rugby World Cup and give the fans something to remember”. The lighting effects are created by using equipment from Elidy, Martin Professional and Chroma-Q whilst the audio support includes 22 EM Acoustics EMS-61 Speakers. Richard adds: “This is something that has never been attempted at Twickenham before and is a prime example of how WL can now draw on its vast resources to help make an already special occasion even more unforgettable”.
With WL providing such a range of services at one of the world’s largest sporting events, this further cements the organisation’s position as the complete production solution specialist. WL’s Director Richard Wilson comments: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the vast array of skills we have at WL. This year has not only seen us rapidly expand our expertise but also support a huge array of unique projects – which will now pay in dividends as we work on the Rugby World Cup. Added to the fact that we have the very latest technology readily available to us, we are really excited to help make this year’s Rugby World Cup a spectacle to remember”.