Chroma-Q® Fixtures Highlight WGN News Nation

Eastern Lighting Design has been relying on Chroma-Q® products for many years and many projects, including their most recent lighting design project for WGN’s News Nation Studio. Specializing in TV and Broadcast Studios, Matt Gordon, President of Eastern Lighting, along with VP of Design Mick Smith, and supported by Barbizon Lighting Company, worked through the COVID-19 pandemic to provide the lighting for the Chicago based facility.

“Working through a pandemic has been a real learning experience and adjustment.” explains Matt “I am still surprised how quickly we were able to turn around the project within the given time-lines considering that most of the world was in lockdown. We opted to work during the night in order to practice social distancing from other trades.”

News Nation is a new national newscast program that was going into WGNs old, 3,500 square foot, Studio 3. The studio was completely gutted and redesigned from the ground up in addition to a 12,000 sq foot newsroom with a 2,000 sq foot broadcast space in the middle of that space.

The turn around for the studio was very tight, approximately 6 months, with a short extension to account for COVID-19 closures and challenges. Clickspring Design quickly put a scenic design in place that integrated many lighting positions into the architecture of the space. Creating lighting that can be built into the set enabled it so that fixtures would be more aesthetically pleasing during wide-angle camera shots. Eastern Lighting always likes to work with clean sightlines, fitting the lighting design seamlessly into the environment.

Working with its slim profile, Mick chose the customizable Chroma-Q® Color Span 2™ RGBA (118 units) to graze walls in the tight spots on set. “There is a lot of brick and limestone detail within the set design that we wanted to pick up with light and showcase. We worked with Clickspring Design to integrate the Color Span 2™ into the set. Troughs and coves were built to house the fixtures in a way that the Color Span 2™ would provide the best lighting, while the fixture was invisible to the audience.” explains Mick “I have worked with both generations of Color Span, and what blew me away was how much brighter these fixtures are than the previous version. We were able to capture the look we wanted, and were able to mix and match the fixture lengths to fit the set design”

The studio’s accent lighting for the floor and the set is being done with Chroma-Q® Color One 100X™ (125 units). This fixture is small and easily blends into the set. It is lighting walls, highlighting the floor and background of the set, with a small amount of backlighting.

“We enjoy using the Chroma-Q® fixtures. They are reliable, always have the same color across all fixtures ensuring a unified look,” remarks Mick. The homogenized beam of the Color One 100X™ was a key feature of this light. In most cases it saved us time as we were immediately able to capture the desired quality of light without having to utilize lenses or filters to achieve the same look.”

Photo credit: Dak Dillon

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